Dozens of homes in Jordan have been retrofitted to meet "green" standards, allowing their inhabitants to enjoy a healthy indoor environment and reduce their energy and water consumption.
Project leaders say green living is a human right for all, regardless of income or social status.
The right to a green home
Ensuring this right, especially for underprivileged families, has been the focus of the Jordan Green Building Council’s (GBC) "Green Affordable Homes" project, according to project coordinator Ayah Rabab’ah.
Part of the Moving Energy Initiative funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, the project aims to increase sustainable energy access and resilience in refugee-affected areas, Rabab’ah told The Jordan Times, noting that the initiative is carried out in cooperation with NGO Habitat for Humanity.
"Jordan has one of the lowest levels of water availability per capita in the world. It is no secret that our country faces big challenges to fulfill its growing energy and water demand, and these challenges have been exacerbated with the increasing numbers of Syrians who have taken refuge in Jordan,” the project coordinator explained.
In Jordan, 1.3 million Jordanians and Syrians are living in substandard housing, putting them at risk of numerous health and safety hazards, according to the Jordan Response Plan 2018.
According to the GBC, the Kingdom needs over 100,000 new housing units to provide for its soaring population. Rabab’ah emphasized the importance of new buildings being more efficient in their water and energy consumption, ultimately lowering the costs for their inhabitants.
"My house was always hot, no air conditioning or fans could help," recalled project beneficiary Om Bader, adding that "there was no ventilation or lighting at all”.
With the help of more than 100 volunteers from the local community, GBC and Habitat for Humanity, the Green Affordable Homes project helped build three new green and cost effective houses and retrofit 48 homes for better energy and water efficiency, helping families like Om Bader's access decent living conditions.
[Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra | Flickr]