Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Did you watch the news last night? If you did, then you probably know what I’m talking about…an eco-friendly designed commercial building project is coming to Sin El-Fil. Not that Green Architcture is a new concept to us in Lebanon. Many individuals are using solar panels in their own homes and solar-powered water heaters as well. Yet it warrants discussion.  

Green Architecture means designing a building in such a way that its location, construction, and use of energy resources are used to maximum efficiency. These buildings are made of non-toxic, environmentally friendly, (and often recycled) materials such as recycled stone and recycled metal. They are also both sun and water efficient. For example, such buildings are equipped with solar panels for electricity and solar water-heating systems for heating purposes.

Passive solar heating is a part of green architecture, as more windows are located on the south of the building; they absorb sun rays more. As such, you simply leave the windows with the curtains open in the daytime for the room to heat up, without needing to turn any machines on. In order for the heat to stay in the room, you close the curtains once the room has warmed up.

 Solar efficiency aside, these buildings are also water efficient, as they use environmentally designed toilets, and low-flow showerheads and sink faucets. They also have green trees planted around the structure not only for beauty but for temperature cooling purposes. In the long run, these features reduce waste and energy consumption, and save money.

Due to initiate construction in March 2010, the eco-friendly commercial building in Sin el-Fil is a joint endeavor between IBL Bank and the ACE Company. This building will feature all of these eco-conscious architectural designs, including solar water heating, solar panels, southern-window structuring, and more. Congrats to us for such an initiative!

Happily, we have other environmentally conscious architects and engineers in Lebanon. Indeed, we even have our own  “Lebanon Green Building Council.” For more on this group, please follow this link: http://www.lebanon-gbc.org/Component/Main/Index.asp If you want to invest in some eco-friendly architecture, there are several companies in Lebanon that are readily available to do so. Here is a list: http://energy.sourceguides.com/businesses/byP/solar/byGeo/byC/Lebanon/Lebanon.shtml

My fellow Lebanese, this is a good sign, and we should follow suit. This is our nation, and it is up to us to live in it and take care of it. We can do it, Lebanon!!!