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Issue 33 | APRIL 2013

mission critical Innovative water demand management policies are helping countries across the Middle East and North Africa contend with major shortages

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wind in north africa | blue flag for eco-tourism | 21st century oil | green insulation


EDITOR’S PAGE Publisher Dominic De Sousa COO Nadeem Hood Founder Liam Williams +971 4 375 1511 Editorial Senior Editor Praseeda Nair Reporter Lorraine Bangera Advertising Director Harry Norman +971 4 375 1502 Manager Junaid Rafique +971 4 375 1504 Marketing Commercial Director Gina O’Hara +971 4 375 1513 Manager Jasmine Kyriakou +971 4 375 15XX Design & Photography Senior Designer Marlou Delaben Designer Cris Malapitan Web Development Troy Maagma Maher Waseem Shahzad Production and Circulation James P. Tharian Rochelle Almeida Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC Published by

developing The



cons of abject poverty flood the media daily. The ghost of a lone emaciated woman toting a burnished silver jerry can in sun-weathered hands haunt our collective consciousness at the very mention of water scarcity. In our minds, the jerry can could be a heat-warped bucket or a crude clay pot. What lingers most from an image that powerful is this faceless woman’s desperation as she clings on to the water carrier as if her life depended on it. In most of the developing world, it would be more than her singular life that depended on a canister of water. Women in water-stressed regions walk an average seven kilometres everyday to get water to their families, risking heat stroke, spinal injuries, and their safety in conflict areas. Water scarcity already affects every continent. Almost one-fifth of the world’s population, live in areas of physical scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching this situation. Another 1.6 billion people, or almost one quarter of the world’s population, face economic water shortage (where countries lack the necessary infrastructure to take water from rivers and aquifers). Growing at more than twice the rate of the global population in the last century, water use has skyrocketed, leading to an extreme dearth in economically weak regions across the sun-belt. According to extensive research conducted by the UN, water scarcity is both a natural and man-made phenomenon. These studies claim that there is actually enough freshwater on the planet for our seven billion-strong population, but the problem of scarcity arises because the resource is distributed unevenly across income brackets, while a significant amount is lost as waste, polluted by industrial processes, and unsustainably managed within national borders. Against this global backdrop, we examine water shortage in the MENA in this issue. Considering the exponential number of displaced Syrians flooding into Turkey’s open borders, solutions for sustaining this inflow of refugees in the long term, and resource allocation in the interim period need to be addressed. Other hot-button topics in our April issue include our take on the Shams 1 CSP Power Plant upon its recent inauguration. We also dissect the power of wind in the Maghreb with leaders of industry; meander through the subject of thermal insulation in our built environment at an sector-focussed roundtable; tackle the issue of sustaining our beaches for tourism; round-up Earth Hour events from the month past; and reel in information on up-coming trade shows in the UAE, from WETEX to EcoConstruct 2013.

Head Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 375 1500 Fax: +971 4 365 9986 Web: __________ © Copyright 2013 CPI. All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

Praseeda Nair

Senior Editor

April 2013



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CONTENTS April 2013



16 Meeting targets in the Maghreb Examining how the region’s governments can meet their ambitious renewable targets in the near future

CONSTRUCTION 26 Delta Faucet: Green focus BGreen speaks to Ross Jackson, GM of Delta Faucet, on the company’s drive for sustainability 28 The rubber specialist nora Systems GMBH and their holistic approach to products and services in construction

Watered down truths

31 Green insulation BGreen and EGBC chaired a sectorspecific roundtable discussion as part of a collaborative series: Sustainable solutions

BGreen examines how critical water shortages can be managed through tighter government policies and R&D

News 10 UAE 12 WORLD 14 REALLY?!

COMMENT 22 Louay Dahmash on how Qatar can leverage the run-up to the World Cup 70 Rob Howard on the viability of carbon capture storage technology 74 Mattar Alkaabi on the hidden business opportunity in going green


April 2013







38 Paving the way: ecoConstruct 2013 BGreen catches up with KEO’s Corporate Director of Sustainability, Holley Chant, ahead of ecoConstruct 2013 40 Breathing space As a lead-up to the first edition of the BGreen Seminar Series on indoor air quality, we examine the pervasive nature of sick building syndrome.

