EmiratesGBC Newsletter

A Letter from the Chairman …

EGBC Chairman

A Letter from the Chairman…

Dear Members and Industry Supporters,

January 2018 saw global leaders and experts gathering in the United Arab Emirates for the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), taking place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.  This year, the Summit focused on ‘Driving the Global Energy Transformation’ and with representation from 175 countries provided a platform for global dialogue on decarbonising the global economy. EmiratesGBC was an active participant in the Summit and was proud to be the knowledge partner to the Energy Efficiency Expo at WFES.

The start of the new year saw a number of new members join the Council and our green building movement and I welcome you all on board for 2018.  We are looking forward to furthering the UAE’s sustainable development agenda through our combined efforts.

Earlier this month, senior representatives of the EmiratesGBC headed to the Dead Sea in Jordan to participate in a first of its kind regional roundtable for Advancing Net Zero, a WorldGBC global project which “aims to promote and support the acceleration of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050”.  A total of nine GBC’s from the MENA region participated with the goal of exploring innovative ways to promote the need for zero emission buildings.  The workshop was led by WorldGBC and graciously hosted by JordanGBC.

Following from this and in line with global and national agendas, EmiratesGBC has set a key objective for 2018 of creating a Centre of Excellence for net-zero energy buildings, which builds on the release of our Defining Nearly Energy Zero Buildings – 2017 Report.   We look forward to the active participation and support of our members in this very important program.

On a final note, the 2018 MENA Green Building Awards has extended its submission deadline to February 15, 2018.  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.  The awards are endorsed by WorldGBC and in partnership with six MENA Green Building Councils.


Saeed Al Abbar

EmiratesGBC News and Updates

BEA Benchmarking Project – Call for Participation and Call for Sponsors

We are pleased to invite Hotels, Shopping Malls and Schools in Dubai to participate in the EmiratesGBC Energy Benchmarking Project carried out in a partnership with Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, a project supporting Dubai’s participation in the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA). Dubai is the only city in the Middle East that has committed to the Building Efficiency Accelerator, a global initiative under the United Nations program Sustainable Energy for All.

Under this initiative, we will benchmark at least 100 buildings in three focus groups (Hotels, Schools and Shopping Malls). All participants will receive tailored scorecards to assess their performance metrics against the city average. Learn more about the Benchmarking Project here and in the FAQs. To participate in this project, contact the EmiratesGBC office at 04-3468244 or send an email with your interest to BEA@emiratesgbc.org.

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

2018 MENA Green Building Awards: New Categories; Applications Deadline Extended

Organised by Emirates Green Building Council, endorsed by World Green Building Council and in partnership with six supporting MENA Green Building Councils. the deadline for submissions has been extended to February 15, 2018, by midnight (UAE time).

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!

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

The 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 15th 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. 

Endorsed by WorldGBC and in partnership with MENA GBCs: 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 1 March 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.

EmiratesGBC attends WorldGBC MENA Network Meeting and Net Zero Workshop

An inaugural roundtable event aimed at advancing net zero carbon buildings in the MENA region took place 10-11 January in the Dead Sea, Jordan, in coordination with World Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero project and with the support of Green Building Councils (GBCs) across the region.

In line with the global project’s aim to accelerate the uptake of net zero carbon buildings to 100% by 2050, the roundtable addressed the pioneering Advancing Net Zero project, the opportunities for greater collaboration towards increasing net-zero buildings in the region, as well as global trends towards reducing emissions from the built environment.  During the event, EmiratesGBC also presented its study on Defining Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in the UAE.

The roundtable provided an opportunity to learn about opportunities and challenges in the MENA region, in addition to encouraging regional cooperation and investments in MENA building sector.  As a result of the event, MENA GBCs have agreed on collaborative efforts to further the important work of Advancing Net Zero in the region.  A regional project will be rolled out in the coming months.

The roundtable was sponsored by Majid Al Futtaim and was followed by a regional meeting whereby all regional GBCs provided updates on their latest developments and joint ventures.

