As a country lacking an abundance of vital resources, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan prioritizes water and energy conservation. ICMA supported the Green Generation Program, a component of the Public Action for Water, Energy, and Environment (PAP) program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). ECODIT, which implements PAP, awarded a grant to implement this specific project to Sustainable Environmental and Energy Solutions (SEES), the organization ICMA worked with on this project.
In an effort to help reduce consumption of water and energy, SEES and ICMA worked to raise awareness and encourage changes in the behaviors of engineering and architectural students in terms of complying with and utilizing plumbing and solar water heater codes. The project aimed to help these future engineers and architects make more informed decisions when they design and build residential and commercial buildings.
Compliance with these codes will ultimately help Jordan control its water and energy consumption and achieve water and energy conservation goals. SEES and ICMA partnered with the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, Jordan University in Amman, and Al Hussein Bin Talal University in Ma’an.
The Green Generation Program began in August 2013, when the team surveyed more than 300 students at the three universities to gain an overall snapshot of their knowledge about building codes. These surveys revealed that most respondents were unfamiliar with plumbing and solar energy codes, yet willing to become informed and take part in an effort protecting the environment and resources of Jordan.
ICMA and SEES used traditional and social media, awareness sessions at the universities, field trips to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building sites, and a graduation contest to inform and engage with students. The team created a Facebook page (Jordan Green Generation) that attracted more than 1,700 "likes" in the course of the project and a Twitter account (@JordanGreenGen) with more than 300 followers. These social media sites became the first pivotal step in mobilizing Jordanian university students to raise their awareness and interest about green building codes.
By May 2014, when the program ended, the Green Generation Program had built an online social community designed to distribute relevant news to raise awareness for water and energy conservation. Pre- and post-project surveys showed dramatic improvement in students’ awareness of solar energy codes (88 percent at the end of the project compared with 15 percent at the start) and in awareness of plumbing codes (57 percent at the end compared with 25 percent at the start).
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