Tag Archive | "UAE"

WFES promises window on the future of sustainable living

At the 7th annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, hosted by Masdar, 30,000 attendees from 172 countries will have the chance to see first-hand the latest products and solutions in sustainable living.

The Sustainable Living Expo (SLE) will showcase an actual-size home and a prototype hotel suite demonstrating how energy- and water-efficient technologies, processes and materials can work together to both manage the human impact on our environment and to reduce the cost of consumed resources.

The SLE is a new exhibition feature at WFES 2014, which will also host in-depth technical presentations by international experts in urban sustainability at a purpose-built theatre.

Organised in partnership with Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority, the SLE ‘Eco-home’ will display organic paint, insulating windows, and low-flow water fixtures, among other advanced products and services that reduce waste, use natural resources more responsibly and save money.

The Eco-home exhibit will appear alongside a model hotel suite also adopting the latest sustainable technologies, sponsored by Rotana Hotels and designed and built by Genesis Manazil.

Innovation in the way we build and operate our homes and offices is essential if we are to mitigate the dramatic environmental impact of the urban landscape.

According to the International Energy Agency, buildings consume more than 40% of total energy and generate a quarter of all carbon emissions. And the problem will only get worse: 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2020.

Urban sustainability will also be top of the agenda at this year’s WFES conference, with the session ‘Energy Efficiency-The Built Environment’ sharing new thinking and practical experience on the topic on January 22, day three of WFES this year.

Internationally renowned speakers will include Mark Hopkins, Director of International Energy Efficiency at the UN Foundation; and Bruce Schlein, Citigroup’s Director of Corporate Sustainability.

As the centerpiece of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the World Future Energy Summit will once again play a vital role in gathering the most prominent people and organisations to address our shared energy and water challenges now and in the future.

And as visitors to the Sustainable Living Expo will testify, many of the solutions begin at home.

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International Water Summit to introduce new products

More than 133 new products and services from 41 companies related to water management, recycling, wastewater, energy efficient desalination and ground water conservation are set to be launched and showcased at the upcoming International Water Summit (IWS), to be held in Abu Dhabi from January 20-22, 2014.

Now in its second year, IWS has seen a 25% growth in exhibition space. The event has also posted a 70% increase in new product launches from 2013, where it featured 77 new products from 11 countries.

“This significant growth is a testament to the global standing of IWS as a platform for the water industry,” said Ara Fernezian, Divisional Managing Director UAE at Reed Exhibitions.  “This year’s exhibition will feature the latest innovations and patented technologies, tailor- made for the Middle East and North Africa’s arid climate, making the event an ideal business opportunity for local and regional water authorities and companies.”

“Water is a critical resource in nearly every industry today,” said Fernezian. “How should these industries continue to use water in their operations? And can they do so in ways that are both economically viable and environmentally sustainable? These are the questions participants in the next International Water Summit will attempt to find the answers for.”

This year, the new products and technologies on show at the IWS exhibition will cater to a diversity of industries, including agriculture, utilities and construction.

“Being located in an arid region that is heavily dependent on desalination, Middle East policy makers understand that every drop counts,” added Fernezian. “IWS 2014 offers unique perspectives for government decision makers, business leaders and the R&D community on tackling the inter-connected challenges of water sustainability.”

The IWS 2014 conference will feature presentations from 77 local and international water sustainability experts, highlighting best practices from Japan, Singapore, the United States of America, and the United Arab Emirates, among many other countries.



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H.E. Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al-Nuaimi Inaugurates Intermat Middle East

The third annual Intermat Middle East – the region’s largest exhibition for construction equipment, machinery and materials – commenced yesterday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in UAE. The event will go on for three days beginning with an official exhibition opening and tour was led by His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al-Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works (MOPW), UAE.

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al-Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works, UAE, said: “With Dubai winning the Expo 2020 and the construction industry expected to boom again, Intermat Middle East is an excellent platform to expand our network and meet some of the biggest, most well- known and reputable organisations in the construction industry. Having accumulated a wealth of experience over the years, Intermat Middle East brings together companies providing construction equipment, machinery and materials from across the world that are not only cost-effective but also technologically enhanced.”

Maryvonne Lanoë, Intermat’s exhibition director, said: “We are extremely pleased to once again have the support of the Ministry of Public Works and the Department of Municipal Affairs. 2013 was not the biggest year in market history for the GCC area, despite the growth seen in promising countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iraq. However, the announcement of the World Expo 2020 in Dubai has already fuelled the market with orders for road building, sewerage works, transport, and tourism infrastructure.

