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Aboulnaga, M., and M. Elsharkawy, "Timber as a Sustainable Building Material from Old to Contemporary Experiences: Review and Assessment of Global and Egypt’s Examples", The Importance of Wood and Timber in Sustainable Buildings , Switzerland, Springer , 2022. Abstractcopy_of_springer_engineering_standalone_standard_template_samples.pdf

Throughout history, wood as a building material has been used extensively thousands years ago. It is considered the second known building material after stone; thus, it is recognized as an ancient building resource material. However, wood as a natural rigid material of plant origin has been substituted and associated with man-made common rigid materials in the building construction such as steel and concrete that are characterized with higher carbon emissions and lower sustainability. But with the rise of environmental stewardship in response to the high carbon emissions in cities, sustainable material usage in buildings has reached spotlights. Wood or timber is recently revitalized in contemporary construction as a sustainable built material for being highly renewable and nontoxic and having low embodied energy feature, even though it has been recently used in skyscrapers. In addition, stakeholders are encouraged to integrate timber in all various building types and to reinvest the sustainable material in construction for its recognized insulation, durability, flexibility, affordability, and aesthetic nature, not to ignore the benefits of wood to the building occupants in enhancing their emotional and physical connection with their occupied spaces. This work is intended to compose a significant achievement in educating architects to look at subjects normally ignored and to consider the use of organic material such as wood (timber) in meaningful ways. It focuses on enriching the knowledge base of sustainable wood and lumber in new and existing buildings by highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of timber material usage; it also aims at encouraging the sustainable experience of timber and broadens its usability and functionality in the industry. In this book chapter, local and global existing building cases are reviewed and assessed for the integration of timber as a construction material in the structure, skeleton, interior, and façade of these buildings. The advances and drawbacks of timber usage in construction are highlighted through the assessment of cases. Finally, a comparative analysis that emphasizes the sustainability of timber as a building material in different case studies is provided. Further, life cycle analysis of timber usage in buildings is to be studied.

Aboulnaga, M., and M. ElSharkawy, "Towards Climate Neutrality: Global Perspective and Actions for Net-Zero Buildings to Achieve Climate Change Mitigation and the SDGs.", Towards Net Zero Carbon Emissions in the Building Industry, Cham, Switzerland , Springer , 2023. Abstract

The continuous rise in energy demands due to rapid urbanization and human activities puts immense pressure on local governments and cities globally, especially amidst the COVID-19 crisis and economic slowdown. Hence, developing cities and buildings towards net-zero goals is becoming urgent and significantly vital to adopt renewable scenarios in the building sector given the climate crisis. The outcome of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP26) agreed on and declared the Glasgow Climate Pact (GCP) which stated the serious concern of climate and weather extremes and their adverse impacts on people and nature that will continue to increase with an additional increment of rising temperature. The GCP reaffirmed the long-term global goal to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C below-industrial real levels in addition to recognizing that limiting global warming to 1.5 entails rapid, deep, and sustained reduction in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% by 2030 and to contribute towards climate-neutral cities and reasserted the goal of net-zero by 2050. Hence, city leaders should focus on reducing carbon emissions by 2050. Nevertheless, if global warming is to be limited to 1.5 °C, all cities need to be net-zero by 2050 at the very latest. Therefore, net-zero, low-carbon building and clean mobility can play a great role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This book chapter aims to address the urgent need to transform the building industry and cities to become low carbon. The chapter highlights the importance of net-zero low-carbon cities. It also presents global examples of net-zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) and how these models contribute to the net-zero target and climate neutrality. Additionally, current policies, actions, and initiatives worldwide and in Egypt towards NZEB to achieve green and sustainable cities have also been examined and discussed. Ultimately, net-zero carbon and managing “transition” remain a huge challenge for cities and regions, but coupling these goals with innovative thinking for the future is primarily essential if cities worldwide are to become resilient enough and meet COP26 outcomes and the GCP.

Barakat, M. M., M. M. Aboulnaga, and M. F. Badran, "Towards Resilient Cities: Improving Unplanned Urban Areas—Strategic Environmental Assessment and Upgrading Guidelines in Developing Countries", Green Buildings and Renewable Energy, Switzerland — CHAM, Springer, 2020. Abstract

Unplanned urban areas are considered one of the major challenges amid the fact that 70% of world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. This chapter presents a study conducted on one of the unplanned urban areas (informal areas) in Cairo, Egypt, in an attempt to provide guidelines for upgrading informal areas in developing countries based on sustainability indicators deduced from a comparative analysis of global case studies and a local case in Cairo, Egypt. The objective of this work focuses on informal areas (slums) from the economic, social, and environmental viewpoint to develop a surrounding community and increase the inward investment in the urban area. Qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in this study. The study presents an assessment of different informal areas around the world concerning sustainability and strategic environmental assessment (SEA). Two models developed by GIZ and Norman Foster were presented and compared according to a well-planned sustainable development goals checklist. In addition, a detailed assessment was also conducted to assess the local case study based on economic statistics and other sustainable development (SD) dimensions—livability, viability, and equitability. The SEA analysis includes three categories: urban, socioeconomic, and environmental. Results show that the potential of this assessment in upgrading informal areas concerning developing countries is promising. The SEA results also indicate that upgrading informal areas is a successful process when cooperation between authorities and residents exists to cover all SD pillars and the existence of ecosystems to ensure the resilience of urban areas in cities and attain sustainable development goals mainly SDG 11, SDG 12, and SDG 13.

Aboulnaga, M., A. Amer, and A. Al-Sayed, "Towards Sustainable Development: Mega Project’s Strategic Environmental Assessment to Attain SDG 7, 9, 11, 12 & 13", Sustainable Mediterranean Construction (SMC), issue 12, pp. 101-106, 2020. 1215.pdf