Birzeit University’s Environmental Management Wins It Accolades and International Award

Birzeit University has won first place at the 6th Environmental Management Contest held on December 9, 2014 in Saudi Arabia. The winning report describes Birzeit University’s efforts to integrate environmental management into its campus design and operations.

Birzeit University’s Engineering Office Manager Bishara Abu Ghannam initiated the idea of participating in the contest and delegated engineer Mounir Saad, who has a Master's degree in Water and Environmental Engineering, to write a documented scientific report on the university’s experience. The report was written over three months time and reviewed by Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs Adel Zagha. The contest’s first prize is a cash award of $40,000.

Since it began to plan for its new campus, the university has designed its infrastructure to accommodate facilities like a wastewater treatment plant that will then allow the use of treated water in irrigating the university gardens. It also included rainwater collection and a well nearby most of the university buildings. Moreover, the university campus has been greened and planted with forest trees, and all university buildings have easy access for people with special needs.

Currently, the university is planning to use solar energy to produce electrical energy, which will be applied soon on Samih Darwazah Institute for Industrial Pharmacy building in the project’s first phase.

Bishara Abu Ghannam and Munir Saad will soon present a paper on these applications at the fifth International Energy Conference, organized by the Engineers Association in Ramallah, on January 27, 2015.