EmiratesGBC Newsletter

A Letter from the Chairman …

EGBC Chairman

Dear EGBC Members and Industry Supporters,

Closing the first quarter of the year, March was an active month for strategic development of Emirates Green Building Council. During the Board meeting that took place earlier in the month, the EmiratesGBC programs and efforts that support the industry’s needs were discussed and closely assessed. The EGBC Board is also critically reviewing its Vision and Mission, and I look forward to sharing with you the outcome of these efforts by mid-year.

The EGBC Energy Efficiency Program is going full speed, and we strongly invite our Members to take part and submit their qualifications using the online platform. This program offers members an opportunity for greater exposure within the energy industry and allows EmiratesGBC to facilitate and encourage building retrofits for greater efficiency.  I had the chance to deliver a keynote address during the Retrofit Tech Conference recently, positioning EmiratesGBC even further on the UAE energy efficiency scene and emphasizing the importance of this work. The conference, which took place in Dubai on 16-17 March, explored the challenges and opportunities in the emerging retrofit market to achieve greater energy efficiency and sustainability in the Emirate, and many of our Board and Corporate Members represented the Council during the event.

Over the last month, I also had the pleasure to meet with representatives of Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) and Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) to further develop our cooperation with the local authorities. UPC and DSCE are key partners to promote sustainability in the UAE built environment, and we are pleased to align our activities and planning with the UAE green agenda.

Spring has finally arrived, and there are still a lot of exciting events coming before the summer starts. We hope you have already registered to attend the 2015 EGBC Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on 13 May; and we hope to welcome you earlier during the coming EGBC-MEFMA joint networking event (April 20th), the technical workshop with ADQCC (April 14th), and the Focus Day with Dubai Chamber of Commerce (date to be announced).

Best regards,
Saeed Al Abbar

EGBC News and Updates

EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings

The EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings is a comprehensive set of instructions intended to serve as a guide for UAE industry professionals and building end-users. The Technical Guidelines highlight how current processes, technologies, and local and regional standards can facilitate efficient retrofit projects in the UAE.

The Technical Guidelines have been finalized and are currently under technical review by EGBC Corporate Member Consultants, WSP ME. The scheduled printing date for this important publication is toward the end of Q2 2015. We are currently inviting industry members and energy efficiency stakeholders the opportunity to sponsor the Technical Guidelines and promote the energy efficiency market in the UAE. To view the sponsorship package, please click here and/or contact Hussam in the EmiratesGBC office at hussam.eddin@emiratesgbc.org.

A big thank you to EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines Sponsors – Griffin Project Development Consultants, MAPEI, Wacker Chemicals Middle East & WSP Middle East Ltd.

2015 EGBC Awards – Registration open for the Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner

The awards submissions are in and our judges are now hard at work. We are looking forward to
egbc-awards_logoannouncing the winners of the 3rd Annual EGBC Awards at the Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on 13 May at Al Murooj Rotana in Dubai!

Have you reserved your seat to attend yet? Registration for the 2015 EGBC Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner is now open and you’ll find all the necessary information to reserve a seat or a table on the Awards website. If you did not attend the event last year and need inspiration before joining us in 2015, you can catch up by checking out the 2014 video on the EGBC YouTube Channel!

A big thank you to the 2015 Awards sponsors – Platinum: Jotun Paints – Silver: Caparol, Brookfield Multiplex, BK Gulf. Should your company be interested in sponsoring the event please contact Hussam at hussam.eddin@emiratesgbc.org.

Green Key updateGreen Key Logo

In March, the Green Key National Jury validated the certification renewal of 15 hotels, and the EmiratesGBC office has been working full speed to finalize the renewal of the other hotels and reach out to new properties.

Green Key is non-governmental, non-profit and independent program which underlines the environment-friendly energy, water and waste management commitment of hotels, serviced apartments and other accommodation facilities. If you would like to know more about Green Key or register as Green Key auditor, contact Marie at greenkey@emiratesgbc.org.

Participating in the Hospitality Program

After a few months the EGBC Hospitality Program is moving again with the design of sustainability training directed to hotel staff and management. The training modules are expected to cover general information on sustainability and the incentives to operate “green”; they will also approach in more details technical topics on energy, waste and water management to provide ready-to-use solutions and allow properties to improve their performance easily and at low cost. EGBC members who want to contribute to the design and conduction of these training modules are welcome to join the task force. Please contact Marie at office@emiratesgbc.org to get more details.

Sponsorship Opportunities for EmiratesGBC Events in 2015

EmiratesGBC has various events mapped out for the year for which we would like to invite our corporate members and other contributors from the industry to extend support through sponsorship opportunities. From the 2-hour Networking Events to half day Focus Days, these educational and informative events provide a platform for various stakeholders to share knowledge and contribute to positive change in the green building industry. Click here to view the 2015 EGBC events calendar.

A number of the upcoming events will closely support the objectives of the EmiratesGBC Energy Efficiency Program and Hospitality Program and will build important dialogue in these key sectors. Please contact us at events@emiratesgbc.org if you are interested to sponsor an upcoming EmiratesGBC event or if you would like to suggest event topics.