3rd Annual Green Building Industry Forum for Students

In 2015, EmiratesGBC and Heriot-Watt University Dubai met up to brainstorm ways to provide advice to current students on how to specialize in skill sets relevant to the green building industry and why pursuing a career in sustainability is a good idea.  Now in its third year running, the 2018 Green Building Industry Forum for Students was attended by students from Heriot-Watt, BITS Pilani and RIT. A huge thank you to our corporate members who participated as panellists: Venkatesh Ramamoorthy, Business Development Manager Construction Chemicals, BASF; Maria Malo, Business Development Manager Middle East & Africa, AkzoNobel; Jesus Gutierrez, Founder & CEO, Smart4Power; Vince Robinson, Specification Consultant, MAPEI Construction Chemicals.

WFES 2018 – Thank you to our members who joined the EmiratesGBC Energy Efficiency Pavillion

Emirates Green Building Council would like to thank AAF International Air Filtration Systems, Spiralite – Khansaheb Industries and Fujairah Rockwool Factory for joining our pavilion at the Energy Efficiency Expo at World Future Energy Summit from January 15-18th in Abu Dhabi.  During the event, we were proud to participate in the Tech Talks theatre through the delivery of two presentations to the green building industry: Defining Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in the UAE & Building Efficiency Accelerator Benchmarking Program.

Summertown Headquarters: Learnings from a Sustainable Organization

On January 9th, EmiratesGBC’s 2018 education program kicked off with a LEED O+M Tour of Summertown Interiors Headquarters. We were graciously hosted by the team led by Marcos Bish, Managing Director, who shared his philosophy of leading an engaged team in the workplace to ensure the wellbeing and environmentally friendly practices. The Summertown Interiors team truly takes sustainability seriously, and not just in terms of the design, fit-out and maintenance of the building. While there, we explored the mechanisms of their electric car charging station, newly installed pantry faucet filter for a plastic-free office, and the company adopted company cat.

BRT Program: Success of the Dubai Session & Upcoming 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! We have an upcoming BRT session for 8th February 2018 in Dubai; followed by another session on 17th April in Abu Dhabi. Please visit the BRT calender page for 2018 upcoming dates and register your interest.

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 with emphasis on Audits, HVAC, Envelope, Air Quality, Solar PV/T, Water, Waste, and Management.

EmiratesGBC is Hiring!

EmiratesGBC is looking for qualified green building professionals to join our dynamic and energetic team.  If you are a motivated and enthusiastic professional committed to a career in which you will have a lasting positive impact, then a position with Emirates Green Building Council may be right for you.  EmiratesGBC is currently recruiting for two positions:  Education Officer and Technical Analyst.

Full job descriptions for both roles can be found on the EmiratesGBC website here.

Your Green Building Tooltips for February 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 “benefit from the thermal heat trapped inside your homes by setting up a drying rack inside, instead of using a dryer”;  it offers you some quality time to reflect on how you just contributed to saving electricity with this simple act.

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.

Our Members

Testimonial: An Article by JT+Partners & why they joined the Council

We always remember our social responsibility. Being a part of the society and active eco-drive initiators, our role is to support any ingenuity associated with sociable sustainable communities.

We will continue to push boundaries to provide value to our clients through sustainable solutions and raising awareness on sociable sustainable communities as panel members, lecturers and speakers.

Emirates GBC is a platform and a pillar for green building movement, where JT+ Partners, as a strong advocate of sustainability, can add value, contribute towards the common vision and ideas in creating sociable environment at urban and micro level as well as contributing to sustainable development in the region by delivering and sharing a knowledge about environmental impact assessing as practitioner.

We will work together with EmiratesGBC to achieve a more sustainable UAE.

EmiratesGBC Technical Workshops

EmiratesGBC December 2017 Technical Workshop

The Technical Brief for December 2017, Sustainability in the Workplace, is available online here. The Technical Workshop was facilitated by Summertown Interiors, a corporate member of EmiratesGBC, and discussed a holistic approach to meeting sustainability in the workplace.

EmiratesGBC January 2018 Technical Workshops – Members Only

January 30th and discussed Sustainable Modular Building Solutions. The workshop provided a global overview of the current state of modular design and construction technique and the various opportunities linked to modular construction.  The workshop brief will be available online in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned!

EmiratesGBC February  2018 Technical Workshops – Members Only

February’s workshop will tackle a hot topic on building insulation fire certification. The facilitator will explain the sustainability advantages of the ETICS and the challenges they faced before achieving the latest Dubai Civil Defence Fire Code. Stay tuned for more information on the announcement and participation details.

