M1 Building - First LEED PLATINUM in Lebanon!

We are happy to announce that one of the projects we had been actively working on, the M1 Building, the new headquarters of M1 Real Estate, has officially received the LEED Core & Shell PLATINUM certification after construction completion and commissioning of systems.

On July 20th, 2016, it became the 1st project in Lebanon to receive the LEED Platinum rating and the 5th LEED- certified building in the country, based on the US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED sustainability scheme.

Our consulting team’s role throughout the design, tender, and construction stages was to consult on the various LEED credit requirements and most suitable sustainability strategy, to ascertain that the project achieves the LEED Platinum certification.

Some of the sustainability measures that have been tackled and now form part of the M1 Building are: significantly minimizing the project’s water consumption via low-water fixtures, grey-water recycling for WC flushing; reducing energy usage through highly energy-efficient HVAC, lighting systems, low-energy consuming elevators engines; producing onsite renewable electricity through arrays of Photovoltaic panels installed on the roof; improving internal thermal comfort as well as indoor environmental quality by promoting a smoke-free building and low-toxicity paint & finishes; specifying a large proportion of locally sourced and low-impact materials with recycled content; establishing and adopting a “Green Cleaning Policy” in the office buildings; as well as allocating a permanent sustainability display area to raise public awareness about eco-friendlier buildings.

Casa Batroun achieves BREEAM Excellent

This small private house in Batroun has been renovated and extended following rigorous eco-friendly criteria.

The collaborative work of Maha Nasrallah Architects’ design and EcoConsulting’s advice on sustainability measures has lead to its British BREEAM International EXCELLENT certification.

Casa Batroun is the 1st project in Lebanon to obtain a BREEAM certificate, and 1st to be awarded BREEAM “Excellent” in the Middle-East.

The project incorporated a bio-climatic design enhancing cross-ventilation and energy-efficiency through careful window positioning and openings, shading devices, thermal insulation, zoning of LED lighting, Solar Water Heating and biomass heating via wood pellet stoves. A thermal modelling analysis demonstrated that the house achieves significant reductions in its energy consumption & CO2 emissions, of 50% & 36%, respectively. Water savings are realized via rainwater harvesting and low-water fixtures, as well as a green roof with drip irrigation. The house’s envelope, finishing, and furniture integrate almost exclusively natural, low-embodied energy, or recycled materials with very low toxicity levels.

Green Building Criteria in Lebanon

In an effort to improve the building design and construction practices in Lebanon, EcoConsulting took part in several initiatives that aim to develop national criteria for green buildings. The work started with a committee of experts, including EcoConsulting, formed by the Order of Engineers & Architects in Beirut in October 2014.

The committee delivered a complete set of Criteria for Green Buildings in Lebanon which aims to establish additional standards for new building construction, taking into consideration sustainability principles as well as local market constraints. It addresses different topics such as: energy efficiency, water conservation and treatment, internal environmental quality, and environmental impact. The emerging Criteria for Green Buildings was presented during the Build-It Green Lebanon 2015 conference and to the Directorate General of Urbanism (DGU) in an effort to make it mandatory for projects that require the Higher Council of the DGU’s approval.

In December 2015, EcoConsulting presented the previously developed criteria to a Technical Committee of key experts created by LIBNOR (Lebanese standards institution) with the goal of developing a national and official Lebanese Green Building Standard. Since then, EcoConsulting has been actively involved in the work of the Technical Committee in the preparation of this standard.

EcoConsulting at COP21

In an effort to contribute to climate change policy, EcoConsulting attended the International Climate Change Conference 21st Session (COP21) in Paris in December of 2015, on behalf of the Lebanese private sector and as a member of the Lebanese delegation.

Representing EcoConsulting was one of our sustainability engineers, who actively took part in the negotiations, specifically within articles pertaining to mitigation and global stocktake, while communicating text analyses and providing research & support to other members of the Lebanese delegation.

EcoConsulting’s representative also attended several side events in par with the conference, the most prominent of which was the Lima Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) Focus on Buildings, which gathered key figures and organizations from the construction industry, and launched the “Global Alliance for Building and Construction.” The latter aims to speed and scale up the sector’s potential in curbing emissions and building greater climate resilience into future cities.

Hailed as a historic achievement, all 196 signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have come together to adopt a climate change agreement that will hopefully pave the way for a lower carbon, resilient, and sustainable future.

