Tag Archive | "Estidama"

Yas Waterworld demonstrates water and energy efficiency systems

The world’s first waterpark to be certified with a green sustainability rating, Yas Waterworld, is gearing up to showcase its cutting edge water and energy-efficient systems at the Abu Dhabi Science Festival at Du Forum Yas Island from November 14-23.

The park will demonstrate how water moves around the 15 hectare mega waterpark and to its 43 thrill seeking rides, slides and attractions. Children will also be encouraged to build a waterpark on workshop tables – incorporating features that will help save water.

Awarded the prestigious Estidama One Pearl green sustainability rating in its opening year due to its intelligent water and energy-efficient systems, Yas Waterworld is able to conserve 30% more water than other waterparks of a similar size. Such initiatives will be demonstrated to local school children at the festival as part of the park’s commitment to sustainable living.

With state-of-the-art features in place to reduce water consumption – including Automatic Water Level Control Units, which maintain the water level of the pools, and high efficiency pumps and turbines for filtration purposes – Yas Waterworld is keen to educate future generations on water conservation.

The Regenerative Media Filter System – the most efficient water reduction system in place at Yas Waterworld – uses on average 90% less water as compared to traditional sand filtration systems, and has played a key role in achieving the green sustainability rating. The park has also installed shades, high rockwork and grottos in order to minimise direct sunlight on the pools surfaces to significantly reduce high evaporation rates.

Visitors to the Yas Waterworld stand at Abu Dhabi Science Festival will also learn about the strategic placing of pumps and piping systems throughout the park, which eliminate long pipe runs and boost hydraulic efficiency, along with Yas Waterworld’s utilising of non-hazardous green UV sterilisation services as an additional means of pool disinfection, eliminating the need for further chemicals to be added to the water.

 

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Big 5’s sustainability promise

This year’s Big 5 building show in Dubai will be hosting three special workshops aimed at increasing understanding of sustainability issues in the construction industry. There will be a workshop which promises “essential knowledge of sustainable building concepts that are fundamental to all LEED Rating Systems”.

The workshops at The Big 5 show, presented by LEED leading expert Mario Seneviratne, will provide an essential knowledge of sustainable building concepts and explain how to apply these to real projects, enabling attendees to improve professional performance significantly.

Dubai Municipality will be offering a free workshop on the latest Dubai Green Building Codes during The Big 5.

Engineer Kamal Azayem, Mechanical Engineering Expert at the Building  Department ot the Dubai Municipality, will be “Overview of the Dubai Green Building Project”. He will give an overview of Dubai’s initiatives toward sustainability, highlighting Dubai’s construction progress and the challenges in meeting the increased demand on power & water and the latest update on the Dubai Green Building Project. He will also talk about the requirements for assessment and certification of Green Buildings and Dubai’s roadmap toward sustainability.

Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council will also be introducing a workshop on the Estidama regulations titled “Understanding Estidama and the Pearl Rating System”.

The Big 5 2013 will be held from November 25 to 28 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the organisers revealed, and added that collated with it will be Middle East Concrete and PMV Live events, dedicated to the concrete machinery sector. The GCC construction market is one of the most buoyant in the world at present valued at $1.5 trillion (research conducted by MEED projects data commissioned by The Big 5 2013). Organisers of the show, dmg events, has announced that this year’s show will be bigger than 2012, with a  new  Building Interiors zone to ensure that each sector of the industry has the opportunity to showcase its products and technologies in an effective environment.

According to the organiser, products related to kitchens and bathrooms, ceramics and fittings are some of the most sought-after solutions in the industry at present, and that the new Building Interiors zone will showcase the latest products from across the region as well as from Italy, Spain and Greece.

Andy White, Group Event Director elaborated: “Our research has shown us that there is a clear need for a dedicated zone for building interiors products, particularly for the interior designers and architects who attend our show. A common misconception is that The Big 5 is a building-products-only event. However, for many years, we have also hosted some of the world’s top interiors brands at the event.”

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Materialistically green

Vishnu Sankaran speaks to Lorraine Bangera about the progress of green materials used in the construction industry around the GCC region, their sustainable features and also the criteria for their evaluation

Even though the demand for green buildings and materials remained standard during the global recession, the market seems to be showing potential growth in the upcoming years. The need for green materials will be driven by a combination of policies and regulations that prioritise energy efficiency and green design, the expansion of voluntary certification programmes, cost reductions, and consumer demand.
Vishnu Sankaran, Associate Director and Head, Chemicals Practice, Middle East and North Africa, Frost & Sullivan says, “Construction materials could be considered sustainable when the raw materials are obtained locally so that companies are able to save money, create local green jobs and improve their overall environmental footprint. The pricing of green construction materials should also be at par with traditional materials so that consumers are able to reap economic benefits of using green materials within a short and defined time frame.”