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

This month we look at the recently published World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2018, which highlights that environmental risks have grown in prominence over the 13-year history, with all five risks in the environmental category being ranked higher than average for both likelihood and impact over a 10-year horizon. Among the most pressing environmental challenges facing us are extreme weather events and temperatures; pollution of air, soil and water; failures of climate-change mitigation and adaptation; and transition risks as we move to a low-carbon future. The report also includes three new series: Future Shocks, Hindsight and Risk Assessment, which broaden the report’s analytical scope.

Click here to read the report.

Green Key Spotlight

Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure business of Emaar Properties PJSC and Rove Hotels – a joint venture of Meraas Holding and Emaar Properties PJSC, have joined hands with Emirates Green Building Council to secure Green Key certification for 15 of their hotels and leisure assets in Dubai.  EmiratesGBC is the UAE’s National Operator for the Green Key certification, a standard of excellence in the field of environmental sustainability and sustainable operation within the tourism industry.

EmiratesGBC will work with each of the hotel properties and will conduct the first of the Green Key audits in early 2018.  Implementation of the Green Key criteria will be essential, and hotels will be audited the first two years and then every three years to ensure they operate to the standards set by Green Key and continually improve operations and environmental performance.

Supported by both United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UN WTO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Green Key is the largest global eco-label operating in 56 countries as a non-governmental, non-commercial and independent program. Securing the Green Key certification adds value to the hotels and properties and serves as a mark of international recognition of environmental responsibility.

The Green Key Team at EmiratesGBC is gearing up for 2018 to be our strongest year yet. We closed 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

A Green House in the Sky

The EmiratesGBC team kicked off the year with a team building dinner at Cuisinero Uno Restaurant at the newly Green Key certified Steingenberger Hotel in Business Bay Dubai.  It was refreshing to attend a restaurant committed to sustainability in its operations. Before digging into a feast of tapas, the Cuisinero team gave EmiratesGBC a special tour of their terrace greenhouse where they grow vegetables and herbs for the restaurant’s dishes.

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 extends deadline for the 2018 MENA Green Building Awards

Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, has extended the deadline for submissions to its Annual MENA Green Building Awards 2018 until February 15. The platform for this year’s awards are the largest yet in terms of award categories and partnerships from across the region, demonstrating a growing commitment to sustainable building practices.

Read more

Strategic priorities aligned with the UAE Vision 2021 and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

EmiratesGBC outlines 9 priority areas for 2018 to promote sustainable development

Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, has set nine priority areas that will lead its activities throughout 2018. Approved by EmiratesGBC’s Board of Directors, the priority areas have been identified to align with both the UAE’s Vision 2021 National Agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, said: “EmiratesGBC has set our nine priority areas of 2018 after closely examining the UN SDGs and UAE’s 2021 Vision to establish how we can contribute to the global sustainability agenda as well as the UAE’s national priorities. For this reason, each of EmiratesGBC’s priority areas is aligned with a relevant SDG to create a more targeted impact.”

Read more

Emaar Hospitality Group and Rove Hotels join hands with EmiratesGBC for ‘Green Key’ accreditation of 15 hotels & leisure assets

Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure business of Emaar Properties PJSC, and Rove Hotels – a joint venture of Meraas Holding and Emaar Properties PJSC, have joined hands with Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, to secure the ‘Green Key’ certification for all its operational hotels and leisure assets in Dubai.

EmiratesGBC is the UAE’s National Operator for the Green Key certification, a standard of excellence in the field of environmental sustainability and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. The agreement was signed by Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, and Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC.  Read more

RICS and EmiratesGBC collaborate to deliver stable and vibrant marketplace in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.

Sustainable building practices are essential in this region with the significant scope of construction projects under development or in the pipeline. To support sustainability in the built environment, RICS and the Emirates Green Building Council signed a memorandum of understanding recently.

Through this agreement, both organisations will encourage industry best practices, such as the adoption of international standards, including International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) to ensure comparable sustainability metrics.  Read more

Local News


Bee’ah to buy 50 Tesla electric trucks for their waste management fleet

Environmental management company Bee’ah places order for fleet of battery-powered semis as it pushes to cut environmental impact.

