UAE buildings progressing towards Net Zero push

UAE buildings progressing towards Net Zero push
Published: 10 January 2019 - 10 a.m.
By: Nikhil Pereira

Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC) released its latest findings on its Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA).

The report included schools, malls and hotels in Dubai in a bid to aid the built sector to pace up their sustainability commitment and ensure they are aligned with the sustainable development vision of the nation.

The BEA project is led by the World Resources Institute (WRI) under the UN programme, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), which aims to accelerate implementation of building efficiency policies and programs, and double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.

Dubai is the first and only city in the Middle East committed to the BEA, and EmiratesGBC is serving as the BEA City Liaison in partnership with Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) to evaluate the energy performance of hotels, schools and malls in the city.

EmiratesGBC’s BEA team assessed a total of 121 properties, including 85 hotels, 27 schools and 9 malls, submitted data on their energy and water use.

The report measured the energy and water performance of existing buildings against similar buildings within the same typology as part of the study since January 2018.

The BEA project findings demonstrate performance disparity in all three groups.

The study revealed that the best hotel and hotel apartment performers consume 58% less energy and 65% less water per unit area than the worst performers in the category.

The best performers among schools consume 61% less energy and 84% less water per unit area compared to the worst with newer schools likely to be higher consumers of energy and water.

Among malls, the lowest consumer uses 35% less energy and 58% less water per area compared to the highest consumer.

Saeed Al Abbar, chairman of EmiratesGBC, said: “The project’s main objectives is to promote energy efficiency within Dubai’s existing building stock by providing performance benchmark data to the industry and public sector.

We believe this will provide vital information on the performance of existing buildings to policy makers and building owners and will accelerate the uptake of energy retrofits. The findings reveal that there is a strong potential for savings and operational efficiencies that can be achieved through remedial actions such as audits, retrofits, energy management and the use of awareness campaigns or trainings to drive changes in behaviour. The report also highlights the importance of deep retrofits as a substantial measure in advancing towards 100 per cent Net Zero Carbon Buildings by 2050 and to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius.”

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