Omani Eco-house inaugurated at Sultan Qaboos University

Muscat - 

The Omani Eco-house at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) was opened on Wednesday under the patronage of H E Najeeb bin Ali al Rowas, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs.

The project is a pioneering idea implemented by the College of Engineering at SQU and supported by The Research Council (TRC), stated a press release.

The house is constructed at the SQU campus.

On the occasion, Professor Abdullah Hamed al Badi, dean of the College of Engineering, thanked TRC for the valuable support including the substantial funding that brought the project to reality.

He also expressed gratitude to Dr Ali bin Saud al Bemani, vice chancellor of SQU for his support and direct personal involvement throughout the project.

“I am proud of the dedication and enthusiasm of our Eco-house team for its continuous efforts in the last four years which culminated in a green architectural landmark at the university. It has been applauded by the visitors too,” he said.

Eco-house 1

Professor Awni Kamel Shaaban, project leader of the Eco-house at SQU, gave an overview of the project focusing on its philosophy, identity, architecture typology and other unique features such as natural ventilation and sustainable landscape.

“The mission of this project is to promote eco-friendly design and construction practices and to introduce innovations that support green architecture and sustainability. The Eco-house project seeks to raise awareness on the benefits associated with increasing a property’s energy efficiency and reducing energy and resource waste. Built in the form of a residential house, the Eco-house aims to promote contemporary Omani family living patterns combined with the traditions and contribute to sustainability for future generations,” Professor Shaaban said.

The house consists of 20kW photovoltaic solar-powered cells, made up of 80 of solar panels on the roof of the house. Each solar panel produces 250 watts that are assembled respectively to go to AC converter, compatible with local network and matching the domestic and international requirements for connecting with the network.

It uses the power produced at home and exports the excess to the local network in the daytime and imports power from the network in the evening.

This step aims to introduce future innovations for green building and sustainable development that rationalises the consumed power in the operation of air mechanical conditioning units, artificial lighting, home appliances and use of renewable energy sources from solar energy. It also targets the rationalisation of water supply, the provision of water treatment and re-use in watering the house plants.

The house makes use of sustainable natural vegetation to improve the climatic conditions, environmental performance, maximises the use of natural ventilation for cooling and uses appropriate materials to meet sustainability requirements.

The long-term plan is to convert the Eco-house into a permanent exhibition and information centre, and teaching and research laboratory for supporting sustainability at local and international levels.

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