Designed to accommodate 5,500 full-time students and 1,500 faculty and staff, AUC New Cairo is home to six schools, an active Campus Center, state-of-the-art research centers and one of the most impressive library collections in the region. The $400 million, 260-acre campus truly reflects a city built for learning with 136 smart classrooms, 200 state-of-the-art laboratories, welcoming auditoriums and open courtyards pulsating with fruitful academic debates, research in pursuit of critical discoveries and rich cultural exchange. The campus is technologically advanced, environmentally sensitive, and designed to be accessible to persons with disabilities.
Construction and Landscaping
AUC New Cairo was built using 24,000 tons of reinforcing steel, as well as 115,000 square meters of stone, marble, granite cladding and flooring. More than 7,000 workers worked two shifts on the construction site.
Sandstone for the walls of campus buildings is all from a single quarry in Kom Ombo, 50 kilometers north of Aswan. The stone arrived by truck in giant multi-ton blocks, which were cut and shaped for walls, arches and other uses at a stone-cutting plant built on the site. The walls were constructed according to energy management systems, which reduce campus air conditioning and heating energy use by at least 50 percent as compared to conventional construction methods. More than 75 percent of the stone in the Alumni Wall was recycled from stone that would otherwise have been discarded as waste after cutting.
A 1.6-kilometer service tunnel that runs beneath the central avenue along the spine of AUC’s campus is a key element making its overall pedestrian nature possible. Services accessible via the tunnel include all deliveries and pickups from campus buildings, fiber optic and technology-related wiring, major electrical conduits and plumbing for hot water, domestic water and chilled water for air conditioning. All other pipes for sewage, natural gas, irrigation and fire fighting are buried on the campus, outside the tunnel, around buildings as needed for their purposes.
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. AUC’s own Desert Development Center was involved in supplying and placing the plants to lay the foundation for the campus landscape with attention to the region’s climate.
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.
Since the inception of its new campus, AUC has distinguished itself as a prominent institution leading the sustainability movement in the Middle East. For the past four years, the University has been the only higher education institution outside of North America that has been named in the Princeton Review’s Green Colleges Guide, which highlights “the most environmentally responsible green colleges.” AUC’s sustainable campus practices have even been featured in the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Greening Universities Toolkit as a global example of a green, low- carbon institution.
Established in 2011, AUC’s Office of Sustainability has been a vital force in addressing AUC’s environmental challenges and reinforcing the value of sustainability in campus culture. One of its chief accomplishments has been raising the internal community’s awareness and measuring the impact of the University’s practices through its annual Carbon Footprint Report. Moreover, AUC’s Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment has brought greenhouses and experimental plots to campus, upholding the University’s commitment to sustainable environmental education.
AUC was ranked in the top third worldwide in the University of Indonesia’s GreenMetric World University Ranking for two years in a row, validating its continuous efforts to improve energy efficiency and implement sustainability initiatives on campus.
Inside the Hatem and Janet Mostafa Core Academic Center is the largest lecture hall on campus, the Mansour Group Lecture Hall. Seating 225, it caters primarily to Core Curriculum students, but also hosts guest lecturers.
The AUC Conference and Visitor Center provides state-of-the-art media resources and a variety of meeting spaces ideal for academic conferences, executive classes, seminars and public lectures. Accommodating 1,400 individuals, Bassily Auditorium – the equivalent to AUC Tahrir Square’s Ewart Hall – draws international crowds for high-level conferences, symposia and performances, serving the University’s commitment to encouraging dialogue across all disciplines.
The AUC Library stands as one of the core supportive structures of the University’s fundamental liberal arts mandate. The building’s purposeful open-floor-plan Learning Commons offers a space for interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarly discussion between members of the academic community. Abundant with resources for learning, teaching and research, the library has helped position AUC as the region’s premier English-language University. It overlooks the University Garden, which stretches out over 20-acres with fountains and pools of water under a canopy of palms and trees and multiple meeting spaces.
The modern sports facilities speak to AUC’s multidisciplinary philosophy – one that promotes both academic drive and attention to a healthy lifestyle. The three-story indoor athletic complex houses 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. The 30-meter-high Mobinil Tower overlooking the sports complex provides a birds-eye-view of all the sporting events, in addition to serving as a windcatcher, naturally providing sustainable and healthy cooling and ventilation for the sports facilities below.