“The market for equipment and machinery will naturally benefit from this upward trend.  Consequently, with this year’s show taking place at the start of the year, it is an essential place to be for anyone who wants to “go shopping” on the equipment market and plan ahead for all the new construction projects. Also, once again this year we are conducting a hosted buyers programme, which aims to attract around 100 decision makers from across the GCC region – these are particularly attentive to the launch of new products in the area.”

The Hosted Buyers Programme is a prestigious networking platform, which makes it easy for top buyers to attend the show, maximising the sales potential for the exhibitors. Hosted buyers from across the GCC were invited to the UAE by the organisers to discover the best machinery, materials and equipment from across the world.

In addition to providing developers with networking opportunities, a series of workshops is also organised in conjunction with the exhibition, which will see speakers focusing on topics such as: major infrastructure projects, regulations, health & safety, design, sustainability, construction materials and machinery.

Participating exhibitors include: SDMO, BOBCAT – Kanoo Machinery, CIFA, LIUGONG, Middle East Cranes Eq. (Hitachi-Sumitomo), Powerscreen, Sennebogen Maschinenfabrik GmbH 551, Yongzhou Yixiang Machinery & Equipment, Sung Won Heavy Machinery, Nooteboom Trailers BV, Ultratrex Machinery SDN, and BHD.


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Year-long study reveals the truth about water usage in the UAE

 A year-long investigation into the water use at 150 homes in Abu Dhabi will form an important basis of future supply and conservation policies.

It examined both internal and external water usage and has been hailed as the most complete examination carried out in the UAE.

Today the Regulation and Supervision Bureau (the Bureau) announced the conclusion of the  first Residential End Use of Water (REUW) Project, an in-depth survey that aims to collect reliable data on residential water consumption in Abu Dhabi.

The initiative which is led and managed by the Bureau’s Waterwise office, involved the study of water use in 150 villas in selected gated communities Abu Dhabi. It was designed to collect accurate water consumption statistics, investigate the socio-demographics of water use, determine the split between indoor and outdoor water use and help identify and explore the scale of water leaks. The data, once analysed, will be used to inform decisions and strategies for future water management and conservation programmes in the Emirate.

Khadijah Bin Braik, Waterwise Manager, explains “The REUW Project is the first of its kind in the UAE. The information gathered will provide a real insight into the actual day-to-day use of water in a typical residence in a gated community. We have used the latest technology to help delve into detail. With this project we will be able to disaggregate participating households’ water consumption for each end-use event and each appliance, determine average consumption per capita and per household and examine the factors influencing water use.”

The project lasted over a year. Following an initial pilot phase, households were recruited in the second quarter of 2013 when a basic survey and installation of a smart water flow meter and data logger were carried out. Data was collected in three monitoring periods that ran from June to December 2013 and was then analysed using the flow trace analysis software Trace Wizard©. Final results are expected to be available in the second quarter of 2014.

Commenting on the project, Rashed Hamad Al Rashdi, Deputy Director General of the Bureau said: “Through our Waterwise office we currently have a number of projects and initiatives that are ‘live’ in the Emirate. These are producing real, tangible data that is helping to design solutions that will positively affect our future water use. Understanding how and why water is used is imperative to the success of future sustainable water strategies. Projects like this one are invaluable in shaping the future of the UAE.”

The REUW project and other initiatives managed by the Waterwise office will be featured at this year’s 2nd International Water Summit on the Regulation and Supervision stand #4330 located in the water and electricity nexus.

The Regulation and Supervision Bureau (the Bureau) is the independent regulatory body for the water, wastewater and electricity sector of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It has exclusive authority to regulate all companies undertaking activities associated with electricity and water production, transmission, distribution and supply. In addition, the Bureau also regulates the wastewater sector, which is responsible for collecting, treating and disposing of wastewater products. For additional information please visit: www.rsb.gov.ae

Waterwise is an initiative of the Regulation and Supervision Bureau, the independent regulatory body for the water, wastewater and electricity sector of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Through unique initiatives to collect and share information, Waterwise works to create understanding and awareness of the critical issues surrounding the consumption of water and to help ensure the sustainable growth and prosperity of the Emirate for generations to come. For more information, please visit:  www.waterwise.gov.ae.