SPECIAL FEATURE 42 Watered down truths BGreen examines how critical water shortages can be managed through tighter government policies and R&D 44 Leading the Levant Solutions for equitable distribution of water in the parched Levant 46 Saudi’s pilot project Case study: DynaSand plant

TECHNOLOGY 50 Tomorrow’s technology trends Game-changers in green business

ECO-LEISURE 54 As green as it gets Greg Straw of Earth Architectural Landscapes demonstrates how going green does not have to increase project costs 56 Save the blue EWS-WWF’s Blue Flag programme sweeps the nation


BUSINESS 59 A commitment to sustainability Diversey outlines its expansive portfolio 62 No way but up BGreen visits 3M’s Innovation Centre 66 Good for them, good for you BGreen attends a CSR workshop organised by the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence

OIL & GAS 68 21st century oil Chris Rhodes, expert on energy and environmental issues examines life after oil

SOCIETY 75 The one hour mark Earth Hour in the UAE 77 Green Personality Matt Damon and his pledge for water conservation 78 MENASOL 2013 80 Diary dates 82 Sustainable past Healing herbs April 2013



Expert Panel

His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi

Saeed Alabbar

Thomas Bohlen

LEED AP, Estidama PQP Vice Chairman Emirates Green Building Council Director Alabaar Energy and Sustainability Group

NCARB,LEED AP, BD +C, ESTIDAMA PQP Chief Technical Officer Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development

Dr Michael Krämer

DR Mutasim Nour


Senior Associate Taylor Wessing (Middle East) LLP Legal Counsel Emirates Solar Industry Association

Director of MSc Energy Heriot Watt University, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

Alan Millin

Roderick Wiles


LEED AP, Chartered Engineer consultant/trainer Middle East Facility Management Association

Director - Africa, Middle East, India and Oceania American Hardwood Export Council


Abdulrahman Jawahery President Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company Chairman GPCA Responsible Care Initiative

Environmental Advisor Ajman Government Chief Executive Officer Al Ihsan Charity Centre Chairman International Steering Committee Global Initiative Towards a Sustainable Iraq, UAE

JosE Alberich PARTNER AT Kearney

frank wouters Deputy Director General IRENA

ROb Howard Senior Director Business Consulting for the Middle East and North Africa AspenTech

April 2013

The concept behind the BGreen Expert Panel is to provide a platform for those who are active in encouraging sustainable practices and solutions across industries—the real experts— who can share their views, analyses, and research with our informed readers. We will also be organising quarterly events for the panellists to meet and mingle, while discussing the latest in news, strategies and solutions on focussed topics related to sustainability. Panellists are encouraged to pen their comments, opinions and analyses that

can be published in our magazine, as well as on our website in a portfolio format documenting their contributions. The Panel is constantly growing as we strive to form the ultimate taskforce of decision makers, academicians, consultants and engineers that can encourage a sustainable watershed across industries. If you would like to nominate an expert to join our panel, please email our Editor, Praseeda Nair, at

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Solar energy enhancement The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) welcomed the activation of the world’s largest operational Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) facility to date, as the Middle East turns to clean energy to fuel future growth. The Shams 1 thermosolar plant, in the desert of Abu Dhabi, adds 100 megawatts (MW) of sustainable, renewable electricity to the national grid, which regularly consumes fossil fuels. The 2.5 square kilometer plant was designed and developed by Shams Power Company and is expected to produce enough energy to power 20,000 homes in a joint venture with Masdar (60%), France’s Total (20%) and Spain’s Abengoa Solar (20%). “The UAE’s investment in renewable energy offers the region a pragmatic path to reducing per capita carbon emissions, which are currently among the highest in the world,” said IRENA’s Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin. “Projects like this will also show how renewable energy bolsters the entire value chain – from research and development, to manufacturing, to on-the-ground power projects.” “The inauguration of Shams 1 is a major breakthrough for renewable energy in the Middle East,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar. “Just like the rest of the world, the region is faced with meeting its rising demand for energy, while also working to reduce its carbon footprint. Shams 1 is a significant milestone, as large-scale renewable energy is proving it can deliver electricity that is sustainable, affordable and secure.”

