Affordable Housing for the Future Competition: A Call for Innovative Ideas for the Design of a Model Water- and Energy-Efficient Low-Income Apartment Building in Abu Alanda, Jordan



Competition Announcement

Download PDF file of this competition announcement (file size is 214 KB)

The Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) and the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) and the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC), invite submissions from individuals and organizations in the fields of architecture and engineering, as well as other interested parties, for a competition for the design of a model water- and energy-efficient low-income apartment building in Abu Alanda, Jordan. The competition is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Instituting Water Demand Management in Jordan Project (IDARA). The awards for the competition are sponsored by JEA and the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD).


Table of Contents:

Competition Consulting Committee
Competition Objectives
Eligibility for Participation
Competition Time Schedule
Competition Submissions
Competition Language
Disqualification from the Competition
Questions and Answers
Evaluation of Entries
Members of the Jury
Publishing of Entries
Intellectual Property Rights and Copyrights
Design Brief

Site Location
Amman Climatic Data
Floor Area
Construction Budget

Resources on Water- and Energy-Efficient Designs and on Low-Income Housing

Printed Materials
Online Resources


List of Appendices:

Appendix 1: Registration form (MS Word file, file size is 33 KB)
Appendix 2: Declaration form (MS Word file, file size is 33 KB)
Appendix 3: Site plan of the three phases of the Abu Alanda development (JPEG file, file size is 1,897 KB )
Appendix 4: Photos of the buildings under construction on the Abu Alanda Phase I site
Appendix 5: Prototypical plans for the buildings on the Abu Alanda Phase I site
Appendix 6: Site location plan for the competition - the Abu Alanda Phase III Site (AutoCAD file, file size is 960 KB)
Appendix 7: An aerial view of the site location (JPEG file, file size is 422 KB)
Appendix 8: A general view of the site location (JPEG file, file size is 192 KB)
Appendix 9: Samples of conventional low-income apartment buildings carried out by HUDC
Appendix 10: Zoning plan for phases II & III (AutoCAD file, file size is 1,482 KB)
Appendix 11: Water network plan for phases II & III (AutoCAD file, file size is 610 KB)
Appendix 12: Sewage network plan for phases II & III (AutoCAD file, file size is 3,182 KB)
Appendix 13: Plan showing road levels for phases II & III (AutoCAD file, file size is 3,033 KB)
Appendix 14: Additional site photos (PDF file, file size is 798 KB)
Appendix 15: Clarifications and responses to inquiries received from registrants (PDF file, file size is 81 KB)


1. Competition Consulting Committee

The competition consulting committee members are:
Dr. Natheer Abu Obeid, Dean of Architecture, Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST);
Ms. Ra'ida Haddad, Director of Design Department, Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC);
Ms. Ala Jaber, Architect and Designer, Professional Engineering Consultants, Ltd., and Part-Time Lecturer, Department of Architecture, University of Jordan;
Mr. Ziad Qattan, Architect, 2K Architects, Planners and Engineers, First prize winner of the 2003-2004Aqaba Housing Competition, a competition for the design of a model water- and energy-efficient low-income housing unit in Aqaba, Jordan;
Ms. Abeer Al Saheb, Urban Planning Consultant.


 2. Competition Objectives

In November of 2003, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported an architectural competition for a low-income water- and energy-efficient house suited for the Aqaba region in Jordan. Due to the success of the Aqaba Housing Competition, USAID-IDARA is hosting a similar competition for the best water- and energy-efficient low-income housing block in Jordan's Highland areas.

The typical four-story apartment block has become a common housing typology in urban areas across Jordan and is being adopted by developers in large-scale housing complexes, especially in the limited-income sector. It is hoped that the competition will generate further creative ideas in the design of water- and energy-efficient dwellings and propose aesthetic, practical, and sustainable solutions for urban areas in the highlands. Such ideas are particularly significant given the current economic conditions in Jordan where lowering the running cost of low-income housing has become a priority for both private- and public-sector limited-income housing developers.

In the public sector, the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC) has taken on the implementation of the royal initiative "Decent Housing for Decent Living" to provide housing for low- and limited-income people. HUDC is currently implementing several large housing projects under this initiative in the various governorates of Jordan.

Additionally, there are various parties in Jordan interested in sustainable building and design, and there is a drive to create a green building council in Jordan, and also to introduce sustainable design practices to the country. This competition aims at initiating a broader discourse on the design of water- and energy-efficient buildings in Jordan, and it is hoped that it will encourage further studies on this issue in the country.

