Dubai to Retrofit 100k Buildings

TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2014

One of the most lavish places in the world is getting ready to go green.

Dubai, where the gross domestic product is $359 billion or nearly $66,000 per person, plans to retrofit 100,000 buildings in a plan overseen by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy in partnership with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, news outlets are reporting.

The move is part of a plan to diversify Dubai’s energy to comprise 71 percent from natural gas, 12 percent from nuclear power, 12 percent from clean coal, and 5 percent from solar power.

The first phase of the private-public sector project will retrofit 30,000 of those buildings with green technologies for roughly $544.5 million, with total project completion expected by 2030.

The buildings in the first phase were selected because they were dire need of repair and would reap the larger economic and environmental impact.

Retrofitting Options

The council has proposed three options for retrofitting the buildings.

The first allows building owners to finance the process while working with a consulting company to get a complete estimate of future consumption reduction and estimated cost savings.

Ayman Mohammad / Al-Shorfa

Retrofitting buildings on a massive scale is one part of Dubai's plan to reduce its energy demand by 30 percent by 2030.

"The second option hinges on attracting local or international private companies that work in the sector to take charge of the retrofitting and bear its full cost, and profit from operating the consumption monitoring systems, tracking the reduction and retaining the financial differential," Waleed Salman, who chairs the Dubai Green Economy Partnership initiative and the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, told Al-Shorfa.

The final option requires partnerships with local banks to finance the process.

A "Green Financing Fund" initiative, launched by the Supreme Council of Energy, will be used to collect funds in stages to infuse them into the retrofitting operations.

History of the Plan

In June 2013, Emirates Green Building Council proposed garnering funds from financing institutions, insurance agencies, suppliers and regulators to promote the retrofitting of existing buildings as an energy-efficient alternative.

The funding would be made available to landlords who might not otherwise be able to afford to make the necessary changes.

“A concerted industry approach, where stakeholders come together to create a financing scheme will significantly boost the green building sector of the UAE, and in turn contribute to the nation’s sustainable development,” Adnan Sharafi, EmiratesGBC Chairman, said in a press release.

Research conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change found that improving the efficiency of existing buildings had the highest potential for cost-effective reductions in carbon emissions, according to the Green Building Council.

Creating an Agency

During a recent meeting of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, the council decided to create an agency to manage Dubai’s plan to reduce its energy demand by 30 percent by 2030.

The new agency’s name is simply “Efficiency” and will operate under the umbrella of the Supreme Energy Council.

“In the first phase, the agency will oversee retrofitting of government buildings to achieve the vision of the Supreme Council of Energy to make Dubai a model for safe and effective use of energy,” Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, vice-chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy, told Gulf News.

The new agency will also oversee green building construction, district cooling, wastewater reuse, laws and standards to raise efficiency, and energy-efficient street lighting.


Tagged categories: Building Envelope; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Energy efficiency; Green building; Retrofits

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