The Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST) received a grant for an amount of Euro 750,000 from the European Union in February 2015 under"Pilot Projects in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiencey- REEED"program managed by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. The concept of the grant is to convert the HCST building into an environmental/green building that uses renewable energy technologies to generate electricity from solar energy , utilizes geothermal energy for heating, cooling and water heating and uses thermal insulation and energy saving lamps.
Under the grant scheme, the maximum European Union funding amount to 90% of the cost of the grant white, the remaining 10% is covered by the beneficiary, as well as in-kind costs related to the project implementation.
The project aims at reducing the energy bill of the HCST building through the utilization of geothermal energy (Ground Source Heat Pump- GSHP) for the purposes of heating, cooling and water heating. In addition, the exusting lighting bulbs will be replaced by energy saving bulbs. Moreover, the project includes improving the status of the thermal insulation of the building, wastewater treatment and improving the functional and aesthetic perspectives of the building.
The project will also reduce the environmental impact by switching from polluting to other efficient environmentally friendly technologies. At the same time, the project will work on increasing the employees’ level of comfort and productivity. The geothermal technology (GSHP) takes advantage of the stability of the ground temperature (at about 100 meters depth) during summer and winter, which contributes to increasing the efficiency of the heating pumps and reduces electricity consumption by as much as 40-50%.
The HCST building is the second largest project to be implemented in the Kingdom in relation to relatively large building projects (326 kW cooling and 375 kW heating), whereas the first project was at the American University building In Madaba (1600 kW cooling and 1230 kW heating).
The project will provide information for scholars and professionals in the construction and design of buildings, renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency fields. It will provide data about energy consumption before and after implementation. The results can be used in calculating the feasibility of similar projects and developing standard designs for green buildings in the public and private sectors. In other words, the building will be a show case and practical example of green buildings.
The project was designed to provide a comprehensive solution to the issue of environmental/green buildings, including:
- Converting the building into a fully enclosed space for higher efficiency in the areas of heating and cooling with central localization control.
- Replacing the existing heating by a geothermal energy system and using an integrated system of air ducts ,thus completely dispensing of diesel heating.
- Replacing cooling split units (ACs) by an efficient centralized system using heat geothermal energy.
- Rehabilitating all the windows, doors and ceilings of the building to make them air-tight and leak-proof.
- Replacing the current light bulbs with LED energy saving bulbs.
- Installing a water-heating systems using geothermal energy.
- Installing water recycling system.
- Modernizing the fire detection system.
- Installing a comprehensive system for recording and monitoring data of the different energy systems.
- Installing a controlling system for heating, cooling and water heating system devices.
The project includes the following tenders:
- Utilizing geothermal energy technology (GSHP) for heating, air-conditioning and water heating.
- Replacing all current light bulbs by energy-saving (LED) bulbs.
- General maintenance work to increase the insulation of walls, windows, doors and ceilings as well as to increase the aesthetics of the building.
- Installing monitoring and control systems of the specialized power equipment.
Prior to the grant, the HCST conducted a project with its own resources to generate electricity from solar energy (with a capacity of 52 kW). The project demonstrated the Higher Council’s interest and commitment in the renewable energy sector, which had a positive role in accepting the HCST’s application for a grant.
The grant agreement was signed on February 1, 2015 for a period of 19 months, and was extended upon HCST’s request until the end of January 2017. A steering committee under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General of the HCST was formed to oversee the implementation of the work and take the necessary decisions to ensure that all activities are carried out correctly. Moreover, a specialized Tenders’ Committee was formed with the approval of the Prime Minister. All tenders launched under the grant will be implemented through the governmental works system bylaw no. (71) for the year 1986. The Tenders’ Committee has nominated technical committees for the grant’s tenders to evaluate the technical and financial offers received. So far ( August 2016), the heating, cooling and water heating as well as the lighting tenders have been awarded.
The Energy Research Center at the Royal Scientific Society was assigned as the Project Engineer. It is, therefore, responsible for supervising the implementation of the project and ensuring the accuracy of contractors’ measures to achieve the project initial objectives. The Center has previously conducted studies and engineering analyses to determine the elements of the project design, technical and financial feasibility, energy and electricity consumption and assess the employees’ level of comfort in the building before implementation, to prepare comparative studies; before and after the implementation of the project.
Following the completion of the project, all results will be shared with researchers, engineers, designers and implementers interested in the area of environmental green, buildings. This information will be disseminated through workshops, field visits, video shows and other communication media and publications.