Also, the outcome of the competition may encourage governmental institutions involved in the construction industry, such as the Municipality of Greater Amman, HUDC, and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, to refine existing building codes and standards in order to allow for the enhancement of green and sustainable design practices in the country. In addition, winning entries for the competition may serve as models for water- and energy-efficient housing examples that would be implemented by both public and private sector organizations as was the case with the Aqaba Housing Competition.


3. Eligibility for Participation

Application to the competition is open to architects and students of architecture, as well as other interested individuals and organizations. Participation in the competition is not allowed for those involved in the organization of the competition as well as the employees or consultants working with them.

Participants must be Jordanian citizens or have resident status in Jordan. However, it is possible for non-Jordanians and non-residents to participate in collaboration with Jordanian participants.

In order to be eligible for the competition, all participants shall fill out the competition's registration form and make sure it reaches the CSBE offices on or before the registration closing date mentioned below. The registration form can be obtained from the CSBE offices or downloaded from Appendix 1. Filled and signed registration forms can be sent by email as JPEG or PDF files to or by fax to (06) 461 5297. These forms also can be hand-delivered to the CSBE offices at the Ala' Office Building, first floor, 10 Husni Fareez Street in Jabal al-Luweibdah, Amman, Jordan.


4. Competition Time Schedule

 January 05, 2010: Official launch of competition.

January 06 - 26, 2010: Registration period.

January 26 - February 09, 2010: Receipt of inquiries from participants.

February 23, 2010: Responses to inquiries and clarifications regarding the competition will be posted on the CSBE web site.

May 20, 2010: Deadline for submitting entries. Entries to be handed at CSBE offices.

June 2010: Announcement of prizewinners as well as honorable mentions.

July 04 - 25, 2010: Pickup of non-winning entries.


 5. Competition Submissions

Each entry should be presented on four 59.4 x 84.0 cm (A1) sheets arranged horizontally in addition to a CD containing high resolution JPEG or PDF files of the drawings. Sheets should be mounted on either foam board or 2-5mm cardboard. Drawing sheets shall display the title "Abu Alanda Housing Competition".

Each entry should include conceptual drawings; a site layout (scale 1:500) showing the layout of eight adjacent apartment buildings on the assigned block; a longitudinal site elevation (scale 1:500) showing the eight adjacent apartment buildings on the assigned block; a set of drawings for the proposed apartment building including a site and landscape layout for the assigned plot including the ground floor plan (scale 1:100), floor plans (scale 1:100), four elevations (scale 1:100), two sections (scale 1:100), detailed wall section(s) (scale 1:20) illustrating materials proposed and construction details, illustrative drawings showing water- and energy-efficient concepts, and at least one three-dimensional view. Also, entries may include any other details or analytical drawings that the participants deem necessary.

The full details for the design requirements for the prize are provided in the "Design Brief" below.

Each entry also shall include a report of no more than 1,000 words. The report shall describe the research and design methodology used in developing the design. It also shall discuss the design concept and the means it proposes to achieve water and energy efficiency. The report shall include a cost estimate for the construction of the apartment building. A breakdown of the costs should include the following: substructure, superstructure, finishing materials, insulation materials, and landscaping. The report shall include a total cost estimate per-square-meter for the apartment building. The report also shall include a Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) for the building for 20 years.

Drawing boards shall not display the name of the entrant or any identifying marks. Entrants shall fill out the declaration form, which can be obtained from the CSBE offices or downloaded from Appendix 2, and submit it along with the CD and drawing boards. Each entry shall include the four drawing boards, a declaration form, a CD, and a report.

The competition organizers will give each entry a code number, which will appear on the drawing boards and the report as well as the declaration form. The names of the competitors will remain hidden from the jury members until after the jury has made its final decision.

Note: It is recommended that entrants make copies of their entries before the entries are submitted. CSBE and IDARA reserve the right to keep the winning entries and those receiving honorable mentions after the prize results are announced. Authors of non-winning entries can pick up their entries from the CSBE offices starting July 04 through 25, 2010. CSBE will not be held responsible for any entries that are not picked up during that period.


6. Competition Language

As the competition jury includes foreign members and as foreign individuals may participate in the competition (in conformity with the criteria for eligibility for participation in the competition), the language used for the components of the competition entries (reports, drawing legends, etc.) shall be English.


