Green Building Standards in MENA: An assessment of regional constraints, needs and trends

Isaac Meir, Aviva Peeters, David Pearlmutter, Suleiman Halasah, Yaakov Garb, John-Michael Davis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The paper reviews briefly regional constraints and trends in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), among them environmental climatic and social ones, which should affect planning, design and construction policies and practices. It reviews the current state of legislation regarding energy and other green building issues, as well as the various voluntary tools which are being promoted in the region. Covering 20 countries (from Turkey to Yemen, from Morocco to Iran), and based on over 150 documents in Arabic, English, French, Turkish and Hebrew, the paper concludes that the pace of building practices adaptations is far from meeting the pace of needs and constraints. The repercussions on the liveability of buildings and settlements, and the survivability and resilience potential of communities in the arid regions of MENA, may well be at risk. Thus, for many countries in the region, green building (and the standards that encourage this) are not a luxury of developed countries, which they might adopt in the future once more pressing constraints are eased, but, rather, a critical development goal to lessen these constraints and allow a viable path into such a future. INTRODUCTION Green building has evolved out of the growing environmental awareness and concerns of recent years. Alongside the concepts and technologies arose also the need for benchmarking and green building assessment tools. Some of the earlier ones such as LEED [1-3] and BREEAM [4, 5] have become an integral part of the environmental discourse in architecture and planning. They were quickly followed by the Australian and South African Green Star [6, 7], the Japanese CASBEE (IBEC, 2012), and many others. Parallel to these, the World Green Building Council has fostered national Green Building Councils (GBCs). To date, there are 24 established GBCs, 13 emerging, 30 prospective, and 25 associated groups. As far as MENA is concerned there is only one established GBC (United Arab Emirates), 2 emerging (Jordan, Qatar), 7 prospective (Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Syria) and 4 associated groups (Egypt, Libya, Oman, Tunisia). Israel, which has an established GBC, is listed under Europe, as is Turkey which moved from emerging to established GBC in late 2012 [8]. Whereas some of these are already part of the infrastructure promoting legislation, standards, policies and even materials, others are still in their formative stages. But why are these of interest and relevance?
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publication28th PLEA, Munich, Germany
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Aridity
  • Climate change
  • Desert
  • Energy
  • Green building
  • MENA
  • assessment tools


Dive into the research topics of 'Green Building Standards in MENA: An assessment of regional constraints, needs and trends'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this