Toward a Low-Carbon Building Sector in the MENA Region

Guidehouse leads project for International Climate Initiative of the Federal German Ministry for the Environment


Sustained population and economic growth, as well as growing urbanization trends in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, have led to a sharp increase of the demand for heating and cooling, which is supplied predominantly by fossil fuels. If this development continues, the energy performance of buildings will be subject to lock-in effects, endangering the countries’ low-carbon transition.


Managed by Guidehouse, the project, Accelerating 0-Emission Building Sector Ambitions in the MENA Region (BUILD ME), is part of the International Climate Initiative of the Federal German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The project has focused on identifying barriers for the uptake of efficient and/or on renewable energy-based heating and cooling systems and the development of recommendations to overcome them. Going forward, the project focuses on the implementation, the upscaling, and the permanent adoption of the recommendations developed in the first phase of the project for Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. The participatory work on policy recommendations has been accompanied by providing technical assistance for energy-efficient buildings or pilot projects. Through a policy dialogue with relevant stakeholders, the project also aims to improve building codes and incorporate building sector-specific targets into Nationally Determined Contributions, as well as national and local strategies.


Key stakeholders and market participants will have access to policy recommendations, macro-economic analyses, and technical assistance allowing them to make more informed decisions when shaping the landscape for energy efficient buildings in the MENA region. The project will also develop a software tool for calculating the energy demand of buildings and cost-effectiveness of building energy efficiency measures, as well as a building typology database and an open demonstration project database for the MENA region.

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