7. Disqualification from the Competition

The organizers of the prize reserve the right to disqualify participation from the prize if any of the following conditions are met:

Entrants do not meet the eligibility criteria for participation in the prize, as mentioned in the prize brief.
Entrants communicate with competition organizers, consulting committee members, or jury members concerning design solutions or/and concerning the judging of entries.
Entries do not satisfy the requirements for submissions.


8. Questions and Answers

Entrants wishing to ask questions and obtain further information can submit their inquiries to CSBE by February 09, 2010. Inquiries will be accepted in writing only. They can be submitted by email or by fax to (06) 461 5297.

Responses to inquiries and clarifications regarding the competition will be posted on the CSBE web site. These responses will be considered an integral part of the design brief.


9. Evaluation of Entries

Offering creative solutions to water and energy efficiency, sensitive to conservation. It is encouraged to consider passive means of conservation in the design solutions, which include, but are not limited to, the proper study of massing, building orientation, window sizing and placement, the use of landscaping to control sun exposure, etc.
Consideration of the apartment building type and possible conservation aspects in its design.
Satisfaction of aesthetic and functional aspects.
Cultural and social suitability of the design to the norms of the intended inhabitants.
Responsiveness to site location and topography, as well as to the Jordanian physical environment.
Responsiveness to climatic conditions in the region, including temperature, relative humidity, rainfall rates, and solar patterns.
The use of local building materials and construction methods, as well as ease of implementation.
Low construction costs, as well as low running costs.
Scalability and applicability of the design or major ideas in the design to other site locations and building types in Jordan.
Proper compliance with building regulations in terms of heights, setbacks, etc. and adherence to Jordanian building codes and standards, as well as the special regulations provided in the design brief.
Professionally presented, high quality, self-explanatory drawings.



10. Members of the Jury

Entries will be reviewed and judged by an independent jury consisting of five reputable professionals involved in the fields of architecture and social development. Jury members will include the following:

Tawfiq Abu-Hantash, Architect and Managing Partner, GDAR Group.
Tawfiq Abu-Hantash is a cofounder and principal designer at GDAR (Group for Design and Architectural Research), established in 1991 with offices in Jordan, UAE, and Morocco. He holds a Master's in Architecture from MIT in 1989 and a BSc in Architecture from the University of Jordan in 1983. 
Through his long and diverse experience in architectural design and teaching, architect Abu-Hantash and the GDAR team have developed a design approach that mediates between modernism and cultural commitment to place and context. This "experimental" approach has been explored through working on complex projects ranging from single buildings to large-scale urban design and housing schemes in different places, including Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen. This approach has led to winning the Islamic Architecture Award of Cityscape Dubai in 2006 for the design of Princess Salma Housing Estate. 
Individually and through GDAR, architect Abu-Hantash has participated in numerous architectural competitions and won prizes in most occasions. He is a regular visiting critic of graduation projects in local and regional universities. He is also an active member of several professional and academic committees and societies.

Meisa Batayneh Maani, Founder and Principal Architect, Maisam Architects and Engineers.
Meisa Batayneh Maani is experienced in multiple facets of design including architecture, planning, urban design, and corporate and place branding. Over her long and versatile career, she has led multi-disciplinary teams on large-scale international and regional projects in USA, Pakistan, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and UAE. In addition to her passion to use creativity, design, and innovation to enhance the built environment, she is actively involved in reform processes through numerous national and international commissions and boards. She is also the founder and chairperson of Design Jordan, president of Business and Professional Women of Amman (BPWA), founding member of the Architecture and Engineering Business Council, head of Green Unit, a board member of the King Abdullah II Center for Excellence, and several other prestigious boards and committees.

Khaled Jayyousi, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Petra University.
Khaled Jayyousi has a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Venice, Italy. He has more than thirty four years of professional experience as an architect and planner with private and government agencies, implementing major development programs with special emphasis on low-cost housing projects, including "slum upgrading" and "site and service" projects, as well as urban design, settlement, planning, and architectural projects. His experience extends to broader program-wide aspects of development, including the preparation of planning and design standards, staff organization and coordination with external public and private agencies.
He is a counterpart consultant with the Urban Development Department (UDD) of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing in Jordan, specializing in different aspects of urban development planning and architectural design of housing and community buildings.
He was awarded the al-Kawkab al-Urduni medal by His Majesty the late King Hussein in appreciation for his achievement in UDD project implementation. He was also awarded a 1992 Aga Khan Prize in Architecture for the East Wehdat upgrading project in Amman.

Farouq Yaghmour, Principal, Yaghmour Architecture Office.
Farouk Yaghmour is an architect and planner, and is the principal of Yaghmour Architecture Office (Amman, Bethlehem, Sharjah, and Dubai). He studied architecture at the Hoch Schule fur Architektur und Bauwesen in Weimar and did his graduate work at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he holds a master's degree in architecture and a Ph.D. in planning. He taught at the University of Jordan, Amman, and the State University of New York, and was the founding chairman of the Department of Architecture and Interior Design at Petra University, Amman. Dr. Yaghmour has practiced architecture in Jordan, Palestine, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. He has been in charge of the urban and architectural development for a number of important historical sites, including the Solomon Pools in Bethlehem, the Palestinian village of Beit Sahur, and the Baptism Site along the Jordan River in Jordan. He also was involved in efforts aimed at preserving the historical Palestinian city of Hebron. Dr. Yaghmour is the author of several publications addressing the subjects of architecture and environmental and urban planning. He also has served on a number of public advisory committees involved in advising and following up on large-scale development projects in Jordan.

Ayman Zuaiter, Partner, Tibah Consultants
Ayman Zuaiter is an American University of Beirut graduate. He has been practicing architecture since 1981. Zuaiter worked with the late Hasan Fathy during 1982. He had the chance to work on several residential, public, and urban regeneration projects in different parts of Jordan. Architect Zuaiter is known for his harmonious solutions in architecture and planning that stem from the spirit of the place. He is a frequent jury member for graduation projects at several Jordanian universities. Zuaiter is responsible for the design of several winning architectural competitions in Jordan and the Arab region.

Richard Brittain, Lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Arizona.
Richard Brittain teaches site analysis and planning with an emphasis on infill urban land use and sustainability, land ethic and tectonics design studios, fifth year capstone studio projects, and master's degree thesis projects. He supervises the visualization and simulation laboratory, and was recently elected by the faculty to serve as critical practice coordinator. His private practice focuses on architectural photography, residential desert architecture utilizing adobe and rammed earth wall materials, passive solar energy efficiency, and water conservation techniques with rainfall harvesting and graywater reuse systems.


11. Prizes

First prize: JD 6,000 (about USD 8,450).


Second prize: JD 4,000 (about USD 5,630).

Third prize: JD 3,000 (about USD 4,200).

If the jury sees fit, honorable mentions may also be given to other entries showing merit.

Note: Entrants agree that the jury's decision is final and that the jury may withhold the first prize if the submitted entries do not satisfy all of the competition's evaluation criteria mentioned above.

The prizes for the competition are provided by the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD) and the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA).


13. Intellectual Property Rights and Copyrights

Participants in the competition shall retain any and all copyrights to their designs.

However, acceptance of the award(s) by the successful participant(s) will result in providing the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Host Country Government, and Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) a royalty-free exclusive irrevocable right to use the drawings, specifications, designs, or other technical data developed.


14. Design Brief

Site Location:
As the context of a building is of great significance when addressing water- and energy-efficient designs, and since the ultimate aim of this competition is to construct a model demonstration water- and energy-efficient low-income apartment building, a real-life site location has been assigned for the project. The selected site is located in the Abu Alanda area in the southeastern part of Amman. The site is part of a low-income housing development owned by the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC). The site has many of the features of a common building site currently being developed by HUDC in the city of Amman, which will facilitate the applicability of the competition's entries to as many site locations as possible.

The area of Abu Alanda is located in the southeastern part of the city of Amman. It lies at a latitude 31.53° north and longitude 35.58° east.

The Abu Alanda development: HUDC has recently prepared a planning scheme for the Abu Alanda low-income housing development, in which low-income residential plots have been identified. The development of the area has been phased in three phases. Phases I and II are currently under construction and at various stages of completion. Refer to Appendix 3 to view the site plans of phases I and II, Appendix 4 for photos of the Phase I apartment buildings under construction, and Appendix 5 for plans of HUDC building prototypes for Phase I.