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Green building trends in the Middle East

Carrier and Otis convened their Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series in the Middle East last month to inform participants about green building opportunities. John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer at UTC Building & Industrial Systems, speaks to Lorraine Bangera about emerging green practices in the UAE

The lecture series provided participants the opportunity to obtain LEED training, learn more about green building and gain insight into world green building trends from experts. It was held in Kuwait City, Riyadh and Dubai, connecting over 350 industry professionals, local building owners and operators with international green building experts.
John Mandyck, also one of the experts, said: “Green building is a smart, long-term business decision with equal economic and environmental value.”
Looking at the popular construction trends in the UAE, Mandyck said: “According to McGraw-Hill, environmental regulation is the number one trigger driving future green building activity in the UAE, which is a rate significantly higher compared to other parts of the world. This result confirms the key role that government is playing. In the United States, federal, state and local governments are some of the strongest green adopters and help move the early green market. The UAE could see the same result with the government’s commitments making the case for green buildings in other sectors.
“Rapid global urbanisation also strengthens green building. In fact, green building activity is doubling every three years on a global stage and it’s not just new buildings – industry research shows that existing buildings are going green, too. In the UAE both new and retrofit projects offer payback for investment within six years. The same data shows up to 7% operating cost savings for green retrofit projects in five years and up to 12% for new green building projects.
It is important for developers, contractors, architects and engineers to attend such lectures and seminars which highlight sustainability. Mandyck said: “According to a recent report by McGraw-Hill Construction, client demand, both private and public, among UAE firms for green building construction is a strong driver of green building activity – significantly more so than in other parts of the world. Seminars such as our recent Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series connect international green building thought leaders with local professionals. They share best practices, learn the latest trends and even gain LEED training – all of which can help position them to better address their clients’ needs.”

Dubai Expo 2020
As sustainability is one of the main themes of Dubai Expo 2020, it would play a major role in driving sustainable practices in the construction industry. Companies like UTC Building & Industrial Systems believe that green building will accelerate with education. According to Mandyck, there is no better platform to raise the profile of sustainability than the World Expo. He said: “The event offers a valuable opportunity for Dubai to not only demonstrate sustainability before a global audience, but to educate them as well. The fact that Expo 2020 includes sustainability as a main theme illustrates the seriousness with which Dubai is working to establish itself as a green building leader.”
Dubai winning Expo 2020 also influences other cities in the region to take up sustainable practices. Mandyck said: “During the lecture series, we spent three days meeting with nearly 400 industry professionals in the Middle East. Given the level of engagement in green practices during that visit coupled with the fact that this was our twelfth lecture in the area, I can tell you that there is already a great deal of interest in the region. I think that strong baseline will only be magnified by the Dubai Expo 2020. Since this marks the first time the Expo will be held in the Middle East, I imagine the entire region will take great pride in the event and hopefully support it through additional sustainability initiatives. “
The construction industry taking up energy efficiency is inevitable, concludes Mandyck. He said: “The business case is clear – there are real, proven financial, environmental and human health benefits from green building. For those who are still unsure about the advantages of green building, I encourage them to educate themselves and I personally extend an invitation for them to attend our lecture series the next time we are in the area.”

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BGreen Seminar Series : Energy Efficiency Early in Construction

Sustainability managers, engineers, architects, developers and consultants met in Dubai for the BGreen Seminar series the day after the announcement that the city would host Expo 2020. And as the construction industry prepared for the new shot in the arm, it added an extra dimension to the two seminars: Energy Efficiency Early in Construction and Internal Air Quality. Reports by Lorraine Bangera

The BGreen Seminar series held on November 28, 2013 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, was organised by CPI Media Group in association with Dubai Government and partners Kone and Gyproc.
The two panel discussions dealt with less publicised sectors in the construction industry, the first of which looked at ‘Energy Efficiency in the Early Stages of Construction’ and the second ‘Indoor Air Quality’.
Before the energy efficiency panel discussion, Nicolas Alchal, Managing Director of elevator manufacturer Kone, made a presentation where he praised the UAE and Qatar for their latest achievements in winning Dubai Expo 2020, and World Cup 2022. He also talked about the construction industry and the need for energy-efficient projects that could drive sustainability.
He said: “Urbanisation, environment, safety and aging population”, is what drives the industry. The importance of this panel discussion was highlighted when he mentioned said “The International Energy Agency reports: buildings are the largest energy consumers. The current energy consumed by buildings works up to 38% of the total energy produced.”
Kone is a leading producer of energy-efficient escalators, elevators, auto-walks and automatic doors. Elevators consume 2-10% of the total energy consumption of a building. And Alchal notes that could be reduced through various solutions offered by Kone in terms of eco-friendly products, services, and solutions.

