EmiratesGBC Newsletter

A Letter from the Chairman …

EGBC Chairman

A Letter from the Chairman…

Dear Members and Industry Supporters,

I would like to begin by extending my best wishes for the New Year to all of our members and partners.   It is your support and drive over the past eleven years that has enabled the Council to make very positive strides in position the United Arab Emirates as a global leader in sustainable urban development and I look forward to continuing to work with everyone in 2018.

Last month, EmiratesGBC held its Annual General Meeting, closing out the year with a gathering of our members that reflected on the accomplishments of 2017 and discussed the Council’s upcoming plans for 2018.  We are looking forward to another successful year with several decisive projects and events in the pipeline for the year ahead.  Following the AGM we held our final Board Meeting of the year, where I am pleased to share that the Board agreed upon the Council’s priority areas and projects for 2018.  In recognizing our role of supporting both global and national agendas, we took conscious steps to align our own agenda with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Energy Plan 2050.

One such priority area is the Council’s partnership with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy on the delivery of the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) program – an initiative under the United Nations “Sustainable Energy for All” program – where we have set out an ambitious goal of benchmarking building energy and water performance in Dubai.  EmiratesGBC is now spearheading this priority project for 2018, and we are looking forward to rolling out the data collection phase in the first quarter of 2018.  We look forward to the active participation and support of our members in this very important program.

During December, we also held a government and developer roundtable alongside our partners at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre on the topic of near zero energy buildings and how we can set out a roadmap to make the concept a mainstream reality in the country.  In line with the UAE’s commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement, we see this concept as being an important pillar for the UAE to achieve its ambitious energy goals and the Council is committed to continuing to work with local government and industry as a key enabler to achieving near zero buildings in the UAE.

We have also recently launched the 2018 MENA Green Building Awards, which are endorsed by the World Green Building Council and are in partnership with a number of MENA Green Building Councils.  We are currently welcoming applications within 19 categories and the awards form part of our ongoing commitment to showcase best practices and achievements within the built environment of the Middle East and North Africa.  We encourage submissions from companies and projects throughout the region.  UAE based students are also invited to showcase their research achievements by applying for the Dr. Owainati Student Excellence Award.

I encourage you to please take the time to visit the EmiratesGBC website for more details on all our events and programs for the new year and wish you all a happy and prosperous 2018.


Saeed Al Abbar

EmiratesGBC News and Updates

Members Only Tour of Summertown Headquarters: January 9th

Are you interested in facility management, operations or maintenance of buildings? EmiratesGBC is giving members the opportunity on January 9th to visit our corporate member Summertown’s LEED O+M Certified headquarters.  We will tour the facility and explore the innovations that go into maintaining this unique building for optimal energy and water consumption while maintaining the wellbeing of occupants. Advanced registration is mandatory, please email events@emiratesgbc.org to register.

Building a Case for nearly Zero Energy Buildings

On December 20th Emirates Green Building Council in collaboration with Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) highlighted the importance of working towards Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs) at an event titled ‘Building a Case for Nearly En

The event was attended by government representatives and real estate developers with a discussion on the importance of Zero Energy Buildings and how the UAE can move towards a standard of nZEBs. EmiratesGBC also highlighted the findings of its report, ‘Defining Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in the UAE – 2017,’ which identified that the UAE is aligned with the global timeline to adopt nZEBs.

We would like to extend a warm thank you to MBRSC for hosting the event and providing an informative introduction to the features of their Sustainable Autonomous House through a  comprehensive presentation and tour.  The house is the first of its kind passive house project in the region, developed to be self-sufficient, operating off the electricity grid and serving as a model for what can be achieved towards nZEBs in a hot and humid climate.