The site chosen for this competition is Phase III of the Abu Alanda development. The road layout and parcelation of the plots have been planned and green spaces have been designated. A block of eight plots, centrally located in the Phase III site (plot numbers 574 - 667), has been selected as the location for the design proposals. Participants are asked to propose site layouts for these eight plots and a detailed design of one apartment building for plot number 673. A designated green space is located in the center of the block and should be designed as a shared garden/open space. The site layout of the block should show proposals for the shared garden/open space.

Area of the designated 8 plots: 14,135.56 square meters.

Area of the plot (no. 673): 1,575.22 square meters.

Altitude of the plots: On average, 875 m above sea level.

Gradient of the plot: There is approximately a ten-meter difference in levels between the highest and lowest points on the plot. The topography of the site is fairly steep ranging from 18 to 29%.

Maximum allowable floor area ratio (FAR): 1.76 (i.e. the floor area or the gross built-up area divided by the area of the plot).

Maximum allowable height: 16 meters (excluding staircases).

Maximum number of floors: Four floors (from the elevation of the midpoint of the upper street, and the midpoint of the plot).

Minimum setback requirements: 3.5 m front and rear setbacks, zero side setbacks. (Participants may choose to increase the set backs as deemed necessary)

Minimum number of housing units (for the entire 8 plots): 168 units.

Minimum soft landscaping requirements: 15% of plot area (excluding designated open space).

Parking requirements: 1 parking space per housing unit. Parking is permitted in the setbacks. Underground parking is permitted. Areas for underground parking may be excluded from the total FAR of 1.76.

Note: Participants may choose to alter the proposed parcelation. In such cases, the maximum allowable FAR of 1.76 would apply to the total area of the 8 plots (14,135.56 square meters). A shared garden/open space of 2,748.39 square meters (to be shared by the residents of the entire development), and a total of 168 units must be provided. All other requirements stated above apply.

Click here to download the compressed AutoCAD file for the Abu Alanda Phase III planning scheme (file size is 960 KB). The site location plan includes infrastructure information and contour lines for the whole area. The site location plan that has been assigned for the competition is marked on the drawing. Highlighted in gray is the block with the eight plots on which the footprints for the apartment buildings should be presented. Highlighted in red is the particular plot of land on which the apartment building is to be designed in detail.

Click here to view an aerial view that shows the general area of the Abu Alanda site.

Click here to view an image that shows the general area of the Abu Alanda site (the photo is taken from the northeast looking southwest towards the site).


 Amman Climatic Data:

In general, the city has a moderate dry climate in the summer and a cool rainy climate in the winter. Below is more specific climatic data:

The highest monthly mean maximum air temperature is 32Ëš C occurring in July and August.

The lowest monthly mean minimum air temperature is 4Ëš C occurring in January and February.

The absolute maximum air temperature is 43Ëš C occurring in August.

The absolute minimum air temperature is -6Ëš C occurring in January.

The annual precipitation approximately ranges from 500 mm in the northwest and 150 mm in the southeast. Rainfall in the site area ranges between 250 mm and 300 mm annually.

The prevailing winds are from the west.

For more detailed information on climatic conditions in Amman, see the web site for the Jordan Meteorological Department and that for the Department of Statistics.

To calculate the sun angles in the city of Amman for a given date and time, consult SunAngle, an on-line program for calculating solar angles, at


Floor Area:

Taking into consideration the HUDC design standards for low-income units in apartment buildings, the floor area of each unit shall range from a minimum of 110 square meters to 120 square meters. The area of each apartment does not include the vertical circulation core (which includes stairs, elevators, risers, and lobbies).

Accordingly, each entry shall provide a design for an apartment building with units of an average area of 115 square meters each. Each unit shall include three bedrooms, a reception area (salon), living area, dining area, kitchen, and two bathrooms.

The design of each building should account for building services such as mechanical rooms. Service and circulation areas are included in the maximum FAR requirements.

Click here to view samples of conventional low-income apartment buildings constructed by HUDC.


 Construction Budget:

The construction cost for the submitted designs for the water- and energy-efficient low-income apartment building should be about JD 235 - 240 per square meter (around USD 331 - 338). It is understood that the incorporation of certain treatments or systems that ensure water and energy conservation may result in a higher construction cost. Therefore, an entry with a construction cost that exceeds JD 240 per square meter should include in its budget a brief study of how the higher cost would pay off in the long term through factors such as lower operating costs.

