Evaluation of the Environmental and Economic Impact of Urban Development vs. 20th Century Modern Heritage Conservation in Kuwait City
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CitationAl-Alawi, Fatma. 2021. Evaluation of the Environmental and Economic Impact of Urban Development vs. 20th Century Modern Heritage Conservation in Kuwait City. Master's thesis, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
AbstractFollowing a law passed in 2004 alleviating maximum building height, historic architecture in Kuwait City is
under threat of demolition and replacement by high rise buildings. The impact is three-fold: first, the
demolition of historic properties – many of which are the result of 20th century Modern Movement and
are a local embodiment of the country’s “Golden Age” following the discovery of oil. Second, the
consequent environmental impact –the loss of buildings that may have already been designed to adapt
to climatic conditions by integrating passive design features. Third, the proactive depletion of embodied
carbon stocks amidst a local and global need to draw down carbon emissions.
This study looks to comparatively evaluate the individual performance and life cycle assessment of two
commercial building developments:
1. An existing building attributed to the said Modern Movement, which calls for a lower carbon
2. A high-performance high rise (eligible for LEED Gold certification), which significantly increases
the built floor area on the site, and thus allows for increased economic productivity, and maintains
low/efficient operational energy use per square meter.
The results identify a preliminary framework for policy makers to evaluate the priorities in historic
designation/building reuse and high-performance urban development.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367877