MENA Green Building Congress 2019
  • Kempinski Hotel Amman Jordan, Zahar
  • Monday 25 - Tuesday 26 February 2019, - 09:00 am - 05:00 pm

MENA Green Building Congress 2019

Kempinski Hotel - Amman, Jordan
 –26 February 2019

Green buildings for everyone, everywhere


For over a decade, the World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) movement has been a force of positive change, leading to a green transformation within the building and construction industry. Our Green Building Councils (GBCs) are comprised of leaders from across the industry who are committed to transforming their local markets through ratings tools, advocacy, education, and thought leadership.

By working through our global network of national GBCs, we are aiming to transform the built environment towards sustainability, contributing to achieve the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to under 1.5 degrees.  Additional advantages include natural resource preservation and the creation of co-benefits including improved health and wellbeing, and a strong, a strong & fair society and prosperous economy.

Together with our network of GBCs, we have achieved tremendous success. There are currently local GBC initiatives in about 70 countries comprised of 23,000 member companies and 14,000 individual members. Together, they have registered more than 2.65 billion square meters of green building through the network’s various rating systems.

MENA Green Building Congress 2019

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is currently home to over 381 million people, and its population growth has been characterised by rapid urbanisation. This is projected to continue, with urban population expected to double from 2010 to 2050, from 200 million to nearly 400 million. This means a large demand for buildings and infrastructure, complicated by the challenges of conflict-induced displacement of people. Yet the MENA region is also set to be critical for the growth of green building globally over the next few years.

Organised in cooperation with the Jordan Green Building Council, WorldGBC’s MENA Green Building Congress 2019 will represent great opportunity to share the latest trends across the industry internationally and regionally. It will also be a chance to share success stories and discuss the ways we can collectively respond to challenges facing the region. Furthermore, it will highlight means to ensure that buildings provide a high quality of life for people, minimise negative impacts on the environment, and maximise economic benefits.

Forum objectives

MENA Green Building Congress aims to:

  • Provide a platform for government, business, city and civil society leaders to exchange ideas on best practice for green buildings
  • Create momentum amongst decision makers around green building issues, by suggesting smart policies, strategies and creative programs that involve both the public and private sectors
  • Promote the adoption of green building practices and introduce new technologies
  • Offer participants a forum to network and discuss business opportunities
  • Encourage regional GBCs to share lessons learnt and advancement plans
  • Discuss ways and mechanisms through which regional cooperation can be enhanced

Who should attend?

  • Global and regional companies leading the green market transformation movement
  • Politicians such as Ministers, Mayors and local government officials
  • High-level representatives from international inter-governmental organisations
  • Private companies and business associations exploring opportunities for industry collaboration
  • Green professionals, architects, engineers, landscape designers and city planners
  • Academics and postgraduate students
  • NGOs involved in natural resource conservation and workforce development
  • Vocational training institutes interested in improving awareness and education, including preparing students for jobs within the green building industry
  • Entrepreneurs and small businesses who are exploring new areas of business

Why attend?

  • Learn about the global green building trends through the WorldGBC lens
  • Understand opportunities and challenges relating to green buildings in the region
  • Understand latest approaches and emerging best practices to address challenges
  • Leverage experiences and ideas with counterparts from the region & beyond
  • Explore business opportunities and the potential for public-private partnerships
  • Discuss legal and regulatory frameworks necessary to support green buildings in the region

Topics and themes

Sustainable reconstruction and rehabilitation

Urban areas and essential infrastructure across Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Gaza have suffered large-scale damage and destruction due to multiple, recent and ongoing conflicts. These countries also face severe levels of water stress and environmental degradation overlaid by climate change. Extreme temperatures coupled with lack of access to power are already exacerbating inequalities across the region. Reconstruction is likely to take place in a vacuum of environmental regulation, reducing countries’ long-term prospects for the inclusion of returnees, social stability and economic recovery.

Estimates suggest that over 560 billion USD will be needed across the region just to repair and rebuild what was previously there.  Rebuilding allows the opportunity to benefit from the latest practices, materials and technologies adapted to a country’s specific climatic conditions and social fabric. The WorldGBC MENA Network has commenced a project with Chatham House to develop internationally agreed guidelines and principles and the capacity to apply them within both the construction industry and donor and finance institutions is essential to raise the level of accountability in this area.