EmiratesGBC’s AGM  – A Succesful and Engaging Event

The EmiratesGBC 2017 Annual General Meeting held on Thursday, December 14th provided an opportunity for corporate and individual members to learn about the recent progress of the Council and to voice opinions and suggestions on the future direction and activities of EmiratesGBC. We received excellent feedback including constructive ways to strengthen our stakeholder engagement, and we are currently in the process of incorporating some of these recommendations into our 2018 strategy. A huge thank you to everyone who attended and to those organisations and individuals who went above and beyond with giving their time, expertise and financial support to the Council in 2017.

A New Strategic Partnership for 2018: EmiratesGBC signs MOU with RICS

EmiratesGBC is pleased to announce its new partnership with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  RICS is a global professional body promoting and enforcing the highest international standards in the valuation, management and development of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.  EmiratesGBC and RICS are looking forward to a fruitful partnership and collaboration for the year ahead.  Please visit the RICS website to understand more about their activity in the UAE.

2018 MENA Green Building Awards: New Categories; Applications Open

Organised by Emirates Green Building Council and in partnership with supporting MENA Green Building Councils, the 2018 MENA Green Building Awards has organically grown to accommodate a wider industry with four new categories now introduced to the 2018 Awards:

  • Green Healthcare Building of the Year – includes all buildings, private or public, related to healthcare
  • Green Public Building of the Year – includes government/agencies such as museums, libraries, post offices, airports
  • Sustainable Urban/Community Development Design of the Year – added to highlight the focus to move beyond just looking at buildings to a wider community and therefore city level
  • Training Initiative of the Year – added to recognize the commitment to foster a new generation of professionals for the growing green building sector in the region

Visit the website to see the full list of awards categories.  If you think your company or your projects or products deserve recognition, please refer to the awards website and apply!

Do you Know Any University Level Students in the UAE?

3rd Annual Green Building Industry Student Forum

The Emirates Green Building Council in conjunction with Heriot-Watt University is inviting all tertiary level students to the 3rd edition of the student-industry green building forum on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 aimed at encouraging undergraduate and graduate students to learn about the green building industry by providing them with valuable career advice and industry insights.  We welcome all universities to join. Please contact us to learn more.

2018 Dr. Owainati Student Excellence Award – Open for submissions!

The Dr. Owainati Student Excellence Award, sponsored by EmiratesGBC Co-Founder Dr. Sadek Owainati, targets UAE based students from a recognised university in the United Arab Emirates who have conducted exceptional research work in a subject related to green buildings in the Middle East.

Students are invited to refer to the EmiratesGBC website  to see the list of requested documents that need to be submitted by 1st February 2018, the deadline for receiving submissions.  The winner has the chance of being rewarded a cash prize and will be announced alongside the Professional Awards during the Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on Dubai on May 9th, 2018.  Contact EmiratesGBC at awards@emiratesgbc.org if you have any questions.

2018 MENA Green Building Awards: Sponsorship Opportunity

Recognising organisations and projects for innovative and outstanding sustainable building principles and practices in the Middle East and North Africa region, the MENA Green Building Awards is looking for committed supporters through sponsorship to help grow the 2018 Awards to be bigger and better than ever. 

In partnership with MENA GBCs such as Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine GBCs, we are looking forward to another successful event and would like to take this opportunity to invite our members and partners to sponsor.  There is an early bird discount on sponsorship packages available until 01 February 2018. 

We encourage you to visit our website to understand more about the awards and our sponsorship packages.

Please also take a look at last year’s awards brief for a comprehensive overview of what the awards entail, as well as to meet the 2017 winners and shortlisted organisations.

BEA Benchmarking Project – Call for Participation and Call for Sponsors

IMAGE BEA Benchmakring Tool features

We are pleased to invite Hotels, Shopping Malls and Schools in Dubai to participate in the Benchmarking Project carried out in a partnership with Dubai’s commitment to the Building Efficiency Accelerator, a global initiative under the United Nations program Sustainable Energy for All “SE4All”, in which EmiratesGBC is collaborating with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

Under this initiative, we will benchmark at least 100 buildings in three focus groups (Hotels, Schools and Shopping Malls). To participate in this project, contact the EmiratesGBC office at  04-3468244 or send an email with your interest to BEA@emiratesgbc.org.  You can learn more about the Benchmarking Project here.