Green emirate Two waste management operators have recently agreed to work together to establish recycling facilities for plastics, wood, and e-waste in Sharjah, and improve waste collection, fleet management, and waste treatment in the country. His Excellency Salim Al Owais, Chairman of Bee’ah, and Dominique Mangin D’Ouince Chairman of Suez Environment, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) after agreeing to exchange valuable information and international practices. With a vision to contribute to a better and cleaner environment for Sharjah, they aim to position Sharjah as the Green Emirate that puts the environment first. This cooperation helps the two companies with a stronger presence to expand their operations and services in the UAE, and to support Bee’ah to attain its zero-waste goal for Sharjah by 2015. Commenting on the agreement, Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO of Suez Environment said, “this partnership confirms that thanks to its permanent efforts in innovation, Suez Environment is able to respond both to the new requirements of its customers in mature countries and in new market with strong growth, and help them to become leaders of environmental performance. This partnership also provides significant growth opportunities for Suez Environment. As our partner, Bee’ah brings significant waste management strengths and will enable us to expand our reach throughout the UAE.”

competing for green designs 23 Interior Design and Architecture university students have entered the “The Sustainable Bathroom in the UAE Competition”, a joint sustainability initiative organised by Delta Faucet Company, a worldwide leader in residential and commercial faucets, The American University in Dubai and AlAbbar Energy & Sustainability Group. The competition, endorsed by UNESCO and in line with the United Nations Decade of Education and Sustainable Development (UNDESD), aims to raise awareness about the region’s ecological footprint which a special focus on water consumption.

April 2013

The competition was launched in conjunction with World Water Day and has attracted 23 students who will submit original bathroom designs in line with the design criteria. The criteria includes water conservation, energy efficiency, water quality, alignment with government regulations and durability of design. The top three winning designs will be announced in June after the top ten entrants present their designs to a judging panel comprised of representatives from Delta Faucet Company, AESG and AUD in May.

Ross Jackson, General Manager of Delta Faucet Company Middle East, said: “As future innovators due to enter the job market in next few years, it is important for students to start thinking about water conservation at this early stage in their lives. The strong response from AUD demonstrates students’ commitment to our shared mission which is encouraging using water responsibly. With knowledge of the UAE’s incredibly high water consumption rate, we all have a part to play and through our partnership with AESG and AUD, we wish to raise as much awareness as possible.”

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decreasing waste Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) statistics show 17% decrease in Ireland’s municipal solid waste generation. The drop in percentage was caused due to the recession and decline in personal consumption within the country. It is assumed that if waste generation is separated from economic growth through national policy, when the economy recovers there will be no associated increase in waste volumes. It is said that compared to the European Union (EU) average, Ireland produces less household waste capita while recycling 40% of its municipal waste. The municipal waste recovery on the other hand has increased by 5% to 47% since 2010. Exempting end-of-life vehicles, the country has achieved all its EU waste recovery targets, but most of the municipal waste gathered was disposed of to landfills while only 73% reported for recovery. To promote sustainability and increase reuse, recovery and recycling of materials, higher end-of-life vehicle targets will be coming soon into effect from January 2015. Dr Jonathan Derham, senior inspector at EPA said that Ireland continually shows a substantial dependence on recovery of municipal waste. Also Ireland’s reliance on landfill might build a barrier between them and their goal of reaching the stringent biodegradable waste diversion targets by 2016.

April 2013

BETTER ENERGY SECURITY The US is emerging as a world leader in advanced hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles as well as fuel-efficient cars and trucks, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports. During a speech at the Argonne National Laboratory, President Barack Obama established a $2 billion Energy Security Trust that invests in the research to make vehicles and fuel technologies of the future cheaper and better. The funds for the Energy Security Trust is already included in the administration’s five year plan, it would come from the royalty revenues generated by oil and gas development in federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf. Obama’s proposal supports research in cost effective technologies like advanced electric vehicles, home-grown bio fuels, fuel cells, and domestically produced natural gas.


Text: Lorraine Bangera


right The

buzz Scientists have found plants like the Coffea use caffeine to manipulate the memory of bees

April 2013


t is not just people who crave a shot of caffeine in the morning; bees want the buzz too. As a defence mechanism against herbivores like garden slugs, plants soon began to help pollinators with low concentrations of long-term memory-enhancing caffeine. Researchers led by Geraldine Wright, a professor of neurobiology at Newcastle University in the UK, concluded

that the nectar of citrus and coffee flowers produce the arabica species used for espresso and filter coffees that contain low doses of caffeine. Caffeine helps cells have a stronger reaction to sensory input which helps in memory formation. The small concentration of caffeine changes the neurons in the bee’s brain which helps it respond to learning and memory tasks. As bees have the ability to learn and remember floral scents and colours to find food, they use the information they gather and connect them with the reward (i.e. caffeine to seek out certain flowers). As the global bee population has been declining in the last few years due of pesticides, it is vital to help the species find a way to regenerate— especially because of the serious consequences the ecosystems and farming industry may face. Understanding how bees keep buzzing on caffeine would help ensure that the insects are able to remember and pollinate the right flowers.



