Beirut, Lebanon, June 3, 2011
—The Lebanon Green Building Council, with support from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched ARZ, a rating system that will evaluate the energy efficiency of commercial buildings in the country to encourage better resource management, which decreases energy costs and addresses climate change.
The ARZ Building Rating System, developed in Lebanon, measures the extent to which commercial buildings in Lebanon are healthy, comfortable places to work and do business, and also their impact on the natural environment. Additionally, ARZ will encourage building owners to introduce green technologies and materials to reduce energy use, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and achieve other sustainability benefits that help mitigate climate change and support environmental protection.
“By taking part in the ARZ Building Rating System, commercial building owners now have the chance not only to do something to support better management of Lebanon’s precious water and energy resources, but can also save money over the long term by investing to ‘green’ their buildings,” said Samir Traboulsi, president of the Lebanon Green Building Council.
While several internationally accepted green building rating systems already exist, the Lebanon Green Building Council and IFC recognized the need for a system that responds to Lebanon’s unique conditions. As such, the ARZ Building Rating System meets minimum international environmental requirements, but emphasizes Lebanon-specific conditions, including an emphasis on energy and water conservation, and on recognizing the nature of the country’s existing buildings stock.
Green building audits of several commercial structures in Lebanon conducted during ARZ’s development phase found that, in addition to the greenhouse gas reductions to be achieved through ‘green’ renovations, significant cost savings could also be realized quickly. The green building audits determined that with investments of between $100,000 and $4.9 million, based on building size and condition, building owners would achieve annual cost savings of between $35,000 and $890,000, with an average payback on their investment of only two to three years. Implementing the audit recommendations would also enable them to achieve higher ARZ rating levels.
“IFC recognizes that Lebanon, like other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, faces serious water and energy challenges,” said Luke Haggarty, IFC Advisory Services Manager for the Middle East and North Africa. “One way we can make a difference is by showing business owners how green initiatives can have a positive impact on their bottom lines.”
This project of IFC Advisory Services in Lebanon is also supported by Japan.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit