EmiratesGBC Newsletter

A Letter from the Chairman …

EGBC Chairman

Dear Members and Industry Supporters,

Ramadan Kareem from Emirates Green Building Council.
In this month’s newsletter, I am happy to share the news that the much anticipated EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings has been launched, with strong governmental support and industry acclaim. As the UAE’s first publication on greening existing buildings, the document provide a host of capacity building opportunities for our members in the second half of 2015.
In June, we also held the 35th Board of Directors meeting since the Council’s inception 9 years ago, and I am pleased to share that during the meeting, we welcomed Brookfield Multiplex as our newest Board Member.
On behalf of the Council, I wish you many blessings during the holy month of Ramadan.

Best regards,

Saeed Al Abbar

EGBC News and Updates

EmiratesGBC & Trane Iftar Held on June 30th, 2015IMG_7208

In observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan, EmiratesGBC and Trane hosted a corporate Iftar for members on Tuesday June 30th at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel by Anantara in Abu Dhabi. We were happy to see the strong turnout for this social gathering, which provided excellent networking opportunities.

Launched! EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings

20150616_xpogr_untitled__DSC0385On June 16th, the much anticipated EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings were officially launched during an invitation-only event at the Conrad Hotel. The launch further established the Technical Guidelines as the UAE’s premier publication on greening existing buildings. At the event, Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, said: “The UAE has a great potential for shifting towards a greener future. In Dubai alone, it is estimated that 30,000 out of the 120,000 existing buildings have a high energy saving potential.”

Also during the event, the endorsing bodies of the publication gave keynote addresses which signified the strong support and commitment from UAE government on building retrofits: Faisal Ali Hassan Rashid, Director, Demand Side Management of the Dubai Supreme Coun

20150616_xpogr_untitled__DSC0359cil of Energy and Eng. Maryam Mohammed Almulla, Jr. Architecture Engineer of the Ministry of Public Works. The event recognized the 39 contributors who volunteered their time and expertise to write the document, Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants as legal advisors, and the sponsors BASF, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Fujairah Rockwool Factory, Griffin Consultants, Mapei, SMC Interiors, Wacker Chemicals and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Hot off the Press: Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings

The EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Ret20150616_xpogr_untitled__DSC0322rofitting Existing Buildings is a comprehensive set of instructions intended to serve as a guide for UAE industry professionals, building owners, operators and end-users. The Technical Guidelines highlight how current processes, technologies, and local and regional standards can facilitate efficient retrofit projects in the UAE. The 200 page book features 31 key retrofit methods that can be implemented on existing buildings for improved operational efficiency and subsequent short and long-term monetary savings. The publication is available for purchase through the EmiratesGBC office for AED 250. To learn more about the publication and order your copy, click here.

EmiratesGBC Board of Directors – Marking 9 years

The EmiratesGBC Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting on 4th June 2015, marking the 35th meeting of the board since the Council’s inception. The growth and development of EmiratesGBC has been guided by its Board of Directors, and now more than ever, their role is critical to its strategic direction.
July 2nd will mark the 9th Anniversary of EmiratesGBC’s inaugurating board meeting, which was held on 2nd July 2006 at Park Hyatt Dubai. During these past nine years, EmiratesGBC has stayed close to its membership, strongly connected to both the challenges and opportunities presented within the UAE, has set ambitious goals and achieved new milestones based on its industry and stakeholder connections. We look forward to marking many more years of progress and sustainable growth!

New EmiratesGBC Board Member Appointed

During this past June board meeting, the EmiratesGBC appointed a new Board Member from its corporate membership. Congratulations to Brookfield Multiplex for its recent appointment as a member of the EmiratesGBC Board of Directors! Brookfield Multiplex has been a long time supporter and active corporate member of EmiratesGBC, and we look forward to their commitment as a Board Member.

EmiratesGBC’s NEW Vision and Mission

EmiratesGBC has developed an internal report based on evaluation of the  impact it has had in the UAE since its inception.  A copy of the report will soon be made available to our members and stakeholders, and we look forward to sharing it in the coming weeks.  Information collected during the development of this report led to several strategic discussions at board and management level, and we are excited to share with you the new EmiratesGBC Vision and Mission that was born from these discussions and recently approved by the Board of Directors.

The Vision of Emirates Green Building Council is for the UAE to be a global leader for the sustainability in the built environment.

The Mission of Emirates Green Building Council is to be a catalyst for collaboration and a hub for excellence to promote sustainability of the built environment in the UAE.

Technical Workshop – planning in progress!

WBLast month we had the pleasure to welcome a full room of members and learn more on retrofit strategies for commercial buildings. Thank you very much to Woods Bagot for facilitating the June workshop.

There will be no workshop in July, giving us time to put in place the workshop planning for the remainder of the year and building our technical content further. The next scheduled workshop will take place on September 15th and will cover the following topic: “Energy saving systems for HVAC – tools, methodologies and systems”. Should you be interested in joining us during the September session and/or facilitate a workshop later on this year, please send an email to us. Technical workshops are open to EmiratesGBC members only and subjected to limited seating.

