The International Smart Building Centre and exhibition was inaugurated yesterday (Monday 25 January) under the patronage of the Minister of Housing and Chairman of the Board for Eskan Bank, Shaikh Ebrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. The inauguration event was organized by Eskan Bank in cooperation with the Investment and Technology Promotion Offices (ITPO) of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Bahrain, and the Islamic Development Bank.
In May of 2009, Eskan Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese officials for the establishment of the Centre. The Minister of Housing led a Bahraini delegation to visit China, and to benefit from China’s experience and expertise in establishing a centre specializing in smart building materials.
The Centre has adopted modern technology which has revolutionized traditional models of construction in developing countries, and integrates economic systems and sustainable environmental practices. The Centre will also provide information, training, and technical support, enabling developers and contractors to employ eco-friendly techniques through applying innovative building methods.
The International Smart Building Centre—which will be based in two locations, including one at the port, and the other in the south of Bahrain—will provide support for smart building information, technology, and training, to construct environmentally-friendly housing.
The Centre itself will also serve as a “smart building” model, having been established using the latest smart building technology, and will bring together local and international developments in the building materials and technology sectors, in support of global environmental initiatives.
The Minister of Housing also inaugurated a smart building exhibition, which was held in conjunction with the launch. The exhibition featured photographs of sample smart building materials, and illustrated the different building stages of the two model units constructed by the Ministry of Housing in Hamad Town, Roundabout 14. The model units were presented to all concerned authorities and those interested in adopting smart building technology to fulfil citizen’s demands for housing units.
Shaikh Ibrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the Minister, also signed a memorandum of understanding this month with the University of Bahrain to provide technical consultation in implementing its housing plans, and to facilitate the application of smart building methods.
The inauguration event also comprised two meetings organized by the Investment and Technology Promotion Offices (ITPO) of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO): the "Meeting of Smart Building Technology Experts” and the "Meeting of the Blue Industry Initiative Experts".
Since its establishment in 1979, Eskan Bank has been a renowned pioneer in home financing solutions, and a contributor to the development of the subprime mortgage lending market within the context of real estate development and construction in the Kingdom. The Bank also plays a leading role in Vision 2030, and its endeavours to improve and raise the quality of living by providing suitable housing solutions for Bahraini citizens.
Over the past three decades, the total loans disbursed by Eskan Bank have exceeded BD 541.2 million, and have benefited 35,130 citizens. Moreover, through its investment banking and project financing operations, Eskan Bank has furthered partnership between the public and private sectors to accelerate the implementation of social housing in the Kingdom. The Bank also offers tourism services through its subsidiary ‘South Tourism Company’; and also supports infrastructural development and the establishment of multi-purpose service facilities in various residential areas.
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