During 2011, CSBE continued work on its Instituting Water Demand Management in Jordan (IDARA) project. CSBE also completed the fourth cycle of the Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design. In addition, CSBE reactivated a number of its previous activities: the courses and workshops program, and the Diwan al-Mimar architectural forum. As for new initiatives, they have included starting a CSBE Facebook page, carrying out a study of public spaces in Amman, and establishing an incubation and internship initiative. Moreover, CSBE was commissioned to develop guidelines for the design and construction of sustainable parks in Jordan. CSBE also published a detailed study assessing an energy efficient pilot residence in Aqaba. It was heavily involved in the conception and construction of this pilot residence.
In addition, CSBE completed the transfer of its registration as a non-profit company with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to a non-profit society with the Ministry of Social Development that functions under the umbrella of the Ministry of Environment. New government regulations had required the vast majority of non-profit companies to carry out this transfer.
Finally, CSBE's 2011 budget shows that it achieved a surplus of 3050 JD. This follows three years of deficits in the CSBE budget.
Instituting Water Demand Management in Jordan (IDARA)
CSBE continued its participation in IDARA, the four-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project that is being carried out in association with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to implement a program on water demand management in Jordan. CSBE completed the provision of technical assistance to a number of municipal and private parks to improve their water efficiency. CSBE worked on developing municipal parks in the cities of Azraq, 'Ardah, and Sareeh. In addition, technical assistance in water-conserving design was provided for sites in Madaba, Mallahat (Deir Alla), and Ramtha.
In conjunction with experts from the University of Arizona in Tucson, CSBE developed a course module on water-conserving landscapes for an architecture course at Petra University.
CSBE also held a seminar in collaboration with the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC) to disseminate the results of the Abu Alanda Apartments Competition that CSBE had organized in 2010 and that addressed the theme of water and energy efficiency in apartment buildings. At the request of HUDC, CSBE began preparing a guidebook for developers using the competition entries as case studies.
Finally, CSBE carried out in coordination with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs a design competition between municipalities for the best water-conserving park. Four winners were selected representing the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, the Municipality of Zarqa, the Municipality of Manshiet Bani Hassan, and the Municipality of Irbid.
The Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design
In 2008, CSBE initiated an award for Jordanian architectural graduation projects in conjunction with the regional architectural and engineering firm Omrania and Associates. For the 2011 fourth cycle of the Award, 99 projects from seven Arab countries were submitted. An independent three-member jury assessed the projects and selected the winning entries, which were announced at the Award ceremony and exhibition held at the American University of Beirut in December, 2011. The Aga Khan Award for Architecture kindly supported the participation of one of the Award's jury members. The jury awarded the first prize to one project, and divided each of the second and third prizes among two projects. The winning projects were from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates.
A 10-minute video was produced on the fourth cycle of the Award. CSBE also organized a public lecture by one of the jury members, British structural engineer Hanif Kara, during his presence in Amman. The lecture dealt with Kara's work and was entitled "Binding of Architecture and Engineering."
Courses and workshops
CSBE has revived its courses and workshops program by organizing an 18-hour training course on architectural detailing in 2011. The course was led by three prominent Jordanian architects: Bilal Hammad, Sahel Al Hiyari, and Hani Imam Hussaini. All have made creative and important contributions to developing detailing solutions that have built upon and expanded the skills and technical competencies found in Jordan's construction industry. The course was organized in partnership with the Jordanian Architecture / Engineering (A/E) Business Council, a non-profit membership association whose members consists of a number of Jordan's leading architectural and engineering firms.
CSBE is in the process of planning a number of additional courses on subjects relating to architecture, urbanism, and landscape architecture for 2012.
The CSBE architectural forum, Diwan al-Mimar, is a discussion group that aims at exploring the issues and challenges affecting the built environment in Jordan, the Arab world, and beyond in an in-depth and constructive manner. The Diwan addresses topics including architecture, urban planning, construction technologies, landscape architecture, and conservation of heritage sites. As a discussion forum, the Diwan aims at exploring and developing issues, rather than presenting finished products.
Diwan al-Mimar was established in 2000, and continued until 2008. No Diwan activities were carried out during 2009 and 2010, but the Diwan was reactivated in 2011. For the 2011 - 2012 season, the Diwan is following a different approach for organizing its meetings. It will primarily devote the season to a single subject, that of urban management in Jordan. The Diwan members will produce a position paper on the subject by the end of the season. All efforts will be made to develop an intensive dialogue with the public and with relevant decision makers regarding the content of this paper.
Support for this season of Diwan al-Mimar has been provided by National Paints, the Arab Technical Group (ATG) - Daiken, and members of Diwan al-Mimar. The Diwan al-Mimar sessions have been hosted at Yaghmour Architects, and by Darat al-Funun, the Khalid Shoman Foundation.
