Sustainable issues in low-middle income apartments in urban Amman/Jordan: heating devices and health concerns




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Peer reviewed



Energy security constitutes a major challenge for sustainable development of the Kingdom of Jordan. This has led the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to integrate a comprehensive energy master plan for developing the energy sector by 2029. Of the total residential energy consumption, 61% is consumed for heating spaces. GHG emissions produced by domestic stock in Jordan are anticipated to increase by 59% by 2018. Most households heat their houses using traditional devices such as portable unflued kerosene and LPG stoves. Combustion of such heaters generates toxic by-products causing symptoms and illness among residents as a result of poor indoor air quality.
This paper discusses aforementioned issues in view of urban low-middle income apartments in the capital Amman, aiming towards investigating types of stoves used and health implications associated with using them. A representative sample of 106 low-middle income households in urban Amman have been surveyed, through semi-structured interviews, to explore how they responded to the environmental conditions. Results showed that unflued kerosene and LPG stoves were used for heating spaces by around 39% and 89% of the total surveyed households, respectively. It was also found that almost 65% of them used more than one device for heating their apartments. Furthermore, around 50% of those households reported different health problems related to asthma which could partially be due to the use of these heating devices.

The field study also showed that almost 75% of households lived in apartments constructed with external envelopes of cement hollow blocks leading to poorer fabric performance. The paper concludes with calling for thrift retrofit interventions for existing low-middle income apartments and raising inhabitants’ awareness towards the proper use of stoves. This would enhance their thermal comfort, reduce carbon emissions and help improve residents’ quality of life, which eventually would contribute in ameliorating related health issues.



Sustainable Development, Urban Amman, Low-Middle Income Apartments


Younis A, Taki, A. and Bhattacharyya, S (2016) Sustainable issues in low-middle income apartments in urban Amman/Jordan: Heating devices and health concerns. Submitted for 3rd OIKONET Conference on global dwelling: sustainability – design – participation, 23 September 2016 Manchester UK


Research Institute

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)
Institute of Architecture