Green growth in GCC markets
“The GCC is the fastest developing region in terms of infrastructure and the rising emphasis on sustainable construction practices, lower carbon footprint, and reduced wastage has fuelled the use of green construction materials,” says Sankaran. “Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have already established green building councils to address sustainability issues.” He adds, “Within the GCC, more than 75% of the total construction investments are made by the regional government bodies. Their increasing appetite to shift away from being an oil-driven economy and diversify their non-oil sectors (such as tourism), followed by industrial expansion have been the main driver for green materials.”
Currently the green material market in the GCC is experiencing a massive growth, with a number of government initiatives marking a change in the field. Despite the fact suppliers have developed a healthy relationship with government entities, a large portion of the private and SMEs in the construction arena remain untapped. This gives way to extensive prospects which could help market players and offer greater opportunities for revenue generation.
“The economic, social and environmental benefits of using green materials are expected to be realised by consumers in the next five years,” notes Sankaran. Still recovering from the recession which decreased foreign investments in construction sector and restricted the adoption of green materials, the GCC economy is gradually creating a competitive environment to supersede the market with green initiatives. Consumer awareness on environment and health has also been addressed resulting in business opportunities for green material suppliers.
Sankaran states, “Total market size of green materials (paints, concrete, insulation and flooring) in the GCC in 2012 was estimated at US$17.9 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% by 2016. Green concrete accounted for around 85% of the green materials market, in terms of revenue.”
According to Frost & Sullivan’s Strategic Analysis of Green Materials in the GCC Construction Sector, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE remain top countries for investment in green construction given their thriving population and colossal expansions in terms of infrastructure. Emphasising on green materials like concrete, insulation, paints and flooring, the report also states that the green material market revenue would reach an estimated $22.97 billion in 2016.

Picking up momentum
Suppliers of green material can increase market share by distinguishing themselves in terms of quality and pricing, mainly in less competitive segments such as flooring and insulation. “Companies must look to comply with the requirements of local green body councils and design products specific to the rating system for maximum sustainability points,” advises Sankaran. “Since regional governments are the largest investors in construction, producing solutions suited to their needs will ensure profitability.”
Market growth can be sustained for a longer period of time by continuous initiatives to help improve consumer awareness on the economic, social and environmental benefits of green materials. Some leading paint, ceramic companies in the region are also creating awareness among end-users regarding the benefits of green materials, thereby driving demand. Sankaran points out that most GCC countries have set up green building councils which overlook the issue of sustainability in the region. While most of the council bodies follow LEED rating system, Abu Dhabi follows ESTIDAMA (PEARL) Rating system that ensures effective planning, design, construction and operation of sustainable development projects.
“ESTIDAMA and its PEARL rating system take into account the unique cultural, climatic and economic development needs of Abu Dhabi,” explains Sankaran. “One of the key features of ESTIDAMA rating system is the high emphasis on water conservation when compared to LEED and BREEAM (followed in UK), which is highly essential in the whole of GCC. In the near future, making it mandatory for the government funded construction projects to achieve a minimum LEED or ESTIDAMA credit rating should be one of the necessary steps in ensuring the growth of sustainable construction practices in the region.”

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A model home

This year’s edition of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) featured a life-size showcase of a villa prototype compliant with Estidama and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC)

Designed by real estate developer, Sorough, the villa prototype follows Estidama’s Pearl Rating system to a T, demonstrating that energy and water efficiency can be achieved beyond apartment buildings. Substantially sized villas, community centres and residential neighbourhoods can adopt smart technologies and energy efficient methods in operations to keep rising energy demands in check. “Energy efficiency is a crucial element of Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 as the emirate aims to double the rate of improvement of energy efficiency by that time. WFES is a perfect platform on which to showcase the Estidama villa prototype and allow developers, engineers, planners, architects and villa/house owners to learn about how energy efficiency can be incorporated into their own designs, buildings and homes,” said Mohamed Al Khadar, UPC Executive Director for Development Review and Estidama.
The Estidama- compliant house exhibition area shows several ways to improve energy efficiency in housing. The building depends on higher performance materials, incorporates better shading, has more efficient air conditioning and lighting systems and uses solar water heating systems. The Estidama villa’s energy consumption is 35% less than the average home.
In addition, Estidama villa also offers more water efficient fixtures and fittings and uses better irrigation systems to reduce water consumption by a minimum of 25% compared to the average homes. Construction waste going to landfills is also reduced by 50% and is prepared for waste segregation and recycling by residence’s occupants.
Al Ain Gharbia Residential Community will integrate the Estidama Pearl Rating system in 600 of the community’s villas.
“We all know that existing residential areas in the Emirate use a substantial percentage of Abu Dhabi’s energy and water resources. By building sustainable homes that comply with the Estidama Pearl Rating System requirements, we not only create healthier, resource efficient, comfortable and environmentally friendly communities, but villa owners may also see a better return on their investment,” Al Khadar, added.
A new awareness tool created by Estidama known as the E-Villa Configurator was developed to help villa owners and developers achieve the Pearl Rating System for Villas (PRSV).

