Volume V Issue 12

EmiratesGBC Newsletter

A Letter from the Chairman …

EGBC Chairman

Dear Members and Industry Supporters,

Happy National Day from Emirates Green Building Council.

With the year 2015 coming to an end, I am pleased to say that the Council has made some very important progress to set us on a strong path for 2016. This December, delegates from all over the world will meet for the COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, with the aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate of keeping global warming below 2°C. The Emirates Green Building Council has submitted its pledge for supporting the COP21 actions and I am honored to be attending the event as part of the UAE delegation.  I look forward to sharing positive outcomes of the discussions with you all in due course.

Following the establishment of an MOU with the Ministry of Public Works (MOPW), a meeting was recently held between senior representatives of MOPW and EmiratesGBC to continue moving forward with joint efforts to ensure more widespread adoption of sustainable building practices and awareness throughout the UAE. The MOPW and EmiratesGBC agreed on some key initiatives to cooperate on in the new year and details of this will be shared with our Members in the new year.

November is always a busy month of conferences and industry events and during this month, I had the pleasure of delivering the welcome note at the EmiratesGBC-organized seminar on “Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities’ held at The Big 5. The event supported the UAE Innovation Week and gave the floor to other Green Building Councils in the MENA region including representation from Lebanon, Qatar and Jordan to discuss whether implementation of the concept of ’sustainable affordable housing’ is feasible in the region. With regional MENA GBC representation in Dubai, we took the opportunity to host a WorldGBC MENA Network meeting, allowing each GBC to share their initiatives and to draw on each other’s successes.

To end the year, EmiratesGBC will be hosting its December Focus day at DEWA’s LEED Platinum Building in AL Quoz on 7th December under the theme ”Powering Innovation: Green Buildings and Energy Management”.  EmiratesGBC will also be hosting its final board meeting of the year and its 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 10th December. The AGM is open for members of Emirates Green Building Council only and is an important opportunity for Corporate and Individual Members to learn about recent progress and initiatives, actively engage and network with fellow members, and to voice opinions and suggestions on the future direction and activities of EmiratesGBC. We encourage your participation and look forward to welcoming you at the 2015 AGM.

On behalf of the EmiratesGBC, I wish all the UAE leaders, citizens and residents a very happy National Day!

Best regards,

Saeed Al Abbar

EmiratesGBC News and Updates

EmiratesGBC prepared the UAE Report for the State of Play of Sustainable Building in MENA

As a result of the cooperation between the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a comprehensive study on the “State of Play of Sustainable Building in MENA” is being conducted to support the Global Initiative for Resource Efficient Cities (GI-REC) that was launched by UNEP in 2012. The objective of this study is to provide a regional review and baseline for policy makers in the region.

In support of this study, Emirates Green Building Council has compiled research to demonstrate the state of green buildings and cities in  the UAE.  The State of Play of Sustainable Building in MENA will be launched during a regional workshop organized by CEDARE at the beginning of December, where EmiratesGBC will present the UAE report.

EmiratesGBC Pledge and Campaign to Support the UAE commitment to COP21Slide7

Early in November, EmiratesGBC submitted its pledge to the WorldGBC as part of its #betterbuildgreen campaign which focuses on the UN climate change negotiations – COP21 in Paris. The campaign highlights WorldGBC’s global collective commitment for COP21 and national commitments from Green Building Councils, which will be unveiled at Buildings Day.

EmiratesGBC launched its own campaign to encourage its members to submit their own pledges to support the UAE government strategies and goals for national development within the UAE vision 2021, the ‘Green Growth Strategy’ and the UAE Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submission to COP21 to increase the clean energy to 24% of the total energy mix by 2021.

It’s not too late to submit your pledge!

EmiratesGBC Energy Efficiency Program Online Database has been Launched!

The EmiratesGBC Energy Efficiency Program (EEP) has officially launched its online database. The EEP is a market and capacity building program created to facilitate reduction of the UAE’s carbon footprint through energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings in the UAE and region.

The program offers extensive seminars, networking events, and training programs on energy efficiency, and EmiratesGBC is proud to present the program’s latest component: the EEP database, which is a publicly available directory featuring reputable ESCOs, Suppliers, Consultants and FMCs serving the retrofit market in the UAE.

EmiratesGBC encourages its Corporate Members to avail the opportunity for market visibility, access to competitive pricing, and priority market requests by registering for the Program and submitting their company qualifications.

Technical Workshops: November Recap & What’s Coming Up in December

Last month, participants at the EmiratesGBC Technical Workshop discussed standards and methodology prevalent in the industry that help achieve good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) –  participants discussed the most common defects in air systems and the common mechanical systems that mitigate the problems. An actual CO2 and VOC testing of the EmiratesGBC office was conducted and demonstrated how hidden pollutants often and unnoticeably impact air quality.

