Iraq may have obligations that are more pressing than green building — but that has not stopped 19 of the country’s academics from touring Oregon for two weeks of seminars on the subject.
“There is a great interest in bringing sustainable concepts into our daily lives,” said Dalshad Ismael, director of engineering projects at the Kurdish Ministry of Higher Education, during a session on buildings of the future at a Portland community center this week.
“People may not understand it as such,” he added, “but they know we must protect what resources we have.”
Several participants said that the concept of sustainability is not new to Iraq, but years of warfare have meant that it is rarely put into practice.
The meetings could lead to what the visiting academics hope will be their country’s first major sustainability effort.
The trip was funded by the Michael Scott Mater Foundation, with assistance from Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and Portland State University as well as support from the United States Department of State. The 19 professors, lecturers and deans come mainly from schools of engineering in Iraq.
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