• Initiative strengthens Sharjah Sustainable City’s collaboration with AUS to help transform the university’s campus housing into sustainable ones and champion a clean-energy future

Sharjah, UAE: Sharjah Sustainable City, an eco-friendly community developed by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in partnership with Diamond Developers, last week hosted a top management delegation from the American University of Sharjah (AUS), who toured the site to gain in-depth knowledge about sustainable housing solutions and how to create a net-zero community designed to provide high standards of living with minimum impact on the environment.

Led by Dr. Jeannette Vinke, Chief Operating Officer of the American University of Sharjah, the AUS delegation also comprised of Hayder Awni, Director of Operations, Georgios Chamilothoris, Senior Manager of Campus Development, Saeed Alazawi, Senior Manager of Facilities, and Prasanna Salgado, Senior Manager of MEP Services at the university.

Along with an extensive tour of Sharjah Sustainable City and its key facets such as the energy-efficient villas, waste-to-power plants, recycling facilities for water and waste, biodomes and clean mobility solutions, the AUS delegation also held a productive discussion with the senior management and technical professionals from Sharjah Sustainable City, which included Lana Almahmoud, Renewable Energy Engineer, Carl Atallah, Director of Marketing, and Majid Al Suwaidi, Business Development Manager.

The site visit and the discussions focused on the keenness of AUS to transform its university campus housing into a sustainable and low-carbon one by retrofitting them to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and create a world-class, energy efficient academic infrastructure that spurs innovation and creative thinking for the future.

Commenting on the visit, Carl Atallah, Marketing Director at Sharjah Sustainable City, said: “We are delighted to host the senior management delegation from the American University of Sharjah, which reflects the blossoming of our collaboration with AUS, one of the leading educational institutions in the region. Whether it’s leading in green technologies such as solar-powered smart homes, biodomes for vertical farming, the highest density of electric vehicle chargers in the region, biogas plants or clean mobility options, Sharjah Sustainable City has been at the forefront of pioneering a net-zero community in the emirate that is designed with sustainable living at its core. We are deeply honoured to share our domain expertise and experience of creating Sharjah’s first sustainable community with AUS as the university pursues similar sustainable infrastructure for its campus housing. We look forward to more such fruitful visits in the future as AUS progresses with its sustainable campus project.”

Among the key topics on the agenda of the familiarisation trip was the interest of Dr. Jeannette Vinke and her team in understanding the detailed process of how Sharjah Sustainable City minimises its carbon emissions. Lana Almahmoud, Renewable Energy Engineer at SSC, explained to the visiting delegates how the community manages its water efficiencies, creates renewable energy infrastructure, and supports sustainable materials and resources without compromising on the lifestyle of the residents.

Dr. Jeannette Vinke, Chief Operating Officer of the American University of Sharjah, said in her comments during the visit: “As AUS explores a milestone journey of retrofitting our university campus housing into a smart-energy, low-emissions infrastructure, we could not think of any better partner for knowledge and experience in this project than Sharjah Sustainable City, the region’s pioneer in creating a sustainable community. At AUS, our aim is to complement a housing project that features low-carbon emissions, energy efficiencies and smart infrastructure with an active lifestyle and wellbeing of our academic fraternity, becoming an exemplar of sustainability among the region’s academic institutions. This visit not only further strengthens our longstanding collaboration, but also opens up new pathways of future cooperation on developing sustainable communities.”

Developed by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in partnership with Diamond Developers, Sharjah Sustainable City is a world-class mixed-use development that meets the highest standards of social, environmental and economic sustainability, and provides practical solutions on food security, water and energy management, and natural resources conservation.

As the first fully sustainable community in Sharjah, the city is powered by renewable energy produced from rooftop solar panels, recycles its water and waste, and cultivates vegetables on site – showcasing a fully integrated net-zero development offering a vibrant and sustainable lifestyle.

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Sharjah Sustainable City (SSC) is leading the global movement towards sustainable living, promoting a lifestyle that is compatible with the future. The development provides practical solutions related to food security, water and energy management, as well as natural resources conservation. The city is a joint venture between Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Diamond Developers to meet the highest sustainability standards.

https://www.sharjahsustainablecity.ae/en/

The American University of Sharjah (AUS) is widely recognized for its sustainability initiatives. The university is currently developing its first comprehensive Climate Action Plan with the goal to reduce carbon emissions. The plan further aligns the university’s sustainability efforts with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative announced in October 2021. AUS is also a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and has earned a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Silver award for sustainability in higher education from AASHE. In 2020, AUS became the Gulf region’s first university to begin to ban single-use plastics across its campus. Additionally, the university’s Engineering and Sciences Building received a highly sought-after 2 Pearl rating by Estidama, a sustainable development initiative of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. AUS was also the recipient of the Green Audit Award as part of the Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency’s Sustainable Campus Initiative for university students.