Energy efficiency panel discussion
Moderated by BGreen’s Senior Editor Gary Wright, who welcomed panellists: Eric Johnson, Managing Director, KONE; Stephen Smith, Sustainability Manager, Brookfield Multiplex; Antonio Ceci, Senior Architect, RW Armstrong; Amer H Shehader, Manager of Contracts, Diamond Developers; and Bram Lansink, Marketing Director, Philips.
Initially the panel focussed on the benefits of a co-ordinated approach to energy consumption in the very early stages of any construction project.

Q. How is energy efficiency approached in the early stages of construction and what are the benefits of bringing energy efficiency at the design stage?
Antonio Ceci:
There are numerous advantages in approaching energy efficiency in the pre-design stage. One of the major goals is to identify the energy needs. In pre-design stage, with the stakeholder’s involvement you can identify the target you want to achieve in terms of energy, from 30% to 50% energy reduction. Setting a target will help understand the strategy and how to achieve the goal you choose. After that you can optimise your design to achieve the goal. So, by involving every stakeholder in the project, you will get a direction or vision for the project.
Stephen Smith: The markets in the region have experienced a shift from an early construction build model to a design build model. Thereby, you involve the contractors upfront in the early design phase. This promotes synergy between the project teams and also promotes an integrated design process. This way you not only look at energy-efficient lighting but also the façade and building performance parameters. You can then balance them all.

Q. Including energy efficiency in the early stages has not been done in the UAE as much as the other parts of the world. Do you think that is the case? Or has it been quite good in this country?
Stephan Smith:
It is good in the UAE. I haven’t seen such a shift in any other countries in the GCC.

Q. What would you do to involve stakeholder at an early stage?
Amer H Shehader:
The market is still working in a traditional way, where the client is in one side, the project manager on another side, and consultants on the third side. Since this is a ‘step by step’ process, every time a new stakeholder enters the project you will have to educate that stakeholder to get them in line with the project.
By bringing all stakeholders together from the first stage is definitely better. We are doing it in a different way at Diamond Developers, we have a vertical integration where we have deliverables. We have sister companies who are contractors and consultants, involving everybody from day one.

Q. From a lighting point of view, would you rather be involved earlier than later?
Bram Lansink:
It is very important for a supplier to be involved from the beginning, then we give them pointers on what is the latest innovations in the market. By involving suppliers, the project will have the opportunity to be optimised through solutions.
It is also vital to involve stakeholders throughout the project up until completion. Because as project begins responsibility shifts and there are some decisions being made that do not help in optimisation.
Another point is these projects take so much time, that the speed of innovation in the market is quicker than the speed of construction. For example, in lighting every year there are new innovations in energy-efficient lighting and LED. So what could be a specified a year ago may not be the most optimal solution now.

Q. Elevator energy usage is a high demand on a building’s supply, how much progress have you seen from developers and other suppliers involved in an early stage?
Eric Johnson:
We work with our products and make sure it as energy efficient as possible but the whole picture is not possible. We do include all the stakeholders to make sure the solution can be an energy-efficient one.

