13 November, 2018


November 13, 2018, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) celebrated yesterday the 10th anniversary of its relocation to the New Cairo Campus. The event was celebrated on campus with a musical performance, an exhibition in the library and a media roundtable discussion, "Behind the Headlines," titled: "Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of AUC’s Relocation to New Cairo Campus: The Vision, the Architecture and the Impact on New Cairo Neighborhood.”

In 2008, AUC made history with the establishment of a new “designed from scratch” campus in New Cairo. AUC’s New Cairo Campus was designed to express the University’s educational mission, weaving Egyptian architectural traditions into the design of a modern urban campus. The 260-acre campus reflects a city built for learning with 136 smart classrooms, 200 state-of-the-art laboratories, welcoming auditoriums and open courtyards.

“The New Cairo Campus was built to the highest international standards, while drawing from a number of cultural traditions reflective of our identity as Egypt’s global University. As we celebrate a remarkable 10 years since our journey from Tahrir Square, we are proud of all we have accomplished here, and we look forward to another decade of growth, service and institutional excellence,” said Francis J. Ricciardone, AUC President

The relocation served as an opportunity to develop modern facilities that would enhance the academic experience of AUC’s students and faculty, create the space to welcome an international University community and foster increased interaction between the University and its surrounding neighborhoods.

This groundbreaking move set the tone for the evolution of a diverse and robust University community dedicated to serving Cairo, Egypt and the region. At the media roundtable discussion, speakers Ashraf Saloum, former director of planning and design at AUC and University architect and Khaled Tarabieh assistant professor of sustainable design in the Department of Architecture at the School of Sciences and Engineering discussed the green architecture and sustainability methods used at AUC New Campus and ways to benefit from the University’s architecture model in Egyptian Universities.

“We were building a campus for people to learn rather than be fed information. We wanted to build a campus that provided students with opportunities to learn from everything around them as well as from each other,” said Saloum.

With environmental sensitivity and technological savvy as two of its core principles, the University built its energy management systems strategically into the campus structure, to reduce its overall energy usage. The orientations of buildings, as well as the design of indoor and outdoor spaces, also reduce the energy requirements for cooling on campus to 40 percent. A hollow-square building design is repeated across campus in different scales, allowing as much natural light and air as possible to enter the offices, classrooms and labs from every direction. Moreover, the cooling systems are powered by natural gas instead of electricity, improving their efficiency by relieving power stations of energy they would need to produce.

In addition to the existing structure, AUC has been integrating environmental and social sustainability into the culture and structure of the university through initiatives that include the carbon footprint report, water management, energy management, waste management and carpooling support. “Adopting a lasting approach to sustainable development, AUC is internationally recognized as a green and environmentally responsible University. For the fourth year in a row, AUC is the only higher education outside North America to earn a coveted spot on the Princeton Review’s 2018 Guide to Green Colleges,” said Tarabieh. In addition, AUC continues to lead by example in publishing the campus carbon footprint report, which is the first publication of its kind for a University in the Middle East region and Africa, in an effort to mitigate carbon emissions and in line with the global movement to deal with climate change.

During the planning of the New Cairo Campus, the University chose to infuse the landscape with elements of the living environment, adding nearly 150 different species of plants – a mixture of international and native Egyptian – and more than 8,000 trees. To create a fully inclusive learning environment at the new campus, it was designed to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. All campus areas are accessible by wheelchairs, and club cars are available for transport around campus; sports facilities are adapted for use by persons with disabilities. AUC also hosts a three-story indoor athletic complex housing a 2,000-seat multipurpose court, a jogging track, six squash courts, a martial arts hall, exercise studios, and free weight training and aerobics rooms. Outdoor facilities include a 2,000-seat track and field stadium, Olympic swimming pool, soccer field, jogging and cycling track and courts for tennis, basketball, handball and volleyball.

Watch Video of the Campus during and after construction: https://youtu.be/Wu-CCYfYvRM

For more information on AUC’s sustainability initiatives: https://www.aucegypt.edu/about/sustainable-auc/sustainable-campus

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AUC NEW CAIRO: Fact Sheet:

80% of the external walls on campus are made of sandstone, which keeps rooms cool during the day and warm at night

115,000 square meters of stone, marble and granite were used in the campus construction – the most stone used in a single project since the Giza Pyramids

More than 75% of the stone in the Alumni Wall that circles the campus is made from recycled stone

A 1.6-kilometer underground service tunnel runs below ground across the campus to move supplies via electric cars

Top green campus in Africa

The campus received a special award at the Urban Land Institute 2009 Awards for Excellence: Europe, Middle East, and Africa competition because it was “designed to be a tool and stimulus in itself for learning and to anchor community development around the University”

A highly efficient irrigation network allows AUC to dispense less than half the average water used per day for a property of this size

AUC uses 100% treated water to irrigate the campus

27 closed-system water fountains increase the level of relative humidity in the dry microclimate playing a major role in cooling the campus

Building walls are constructed according to systems which reduce air conditioning and heating energy costs by at least 50 percent

All office spaces have access to natural light and ventilation to reduce the use of artificial lighting and air conditioning

AUC generates 30 to 40 percent of its power requirements using a process that converts the heat produced from air conditioning systems into electricity

The campus is designed to be accessible to persons with disabilities

136 smart classrooms

200 laboratories outfitted with cutting-edge lab equipment

11 research centers operating in diverse fields

Home to the largest English-language academic library collection in Egypt

The landscaping includes nearly 150 different species of plants and more than 8,000 trees of international and native Egyptian species