BEA Sponsorship opportunities are also open, and we invite you to learn more by clicking here or contacting engagement@emiratesgbc.org.

Last Chance to Join the EmiratesGBC Pavilion at Energy Efficiency Expo (WFES 2018)

EmiratesGBC is inviting members of the green building industry to exhibit with us under the EmiratesGBC Pavilion at the Energy Efficiency Expo, co-located with World Future Energy Summit.  EmiratesGBC is a partner of the Energy Efficiency Expo dedicated to promoting energy efficiency across buildings, transportation and manufacturing sectors. The event is hosted by Masdar and is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, taking place from 15-18 January at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

In order to showcase the green, sustainable and energy-efficient products and solutions for its members, EmiratesGBC is proud to host a dedicated pavilion at the Energy Efficiency Expo. EmiratesGBC corporate members exhibiting within the pavilion are eligible for special rates and benefits and will have access to 30,000+ visitors including Government Authorities, Architects, Building Contractors, Engineers and Consultants.

If you are interested in exhibiting contact Reed Exhibitions at carla.fadel@reedexpo.ae and be sure to let them know you are an EmiratesGBC Corporate Member.

BRT Program: 2018 Calendar

The Building Retrofit Training (BRT) Level 1 calendar has been set for 2018 so that attendees can register for the date that best suits them! The first BRT is scheduled for January 23rd in Abu Dhabi; the second BRT session is set for 8th February 2018 in Dubai. Please visit the BRT calender page for 2018 upcoming dates.

Visit our Meet the Facilitators page for a chance to learn more about our expert facilitators.

The BRT Programme is in partnership with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) and is designed to teach the fundamentals of building retrofit.

Your Green Building Tooltips for January 2018!

This month we encourage you to improve your lifestyle not just for today but for 2018.  We encourage you to adopt one EmiratesGBC Green Building LifestyleTooltip per month– Let’s keep it simple and “drink out of glass containers”; we think it taste’s better anyway.

The EmiratesGBC Green Building Tooltips is a rich online platform serving to further educate the industry and community on simple green building practices.   The interactive designs cover three different building typologies, showcasing a home, school and office building.  The initiative is powered by BASF and Legrand, EmiratesGBC board members underlining their commitment to promoting sustainability.

We strongly urge you to visit the Green Building Tooltips on our website to test out this valuable online tool and fulfil your goal of pursuing a greener lifestyle whether it be at home, school or at the office.

Well Done Members

EmiratesGBC Member Caparol receives DCD approval

Congratulations to Caparol Paints; EmiratesGBC’s long term member and supporter, for their most recent achievement. Caparol has received the approval from Dubai Civil Defence (DCD) to start implementing the Exterior Thermal Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) / External Thermal Insulation Composite System (ETICS).  Caparol has now become the first German company to receive the approval for complete compliance with the new UAE Fire Code.   You can read more about this win here.

EmiratesGBC Technical Workshops

EmiratesGBC December 2017 Technical Workshop

On 12 December 2017, a Technical Workshop facilitated by Summertown Interiors, a corporate member of EmiratesGBC, discussed a holistic approach of meeting sustainability in the workplace. The workshop elaborated that sustainability does not necessarily have to involve added costs and can be incorporated into business operations so that benefits can be achieved on an environmental, economic and corporate level. Sustainable business practice should be part of every business, big or small, and should be an on-going process and holistic to include all stakeholders; from employees to clients. Embedding this practice can deliver the needs of the clients as well as minimize environmental impact, deliver cost savings, and maximize employees’ sense of wellbeing and happiness.

EmiratesGBC January Technical Workshops – Members Only

The first Technical Workshop of 2018 will take place on January 23rd and will look at the pros and cons of Sustainable Modular Building Solutions. Modular construction becoming quickly adopted due to the imminent need for more sustainable building solutions. Attendees will be shown a global overview of the current state of modular design and construction technique and highlight the opportunities, benefits and challenges of this innovative construction technique.