Better Places for People

This is WorldGBC's largest global project, focused on demonstrating the human-centric co-benefits of a sustainable built environment, specifically around health and wellbeing. We believe that a message revolving around people, and their personal places and spaces, helps bring our message around green buildings to a wider audience. Active across 30 countries worldwide, the project has historically demonstrated the business case for green buildings, provided guidance for developers, owners and occupiers and worked to grow awareness of the importance of sustainability in the buildings industry.

Advancing Net Zero

This is a WorldGBC global project that aims to accelerate uptake of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050. The project is guided by a framework of key principles that seek to achieve alignment and commonality in approach. This includes using carbon as the ultimate metric to track; the importance of reducing energy demand to ensure buildings are performing as efficiently as possible; the supply of renewable energy to meet remaining demand; and finally improving verification and rigour, where progress would include embodied carbon and other impact areas such as zero water and zero waste over time.  18 Green Building Councils from across our network are working to develop education programs, resources, and tools such as certification systems to facilitate the mass market transformation required through corporate and government engagement and help support capacity development. In 2018, WorldGBC launched the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, to promote and recognise advanced leadership action towards net zero carbon buildings from business, cities, states and regions.

Embodied carbon

In order to achieve the carbon emission reductions necessary to achieve a below 2 degrees scenario, the buildings and construction sector must fully decarbonise. This includes what is termed as ‘embodied carbon’ when assessed at a building level - the emissions associated with the production, transportation and disposal of building materials and the construction process itself. As we build increasingly energy efficient buildings that use less and less energy to operate and rely increasingly on locally-generated low or zero carbon heat and power sources, the proportion of the building’s lifecycle carbon that comes from the embodied carbon becomes more significant. There remains a significant, and still largely untapped, opportunity to address the embodied carbon of a building or project, alongside its operational efficiency, of a building. WorldGBC is working to create a conversation around the value and importance of embodied carbon, with the aim of creating and stimulating market demand for transparency, improvements, and verification of embodied carbon reductions.

Re-discovering indigenous green building techniques

With the rapid pace of urbanisation, traditional building methods are often replaced with more “contemporary” structures and materials. What can we learn from the region’s traditional building methods which tend to be energy efficient with better thermal comfort compared to some newer designs? Review of options for incorporating the best of past methods into modern designs and construction work.

Side Events

WorldGBC MENA Region Green Building Council Meeting *

GBCs from across the region will come together to share knowledge and learn about effective strategies and programs to help them drive their local building industries towards sustainability. They will also explore joint project opportunities which will contribute to improving the built environment across the region. Currently there are GBCs in the UAE, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine as well as interested groups in, Kurdistan, Libya, Mauritania and Tunisia.

* Limited to GBC representatives and sponsors


A list of high profile international and regional speakers has been identified and confirmed.

Partnership opportunities

This congress will be managed by the World Green Building Council. WorldGBC has the right to choose partners within different categories.


World Green Building Council with support from Jordan Green Building Council.


  • Registration fees for non-members will be USD 300
  • Registration fees for MENA GBC members will be USD 150

Contact information

Mohammed Asfour, Regional Head – MENA, World Green Building Council

Amman, Jordan

+ 962 7777 4 1000

Program (subject to change)

Sunday 24 February

MENA Regional Meeting (For GBCs only)

Time:              08:30 – 16:30

Location:        Meeting Room 3, Kempinski Hotel Amman


  • Follow up on progress achieved by MENA GBCs since the Dead Sea meeting in January 2018
  • Extend the reach of WorldGBC’s global projects towards the wider green building network in order to fulfil the 2050 vision
  • Learn about opportunities and challenges facing green building councils in the region
  • Encourage regional cooperation around issues of mutual interest

Desired outcome

  • Update on a regional roadmap and action plan and agree on next steps
  • Identify valuable resources and deliverables for the MENA GBC network


  • Regional GBC official representatives
  • Regional partners - Current and potential, and event sponsors





08:30 – 9:00


09:00 – 09:15

Opening remarks


Meeting agenda

Lisa Bate, Chair, WorldGBC
Mr Khaled Bushnaq
Chair, MENA GBC Network

Ibrahim Al Zubi
Chief Sustainability officer
Majid Al Futtaim Holding

09:15 – 10:00

Global projects:

How can my GBC get involved?


MENA GBC Updates

Opportunity to learn about one another and exchange best practices in developing and growing your GBC

Updates from all MENA GBCs:

# of members

# of staff

Key revenue streams

Top of mind concerns

What do you plan to do more of and less of in the next 12 months forward?