targets Meeting

in the


The profusion of solar and wind sites across North Africa has made the world sit up and take notice of the region’s potential as a global renewable energy hub. Governments across the Maghreb have set domestic targets to boost electricity-generating capacity by 2020. Praseeda Nair writes


cross the valley from the flat-roofed Berber huts peppering the north-Saharan terrain, Morocco’s towering wind turbines are set to stand proud—as an icon of the historically prominent Arab nation’s rebranded global image. The renewables sector in the larger North African region has risen like a phoenix, bringing with it the promise for economic stability through job creation, income diversification, and most palpably, sustainable energy generation for decades to come. A recent Reuters report projects that 40% of Morocco’s energy generating capacity will be from renewables, while Egypt’s goals have been outlined at a more grounded 20%. On paper, these ideals seem well beyond the region’s ken, considering the bullish global economy and the impending deadline of 2020. How will these targets be reached?

April 2013

What will be the dominant solar technology? How will the landscape change with the announcement of the 850-megawatt (MW) wind tender in Morocco? Questions abound.

Obstacles to expansion According to Giuseppe de Beni, Managing Director of Italgen, the governments have defined ambitious targets in terms of installed capacity, which is indicative of their interest in the sector’s economic potential. “Unfortunately if we look at the projects actually implemented in the last years we have to recognise the sector is still well below its potential development. Of course the political uncertainties of some countries in the south Mediterranean rim, and the global economic crisis have limited the role of FDI, but the

main constraints are linked to underdeveloped grid and to a legislative framework not yet defined,” he says. For de Beni, the future of government support for wind power in the region comes from the public sector’s interest in partnering (instead of assisting) private sector players. Khalid Benhamou, Managing Director of Sahara Wind, sees the sector’s growth as being limited by current grid and system absorption capabilities. “Frameworks aimed at developing an industrial integration of the components of a wind power industry will condition the pace and deployment of wind power projects in the region. These represent a prerequisite for regional market integration as well as the deployment of large projects utilising HVDC grid technologies. Due to their HVDC technologies,



12 GW for domestic demand by 2030; 10 GW for export by 2030

electric grid limitations to wind energy developments for these projects are easily overcome.” One of the most important points of discussion for policy makers and private sector players revolves around ways to attract investments, and ensuring that they translate into local industrialisation. “With the lack of carbon taxation on fossil fuels as in the current context, government support for wind power will be driven mostly by social considerations. These will be conditioned by frameworks and policies aimed at generating local employment


0.25 GW by 2016; 1.7 GW by 2030

in the industrial integration of a wind power manufacturing industry,” continues Benhamou.

The political backdrop The sharp descent in wind turbine prices are primarily due to the increase of wind manufacturing capacities with the advent of Chinese manufacturers, and a collapse of the global market linked to the economic crisis. The latter, combined with political events unfolding in the region (such as the Arab Spring) will likely put governments in the Maghreb under pressure. “These could respond

Morocco 2 GW by 2020

either by developing industrial policies adapted to the region’s youth employment challenges (in integrating a green manufacturing sector) or to the contrary by saturating their respective grids with imported turn-key wind projects and pursuing fossil fuels subsidies,” Benhamou suggests.

Looking ahead Major trends have dominated the economics of grid-connected wind turbines in recent years. These include the increase in the size and efficiency of turbines, and a marked decrease in

April 2013





of Ouarzazate solar plant debt covered by IFIs to maintain investor confidence

124 GW

Projected power capacity in MENA by 2017

US$31.2 bn

Total investment in North African power sector for 2013-2017

investment costs. The most crucial development is amplified industry awareness that these projects need to be located in areas where natural conditions dictate them to be the most feasible, rather than artificially creating a market where these resources are scarce. On 21 May 2013, top representatives from across Maghreb will join together at the fourth annual Solar Maghreb and second annual Wind Maghreb Congresses in Rabat, Morocco. The aim of this gathering is to discuss solar and wind power developments in the region, and debate how the future of renewable energy in the Maghreb can potentially shape its economic landscape. Ahead of the two congresses, Deputy Director General of the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA), Frank Wouters; Senior Adviser on International Development at BrightSource Energy and former

Due to its modular nature PV is also the most versatile form of RE�

April 2013

US Ambassador to Morocco (2004 to 2009), Tom Riley; and Managing Director of Global Head of Power at Societe Generale, Allan Baker, attempt to address the open-ended questions in this arena.