Are you an EmiratesGBC member or partner and would like to facilitate a workshop? We are open to suggestions for 2018 and if you have any suggestions for topics to be addressed, we’d like to hear from you – email us at technicalworkshops@emiratesgbc.org.

Academy Feature of the Month

With 2018 being marked as Year of Zayed, the Founding Father of the UAE, it is important to look at how we how cities should be designed with a vision of the future. Therefore this month we will look at the report by Arup, a member of EmiratesGBC, Cities Alive – Designing for urban childhoods, which proposes a child-friendly approach to urban planning. The report highlights why and how city stakeholders should start to create child-friendly urban environments and sets out the five core challenges of urban childhoods and recommends actions and opportunities for city stakeholders, including policymakers and city leaders, developers and investors, and built environment professionals, and considers how progress might be measured.

Click here to read the report.


Green Key Update

The Green Key Team at EmiratesGBC is gearing up for 2018 to be our strongest year yet. We are closing 2017 with 32 certified hotels and look forward to growing that number up to 50 in 2018. The new year is always a busy time with re-certifications, so if you are a Green Key hotel with an upcoming submittal period, keep an eye on your inbox for more information. Email greenkey@emiratesgbc.org to learn more.

EmiratesGBC offering Green Hospitality Training

To support UAE hotel properties in reducing their carbon footprint by improving water and energy performances, waste management, education and awareness, Emirates Green Building Council is now offering Green Hospitality Training.

Training modules have been developed in a format that can be tailored to assist any level of the hotel staff, addressing general facts on green hospitality for those less informed, while covering more technical aspects that can support engineering departments and technical staff. The training can also support UAE tourism authorities and professionals for implementation of best practices.  Selection of training modules include: Water Management, Energy Management, Green Procurement, Waste Management, Indoor Air Quality, Sustainable Food and Beverage, Green Housekeeping Practices, and Community Development & CSR.

Hotel groups or properties interested in some or all of the available training modules should contact the EmiratesGBC office for more details.

EmiratesGBC Office Room M-21 is now available for meetings and workshops

If you are interested in using EmiratesGBC office space for a workshop or meeting, please get in touch with us at 04-3468244 or send us an email to office@emiratesgbc.org. The room is fully equipped with AV and provides a nice environment for focused meetings or training workshops.

EmiratesGBC Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings

Click here to learn more about how the Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings can potentially save your facility and/or home millions in utility bills and reduced operational costs.  Copies are available in both English and Arabic for purchase at the EmiratesGBC office.

EmiratesGBC also offers a free copy of the Technical Guidelines, as part of your registration and participation in the Building Retrofit Training Workshop. For more details, please click here to complete registration.

EmiratesGBC in the News


EmiratesGBC builds the case for ‘Nearly Zero Energy Buildings’ with tour of Sustainable Autonomous House

Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, highlighted the Importance of working towards Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs) in collaboration with Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE).

The event titled ‘Building a Case for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings’ was hosted at MBRSC’s Sustainable Autonomous House, the first of its kind house project in the UAE, developed to be self-sufficient and completely independent of the electricity grid. Harnessing autonomous energy from the sun and depending on smart technical and engineering solutions to adapt to hot and humid climate challenges, the Sustainable Autonomous House serves as a model for nZEBs.

The event was attended by government representatives as well as several real estate developers, with a discussion on nZEBs, their importance and how the UAE can promote nZEBs. EmiratesGBC also highlighted the findings of its report, ‘Defining Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in the UAE – 2017,’ which identified that the UAE is aligned with the global timeline to adopt nZEBs.