Sharjah-based Bee’ah, the region’s fastest-growing environmental management company, will buy 50 Tesla Semi heavy duty electric trucks – the first and largest fleet of the newly unveiled vehicle in the Middle East – the company said at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Read more

Dubai’s Hatta goes solar

The Hatta solar project has enabled building owners to install solar panels on their rooftops to generate electricity from solar power as part of the Shams Dubai initiative. Implemented by Etihad ESCO, it is the largest residential rooftop solar PV project in the region.

The Hatta solar project consists of 640 solar powered villas, supporting the Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan, launched by the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Dubai Carbon has been commissioned by Etihad ESCO to procure, construct, operate and provide maintenance and installation of solar photovoltaic systems for 430 villas in Hatta. Dubai Carbon is replicating its innovative approach through Safaqat, an initiative that aims at enabling UAE home owners and tenants in their transition to solar energy, by offering financing schemes allowing residential solar hopefuls to stay cash flow positive throughout their solar energy journey.

Read more…

Residential buildings in UAE cut energy use by 13%

Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) on Tuesday announced that residential buildings and government facilities in the UAE managed to reduce their energy consumption by 13 per cent in 2017, compared to the previous year.

The encouraging numbers were released during a press conference held at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, as Esma also announced new initiatives to further reduce energy consumption in household appliances of up to 20 per cent for water pumps.

“We will set minimum standards for pump efficiency to ensure energy savings of up to 20 per cent from the current situation,” said Abdullah Al Maeeni, director-general of Esma.   Read more 

Water Pumps Must Be More Efficient: ESMA

Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) on Tuesday announced its energy efficiency regulation for household appliances, which will be applied to all water pumps in the UAE.

Speaking at a press conference on the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Abdullah Al Maeeni, director-general of Esma, said: “We will set minimum standards for pump efficiency to ensure energy savings of up to 20 per cent from the current situation.”

The UAE is one of the top ten importing countries for water pumps. Al Maeeni said Esma will cooperate with inspection bodies at the federal level to ensure registration of the products in the UAE conformity system.  Read more 

Shops to have green corners for energy-efficient products in Abu Dhabi

The initiative aims to slash 20% of the emirate’s consumption of electricity and water by 2030

Special spaces in Abu Dhabi shops will be allocated for displaying only the most energy-efficient and water-saving products to cut consumption levels and protect environment, announced authorities.

The Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), an entity of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), said it has launched the ‘Green Corner’ initiative, with special spaces within shops to promote water-saving and power-efficient products.  Read more 

Here is what a Dubai-Sharjah metro link could mean

A metro link connecting Sharjah with Dubai’s Green Line could reduce traffic on the congested highways between the emirates by more than 30 per cent, a new study has found.

Conducted by Aurecon, a Dubai-based international transport planning firm that works closely with the local transport authorities, the study highlights the economic impact of congestions between the two emirates and shows how a direct link between Al Qiyada metro station and Sharjah City Centre could offset at least a third of the current traffic problems.

Read more 

Regional & International News


An unexpected journey: The rise of net zero carbon buildings in the MENA region

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to visit to Jordan. As we traversed from the Dead Sea, known as the lowest point on Earth, up into the mountains, I was inspired by the emergence of many low carbon building projects. Driven by commercial benefits and optimal climatic conditions, solar and wind farms can be seen across the desert, and roof mounted photovoltaic panels are visible across the skyline of Amman, the capital city. I was delighted to see how the country is already realising the potential for low carbon operations.

Read more …

UK housebuilders to prefabricate hundreds of homes in factories

One of Britain’s major housebuilders is to prefabricate up to a quarter of its homes in a factory, in the latest attempt by the construction industry to tackle the housing shortage.

Berkeley Homes, which builds 4,000 homes a year, is planning to create a facility in Kent next year where builders will work to produce up to 1,000 houses and apartments annually which will then be craned on to sites.

Another company, nHouse, is setting up a factory in Peterborough with the capacity to build 400 homes a year, complete with light fittings, bathrooms, bookshelves and kitchens. Production is expected to start in January.

Read more …

2 degrees of global warming is much worse than 1.5 – this one infographic proves it

CarbonBrief, a UK-based website covering the latest developments in climate science has created an infographic to demonstrate just what the 0.5 degrees Celsius (C) difference could do to the world.

Using data from a study that compared the two temperature changes – the first of its kind – published in Earth System Dynamics, they make a compelling case.

Read more …