Ahead of the conference, Lebanon submitted to the UNFCCC its plan to reduce GHG emissions by 30%, conditional upon international support, and 15% unconditionally, both by 2030. EcoConsulting continuously collaborates with the local construction sector to help the country achieve its target as part of a common effort to fight climate change.

7th Annual Build-it-Green Conference

EcoConsulting partnered one more time with e-EcoSolutions to organize the 7th annual “Build it Green – Lebanon” held in March 2016.

This year, we introduced a new interactive workshop format, that turned out to be quite successful! Indeed, 25 parallel workshops were held with specialized green building experts, grouped under 3 main categories: Sustainable Materials & Solutions; Designing & Financing Sustainable Buildings; and Innovative or Hot Topics. The delegates participated in brainstorming, reviewing, and drafting concrete sustainability solutions with the topics experts. Click here to check out the workshop summaries!

The winning team of students for the 2nd Eco-Quartier Competition was also announced, after a thorough evaluation process by a panel of sustainable building experts and urban planners.

SwitchMed Green Entrepreneurship Program

SwitchMed is a European initiative which aim is to scale-up social & eco-innovations in the Mediterranean. The programme in managed by the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC) in Barcelona and is funded by the European Commission/European Union. EcoConsulting has been selected, along with ProQuale firm, as the local trainers and mentors of SwitchMed, for its Green Entrepreneurs program.

The goal of the SwitchMed Green Entrepreneurs Training Programme is to assist potential eco-entrepreneurs in launching new businesses in a very practical way. EcoConsulting is administering a series of workshops in this direction.

Interested? Please apply.

Byblos 100 Resilient Cities Strategic Plan

EcoConsulting has actively participated in devising the new Resilience Strategy of the City of Byblos, which was selected by the Rockefeller Foundation as one of the very first 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) in the world.

We created an Environmental Group and jointly collaborated with theOtherDada and Sarah-Lilly Yassine to investigate, analyse, and elaborate the environmental and sustainability components of the new 100RC Byblos Resilience Strategy. We presented it with the 100RC team to Byblos key stakeholders and residents, in April 2016.

NEEREA “Green” Loan still ongoing!

The national NEEREA and LEA loans for energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly buildings, supported by the Lebanese Central Bank and LCEC, are still available. Our team is assisting dozens of projects to get hold of the very low interest loans and meet their green commitments. Many of our projects obtained approval for both NEEREA & LEA or are in the process of getting it. They range from small residential and mixed-use buildings to offices and commercial shopping malls.

Contact us for more information on accessing those loans!

Our Corporate Social Responsibility

EcoConsulting has partnered with the Lebanon Mountain Trail Association (LMTA) to assist in one of its conservation and development objectives: Education.

Some of EcoConsulting's profit is invested in developing environmental education tools and programs. Additionally, our enthusiastic team is committed to offering its time and know-how pro-bono to the benefit of the LMTA education program, Lebanese public and private schools, as well as kids and local communities at large.

The Environmental Championship Program

Under this fruitful collaboration, we created the Environmental Championship Program (ECP), a new innovative environmental education program for kids, which consists in organizing 5-day environmental awareness and sustainable living programs, and engaging children from diverse ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds in joint socio-environmental action.

Abtal El Bi’A is built on the concept of experiential learning, with hands-on, fun, and creative activities aiming to give children a clear understanding of the full loop that is our supporting ecosystem. Our objective is to empower those kids by giving them the title of “Environmental Champions”, and inspiring them to become stewards of our planet in a pro-active way: protecting nature, acting sensibly about eco-issues, influencing and communicating around them key environmental messages.

So far we have undertaken 6 ECPs in 2015 & 2016 with 80 kids between 9 and 13 years old, becoming little “Environmental Champions”. Check their Videos & Songs!

#ANARAHBALESH – ANTI-LITTERING ANIMATION

In an effort to raise the new generation’s awareness about the importance of a clean environment, we have developed an Anti-Littering animation for kids, which has been incorporated into the LMTA Education program. Click to view #AnaRa7Balesh!

The animation illustrates the importance of keeping Lebanon clean and stopping throwing trash in all public realm. It sheds the light on the resulting state of pollution, encouraging kids to get pro-actively involved by changing bad habits, lessening trash, and protecting their health.

#AnaRa7Balesh has been endorsed by both the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Education. It will soon be introduced as an extra-curricular activity in public schools.