By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – The Ministry of Environment is currently studying energy and water consumption in public buildings in a bid to cut down the use of the two limited resources, a government official said on Sunday.

The project, implemented in cooperation with the private sector, seeks to reduce energy and water bills by 20 per cent and segregate and recycle office waste at public establishments, an official at the Ministry of Environment said yesterday.

“The ministry is currently coordinating with the Ministry of Public Works and Housing and the Jordan Engineers Association for enforcing the National Building Code in government buildings and housing units under construction,” the official told The Jordan Times.

He noted that enforcement of the building code will ensure environment protection and encourage the spread of green buildings.

A 20 per cent reduction in energy consumption saves $1 billion annually, while a 20 per cent cut in water consumption can save as much as 200 million cubic metres of water, according to ministry figures.

A total of 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by buildings, environmentalists said recently, calling for green construction practices to preserve the country’s environment and its scant water and energy resources.

Official figures indicate that water loss costs the Kingdom around JD100 million annually, while environmental degradation costs it JD330 million annually, or 5 per cent of the gross domestic product.