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Students Khalid Omari & Zahi Halabi win an honorable mention in the Beirut Post-Blast idea competition


Competition Brief:

The project is a temporary building prototype that can be built in a timely manner and can be implemented in any vacant lot within Beirut. Its lifespan is between 3 to 5 years. It will shelter both living and working spaces for Post Blast survivals, while providing comfort using minimal energy. Comfort can be thermal, visual, acoustic as well as mental.
Green, sustainable, low energy, zero energy or nearly zero energy buildings are terms used to define a specific approach to architecture. Furthermore, four-time frames are linked to the previous labels:

1. Embedded energy of construction materials

2. Energy consumed within the construction phase

3. Overall lifespan energy consumption or (running energy consumption)

4. End of life or the energy needed for demolition, decommissioning or recycling

5. Since it is a short-term project, the end of life/demolition is an important part in this project. Participants are expected to deal with at least both the overall life span and the end of life phase.


This one temporary module should hold 1. 10 residential units of two sizes for couples and families (approx. 50 and 90 sqm)

2. 10 working units (offices) for small businesses and freelancers (approx. 25 and 50 sqm Max)

3. Communal space for the residents, and or a public function anywhere within the module can be proposed by the participants

4. The project should NOT exceed 7 floors, for an estimated footprint not exceeding 400 sqm. Implemented on a lot that is 600 sqm. balconies, terraces or outdoor spaces are left to the discretions of the participant.

Since the project is a prototype module that could be placed in various locations, participants are expected to study (1) various facade treatment for various orientation, and (2) various connectivity of the same module.

Beirut Post Blast Idea Competition Khaled Omari Zahi Halabi

Judgement Criteria:

- Entries are judged anonymously; a number is assigned on registration and should be visible on all submitted sheets.

- Entries are judged individually and anonymously for their:

1. Overall architectural outcome

2. Combined creative and innovative architectural design approach

3. Innovative approach of the proposed temporary structure (details).

4. Proposal of integrating the program

5. Proposal of dealing with energy reduction and, or conservation

6. Proposal of how user comfort is reached

- Within their proposal for energy and comfort, entries are expected to deal and to present in a concise and clear way (more graphic, less text)

1. Embedded energy

2. Passive design solution,

3. Material choices,
4. Cooling/heating strategies (running energy)

5. End of life & decommissioning scenario

- Participants are NOT required nor expected to do energy simulation or any other software simulation. Similarly, No Energy calculations are expected.

- Since all entries are digital, judgment will also be only digital, based on the shared presentation template size, participant should take this into account when planning their submission.

- Participants are expected to show through night/day and seasonal sketches how the building will behave in terms of providing comfort with minimal energy (Passive design).


One PDF sheet A1 size

In the event that by February March 2021, the pandemic is no longer a public health issue, we will try to make an exhibition on either all the entries, or at least the short-listed ones. For this we will ask for a model to be submitted as well and a printed board.

Terms & Conditions:

1. Entries can be made individually or by teams not exceeding four (4) participants.

2. All team members should be younger than 30 years old born after December 1st, 1990. Winning teams failing to prove this for any team member will have their entry disqualified.

3. Teams or individuals can submit more than one entry, as long as the entries are duly registered during the allocated time period and submitted before the deadline February 1st, 11:59pm Beirut Time (GMT +2:00).

4. All submissions are done electronically there is no paper nor model submission required.

5. For administrative and logistic reasons, participants working and living abroad need to team up with locals in order to facilitate registration and eventual prize claiming, or should provide a Lebanese contact or address to facilitate the logistics.

6. After filling up the online registration form, teams should either choose to send money through local money transfer, or to meet in person, both options within a 48 hours period.

7. All registration fee and prize money are exclusively in LBP

8. All correspondences for queries and, or for technical assistance are done through Dar[e] email

9. It is strictly forbidden to get in touch with any jury member, and will result in automatic disqualifying the entry

10. It is strictly forbidden to mark the submission sheets with anything that might reveal the team and will result in automatic disqualifying the entry.

11. By submitting your entry you agree that all submissions shall become property of Dar[e] which has the full and perpetual rights to use the materials in any form that fits their present and future goals among other for archiving, exhibiting, digital publishing, hardcopy publishing, promotion, promoting future similar events, or disseminating knowledge and knowhow in the field of energy reduction, comfort studies and sustainable environmental design.

12. Entrants accept and agree that the jury final decision is final and non-appealable, and that it is the combined and agreed decision of all the jurors together, where Dar[e] coordinated the process.

13. It is the sole Participants responsibility to acknowledge any external source used, may it be graphical or a text reference. Failing to do so and if noticed within the judgment process will result in automatic disqualification. Dar[e] declines any current or future responsibility if such an incident occurs.

14. By registering and participating in the competition, participants agree to all the terms and conditions of the competition.

15. First prize entry should be decided by more than two third of the jury. Hence first prize need at least 7 votes from the 11 jury.

About Dar[e] role:

1. Dar[e] is an official Lebanese NGO registered at the Ministry of Interior under number 35/2019, its goal is to Encourage, Support and Promote Sustainable Environmental Design. Among the methodologies used to reach the goal is through Architecture Competitions as this one.

2. This is a competition for ideas, there is no intention for neither the project nor any of the submitted projects to be built.

3. Dar[e] is launching and managing the competition. Dar[e] will also coordinate the judgement process between the various international and local jury members, without taking part in the proper jury progress.

Jury Members

About the competition:

There are three types of winners in this competition:
1. Winner all the juries have liked the project and received highest grades (Three projects).

2. Honorable Mention: all jury members have liked the project and saw that it has potential (Three projects).

3. The coup de coeur: one of the jury member chooses a project that is either interesting or have potential (Four projects).

Some of the projects were coup de coeur and they won or they received coup de coeur and honorable mention
Entries were only from AUB, LAU, LU, and Azm University.
Some of the competitors were young practitioners.
The official certificates were already distributed.


Project Entry by Khaled Omari & Zahi Halabi

The project has a short time to be built after the disaster. For this reason, we are using raw material that can be easily found (steel, timber ...) and constructed. We have focused in our design on flexibility by letting the people themselves build their specific zones designated by us in the building.

Our concept proposal suggests different prototypes that vary according to need. In our design proposal, we respect the required program and add some useful functions to help the survivors through this period. The structural system of this prototype is inspired by the scaffolding system that is relatively low cost, easy to construct, and can, as a system be adaptable and extended by basics skills. The notion of flexibility is not limited by the functional scope. It is also embedded in the structural system. As an urban system, we wanted to increase the collaboration between the prototypes by facilitating products and materials sharing. To meet such an objective, we proposed cable connection on top of each structure where they can use it to transfer the materials that are needed between them, and thus avoiding transportation that is being hampered by the cleaning and construction activities on the street level.

Normally, architecture plays a passive role during the post-disaster city construction. Our proposal converts this role by engaging architecture in the rehabilitation process through conceiving a system that transforms the ruins to raw building material that can be used in the reconstruction of city and in our project specifically. As for the program, we are providing all the basic needs for the people in fixed areas while providing the flexibility for people to build their own spaces according to their additional needs.

One of the main physiological needs for the people to survive is food. To respond to such an eminent factor, we are implementing green facades that enable food production using similar construction elements. These green facades provide multiple environmental functions at both building and urban scales. They will save building energy as well as reduce the ambient temperature and mitigate against urban heat island effects.
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