EmiratesGBC Hosts a Joint Networking Event with MEFMA

Does the Green Building Industry Suffer from a lack of FM? On Monday April 20th EGBC and MEMFA will be hosting a joint networking event addressing this topic. Join us at Al Raha Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. Participation for members is AED 50 and AED 150 for non-members. Please email events@emiratesgbc.org to register for the event.

EmiratesGBC Technical Workshop

Insulation products are widely used in conjunction with other components of building materials toIMG_6660 provide thermal, acoustic, fire and impact resistant properties for buildings. The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (ADQCC) have commissioned a report on the local industry to evaluate the applicable local and international building insulation and compliance codes.

On April 14th, industry representatives will gather at the EmiratesGBC headquarters to address the challenges in ensuring safety, quality, performance and uniformity in insulation materials used for construction projects. The discussion will be based on an ADQCC’s report which informs the development of a voluntary product certification program for specific insulation materials.

Mark your calendar to attend the session which starts at 2:30pm – 4:30pm, and register by emailing technicalworkshops@emiratesgbc.org. Seating is limited, so registration is a must. We look forward to your participation! Please note that participation is exclusive for EmiratesGBC members and partners.

EmiratesGBC Trainings

EmiratesGBC offers a series of professional training programs in partnership with British University in Dubai (BUiD). Our two upcoming LEED trainings are ideal for professionals who will go on to take the credential exam.

On April 17-18, the two day LEED Green Associate course equips participants with an up-to-date understanding of the most current green building principles and practices. On May 8-9, the two day LEED Accredited Professional (Operations + Maintenance) course focuses on implementing sustainable practices, improving performance, heightening efficiency and reducing environmental impact in existing buildings through enhanced operations and maintenance.

Also on the calendar for this quarter is the Certified Energy Manager training, which will be held June 7-10 in Abu Dhabi. 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 for upcoming courses, please contact BUiD.

EmiratesGBC Participates in local Exhibitions & Conferences

There are a number of upcoming conferences and exhibitions in the UAE that offer an opportunity to create awareness on sustainable building practices, and EmiratesGBC is pleased to support them.

In April, EmiratesGBC is supporting the 3rd Outdoor Design and Build Show in Dubai on the 13-15th, an event for outdoor design, construction and landscaping, catering to the entire spectrum of hard and soft landscape products and services. To register for a free pass to the event, click here.

The World Green Economy Summit taking place in Dubai alongside WETEX on 22-23 April is also supported by EmiratesGBC. Under the patronage of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and in partnership with Dubai Energy and Water Authority, the summit is a defined platform for developing a green economy market place with a strategic influence on international, national and regional economic agendas as well as connecting global drivers for green trade and investment.

Looking onwards to May, EmiratesGBC will be supporting Smart Skyscrapers, taking place in Dubai from May 11-12th.  Held under the patronage of the Dubai Municipality, the 2-day event is focused on building sustainable skyscrapers in Dubai and will showcase innovative sustainable building technologies, design principles and solutions for high-rise green buildings from around the world. EmiratesGBC members can avail a 15% discount by contacting the organizers.

Invitation for Case Studies and Success Stories

As a member-driven organization, Emirates Green Building Council is proud of what its members achieve in the green building sector and sustainable development. We invite you to share with us your success stories, case studies, awards and prizes, and we’ll be happy to place a mention in our monthly newsletter or on our website. By sharing your achievements and best practices, you will be contributing to the industry’s knowledge pool and thereby helping further the green building concept. Contact office@emiratesgbc.org to share your successes.

EGBC Representation

Members of EmiratesGBC’s board were busy this month, proudly representing Emirates Green Building Council at various conferences and seminars across the UAE. Chairman Saeed Al Abbar delivered the keynote address during the Retrofit Tech Conference (March 16-17). Sarfraz Dairkee, EGBC’s Board Secretary, spoke at the District Cooling Stakeholders Summit (March 17-18), Building Future Learning Spaces (March 23-25), Dubai-Tomorrow Summit (March 25-26), and the Variable Refrigerant Flow Conference (March 30-31). Jane Boyle of WSP also spoke on behalf of EmiratesGBC at a Sustainable Building seminar hosted by the Belgium Economic Mission (March 26).

EGBC in the News

Emirates Green Building Council’s presence in trade magazines and national newspapers is continuously growing – see below the latest articles with inputs from EmiratesGBC Chairman Saeed Al Abbar.

Painting the Country Green

Saeed Al Abbar discusses his vision to create a more sustainability-conscious hospitality industry and the advantages for hotels to engage in eco-certification, with EmiratesGBC as National Operator for Green Key. Click here to access the complete article.

Is Dubai’s Construction Boom Sustainable?

In BBC’s recent examination of Dubai’s new construction projects, Saeed Al Abbar praises the increase in awareness of sustainability issues, on the rise in the past years. He is quoted, “Over 800 buildings have complied with the regulations so far at the design stage, which is a tremendous achievement. The real challenge is in ensuring that the code requirements are fully incorporated in the completed constructions through rigorous quality control measures.” Click here to access the complete article.