This month’s Technical Workshop will be held at EmiratesGBC on December 15th from 8:30am to 10:30am. The topic will discuss the integration and use of technology for ESCO and energy management processes. To register, please email technicalworkshops@emiratesgbc.org.

Technical Workshops are open to EmiratesGBC members and partners only and subject to limited seating. Please be sure to register your participation early.

MENA Green Building Council (GBC) Network

IMG_0578Following the seminar on Sustainable Affordable Housing at The Big 5 on 23 November, EmiratesGBC hosted the WorldGBC MENA Network meeting, which offered an opportunity for the MENA GBC Network to meet and discuss the latest updates and plans for 2016.

The MENA GBC Network represents 15 GBCs within the World Green Building Council regionally and ensures shared knowledge on programs, projects, and policies and aims to capture the diversity of challenges and solutions while taking into account the uniqueness of climatic or cultural conditions.

Congratulations to Members!

Congratulations to our members for their achievements and awards at The Climate Control Awards 2015:

  • Trane Middle East: Total of four awards, Rental Cooling Firm of the Year, O&M Company of the year (DISTRICT COOLING), Manufacturer of the year (CHILLERS), Manufacturer of the year (STANDALONE DX, INCLUDING VRF).
  • Trox Middle East L.L.C: Total of two awards, Manufacturer of the year (CONTROLS), Manufacturer of the year (AIR MOVEMENT).
  • Hempel Paints (EMIRATES) L.L.C.: Awarded the Building Envelope of the year (CONTRIBUTING MANUFACTURER).
  • Carrier Middle East LTD.: Awarded the Manufacturer of the year (SUPERMARKET REFRIGERATION EQUIPMENT AND FURNISHINGS).
  • Saeed Al Abbar, EmiratesGBC Chairman was awarded the Editors Choice Award.

Academy Feature of the Month

Academy of the monthOn November 4th, EmiratesGBC had the chance to attend the UTC Sustainability Series Lecture in Abu Dhabi. During the lecture, Joseph Allen, Assistant Professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  shared the outcomes of new research focused on the positive effects of green buildings on the cognitive functions of their occupants and health performance indicators. It’s no surprise: working in a green building environment can double performances.

Joseph G. Allen, Piers MacNaughton, Usha Satish, Suresh Santanam, Jose Vallarino, and John D. Spengler, Associations of Cognitive Function Scores with Carbon Dioxide, Ventilation, and Volatile Organic Compound Exposures in Office Workers: A Controlled Exposure Study of Green and Conventional Office Environments, Environmental Health Perspective, October 2015.

To learn more and share infographics, follow #thecogfxstudy via Twitter.

Green Key Update


On November 1st, our team met with the Environmental Centre for Arab Towns (ECAT), new Associate Member of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in the UAE and Amine Ahlafi, Member of the FEE Board of Directors. The discussions allowed to inform one another of the presence and progresses of Green KeyBlue Flag and all other FEE programs in the country, and to envision ways to cooperate to green the UAE environment further.

The 2016 Green Key re-certification process has now started, and we invite all UAE hotel properties to contact greenkey@emiratesgbc.org should they want to receive more information on how to get certified and the criteria to comply with.

Hospitality Program Update

It is always with great pleasure that we support the hospitality industry and local authorities to green such a prominent sector for the UAE economy. This month, our team has met with the Ajman Tourism Development Department and participated in a stakeholder engagement workshop with Dubai Tourism to identify priorities to design 2016 strategies and roadmaps. Our Hospitality Program is progressing well thanks to the input and feedback from our Members: the first training modules have been designed, and in the coming days we will test the first version of our new benchmarking dashboard.  Special thanks to Corporate Member Taka Solutions for their technical support in the process!

If you would like your hotel property to join our free benchmarking and reporting program, please contact info@emiratesgbc.org.

EmiratesGBC Trainings

EmiratesGBC offers a series of professional training programs in partnership with British University in Dubai (BUiD). The following courses are scheduled to take place in Dubai during the first months of 2016.

Based on the growing demand for qualified professionals, the Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) and Certified Energy Auditor in Training (CEAIT) certifications were developed and added to the broad portfolio of professional certifications offered by the Association of Energy Engineers now offered through EmiratesGBC-BUiD training program. The first three day Certified Energy Auditor course will be held on January 12-14.

Also on the calendar is the Certified Energy Manager (CEM) training, which will be held February 21-24.  The CEM qualification is aimed toward engineers and architects working in the areas of energy engineering or energy management. For more information and to register your intent for upcoming courses, please contact our education partner BUiD.

