As a significant area of economic growth and development, the United Arab Emirates – and the city of Dubai in particular – has a substantial role to play in advancing the cause of green building and sustainable development and construction.
The UAE government, it seems, is taking on this challenge. Work on what it says is Dubai’s first green building in the public sector is almost complete.
The building, which takes up a total space of around 340,000 square feet and consists of a basement, ground floor and two additional floors, will be used by the water and civil division at the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).
“In line with the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, we have constructed this building in accordance with the highest green building standards and features in the Emirate,” DEWA chief executive officer and managing director H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said during a recent visit to inspect the building.
Al Maktoum says the new building will be operated through a building management program under which heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units can be managed to automate monitoring operations and conserve energy consumption.
He says the building itself follows the standards of saving electricity and water, and has the ability to generate 600kW of electricity using solar power. The facility is also equipped with high energy efficiency insulative features and smart building systems, and achieves a 50 per cent energy saving through the use of LED technology in lighting.
Water savings of up to 45 per cent will be achieved by recycling the building’s sewerage water.
Furthermore, the building’s location – right next to a metro station which enjoys high connectivity – along with the offering of sufficient bicycle parking spaces for up to half the building’s occupants and the designation of five per cent of its parking spaces for environmentally friendly vehicles, will facilitate efforts for sustainable commuting practices on the part of DEWA personnel.
Dubai is already one of the world’s fastest growing luxury cities while featuring some of extremely interesting architectural designs. Now it seems the city is determined to raise its image when it comes to green buildings and sustainability as well as being a mecca for Middle Eastern commercial activity.
By Ahn Jae Wook