Global experts attend opening of 2nd EmiratesGBC Annual Congress

EmiratesGBC Press Release

Event highlights financing schemes for green buildings and

operational aspects on opening day

Dubai, UAE; December 11, 2013: The second Annual Congress of the Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, discussed the financing of green buildings, the design and operation aspects in the building phase and local and regional sustainable development initiatives on its opening day on Wednesday.

The two-day event which continues through December 12 was inaugurated by Adnan Sharafi, Chairman of EmiratesGBC and Board Member of the World Green Building Council. He said that the Congress is aimed at putting the spotlight on green building regulations, green financing schemes and governmental approaches to promote all-round sustainable development. He presented an overview of the evolution of the sustainability movement in the UAE, and the role and achievements of EmiratesGBC. “Our goal is to work with all stakeholders across the building industry supply chain and to promote knowledge sharing that will enable the region to highlight its leadership in promoting sustainable growth,” he said.

Faisal Ali Rashid, Sr. Project Manager Demand Management of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; Yasmeen Al Rashedi, Estidama Programme Implementations & Execution Manager of Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council; Fozeya Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, Environmental Outreach Division Director of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and Mohammed Asfour, Chairman of WorldGBC MENA Network, presented keynote addresses.

Among the key sessions on the opening day included on financing schemes for green buildings covering the need for financing, innovative financing mechanisms, incentive strategies and fee structures, while a panel discussion on the use of green building materials covered their impact on smart cities. The operation and maintenance of buildings, and occupant engagement with a focus on design meeting performance were also discussed.

Emirates Environment Group presented local and regional initiatives to promote sustainable development including waste management from source, while EWS-WWF highlighted its ecological footprint initiative.  The green building market in the MENA region was also highlighted by a WorldGBC MENA Consultant.

Sobia Shahid from Heriot Watt University Dubai was announced as the winner of the EmiratesGBC Annual Congress technical paper competition on ‘Sustainable Competitive Advantage: An Economic Revolution.’

At the gala dinner being held later in the evening at the Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, EmiratesGBC announced the winners of the first EmiratesGBC Awards which honour excellence in sustainability initiatives across the Middle East and North Africa region.

A series of workshops will be held on Thursday with the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council to discuss about Estidama as a platform for behavioural change, while the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence will present a workshop on measuring carbon footprint. The Congress will also host a debate competition among top schools on ‘A Vision to the Future.’ The participants were selected at an interschool competition held in November on the topic: ‘Is Sustainability just a Trend?’ The final activity during the second day of the congress will be a round table with representatives from Green Building Councils across the MENA network discussing the green building movement in the region.

The second Annual EGBC Congress is sponsored by Majid Al Futtaim Properties (Principal Sponsor), Siemens and Trane (Platinum Sponsors), Brookfield Multiplex, Al Abbar Group and CES Group (Silver Sponsors), ETAP (Workshop Sponsor) and Emirates NBD (Competition Sponsor).

For more details of the Congress, contact: events@emiratesgbc.org

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About Emirates Green Building Council:

The Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) was founded in June 2006, and became the 8th full member of the World Green Building Council in September 2006. EmiratesGBC is an organization that promotes and educates on green issues in the built environment and is the official body for the UAE endorsed by the World Green Building Council. EmiratesGBC currently has around 260 members in the UAE which represents 1000s of individuals interested and involved in Green Building in the UAE and the region. In addition, EmiratesGBC members receive discounts on a number of programmes such as those related to conferences, seminars, training and green building events.

For further information, please contact:

Kelly Home / Mohammed Al Tawil

ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller

+9714 4507600

kelly.home@bm.com / mohammed.altawil@bm.com