The UAE's building sector has significant potential to reduce the impact of climate change. Developers and building owners can retrofit millions of older buildings to cut down on energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Overhauling of older buildings can significantly reduce the energy needed to heat and cool them, which is probably the only way to substantially reduce the energy footprint of existing buildings.
Dubai Properties is leading by example in pioneering this change. The developer has invested Dh1 million into reducing building energy consumption across its Executive Towers project in Business Bay. This will result in an approximate saving of Dh1.5 million in energy bills.
The developer had recently unveiled the Middle East's largest living Green Wall at Dubai Wharf. The vertical garden spans 1,260 square metres, features over 80,000 plants forming a leaf canopy area equivalent to around 200 trees, and is capable of offsetting an estimated 4.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.
A Dubai Properties spokesperson told Khaleej Times: "This is just the beginning of our plans to invest in making our properties even more environmentally-friendly as we continue to support Dubai's vision of becoming a leader in energy efficiency."
The enhancements and upgrades made to 11 of the Executive Towers buildings are expected to offset an estimated 1,450 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. This is equivalent to removing 310 cars from the road for one year or planting 336 trees. Dubai Properties expects to reduce energy consumption by 3.3 million KW/hr per year in Executive Towers.
Raed Al Nuaimi, Group CEO at Dubai Properties, said: "We are deeply committed to creating sustainable and energy-efficient communities. In addition to facility upgrades such as this, we continue to develop large areas of greenery in our communities."
The Dh1.5 million annual savings will filter down to the landlords and property owners of Executive Towers through a saving on their annual community service charge.
The energy saving at Executive Towers has been calculated based on the yearly energy consumption of the common areas, including lobbies, hallways, parking areas and more. Therefore, it will not affect the energy usage inside individual apartments.
Dubai Properties used the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority's (Dewa) energy tariff calculator to estimate the energy bill savings that would be generated through enhancements at Executive Towers.
"Firstly, we worked with Honeywell to implement a fully digital building management system which now monitors and controls the mechanical and electrical utilities, including the building cooling system. Secondly, Signify were able to provide a large cut in energy consumption across Executive Towers by switching 11 towers and their parking areas to LED lighting. In total, 16,000 light points were retrofitted," the spokesperson added.
Goktug Gur, president and CEO of Signify in Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan, said: "Retrofitting buildings to make them more energy-efficient can have a huge beneficial impact on the environment, additionally the financial impact can also be vast."
There are plans to apply similar energy efficiency enhancements across other completed developments in Dubai Properties' portfolio. They are currently in the tendering phase for these projects.
"We are dedicated to the government's plans to make Dubai a more energy-efficient city and we believe that the best way we can support this is through implementing change in our communities," said the spokesperson.
Source: Khaleej Times
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