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Dubai's schools, malls top in energy, water use efficiency

DUBAI, January 10, 2019

Several schools, malls and hotels across Dubai are way ahead in achieving high levels of energy and water use efficiency, and others needed to pace up their sustainability commitment to ensure they are aligned with the development vision of the nation, stated Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) in its latest Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) project report.

An independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, EmiratesGBC said this 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 programmes 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 the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to evaluate the energy performance of hotels, schools and malls in the city.

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

A total of 121 properties, including 85 hotels, 27 schools and nine malls, submitted data on their energy and water use.

The findings demonstrate performance disparity in all three groups. The study revealed that the best hotel and hotel apartment performers consume 58 per cent less energy and 65 per cent less water per unit area than the worst performers in the category.

Older hotels are likely to consume more energy and water per unit area further highlighting the importance of retrofits. Higher star-rated hotel properties are also likely to consume slightly more energy and water per unit area with hotels and hotel apartments consuming 12 per cent less energy and 36 per cent less water, on average, per area than resorts.

"The best performers among schools consume 61 per cent less energy and 84 per cent less water per unit area compared to the worst with newer schools likely to be higher consumers of energy and water," stated EmiratesGBC’s report which presents compelling insights on energy, water use efficiency in Dubai.

It also indicates that schools rated higher by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority were likely to consume less energy per unit area. Among malls, the lowest consumer uses 35 per cent less energy and 58 per cent less water per area compared to the highest consumer.

EmiratesGBC chairman Saeed Al Abbar 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 training to drive changes in behaviour," noted Al Abbar.

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."

Ahmad Muhairbi, the secretary-general of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, pointed out that energy sustainability had come to the top of the agenda of the Dubai Government.

"Having a direct impact on the overall wellbeing of its citizens and residents, sustainability ensures a sound foundation on our journey to improve the image of our local urban life and become the number one city in the world in all aspects," he stated.

Among the recommendations is the importance of having a sufficient number of sub-meters within malls to track and measure energy and water use, said the report.

Among the leading entities that participated in the benchmarking project are Accor Hotels, Middle East and Egypt; Hilton, Middle East and Africa; Taaleem, Inspiring Young Minds; Majid Al Futtaim; Marriott International, Middle East and Africa; Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and Africa; Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and Africa; and Nakheel.

Majd Fayyad, technical manager, and Jason John, technical analyst at EmiratesGBC, led the project and prepared the report.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Dubai | Energy | malls | Schools | Water use |

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