10:00 – 10:20

Egypt GBC

10:20 – 10:40

Emirates GBC

10:40 – 11:00

Jordan GBC

11:00 – 11:20

Lebanon GBC

11:20 – 11:40

Coffee break and networking

MENA GBC Updates

11:40 – 12:00

Kuwait GBC

12:00 – 12:20

Morocco GBC

12:20 – 12:40

Palestine GBC

12:40 – 13:00

Qatar GBC

13:00 – 14:00

Lunch break and networking

14:00 – 15:00

Regional Projects

15:00 – 16:30

Interactive training on good governance

Mohammad Asfour, Regional Head, World Green Building Council

16:30 – 17:00


Monday 25 February

MENA Green Building Congress

Time:              08:30 – 17:30

Location:        Al-Reem Ballroom, Kempinski Hotel Amman





08:30 – 9:00

Registration and networking

09:00 – 09:15

Opening remarks

Lisa Bate, Chair, World Green Building Council
Ibrahim Al Zubi, Chief Sustainability officer, Majid Al Futtaim Holding

How do we make Better Places for People?

Can we use human health as a tactic to improve the business case for green buildings?


Improving productivity and business case on indoor air quality

Latest research on air quality in cities across the world

Policy influences, air quality campaigns

Discussion in tables and groupwork to answer questions from Catriona

Audience feedback and questions to panellists

Catriona Brady, Head of Better Places for People, World Green Building Council

Presentation and interactive panel session. Featuring panellists from:

- Saint Gobain

- International Well Building Institute

09:15 – 09:35


09:35 – 10:05

Panel discussion

10:05 – 10:30

Audience Interaction

10:30 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:30

Coffee break and networking

Sustainable reconstruction and rehabilitation

Is green building the key to generating sustainable recovery and rehabilitation in MENA conflict zones?

Mohammad Asfour, Regional Head, World Green Building Council

11:30 – 11:50



12:50 – 12:30

Panel discussion


Fahed Abu Jaber, Chair JordanGBC

Aleksandar Hadzhiivanov, Associate Director, Sustainable Resource Investments
Energy Efficiency and Climcat Change, EUropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development

12:30 – 13:00


13:00 – 14:00

Lunch break and Networking

How can we advance net zero emissions?

What pathways must MENA countries take to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050?

Victoria Kate Burrows, Head of Advancing Net Zero, World Green Building Council 

14:00 – 14:30



14:30 – 15:00

Panel discussion


15:00 – 15:30


How can we address Embodied Carbon?

How can MENA countries tackle lifecycle emissions from buildings and construction?

Panu Pasanen, CEO, Bionova 

15:30 – 16:00



16:00 – 16:30

Panel discussion


16:30 - 17:00


16:45 – 17:00

Closing remarks

17:00 – 17:30

Coffee break and networking

Tuesday 26 February

Better Places for People training by Catriona Brady

Time:              8:30 – 14:30   

Location:        Al-Reem Ballroom, Kempinski Hotel Amman




8:30 – 9:00

Registration and networking

09:00 – 9:45

Introduction to Better Places for People at WorldGBC

Speaker: Catriona Brady, Head of Better Places for People, World GBC

  • How health and wellbeing is a component of sustainability
  • Key HWB features of green buildings
  • How engaging people with health messages is a strategy for promoting green buildings

9:45 – 10:30

BBuilding a business case for green buildings

Guest Speaker: Slowmir Szpunar, International Marketting Director, Saint Gobain
Case studies of green buildings and places

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:15

WorldGBC guidance for improving sustainability in different building typologies

MENA Green Building Council Panel
Particular focus on himes and schools, and insight into Better Places for People 2018 'healthy homes and a healthy planet' guide

12:15 – 13:00

13:00 - 13:30

Green Building Certification

Closing Panel Session - Incorporating lessons learnt and overcoming challenged in practice

Guest Presentation: The WELL Building Standard, International WELL Building Institute
- Introduction to WELL Building Standatd, with focus on work in MENA region

Final Pannel discussion and audience Q&A
Reflections and close of training session

13:30 – 14:30

Lunch break and networking

Tuesday 26 to Wednesday 27 February 2019

Trip to Petra!

1-night stay at Crown Plaza Hotel, Petra (Cost to be covered directly by delegates)




Tuesday 26

15:30 – 16:00

Gather in lobby of Kempinski Hotel Amman


Buses depart Kempinski Hotel Amman


Arrive at Crown Plaza Hotel Petra

Wednesday 27


Explore Petra with guide

16:00 – 16:30

Gather at bus stop


Buses depart Crown Plaza Hotel Amman


Arrive in Amman or at airport

Organized By   JordanGBC