The total cost does not include the cost of the green area/parking space. Proposals for this area should take into account budget constraints in similar low-income housing projects.


 15. Resources on Water- and Energy-Efficient Designs and on Low-Income Housing

 Printed Materials:

The following is a list of useful printed books and manuals that address the issues of energy- and water-efficient designs, and of low-income housing.

Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M., Jacobson, M., Fiksdahl-King, I., and Angel, S. A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. The book presents a new approach to architecture, building, and planning in which people, through the use of a language consisting of 253 patterns, can design and build their own homes, neighborhoods, or towns. A small selection of the patterns included in the book is available on-line at

Burnham, R. Housing Ourselves: Creating Affordable, Sustainable Shelter. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 1998. The book describes how to design and build incremental, environmentally sensitive, self-built housing. The book gives guidance on utilizing local, cost-effective, sustainable materials; building in harmony with the natural landscape; and conserving precious natural resources.

Chiras, D. The Natural House: A Complete Guide to Healthy, Energy-Efficient, Environmental Homes. London: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2000. The book looks into a variety of options for building environmentally responsive, energy-efficient, and economical houses. The book provides an overview of several natural building technologies and materials, including straw bale, rammed earth, and adobe, and gives the pros and cons of each of them.

Chiras, D. The Solar House: Passive Heating and Cooling. London: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2002. The book describes, among other things, the basics of passive heating and cooling systems and ways of implementing and assessing the performance of energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

Fathy, H. Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973 (re-issued in 2000). The book demonstrates the holistic approach of the late Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy to addressing housing problems for low-income populations in rural Egypt. The book not only addresses practical and affordable ways of building for the poor, but also argues the need for and the possibility of accomplishing socially-responsive, beautiful architecture for them. The book shows how Fathy used traditional building techniques and local building materials to create environmentally-conscious architectural solutions and to enable the poor to take control of the building process for their homes. Although the book deals with rural Egypt with its hot-dry climate, much of the ideas presented in it can be adapted to regions of different climatic conditions.

Givoni, B. Passive and Low Energy Cooling of Buildings. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994. The book discusses the properties and applications of passive cooling systems that use natural non-exhaustible energies to provide comfortable living spaces. It analyzes passive cooling systems in terms of performance in different types of buildings and climates.

Habraken, N. J. Supports: An Alternative to Mass Housing. London: The Architectural Press, 1972 (re-issued in 1999). The book presents a new approach to the design of large-scale housing projects in which a distinction is made between the "support" or the base building and the "infill" or the interior, thus enabling the production of a wide range of floor plans for any specific housing project.

Habraken, N.J., Boekholt, J., Thyssen, A., and Dinjens, P.J. Variations: The Systematic Design of Supports. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1976. The book discusses a new design methodology for housing projects, which was initiated by the Foundation for Architects Research (SAR) in the Netherlands. It illustrates and provides examples on how architects can design base buildings or "supports" that allow for the production of a range of floor plans that would respond to users' needs as opposed to the standardized floor plans of the industrial-era mass housing.

Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC). The Citizen's Manual for Building: the Simplified Manual for Residential Building. Amman: HUDC, 1999 - 2002. [in Arabic] This series of eight booklets addresses, in a simple, illustrated manner, the building process in Jordan and the technical and procedural issues relating to it. The booklets are intended to provide guidance for ordinary citizens who wish to build affordable houses.

Jones, T., Pettus, W., and Pyatok, M. Good Neighbors: Affordable Family Housing. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 1996. The book features real-life examples of low-income housing projects from around the United States that were designed by innovative American architectural firms with the help and participation of local communities. The book also provides detailed design and construction techniques that support the development of affordable housing.

Kennedy, J. (ed.), Bates, A., Wanek, C. (ed.), and Smith, M. The Art of Natural Building. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers, 2002. The book describes different alternatives of natural building techniques and materials, such as mud, stone, and straw. It argues that through the use of such techniques and materials one can produce buildings that are more environmentally responsive, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing than "modern" buildings.

Koch-Nielsen, H. Stay Cool: A Design Guide for the Built Environment in Hot Climates. London: James & James (Science Publishers), 2002. The book demonstrates, through the use of examples of traditional and modern constructions, design strategies that can create locations and structures that promote significant energy savings. It provides details of available techniques and technologies, material selections, and describes natural ventilation and cooling methods that satisfy both human comfort requirements and energy efficiency.

