Dr. Thani Al-Zeyoudi, Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UAE’s permanent representative at IRENA, attended the closing ceremony of the 3rd Summer Sustainable School themed “Pathways to Sustainable Future” at BUiD Auditorium.
Dr. Thani addressed the attendees and said: “Sustainability is a very complex topic which consists of three dimensions: economic, environmental and social. Most projects around the world are mainly tackling the economic element and some social but ignoring the environmental factor. However, we are pleased to live in a country, where its leaders considered sustainability before even others start talking about it. Our leaders have the vision to think about the environment all the time.”
Students of Engineering and Architecture from various universities participated in this free CSR event which was supported by Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) as Education Partner and Akhtaboot as online recruitment partner. The one week event witnessed a range of activities such as lectures, workshops and field trips. The participants visited The Center of Waste Management in Al Ain, where they listened to lectures on how plastic, tyres and organic waste are being treated. After that they toured the tyre and plastic recycling factory to see how the waste is recycled. Another visit was conducted to Dubai Metro Operation Control Centre RTA were students learned how the Dubai Metro reduces the pollution and costs by providing a modern sustainable method of transportation. The last stop was Dubai Sustainable City, where the students toured the construction site accompanied by a representative of Diamond Developers who explained to students the different methods the city is using to stay sustainable.
Parmis Nadali, one of the team leaders participating in BUiD SSS said: “on the first day of SSS, our ideas reached the sky and were anything but sustainable. Visits to the recycling plant and waste management centre made us rethink of the execution of our ideas in a sustainable manner. We decided to use a specific palette of materials, to produce the best prototypes we could with least waste produced in only a few days. And we succeeded!”
Other participating students share their BUiD SSS experience below:
Rasha Abdul-Khalek, a Masters student at The American University in Beirut said: “The BUiD SSS was a great experience. It was very intense, but I learned a lot. I also met great people who I will never forget. Sustainability is essential for our wellbeing and for the protection of our earth, and I’m glad to have participated in this workshop to learn more about it.”
Saja Bassam, MSc. Sustainable Design of the Built Environment student at BUiD said: “We had a very pleasant time at BUiD SSS. We especially benefited from the field trips to different sustainability initiatives around the UAE plus we had some amazing workshops”
The participants competed to win the Awards for the Best Sustainable Garden Project and the Best Video for sustainability. Dr. Thani opened the exhibition of the student work along with Prof .Abdullah Alshamsi BUiD’s Vice Chancellor.
Dr. Hanan Taleb , Atkins Assistant Professor for the MSc. in Sustainable Design of the Built Environment and BUiD SSS founder ,said: “I’m very pleased to see the participants’ commitment and enthusiasm which was reflected in the amazing projects they have produced. Such events are very important to create awareness about sustainability which motivates us to host this event every year.”
Such events encourage team work and collaboration among participants’ from different universities and help spread awareness about sustainability’s issues which require co-operative effort for their successful resolution.
Further to its CSR activities and existing accredited MSc, programme, BUiD’s PhD in Architecture and Sustainable Built Environment which commences in September 2014will enhance the academic research and professional rigour required to sustain Dubai’s primacy in meaningful and pragmatic environmental endeavours and training.