Q. Does the panel feel that local contractors don’t understand the benefits of integrating energy efficiency from the early design stage?
Eric Johnson:
I think it’s mixed. There is some examples in the UAE where contractors don’t understand, but I think overall there is some kind of knowledge and awareness in the market. However, what to do with that knowledge is lacking. This should hopefully change with the new legislations coming, it would make things much clearer.
Amer H Shehader: Unfortunately, I feel most contractors are unaware of integrating energy-efficiency because they don’t care. And I don’t blame them. Their target is take the job, finish it on time, and take the money. They are not attached to the project, to be concerned about what would happen to it once it is completed.
I think if we give them a sense of ownership, there might be a chance. We must take ourselves out of the box, out of the traditional way of contracting. We must focus on the contractors, the output and the key performance indicators (KPIs) rather than focussing on the quantity. Taking time, cost and quality as the prerequisites, they are by default factors to be considered. KPIs are a measurement of the achievement, and could translate into a bonus. Instead of thinking about bonuses, contractors currently focus on penalties and how to escape them because developers usually look at guarantees, performance guarantees and time guarantees. Contractors are always threatened. But if we change our mentality, if we try to change the perspective and look at a more efficient way of managing the contractors, it would change their mentality.
Antonio Ceci: I think we must shift the responsibility in the earlier stages. You need to have a KPI in the design stage itself. I have the experience working with Masdar, where the KPIs for design and renewable energy was in every part for all buildings. This same method was taken in construction which made everyone focus on achievement. So you need KPIs in the design stage also.
Bram Lansink: The responsibility should not be solely of the contractors. For example, in lighting, after a project comes to life, and an energy-efficient lighting solution is available. Why does the contractor not choose this solution? Clearly it is in the best interest of everybody but the initial price is high. You will win that back in the upcoming years because of lower energy cost and lower maintenance costs, which will come back to the end user only. So if the performance indicators are set financially only, then the decision will not be towards the most energy efficient solutions.
Stephen Smith: Contractors are contractors. There is a very slim chance that they will think above and beyond unless there is something in it for them. That is just the way it is. We do put in performance indicators, but they don’t usually reflect on the work. Some take it seriously, others don’t.

Q. Are there any specific areas, that you could make a saving if you consider energy efficiency at the design stage?
Bram Lansink:
20% of the energy cost in the Middle East is spent on lighting. There is up to 80% savings involved when investing in energyefficient lighting. Imagine the opportunity we have in reducing the energy cost if we consider energy efficiency in the early stages. Dubai Municipality is taking it up by changing all its buildings’ traditional lighting to LED lighting, this will be a clear savings of over 50%. So it is not just a green solution, it also makes sense financially.
Antonio Ceci: In this part of the world the heat from the sun makes us consume more electricity through air-conditioners. Around 40% energy consumption in a building is from the air-conditioners. We need to start developing roof insulation and insulations for walls. The ‘envelope’ could save energy consumption by 5-10%. In this perspective the first thing to do is to go for passive design solution. There are many factors that could affect the energy efficiency of the building. The owner must have a clear vision about the project and what it must achieve.

Q. How was the Standard Chartered Bank building designed? Were all the stakeholders involved from the beginning?
Stephen Smith:
That was a designer build project. It was difficult at first, as we had to update all our staff and everyone was new to everybody. But by the end of the job, we had the project manager coming into the office and everything was very open and good. So now we have all the inputs taken straight up to top management.

Q. Can buildings still be green without a certification?
Amer H Shehader:
LEED was not made for this region. It may have been introduced for marketing or business purposes and everyone is using it. LEED is more of a documentation than implementation. It is on the procurement side only. There has to be a localised standard for sustainability.
Estidama, is a good approach, but even that has to be tested for a certain period, updated and in certain ways modified.
Dubai has started a draft for having sustainability guidelines and they might be enforced as of January 2014. We have a review with the land department to help draft the regulations. It will be implemented on a test period first, then it will take the inputs of the market.
Antonio Ceci: I partially disagree about Estidama and LEED. I think they are assessment tools used to measure sustainability. Different rating systems target different things. I don’t think LEED is not made for this region. LEED is a global rating system. Of course it does not address many points with water like Estidama does. These rating systems are just tools that could help you decide.

Q. Expo 2020 was announced yesterday. Do you think it is a good thing for Dubai and what will change?
Eric Johnson:
I do think it is good thing for Dubai because they have already shown what they can do. Now it is an opportunity for the region to show its commitment to energy efficiency. Antonio Ceci: It is great for the construction. Hopefully we will learn from the mistakes made in 2009. It is also motivating to see sustainability as one of the key points.
Stephan Smith: It is obviously great news for the industry and for the country. One thing from a sustainability perspective that I look forward to is how they’re going to rate the buildings, or and create regulations. Quite excited to see their master plan, especially if it would include a KPI system.
Amer H Shehader: The market has recovered before the bid, now winning the Expo 2020 will give them a further push. Even if we did not win, I have no doubt Dubai would still grow. The expo’s theme mobility, opportunity and sustainability, the vision of Sheikh Mohammed and the Dubai Government, will be a major drive.
Bram Lansink: Dubai has already had a clear drive to improve energy efficiency even before the expo. Being a part of Expo 2020 will only further accelerate Dubai into a greener place.

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