McMullan, R. Environmental Science in Building. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2007. The book studies the science, technology, and services relating to human comfort and the environmental performance of buildings. It covers topics including climate, energy conservation, heating, ventilation, lighting, sound insulation, water supplies, and green buildings.

Nestnes, A., Hastings, S., and Saxhof, B. (eds.) Solar Energy Houses: Strategies Technologies Examples. London: James & James (Science Publishers), 1996. The book describes strategies and technologies applicable to energy-efficient buildings. It also provides detailed studies of fifteen experimental energy-efficient houses that were built in different climates.

O'Cofaigh, E., Olley, J., and Lewis, J. The Climatic Dwelling: An Introduction to Climate-Responsive Residential Architecture. London: James & James (Science Publishers), 1996. The book presents general strategies for green design, provides an evaluation of solar building elements, and shows examples of recently-designed green dwellings.

O'Cofaigh, E., Fitzgerald, E., and Lewis, J. A Green Vitruvius: Principles and Practice of Sustainable Architectural Design. London: James & James (Science Publishers), 1999. The book provides information on the green design and construction process, including issues to be considered, strategies to be adopted, and advices on design evaluation.

Roaf, S., Fuentes, M., and Thomas, S. Ecohouse: A Design Guide. London: Architectural Press, 2001. The book includes information on key issues relating to low-energy and ecological building as well as case studies from around the world.

The Second Jordanian Architectural Conference. Architecture and Environment: Towards Environmentally Sustainable Architecture. Amman: Jordan Engineers Association, 2000. The two-volume book includes conference papers presented by Arab architects discussing, among other things, environmentally responsive models of traditional buildings in hot-climate cities within the Arab World, and provides a few examples of some recent climatically-responsive buildings in such climates.

Thomas, R. Environmental Design: An Introduction for Architects and Engineers. London: Taylor & Francis, 2006. The book provides an introduction to environmental design, tackling the principles of site planning, building form, and materials. It is supported by case studies and examples of award-winning environmentally-appropriate buildings.

Yannas, S. Solar Energy and Housing Design: Principles, Objectives, Guidelines. Volume 1. London: Architectural Association Publications, 1993. The first of two volumes, this book tackles the use of solar energy in site planning and design to reduce energy consumption. It covers topics related to site layout, building form, internal planning, design of openings, ventilation, and heating systems.

Yannas, S. Solar Energy and Housing Design: Examples. Volume 2. London: Architectural Association Publications, 1993. The second of two volumes, this book provides examples of the use of solar energy in the design of buildings to reduce energy consumption.

Zeiher, L. The Ecology of Architecture: A Complete Guide to Creating the Environmentally Conscious Building. New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1996. The book provides details on the different facets of green building by providing comparative energy performance solutions, recycling alternatives, material analysis, etc.


Online resources

The Water Conserving Landscapes and the E-Publications sections of the CSBE web site provide substantial information on the subject. The CSBE energy-efficiency booklet can be downloaded in English here or in Arabic here.

Other useful web-based resources on energy- and water-efficient design include:

Austin Energy ( This web site addresses the issues of green building, energy savings, and renewable energy. Its Green Building Program provides extensive guidelines and case studies related to energy-efficient design including a downloadable design manual entitled "Green Building Multifamily Guidebook." ( This web site includes articles covering a wide range of topics relating to sustainable building taken from issues of the monthly Environmental Building News (EBN) newsletter. The web site also provides a directory of green building products. Although some information on the web site is available at no charge, most of the information is limited to subscribers.

Johnson, Warren. "Keeping Cool," Aramco World Magazine, May-June 1995. This essay can be downloaded at The essay describes the skillful adaptations of traditional buildings in cities in the Middle East region to the hot dry climates in which they are located.

Oikos Green Building Source ( This web site includes information on green building products and materials.

Rocky Mountain Institute ( This web site includes some case studies for green development as well as an extensive database for high-performance buildings.

The Vital Signs Curriculum Materials Project ( This web site is for a project that is coordinated through the Center for Environmental Design Research at the University of California, Berkeley, through which architecture students examine architectural, lighting, and mechanical systems in existing buildings with attention to energy use, occupant well-being, and architectural space-making. The web site includes case studies submitted by students from different universities. It also provides a number of online resource packages ( created by the Vital Signs Project. Each package addresses a single building performance issue.