Green Building Rating System in Jordan

Building consume 21% of the primary energy and 43% of the electricity generated in Jordan, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. Efforts started in 2009 to develop a rating system for buildings that will reduce the energy and water demand and provide an efficient and healthier environment.

Jordan has several LEED registered buildings since 2009. One of them is LEED Silver and two are LEED Gold, and around 20 more building are registered online and are in the process of applying for LEED. The energy crisis started in Jordan in 2008 after the sharp increase in energy prices. Subsequently the attention to the energy consumption in building increased, and the building officials started implementing the local building codes related to energy. About twenty seven National Building Codes in Jordan are directly related to building envelop, natural ventilation, natural lighting, mechanical and electrical systems.

The Ministry of Public Works and Housing (MoPWH) has the Jordan National Building Council (JNBC) division which is responsible for the development of the Building Codes in Jordan. The Jordan Green Building Guide (JGBG) technical committee was established in 2009 to develop the Green Building Rating System in Jordan with the help of specialist in the public and private sectors under the leadership of the technical arm at the Construction and Sustainable Building Center (CSBC) at the Royal Scientific Society. International references from leading sustainability rating systems were used as references such as LEED and BREEAM, with emphasis on the local conditions in Jordan pertaining to energy and water scarcity.

The JGBG was issued in 2013, and it became available to everyone to use. An incentive program for the adoption of green buildings in Jordan based on the JGBG rating system was approved in 2015 and it was launched on the 3rd of September 2015.  And the first building under the JGBG requirements is under development.

Owners and developers that adopt the JGBG rating system will be entitled to an increase in the Floor Area Ration (FAR). The JGBG has four levels;

  • Level A (25% increase in FAR allowed)
  • Level B (20% increase in FAR allowed)
  • Level C (15% increase in FAR allowed)
  • Level D (10% increase in FAR allowed)

The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM), Green Building Unit, is in charge of managing the registered buildings under the JGBG. After the Owner or Developer registers the green building with the CSBC for the implementation of the JGBG at certain level, the Issued for Construction drawings are forwarded to the GAM. GAM has developed a one stop shop to process the registered buildings under JGBG and it follows up with the different entities like the Civil Defense Department, Jordan Engineers Association, and others until the building permit is issued. Periodic visits and reviews are done by the CSBC throughout the project until the team achieves the requirements of the JGBG. Subsequently the certificate of compliance is issued for the new green building.

The Jordan Thermal Insulation Code, Jordan Energy Efficient Building Codes and the Jordan Green Building Guide are all working towards improving the energy use in buildings. The table below shows the development of requirements in the thermal transmittance (U-value) for walls in buildings. The Thermal Insulation code and the Energy Saving Building Code calls for the mandatory requirements of U-value = 0.57 W/m2.K for walls and U-value = 1.60 W/m2.K for the overall U-value for walls with all openings. The Jordan Green Building Guide will give one point for the buildings with walls U-value below 0.50 W/m2.K and two points for buildings with walls U-value = 0.40-0.50 W/m2.K

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About Samer Zawaydeh

Samer A. Zawaydeh is a Sustainability Consultant and trainer in Energy Efficiency, Green Buildings and Renewable Energy sectors. He was a Project Manager in the energy sector; power stations, refineries and oil and gas completing over 30 projects. MSc Structural Mechanics from the University of New Mexico, USA, 1994 and currently enrolled in the Environmental and Renewable Energy Master’s Program, at the German Jordanian University 2015. He is also serving as the President of the Jordan Energy Chapter EDAMA which is the local Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers.

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