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A look at LEED 4.0

Jourdan Younis outlines what to expect from the highly anticipated LEED Version 4 after speaking to ecopreneur Paul Hawken at the sidelines of Greenbuild 2012 in San Francisco

With press pass in hand and several more barrels of carbon credits burnt, this past month afforded me the opportunity to visit the heart of the sustainable development movement “Greenbuild” first hand, to listen to the Ecology of Commerce guru Paul Hawken and to assess the status of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Version 4 which will be released in 2013.
The second week of November was the 11th annual celebration of sustainable development, an event known as Greenbuild. This year 25,000 industry professionals, students and political leaders joined together in San Francisco to take stock of where we are, the success and setbacks that we had in 2012, and to chart our course for the future.
Greenbuild is developed and organised by the US Green Building Council, but don’t let the US-centric name mislead you—over 120 countries were represented at the conference. In fact, the delegation from the UAE, via the US Embassy’s commercial service office, included approximately 50 of professionals representing over 30 organisations and commercial firms. Of noteworthy representation in recent years were the Abu Dhabi Municipality, TDIC and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, and this year there were also several key members from the Qatar development community including the Qatar Green Building Council.
In addition to the political delegates, several industry leaders also demonstrated their commitment to embodying the principles of “green capitalism” by discussing the reinforcing values of commerce and sustainability and how they are not only complimentary but also extremely supportive of one another. Environmentalist, entrepreneur and co-author of Natural Capitalism Paul Hawken responded to a question on the public’s perception of climate change with, “historically when there have been messengers that threaten the establishment, we’ve eliminated them – Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King – but in the case of climate change there is no messenger. So instead we’ve killed the message and we have killed it with corporate money, The Wall Street Journal, through the coal industry, to Exxon Mobil. That message and that science has been obliterated by corporate interest.”
Mr. Hawken also discussed his long-term message that businesses need to move past their Industrial Revolution notions when natural resources were abundant and labour was the limiting factor of production. Now, there’s a surplus of people, while natural capital resources and the ecological systems that provide vital life-support services are rare and relatively expensive. He described how by becoming more efficient and “firing” the unproductive tons, gallons, and kilowatt-hours it would be possible for businesses to keep the people who will foster the innovation that will drive future profits and improvement.
On the LEED side, Version 4, the much improved and enhanced iteration of the 10+ year old rating system, will be released in 2013. Some noteworthy enhancements are as follows: The credit categories that we are used to will be modified and actually will look and feel more similar to the Estidama Pearl Rating System. The energy efficiency credits will now use the updated ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standards; this alone is expected to take what would be a LEED Gold project today, and shift it down a notch or two to either Silver or Certified. Then there is a new credit for Envelope Commissioning, which in our air conditioning dependent climate will make a large impact in energy reduction. We always like to say, that it is expensive to air condition the desert, so try to build the envelope system to be as efficient as possible (While providing a comfortable and healthy level of fresh air and exchange) . Once again, in alignment with Estidama, there will also be a Whole Building Lifecycle Assessment credit.
Of the +12 additional credits and credit modifications, the one credit that has received the most resistance from the product industry is the “Building Products Disclosure and Optimisation – Material Ingredients,” which requires that the project team specify 20 products with chemical inventories through a manufacturer inventory, a Health Product Declaration, or the William McDonough inspired Cradle to Cradle program. This will, for the first time, incentivise chemical manufacturers to provide the detailed ingredient list in their compounds so that consumers can be informed of what they are touching and breathing. As this is expected to uncover some ugly truths about the materials that we use in our homes, offices, hospital and schools, the American Chemistry Council has taken a hardline on this credit and has tried to force the US government to stop specifying LEED for its projects (The US government requires LEED Gold for all new federal buildings and is the largest user of LEED with over 11% of all project).
The question that you may be asking yourself, is why go through the process of updating the system at all? With the technological advances and education over the past few years, LEED Gold is now taken as the norm, as opposed to a lofty target only available for the best in class projects. LEED was created to shift development mindsets and to encourage project teams to stretch a bit, so in response to this LEED was always expected to get more challenging every few years and 2013 is the time for an update. As mentioned above, just simply certifying your building in Version 4 would require roughly the same effort as a LEED Gold building under Version 3, so good luck to all of us.

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