Read more

The Best Renewable Green Stories Of 2017

For the month of December, we’ve compiled the best feature stories of the year. In case you’ve missed our exclusive interviews with the world leaders in their respective engineering fields the past seven months, now is the chance to catch up, get to know them and feel inspired by their journeys. In Renewable Green Leaders, don’t miss out on the individuals and companies we’ve featured in our cover stories: the new heroes who are shaping the global renewable energy landscape from REN21, WWEA and EKOenergy, the Chairman of Emirates Green Building Council, Saeed Al Abbar, ACWA Power, Dubai Carbon, Enel Green Power, CHINT Electrics’ Chairman, Nan Cunhui and DEWA.

Read more

Green values come as second nature to UAE schools

Two weeks ago, a roundtable was held by EGBC in the presence of the school and environmental leaders, to discuss what it really means for a school to be ‘green’.

A white paper on the sustainability of schools in the UAE will soon be released by the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC).

Two weeks ago, a roundtable was held by EGBC in the presence of the school and environmental leaders, to discuss what it really means for a school to be ‘green’.

Charles Blaschke, managing director of Taka Solutions (the corporate partner of EGBC), said that “being green” is not limited to saving energy. There are many other factors that play a role, including the elimination of noise pollution, usage of LED lights, ensuring clean air quality, which are some among the many.   Read more

White paper to evaluate schools’ green efforts

White paper on the state of schools in the UAE will be released next month by the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC), which will reveal where schools stand in terms of being green.

Although, a round table by the EGBC has already revealed that majority of schools in the country need improvement when it comes to being green. Only 75 schools are registered as eco-schools out of the 1,316 school buildings in the UAE and only seven are LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design registered.

Experts at the roundtable also pointed out the negative impacts a poor environment can have on students, including noise pollution which causes disruption to a child’s learning, and poor air quality within schools that can create health issues for the students. Read more

Emirates Green Building Council hosts roundtable on the ‘State of Our Schools’ to promote green schools in the UAE

The UAE’s strongest advocates of green schools met in Dubai to discuss the ‘State of Our Schools’ with the goal of creating a national vision of healthy, high performance schools that are conducive to learning while saving energy, resources and money.

The ‘State of Our Schools’ roundtable, held at the Sheraton Dubai Mall of Emirates, was hosted by the Emirates Coalition for Green Schools, part of the Global Coalition for Green Schools, comprising green building councils and like-minded organisations that aim to equip communities with resources and support to achieve the UAE vision of ‘ensuring that every child in the UAE has the opportunity to learn in a green school within this generation.’  Read more …

Local News


Dubai gets certified by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group in reducing climate change

Dubai has achieved a new milestone in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions, in getting certified by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. C40 is a leading global network of cities committed to tackling climate change and protecting the planet. The network was established in 2005, and includes 75 major cities that have worked to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions through sharing knowledge and best practices among themselves.

Dubai joined the world’s C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group in 2015, becoming part of an elite group of the world’s cities committed to fighting climate change. This is a recognition of the city’s advanced role in environmental protection, and an acknowledgement of its plans and programmes to reduce GHG emissions that pose a threat to the climate worldwide. The world’s major cities present an annual report on GHG data, as well as reduction targets through the Greenhouse Gas protocol, which supports best performances and practices.

Read more

Building up to 2018: Trends for the Building Industry in the Year Ahead

With 2017 in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for the building industry to set its sights on the year ahead. Whilst still challenging, the last 12 months have definitely seen an uptick in the market as regional governments and the private sector have adapted to the new paradigm of lower oil prices and set in place strategies and programs that provide a more economically sustainable development pathway.  As a result of these programs, the coming year holds much promise for the industry particularly for those well placed to capitalise on the new trends in the market. Despite this, the lower levels of liquidity in the market is certainly driving regional government and private developers to be very strategic with their investment decisions. To quote Charles Darwin, ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.’

Read more…

Smart Dubai wins Project City Award in Barcelona

The Smart Dubai Office, SDO, has scooped the prestigious City Project Award for the Dubai Blockchain Strategy at the recent Smart Cities Expo and World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, following fierce competition against 308 projects from 58 countries.