Strengthening the Hospitality Program

The EmiratesGBC Office is utilizing the summer period to revisit its existing programs and strengthen their content to ensure EmiratesGBC properly addresses the needs of the industry towards a greener future. The Hospitality Program is, for instance, benefitting from a clear boost of strong interest from the UAE hotels and resorts and renewed support from EmiratesGBC members to build a relevant benchmarking tool and reporting platform as well as a detailed set of training modules. Should you be interested in taking part in the discussions, either as EmiratesGBC member or hotelier, please contact office@emiratesgbc.org or +971 (0)4 346 8244. Your input is not only appreciated but will help develop meaningful and practical program content.

Green Key Monthly Update

GK LRMADAfter a very busy first half of the year, the activities related to Green Key are finally slowing down with the end of the renewal processes, and we can now focus on developing our communications with the certified hotels as well as sharing knowledge on green hospitality in the UAE with new properties. It is also the time for us to refresh our pool of auditors, so if you are a corporate member and have experience in energy/sustainability audits, please refer to our website to submit your application.
It is always with great pleasure that we receive constructive feedback from our Green Key hotels! Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi has been proudly encouraging its staff to learn about Green Key and act “green” in their everyday life. Well done and thank you to Mr. Edwin Macabutas for sharing one of the hotel’s Green Key signs!

2015 Annual EGBC Congress

The 4th Annual EGBC Congress will be held on October  20-21st 2015 under the theme “How do Green Buildings Scale up?” The EGBC Congress will provide a platform to discuss the opportunities and challenges related to the role of cities and regions in catalyzing, facilitating and stimulating sustainable innovation, products, services, technologies and new business models. The Congress will focus on invited and refereed papers from academics, government bodies, consultants, entrepreneurs, technology providers, designers, and sustainability directors as well as other business functions.  The event program is under development and we would be happy to consider your input – please feel free to share with us any suggestions you have for session topics.

A big thank you to the 4th Annual EGBC Congress Sustainability Sponsor: BASF Construction Chemicals.   To learn more about sponsorship opportunities for the 2015 EGBC Congress, please click here, contact Hussam Eddin or call us on 04-3468244.

The EmiratesGBC 2015 Awards Brief is Out!

The brief covering the EmiratesGBC 2015 Awards Ceremony and Gala is now available on the EmiratesGBC website. Have a look to learn more about the 2015 winning projects and congratulate the organizations for their excellent dedication to a more sustainable built environment! The EmiratesGBC team is currently preparing for the 2016 Awards, using the applicants’, judges’ and auditors’ feedback and recommendations to build an even stronger program next year. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact egbcawards@emiratesgbc.org

Sponsorship Opportunities for EmiratesGBC 2015 Events

EmiratesGBC has an exciting events calendar planned out for the remainder year. We would like to invite our corporate members and other contributors from the industry to extend support through sponsorship opportunities. From 2-hour Networking Events to half day Focus Days to building tours, these educational and informative events provide a platform for various stakeholders to share knowledge and contribute to positive change in the green building industry.
Specifically, on September 16th, EmiratesGBC and MEFMA will team up once again to host a 2-hour Networking Event under the topic, The Retrofit Revolution: Is the FM Industry Adequately Equipped? This event offers an ideal sponsorship opportunity for an organization to position itself as a supporter of the energy efficiency movement in the UAE. Please contact us if you are interested to sponsor an upcoming EmiratesGBC event or if you would like to suggest event topics.

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 in the second half of 2015.

On September 4-5 and again on November 13-14, the two-day LEED Green Associate course will equip participants with an up-to-date understanding of the most current green building principles and practices.

On October 2-3, the two-day LEED Accredited Professional (Building Design + Construction) course will prepare professionals for the design and construction phases of green buildings in the commercial, residential, education and healthcare sectors.

Also on the calendar during the last quarter of the year is the Certified Energy Manager training, which will be held November 8-11.  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 us.

EmiratesGBC Representation at Recent Events

Marie Hotelier MEOur very own Marie Westholm-Knebel, who leads the EmiratesGBC Hospitality and Green Key Programs, delivered a presentation entitled “Crunching the Numbers” at the Hotelier Middle East: Sustainable Design & Operations Summit 2015 on June 3rd.

EmiratesGBC’s board secretary Sarfraz Dairkee delivered a talk during the BACnet Roadshow conference on June 2nd while the Council also participated in the exhibition portion of the show.  Additionally, Mr. Dairkee represented EmiratesGBC at the UK Trade & Investment and the British Embassy in Dubai seminar on the “Future of Green Buildings & Sustainability” on June 9th and the Climate Control Conference on June 15-16th. Thank you to Mr. Dairkee for his dedication in continuously representing and serving EmiratesGBC.

EmiratesGBC Supports Upcoming Exhibitions & Conferences

The industry events calendar will heat up again come September, and EmiratesGBC is looking forward to exhibiting at Cityscape Global and GulfSol.