EmiratesGBC Supports Upcoming Industry Exhibitions & Conferences

EmiratesGBC is pleased to serve as an official supporter for the Future Interiors UAE 2016, which provides the ideal meeting place for project owners, project managers, design professionals, contractors and consultants to stay up to date on industry trends and lucrative business opportunities. It is also an excellent opportunity for industry practitioners to exchange ideas and best practice, whilst also providing a focused platform for manufacturers, materials suppliers and solution providers to showcase their expertise, products and services.

Featuring an impressive speaker panel, advisory board and supporting partners from across the UAE’s hospitality, architecture, interior design, fit-out and furniture manufacturing industries, this event will serve as an important platform for the Interiors community to discuss the very latest trends and developments both in the region and those unique to the UAE. EmiratesGBC members are offered a 20% discount on passes. Click here for registration.

EmiratesGBC is also happy to support The World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in January. Visit the EmiratesGBC booth at the WFES. We will share with you more details in our January newsletter. Click here to learn more and to register.

 EmiratesGBC in the News

Emirates Green Building Council’s presence in trade magazines and national newspapers is continuously growing.  Below are a few highlights:

Local News

Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 launched

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to make Dubai a global centre of clean energy and green economy. Read more.

Regulations for better air quality

Government limits on emissions from car exhausts, power plants and heavy industry in the UAE are being tightened for cleaner air across the country, experts said on Tuesday 24th Nov in the capital. Following a clampdown by the Ministry of Environment and Water several years ago on polluters who emit suspended pollutants into the UAE atmosphere, the ministry is seeking to further shore up UAE legislation to protect the health of millions of residents. Read more.

UAE officials consider ‘polluter pays’ policy for motorists

Owners of cars with higher emission levels will pay more to register them under changes being considered to push motorists towards fuel-efficient vehicles.

The “polluter pays” policy and other schemes, such as reduced or free parking for owners of environmentally friendly vehicles, are among plans being discussed to reduce pollution and promote green cars. Read more.

Largest Middle East energy retrofit project at Jafza

Economic Zones World, or EZW, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s Etihad Esco to retrofit its existing buildings and facilities to make them more energy efficient.

The agreement is in line with its strategic goal to make Jebel Ali Free Zone, or Jafza, the most energy efficient business hub. Read more.

Dubai Supreme Council of Energy signs agreement with Dubai Airports

The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE), held its 37th meeting, headed by Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the DSCE, and attended by its Vice Chairman Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer. After the meeting, Al Muhairbi and Chris Garton, Senior Vice President for Operations at Dubai Airports, signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation and the exchange of information and experience between both parties, and to develop energy reports to achieve Dubai Airports’ goal to decrease energy demand by 20 per cent by 2021. Read more.

 UAE’s environment goals set out ahead of crucial Paris conference

Ahead of the 21st session of Conference of Parties in Paris later this month, the UAE has pledged to generate 24 per cent of its electricity from clean energy sources by 202​1, as part of its outline for legally binding actions to be taken to protect the environment. Read more.

Abu Dhabi and Irena seek renewable energy projects for low-cost funding

Abu Dhabi is helping to kick off a fresh round of funding for renewable projects across the developing world.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) are seeking applications for projects to tap the fourth round of funding amounting to about US$50 million. Read more.

Regional News

Riyadh to hike price of water for nonresidential use

Saudi Arabia will raise the price of water for non-residential consumers, local media reported, a sign the government is cutting back an expensive system of subsidies as low oil prices strain its finances. Read more

Qatar plans green building project for hotels

An event aimed at evaluating sustainability in Qatar’s hospitality industry brought together indoor air quality experts and hotel senior officials in Qatar to discuss sustainability in the hospitality sector aimed at helping the country reduce residential energy use by 50%. Read more.

International News


World energy use to grow one-third over 25 years: IEA

Global energy use is set to grow by one-third over the next 25 years, driven mostly by emerging economies, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday 10th November,2015.

Energy consumption in the most developed nations is expected to decline over the same period, it said in its annual World Energy Outlook. Read more.

Apple to open retail store in Singapore powered only by sun

Apple will open its first retail store in Singapore, which will also be Southeast Asia’s first to be powered solely by solar energy. Solar energy developer Sunseap Group said in a statement that it will provide the store with renewable energy by harnessing its systems set up across 800 of the city’s rooftops from January next year. Read more.

India won’t need coal imports by 2017

Coal shortages will be a thing of the past and India won’t need to import dry fuel by 2017, except to meet requirements of the power plants located near coastal area, said Union Minister Piyush Goyal. Read more.