Emirates Green Building Council hosts green building tours to strengthen awareness on sustainability best practices

EmiratesGBC Press Release

  • Organises tour of ESAB Middle East FZE to discuss learnings from LEED Platinum certification and energy saving retrofit solutions
  • To host a tour of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on Dec. 6, certified to LEED Gold

Dubai, UAE; December 5th, 2016: Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, has launched a new series of ‘green building tours’ covering buildings that have already achieved LEED certifications, to strengthen awareness among industry stakeholders on sustainable best practices for energy and water use efficiency.

The ‘Green Building Tour Series: After LEED Certification’ is one of the many initiatives undertaken by EmiratesGBC to promote a stronger understanding of sustainable built environments. The tours are being held for the Council’s members.

Participants not only tour the green buildings to see the design and technology features first hand but also to engage in insightful discussions with the concerned team on how they achieved their certifications and what are the ongoing initiatives to manage energy and water use.

The green building tour series commenced with a visit in November to Swedish welding and cutting firm, ESAB Middle East FZE, which achieved LEED Platinum certification six years ago. A large team of EmiratesGBC members took part in the tour that helped them gain insights on the learnings from the certification process. They also took part in a workshop facilitated by EmiratesGBC on energy saving retrofits that would enhance the building’s already high standards of energy efficiency. A technical brief based on the observations by the participants will be issued by EmiratesGBC in the coming days.

Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, said: “The Green Building Tour Series is a strong example of how we promote hands-on learning on sustainability best practices for our members and other stakeholders. In addition to learning from the team that has been involved in LEED Certification, these tours provide insights on the new and emerging challenges, and how the team on ground is addressing them. We have always emphasised that green building does not stop at the end of construction and it is essential that sustainable operation and maintenance practices are followed post certification and these tours shall highlight this and serve as referral points for the participants to adopt green building practices by learning from the experts. We believe that such industry interactions are essential in promoting a culture of sustainable built environments and sharing best practices that will help support the sustainable vision of the UAE.”

The next in the ‘Green Building Tour Series: After LEED Certification’ will be on December 6, from 10am to 12noon, to the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, which was awarded LEED Gold Certification 20 months ago. Open for EmiratesGBC members and partners, the tour to the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in Al Maryah Island will explore the lessons learned from the LEED certification and the new challenges that are being addressed by the team on-ground.

A representative of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi will highlight the building’s intended requirements and history as well as the main achievements and key learnings in building operations and maintenance over the past years. This will be followed by a guided building tour and networking session.

During the tour of ESAB Middle East FZE, Supply Chain Manager Peter Zachrisson presented about the company’s regional presence and the current operations of the building, while Technical Director Mats Karlsson, who was involved in the building design and construction since 2007, provided an overview of the intention behind building design and planning. The building’s LEED Certification was the result of collaboration between ESAB, the Middle East Center for Sustainable Development (consultancy), JAFZA EHS Green Code Section (authority) and US Green Building Council (certifying body).

A range of active and passive technologies were utilised as part of the building design including hollow core structure cooling, reflective surfaces, 1500 solar tubes for water heating, wind driven ventilation and a convection grid ceiling. Heat management techniques include heat deflection films on windows and thermal insulation in walls. The building’s lighting is managed by an optimised Building Management System (BMS), automatic lighting controls and motion detection. Daylighting throughout the building is supported by open landscaping and room/wall design.

A greywater system irrigates the garden and toilet flush, while rain water is managed by permeable interlocking bricks throughout the hardscapes to prevent runoff, and elevated warehouse & loading bays with water disbursing pits lined with fiber sheets to collect the water. The Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) systems support the overall objectives of LEED including waste management of recyclables, safety signage. ESAB also encourages carpooling of employees and offers priority parking to them and flexible working hours.

EmiratesGBC has a dedicated online database that highlights manufacturers that supply energy efficient equipment for building retrofit/new construction projects. In addition to releasing two ground-breaking industry reports – ‘EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Buildings’ and ‘Energy & Water Benchmarking for UAE Hotels’ – the Council regularly hosts Focus Days and networking sessions to promote green buildings.