Cityscape Global 2015 is the largest and most influential real estate investment and development event for emerging markets globally. Bringing together investors, developers, government officials and real estate professionals, there is no better place to find investment opportunities and new business partners. Cityscape Global is taking place on 8 – 10 September at World Trade Centre, Dubai.  To find out how you can get involved please contact the Cityscape Global team at or click here for further information.

GulfSol is taking place on September 14-16 at Dubai World Trade Center. GulfSol is a key event in the Middle East dedicated to the solar industry, showcasing the very latest solar thermal & photovolatic technologies available in the region. This will be the 2nd edition of GulfSol in Dubai which is oranised by dmg Events Middle East and Asia, producers of The Big 5 & Adipec.  Click here to register and for futher information.

Help Populate the Academy Website!

The Academy section of the EmiratesGBC website is designed to collect empirical and technical information to help green the UAE built environment. It is comprised of a white paper database with pages dedicated to case studies, UAE regulations and green building rating systems. These pages should remain live and benefit from continuous contributions, so we kindly invite you to share your case studies, research papers and success stories to populate the different sections. For more information and questions please contact us.

EGBC in the News

Emirates Green Building Council’s presence in trade magazines and national newspapers is continuously growing. Below are just a few of the many worth sharing.

Launch of the EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings
In advance of the highly anticipated June 16th launch of the EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings, the Council received coverage of the launch event. The event itself was widely covered including TV coverage by City 7 and print including Zawya, Construction Week Online, and The National, Gulf News Property, Khaleej Times and Property Online.

Guiding Construction to Achieve its Green Goals
Saeed Al Abbar sat down with Future Cities ME recently to discuss the future of green construction. “A key trend we are seeing in the construction industry today is a move toward greater sustainability and energy efficiency defined by the construction of green buildings along with a greater focus on energy and water efficiency in existing buildings.” Click here or here to read more.

Sustainable Design Summit gets EmiratesGBC support
Both before and after the Hotelier Middle East Sustainable Design and Operations Summit held on June 3rd, EmiratesGBC received coverage of the event.
EmiratesGBC chairman Saeed Al Abbar said: “The hospitality sector in the region is evolving at full speed, and despite the fact that it is often considered unsustainable; it represents great potential for change and innovation. Click here to read more. In her presentation ‘Crunching the Numbers’ at the Hotelier Middle East Sustainable Design & Operations Summit 2015, Marie-Helene Westholm-Knebel, senior technical officer, Emirates Green Building Council shared best practise on green operations. Click here to read more.

Local News

Sustainable Schools Initiative: Leading the way to a green future

One hundred and twenty schools registered for the Sustainable Schools Initiative in the nation’s capital to implement several eco-friendly measures. The 24 winning schools were part of this year’s Sustainable Schools Initiative. Run by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi annually since 2009, the initiative takes place in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Education Council. Click here to read more.

Solar-powered palm trees get passersby online in Dubai

People out and about in Dubai can now use palm trees to get online and recharge their phones. The Smart Palm is hi-tech version of the date palm tree and is being rolled out by D-Idea Media. In addition to Wi-Fi and device charging, it provides local info, directions, seating and shade. Click here to read more.

Regional News

Big Opportunities seen for Qatar in Solar Power
Qatar has an edge in developing and implementing green and clean policies and will be able to diversify its energy resources if the renewable options are tapped effectively. “Renewable energy, particularly solar, is an excellent opportunity for Qatar,” Dr Muammer Koç, professor of sustainability, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), told Gulf Times. Click here to read more.

International News

Mushrooms Hold Key to Stormwater Treatment
Mycoremediation, the use of fungi to treat water and soil, could be the stormwater filter of the present and future.  Projects in Portland, Oregon are currently putting the science to the test. Click here to read more.

Green Building in Australia Impeded by Multiple Criteria
One of Australia’s leading sustainability advocates claims that green buildings in the country continues to be hampered by the lack of unity or communication between the devisers of multiple performance codes and criteria. Click here to read more.

How Genentech fuses green building and energy science
Genentech didn’t set out to build just any old Silicon Valley open office when it undertook construction of a new, LEED Gold-certified corporate campus in South San Francisco, which sprawls over a quarter of a million square feet. With some 10,000 employees housed on this campus, Genentech’s corporate headquarters is also the largest biotech-manufacturing site in the world, according to CEO Ian Clark. Click here to read more.

Vietnamese developers adopting IFC’s green-building scheme
Vietnam, which is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, seems set to embrace green buildings, according to analysts.  Buildings account for more than 30 per cent of total energy use in fast-growing economies like Vietnam, and so improving energy efficiency in new buildings is critical, they point out. Click here to read more.

Dutch government ordered to cut carbon emissions in landmark ruling
A court in The Hague has ordered the Dutch government to cut its emissions by at least 25% within five years, in a landmark ruling expected to cause ripples around the world. Click here to read more.