Sustainability Measures of Public Buildings in Seaside Cities: The New Library of Alexandria (New Bibliotheca Alexandrina), Egypt

Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


Coastal cities exist in different parts of the world. Such cities are facing enormous challenges. One of the major challenges is how these cities adapt to severe events caused by climate change impacts. According to the IPCC climate model prediction, many cities, such as Miami (Florida), Brighton (UK),Venice (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), and Istanbul (Turkey), as well as Tunis (Tunisia), Alexandria and Port Saeed (Egypt), and Dubai (United Arab Emirates), are vulnerable to climate change risks. Climate change impact on waterfront libraries in seaside cities has been addressed. These libraries could face serious risks from severe events caused by climate change such as heatwaves, storms, and floods as well as landslides that manifested in many cities during the past decade. This chapter highlights the impact of the severe events that have hit Alexandria in the past 3 years. This book chapter presents a study conducted on the sustainability of public buildings located in seaside cities with reference to a study carried out on the New Library of Alexandria (New Bibliotheca Alexandrina – BA), Egypt. This study focused on the assessment of the New Library of Alexandria in terms of sustainability principles and measures. Also, this chapter highlights the classification of the best 25 coastal cities in the world in reference to the living conditions, quality of life and seaside libraries around the world. Libraries that are overlooking seaside or waterfront areas (rivers) were illustrated and discussed mainly those in the United States, Denmark and Australia. The description of the four waterfront libraries includes a set of features such as (i) concept and form, (ii) spatial experience, (iii) building’s conditions and (iv) environmental sustainability. Special emphasis was given to the sustainability features in Library at the Dock, Australia. The classification of libraries, whether educational buildings, public libraries or owned by institutions, is reviewed. Moreover, the framework for public libraries’ design is developed and presented with emphasis on many features, including sustainability. To develop public libraries, it is vital to understand five main issues to guarantee effective and efficient design and to ensure sustainability. This framework includes (a) context, (b) design features, (c) structure and technology, (d) climate change mitigation techniques and (e) sustainability measures. The New Library of Alexandria (New BA) was assessed and analysed in terms of the aforementioned issues to highlight the integrated sustainability features and measures. The visit to and assessment of the New BA showed that the library has illustrated a great deal of sustainability principles integrated in the building, primarily in the main reading hall and the site.


Sustainability Seaside cities Public buildings Library Climate change Energy saving Material consumption Daylighting Lighting Renewable energy and Alexandria Egypt 



The author would like to utter his sincere thanks to HE Ambassador Dr. Mostafa M. El Feki, Director General of The New Library of Alexandria, Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Immediate past Director General of The New Library of Alexandria (Bibliotheca Alexandrina), and Eng. Hoda Elmikaty, Deputy Director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, for their kind approval to consider the New Library of Alexandria as the case study representing one of the seaside libraries. Special thanks to Dr. Azza ElKholy, Head of Academic Research Sector, and Eng. Tarek Yassin, Head of Engineering Sector, for their assistance and cooperation. The author also expresses his sincere thanks to Dr. Marwa Elwakil, Director Centre for Special Studies and Programs (CSSP), and Ms. Heidi El-Shafei, Acting Head of the Special Programs Unit, for their support, the facilitation of the site visit to the BA buildings, data gathering and the drawings of the library as well as their hospitality. The author is also grateful to Eng. Fagr El Guerzawi, Director of Electro-mechanical Operation and Maintenance Department, Engineering Sector, and Eng. Tarek Helmy, Director of Construction Maintenance Department, Engineering Sector, as well as Eng. Mohamed Khamis, Head of Electrical Power Section and the Engineering Team, for the demonstration and description of the BA concerning the sustainability measures such as renewable energy and efficient lighting integrated in the library. In addition, the author would like to voice his appreciation to Eng. Faten Fares, Acting Head of Architecture Maintenance Unit, for her efforts and providing the technical data and the information regarding the main building and the images of the library as well verifying all the data and information in the book chapter. Moreover, heartfelt thanks go to Israa Elfayoumi, Yousra Sobeih, Hanan Mounir, Rola Amin and Mohamed Mahmoud – Bibliotheca Alexandrina – for their coordination and efforts.

Moreover, the author expresses his special thanks to my assistant Arch. Mona Mostafa and Arch. Yasmine Mohamed Nasr for their support, time, great efforts in conducting the research on the literature and also assisting me throughout the preparation of this extensive work and in developing this chapter, notably gathering information. The author would also like to express his heartfelt appreciation to all the teams who participated in developing this work. Last but not least, the author would like to thank Arch. Mohamed Gad for his assistance and effort exhibited during the final review and proofing of this book chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architectural Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringCairo UniversityGizaEgypt

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