Concept of sustainable mosque being probed

The concept for a ‘green mosque’ that integrates sustainable practices and smart technologies is being discussed and was recently presented by the Supreme Council for the Environment (SCE).

The sustainable mosque, as the project is called, promotes the use of renewable clean energy resources as well as a water treatment facility that recycles ablution and other grey water to be re-used irrigating a sustainable garden.

Greywater is commonly used water from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs and washing machines. It is not water that has come into contact with faeces, either from the toilet or from washing reusable nappies.

During a roundtable discussion focused on eco-friendly places of worship at the joint Bahrain-EU Conference on Freedom of Religion and Belief organised by King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence (KHGCPC), SCE environmental specialist Mohammed Shamlooh discussed the project, and how the model may be implemented in the future.

The concept takes a three-pronged approach. It would use solar energy to generate electricity for the mosque which, among other uses, would power the water treatment plant, providing water that would help beautify the mosque.

“The mosque is built from local materials that insulates heat to conserve energy,” the SCE said, in a statement.

“It is oriented towards the north to take advantage of the wind patterns. The roof of the building is equipped with solar panels, and the whole building has energy-saving LED lights supplemented with electric sensors.

“The minaret is also designed to operate as an air catcher and a natural cooler for the mosque. These measures help in reducing the overall power consumption in the building.

“The mosque has an ablution water collection system to produce treated water that can be used for irrigation purposes, cleaning the building, and in the production of organic fertiliser.”

When asked if elements of this design could be retrofitted into existing mosques, Mr Shamlooh noted that the SCE is looking into doing this, especially around the recycling of ablution water.

“The ablution water, as well as rainwater and air conditioning water, is reusable with minimal treatment for irrigation,” Mr Shamlooh, who was part of the technical and environmental assessment team on the project, added.

Mr Shamlooh

The SCE also noted that it plans to instal tap water sensors and other water-saving equipment while using drip irrigation in the area surrounding the mosque.

The council did not reveal a firm timeline or location for the proposed mosque.

In September last year, the GDN reported that Southern Municipal councillors called on the Cabinet to allot funding in the 2023-24 national budget for special pipelines and networks to recycle the water, called wudu in Arabic.

This was in response to ‘millions of gallons’ of water being wasted, according to the council’s then-services and public utilities committee chairman and now council chairman Abdulla Abdullatif.

According to former works, municipalities and urban planning minister Essam Khalaf, small-scale pilot schemes to recycle wudu water in an internal network were under implementation in two mosques – Safiya Kanoo Mosque in Tubli and Ali Kanoo Mosque in Hidd.

The SCE’s green mosque concept was discussed, amid a conversation around how places of different faiths can drive sustainable change in their communities.

During the round table, Anglican Alliance advocacy and communication manager Elizabeth Perry also highlighted the Communion Forest initiative, being run by the Anglican Communion across the world.

Ms Perry

Under the initiative, churches, dioceses and provinces can take on the mantle to plant trees, restore wasteland, create tiny gardens and other environmental projects, as a way to integrate environmental and spiritual life.

Ms Perry also highlighted the series of Bible studies created around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.





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