The award recognizes the most innovative and successful projects that are already being implemented or developed in any specific urban development area. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy, seeks to make the Dubai Government the first in the world to conduct 100 percent of its transactions online encrypted database by the year 2020.  Read more 

Regional & International News


Why The Future of The MEP Industry Matters To The Green Construction Business

For this month’s HVACR Leaders, we are featuring Drake and Scull International PJSC. Find out why the future of the MEP industry matters to the green construction business. In this exclusive interview with Sameer Daoud, the Group Chief Development Officer and Managing Director of the company, learn more about its recent achievements and iconic projects, Sameer’s opinion on the current and future state of the MEP market, his thoughts on the biggest challenges Drake and Scull International will be facing in the next 12 months and how the MEP industry contributes to green construction and sustainability targets.

Read more …

Chief sustainability officers: Fighting the good fight

Companies are under more pressure than ever to be good corporate citizens, but in truth, sustainability is complex, expensive, and hard work. Three people at the frontline of the sustainability fight share their strategies for success.

Read more …

The future of plastics: reusing the bad and encouraging the good

Plastics have got themselves a bad name, mainly for two reasons: most are made from petroleum and they end up as litter in the environment.

However, both of these are quite avoidable. An increased focus on bio-derived and degradable composites as well as recycling could lessen pollution and, in fact, plastics could make a positive contribution to the environment.

Read more …

WorldGBC Annual Report 2016/17

The World Green Building Council’s Annual Report for 2016/17 outlines the major achievements of the organisation and its global network of Green Building Councils.

The report details the progress we have made as a movement over the past year, including putting in place Regional Heads in all five of our Regional Networks; providing thought leadership, global influence, research and resources through our global projects; reaching an estimated potential 24 million people through World Green Building Week 2017; and strengthening our governance to ensure that every member GBC has a voice in the organisation and our Board holds us to account on delivering our mission.

As our CEO Terri Wills and Chairman Tai Lee Siang remark in their foreword to this year’s report: “Looking back on the last year, we both are filled with amazement at the accomplishments of our movement in such a short time. We feel incredibly fortunate to work with such a passionate, inspirational, dedicated, action-oriented, diverse – and fun – global community. Never has there been a group of people better poised to transform the world’s built environment than today.”  Read more …

Google Renewable Energy: Now at 100 Percent

The increased interest that consumers have shown in making a positive impact on the planet has lead to the revolution of corporate social responsibility across all industries. Google is not the only company working toward sustainability through their business model.

Amazon, for example, is currently building a wind farm in Texas that houses over 100 turbines and will add enough clean energy to the local grid to power 90,000 American homes for a year.

Facebook is another company on the path to a more sustainable country with their data center currently under construction. The massive center, slated to open in 2019, will source 100 percent renewable energy as well.

Read more …

Wear with care: Stella McCartney helps redesign climate-friendly fashion

Fashion designer Stella McCartney and record-breaking sailor Ellen MacArthur call for industry to reform its wasteful, polluting ways

LONDON, Nov 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The fashion industry urgently needs to reform its wasteful, polluting ways, British designer Stella McCartney and record-breaking sailor Ellen MacArthur said on Tuesday.

With global clothing sales doubling since 2000, people now wear each item far fewer times, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation said, calling for items ranging from T-shirts to jeans to be designed differently and reused more.

The charity, established in 2010, has pioneered a shift toward a “circular economy” in which raw materials and products are repeatedly reused to reduce waste and pollution.

Read more …

UNEP’s Erik Solheim: Putting landscapes first to green up the environment

Only a few months before the 2017 UN climate conference in Bonn, Germany, some of the most devastating environmental disasters the world has seen occurred after intense rains caused severe flooding in South Asia, and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria led to unprecedented flooding and damage in the Caribbean and the United States.

“We see Mother Earth fighting back,” said Erik Solheim, head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in a recent speech, making reference to the intensity of the deadly storms, widely attributed to climate change.  Read more …