CSBE Facebook page
CSBE initiated in 2011 a Facebook page that aims at documenting and disseminating CSBE's activities and publications, but also aims at bringing attention to articles and films that are available online and that deal with the built environment, with an emphasis on issues relating to public transportation, pedestrian access, and energy efficiency. The Facebook page is intended to strengthen CSBE's online presence.
Public spaces project
CSBE hosted three architecture student interns from the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) in the summer of 2011. The interns, Saja Hazaimeh, Ruba Abu Al-Haija'a, and Dana Elfar, studied three public spaces in Amman (Wakalat Street, Cultural Avenue, and Rainbow Street) under the supervision of CSBE staff. The intensive study addressed issues relating to design, maintenance and upkeep, and social interaction. The interns have made a number of presentations on the project, and CSBE will be writing a detailed report on their work that will be published on the CSBE web site. Although no funding is available for the project, CSBE hopes to study other public spaces in Amman with new JUST interns over the upcoming summers.
Incubation and internship initiative
CSBE began incubating architect Rawan Qubrosi, who has been working on developing innovative low cost shelters that may be easily assembled and disassembled. CSBE is supporting Rawan through providing her with technical support and also connecting her with various individuals and institutions who may help her realize her project.
CSBE also has offered internships to a number of students. These include Saja Hazaimeh, Ruba Abu Al-Haija'a, and Dana Elfar from JUST, who worked on the CSBE Public Spaces Project. CSBE also hosted two exchange students from the United States who were studying at the University of Jordan: Jill Knapke and Isadora Zanon. Jill primarily worked on developing a syllabus for a course introducing architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design to high school students, and Isadora primarily worked on developing a syllabus for a course on architectural design for primary school students. CSBE is planning to offer these courses in 2012.
CSBE e-publications: AREE – Aqaba Residence Energy Efficiency: The Complete Experience
In addition to documenting many of the activities mentioned above on the CSBE web site and the CSBE Facebook page, CSBE has added a new publication to its web site, "AREE – Aqaba Residence Energy Efficiency: The Complete Experience." This extensive publication documents the design and construction process for AREE - The Aqaba Residence Energy Efficiency, an environmentally friendly residential pilot project. CSBE was heavily involved in the various phases of the design and construction of this residence.
Guidelines for the design and construction of sustainable parks in Jordan
CSBE developed a set of extensive guidelines for the design and construction of sustainable parks in Jordan. The guidelines address the subjects of water and energy conservation, in addition to materials and construction techniques, maintenance, infrastructure, and community participation. The illustrated guidelines document of over 26,000 words was commissioned by the Green Building Unit of the Jordanian A/E Business Council, which will be disseminating it to the public.
Official CSBE registration
The Jordanian government has required the vast majority of non-profit companies - such as CSBE - that are registered with the Jordanian Ministry of Industry and Trade to transfer their registration to the Jordanian Ministry of Social Development. CSBE completed its registration with the Ministry of Social Development in 2011 as a non-profit society. The Jordanian Ministry of Environment has been identified as the governmental body under whose umbrella CSBE will function.
Staff, board of directors, and general assembly members
CSBE hired a new staff member, Ahmad Abu-Khalaf, in November, 2011 as a Research and Coordination Officer. Ahmad is a new graduate of architecture from the University of Jordan. He will be taking over from Nur al-Fayez, who left CSBE at the end of 2011 to follow her passion in music and start a music shop.
CSBE board member May Shaer resigned from the board of directors since she is currently residing outside Jordan, but has remained a member of the CSBE general assembly. Farouk Yaghmour, the principal of Yaghmour Architects, has joined the CSBE general assembly as its seventh member.
CSBE’s main source of income for 2011 remained the IDARA project. Omrania and Associates also provided CSBE with financial support for its implementation of the CSBE | Omrania Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design. Other sources of funding included the sponsorship and membership dues received for Diwan al-Mimar and the fees paid for developing the guidelines for the design and construction of sustainable parks in Jordan.
CSBE continues to function on a limited budget. Its operating expenses for 2011 amounted to 86,443JD, while revenues amounted to about 89,493JD. The resulting surplus of 3,050 reverses the deficits that CSBE faced in 2008, 2009, and 2010 (note: 1 JD = 1.41 USD).
Obeidat and Freihat Attorneys & Counselors at Law continued to provide legal counseling to CSBE on a pro bono basis. Also, Mohammad al-Asad continued to give his time to CSBE primarily on an unpaid basis. In addition, Reem Aslan carried out voluntary work for CSBE during the first few months of 2011. CSBE is grateful for their support.
Finally, a special thanks is due to the CSBE staff and members of the board of directors for all the efforts they made in ensuring that 2011 was a successful year for the Center.