Local News

Dubai buildings must use green concrete
Dubai has announced its decision to switch to green concrete to make its ever-expanding built-up areas healthier and more sustainable. Starting in April, all new buildings coming up in Dubai will have to use green alternatives for original Portland cement (OPC), the major component of concrete mix that is found to emit toxic gases.  Click here to read more.

Sewage fee doubles in Dubai
The sewerage fee for Dubai residents has been doubled to one fils per gallon of water since the start of March as part of a new decree. Under the decree, the new fee applies to all buildings connected to the main public sewerage network of Dubai Municipality. Click here to read more.

Solar Impulse 2 left Abu Dhabi on 9 March for its round-the-world tour
The first attempt to circumnavigate the Earth in an exclusively solar-powered plan successfully began at Abu Dhabi Al Bateen Executive Airport on Monday 9 March. Click here to follow this exciting mission live.

Your guide to generating solar power in Dubai to slash Dewa bill
Dubai residents can now reduce their energy bills substantially, thanks to Dewa’s initiative allowing individuals, as well as commercial and government entities, to generate power through solar energy starting yesterday. Click here to read more.

DEWA retrofits to set the benchmark for future
Implementing the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy (DIES) will be driven by the retrofitting of key government-owned buildings in the first phase under the management of Etihad Energy Services. Click here to read more.

Dubai to build affordable houses for people earning Dh3,000 to Dh10,000 per month
Dubai has allocated over 100 hectares of land for affordable housing, mostly to meet the demand for dwellings for people earning between Dh3,000 and Dh10,000 per month. Click here. Click here to read more.

Dubai Supreme Council of Energy holds workshop on monitoring electricity and water use in government buildings
Dubai, UAE, 8 March 2015: The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) held a workshop for Dubai government departments and organisations to highlight the mechanism for implementing directive number 1 of 2015…”This pioneering move enhances the role of government departments and organisations in reducing consumption. It is in line with the best international standards to encourage organisations to take a leading role to build and develop modernisation programmes for buildings,” added Al Tayer. To read more, click here.

Dubai Municipality launches Green Mall Program
In pursuit of its Vision to create an Excellent City that provides the essence of success and comfort of sustainable living, Dubai Municipality has launched the Dubai Green Malls Program. The Program will be used by the Dubai Municipality to support the retail outlets of Dubai in achieving long-term environmental sustainability in many areas of their operations such as waste, energy, and water management. The Green Malls will be the Centres to promote environmental awareness and sustainable living in the Emirate, and encourage the public to opt for “greener” choices while shopping. To read more, click here.

Only electronic bills for DEWA customers from April
Customers of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) will only receive electronic bills from April 1, DEWA has announced. The Green Bill will be an electronic version of the paper bill that can be viewed on the registered customer’s email, DEWA smart mobile app and website. Emails and texts have been sent to alert customers about the switch. Customers can sign up for the Green Bill on customer.dewa.gov.ae. To read more, click here.

Regional News

Qatar to Host First Annual Green Building Conference
US Green Building Council (USGBC), has signed up as a partner to next month’s Qatar Green Building Conference. The two-day conference, which is being organised by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) , is committed to achieving Qatar’s sustainability and green buildings aspirations through a collaborative and integrated approach with participation from leading national and global institutions. Read more about the conference here.

International News

Small Initiatives Key to Cost Effective Green Cities
Small scale initiatives such as stormwater harvesting, permeable pavements and more open spaces and parklands as well as better urban design with more medium density housing which is close to local amenities and public transport links are critical parts of the solution toward transforming cities in Australia to become more sustainable and doing so in a cost effective manner, two leaders in the field of urban sustainability say. Click here to read more.

California’s About to Run Out of Water. We Have to Act Now
California is now heading into its fourth year of record-breaking drought, with no liquid relief in sight. High temperatures, little precipitation, and historically low snowpack have left the state with dwindling water reserves. The situation is so bad, as NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti wrote in an LA Times op-ed last week, that California has only a year of water left in its reservoirs. Click here to read more.

Canada’s First Net Zero Commercial Building
The Mosaic Centre for Conscious Community and Commerce’s co-owners Dennis and Christie Cuku said this 30,000 square foot building cost $10.5 million dollars. Making the jump from a net-zero home to a net-zero commercial building requires a lot of work. There is much more energy demand per square metre in a bigger, commercial building. The Cuku’s put together a team led by Vedran Skopac of Manasc Isaac Architects that used lean processes and integrated project delivery to build this first of a kind building. Click here to read more.

France Decrees New Rooftops Must be Covered in Plants or Solar Panels
Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law. Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. Click here to read more.

No definitive link between wind turbines and poor health
Living near towering wind turbines can be extremely annoying but there is no connection between exposure to the wind turbine noise and health effects, says a new comprehensive Health Canada study. Click here to read more.