The Future of Green Building Materials in Egypt: A Framework for Action

Mona Azouz
Sustainable development has become a significant worldwide concern. The past few years have seen a lot of changes. Some of these affect how we do approach - and how we should approach - environmental issues. Because of their adverse impacts to sustainability, knowledge about building materials became a crucial dimension of green change in building and design. The problem is that in Egypt there is still no database for green building ma-terials. In spite that there are currently over 120 international green labelling programs for building materials worldwide, they cannot be locally used. This is because building materials and the way they are extracted, manufactured, used, transported, recycled or disposed differ from country to country. All these factors result in insufficiency of data & information on green building materials and those who are involved in the design, construction & man-agement of building materials are acutely lacking the basic information on materials that would allow them to make constructive changes. That's why the introduction of a system for specification, assessment & se-lection of green building materials is considered to be one of the corner-stones of promoting sustainable green building development in Egypt as an attempt to fulfil Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030. The aim of the research is to develop a framework for a system for evaluat-ing sustainability of building materials in Egypt to achieve greener steps to-wards sustainability with a new way of scoring sustainability of building materials that evaluates both positive & negative ecological, social & health and economic impacts through the whole life cycle. This system could be applied in the development of the New Cites that considers the unique chal-lenges of the region and the local market and could be applied all over the country taking into consideration the nature of each region with its available building materials and specific climatic conditions and the different regional priorities and requirements. The research was based on an inductive approach through studying & analy-sis of the life cycle of the building materials, the different aspects and crite-ria for the evaluation of green building materials, currently available re-sources of information about building materials in Egypt and the interna-tional & national reference values & benchmarks that could be used as a base for the new system. Findings will lead to a proposed framework of a system for specification and assessment of green building materials in Egypt. This framework de-scribes all the kind of information required and the procedures that should be taken for the development of the system from collecting data till the es-tablishment of online guide for green building materials and a digital library for accessible and reliable information on green building materials that ena-bles building designers, constructors and developers to make reasoned choices based upon the health & environmental impacts of their decisions and eases the use & selection of Green Building materials in Egypt over the coming years.

References

AgBB (Committee for Health – related Evaluation of Building Products) (2012). Evaluation procedure for VOC emissions from building products. Retrieved April 16, 2012, from http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/355/dokumente/agbb_evaluation_scheme_2012_0.pdf.

Fithian, C. & Sheets, A. (2009). Green Building Materials-Determining the True Definition of Green. Retrieved August 1, 2016, from https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/bitstream/handle/2152/13325/9-Fithian_Sheets-Green_Building_Materials.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y.

Froeschle, L.M. (1999). Environmental Assessment and Specification of Green Building Materials. The Construction Specifier, October 1999, 53-57. Retrieved September 9, 2016, from http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/GreenBuilding/Materials/CSIArticle.pdf.

German Sustainable Building Council. DGNB Certification System. Retrieved January 15, 2015, from http://www.dgnb-system.de/en/system/certification_system/.

Isnin, Z., Ahmad, S.S. & Yahya, Z. (2012). Building Material Management Framework for Greener Adaptation Projects. Asian Journal of Environment-Behaviour Studies, Volume 3, Number 8, 45-54. Retrieved September 7, 2016, from https://fspu.uitm.edu.my/cebs/images/stories/cebs/ajebsv4n122013c4.pdf.

Mehta, G., Mehta, A. & Sharma, B. (2014). Selection of Materials for Green Construction: A Review. Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Volume 11, Issue 6 Ver. III, 80-83. Retrieved September 7, 2016, from www.iosrjournals.org.

Milani, B., (2001). Building Materials in a Green Economy Community-based Strategies for Dematerialization .The biennial conference of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics (CANSEE), McGill University, Montreal. Retrieved September 1, 2016, from http://www.greeneconomics.net/BuildMatEssay.html.

Spiegel, R. and Meadows D. (1999), Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.

Thomas, D.R. (2006). A General Inductive Approach for Analyzing Qualitative Evaluation Data. Journal of Evaluation June 2006 vol. 27 no. 2 237-246. Retrieved October 1, 2016, from http://legacy.oise.utoronto.ca/research/field-centres/ross/ctl1014/Thomas2006.pdf. DOI: 10.1177/1098214005283748.

Umar, U.A., Tukur, H., Khamidi, M.F. & Alkali, A.U. (2012). Impact of Environmental Assessment of Green Building Materials on Sustainable Rating System. Retrieved September 9, 2016, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233996916. DOI: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMR.689.398.

Copyright (c) 2018 Resourceedings