With the second Ouarzazate project also being concentrated solar power (CSP) focused, do you see photovoltaic solar power (PV) continuing to play a role in the North African solar market? Frank Wouters: PV will definitely play an important role in the North African market because where it replaces diesel for electricity it saves money and applied in conjunction with buildings it reduces the daily cooling peaks in electricity demand. Due to its modular nature PV is also the most versatile form of RE, with applications ranging from microscale (parking meters, solar pumps) to building integrated PV to large ground based systems. Allan Baker: In most markets we have seen both PV and CSP developing according to economics so it would be reasonable to expect that PV will continue to play a role if the economics work and/or policy supports this. Tom Riley: I think that Masen

expects to have a small PV project as well. I think PV can still play and important role, especially in distributed renewable power (such as on rooftops).

With the winner of the 850MW wind power tender scheduled to be announced this year, do you predict a new surge of wind power projects across North Africa? Frank Wouters: Wind energy is the most mature modern renewable energy technology and has become increasingly cost competitive over the last few years. On good (windy) locations wind energy is in many cases already cheaper than most fossil fuel based electricity generators but manufacturers have increased rotor sizes to be able to also generate cost effective wind energy in moderate wind regimes. Many MENA countries are exploring wind as an option in the renewable energy mix. Allan Baker: I’m not sure. I would say a new surge, but there is clearly a strong wind resource in the region which will continue to be tapped. In the end it is not only about potential - there is an affordability issue so development needs to be balanced with the need for capacity and the ability to



pay for the output.

How do you see renewable power developing in MENA over the next five years? Do you see the government targets for clean energy production being achieved? Frank Wouters: With an ever-increasing number of governments that are developing RE policies and targets, the MENA region will see many interesting developments in the years to come. With further reductions in cost, more and

more projects will make plain economic sense, driving the developments. Lastly, recent investments have shown that there is sufficient capital at reasonable cost available. Allan Baker: This is a complex question as one has to look at how realistic the targets are and the fundamental drivers behind the targets. On the face of it the targets for the region, at least in the case of some countries, look challenging but even if not all the capacity materialises over the envisaged timeframe we still anticipate a very substantial investment in the region which will translate into a significant step towards a lower carbon foot print for the generation sector in a number of countries.

Allan Baker Managing Director of Global Head of Power at Societe Generale

Tom Riley: Success of early projects will be very important. This gives technology providers, governments and lenders confidence to stick with their programmes. Programmes in India got off to a bad start due to weak government support, overstated DNI and unsustainable prices. I am impressed that MENA seems to be aware of this and is designing a programme that can start successfully then continue building on that success. The next three to four years will be critical.

I have been financing power projects for more than 20 years and during that time have looked at everything from small wind and solar to financing of large (4,000MW+) portfolio acquisitions. More recently, the focus of our EMEA business has moved more in the direction of renewable energy although thermal financing remains an important component of our business plan. In North Africa specifically, we have historically financed large-scale thermal plant, including recently a project in Morocco but we also see the potential for large-scale renewable development given the climate characteristics. For this reason we have been focussed on evaluating how we play in this market and what the exact opportunities are for building the business but we have no doubt of the potential.

Timeline 2008: Mediterranean Solar Plan initiated to make EU-MENA energy relations more concrete Article 9 of Renewable Energy Directive initiated to make EU government subsidies of renewable energy imports easier, alongside subsidies of domestic production


Desertec Industry Initiative to lobby for government subsidies of solar energy imports


Moroccan Solar Plan launched, making solar exports possible


Key European governments declare support for solar energy imports from MENA


EU responds to Arab Spring with strong political commitments to improve market access for transition countries in MENA


850 MW wind plant tender to be announced


April 2013

Frank Wouters Deputy Director General, IRENA IRENA is excited about the potential for and activities on renewable energy in the MENA region. We are working on many fronts with stakeholders in the region, such as on resource assessment through our Global Atlas, our policy studies on target setting and socioeconomic value and lastly our work on RE data and statistics to name but a few.

Tom Riley Senior Adviser on International Development at BrightSource Energy and former US Ambassador to Morocco (2004 to 2009) I am focussed on business development for BrightSource in MENA, India and Australia. BrightSource is pre-qualified for a project in Algeria, and we are planning to participate in Masen’s programme in Ouarzazate. We are looking at the Middle East, and have activities in India.

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Comment | Dahmash




Looking at 2022 and beyond, Qatar can leverage the run-up to the World Cup to build the most modern, digitised, and sophisticated construction and operation environment possible. Louay Dahmash, Territory Director, Autodesk Middle East, discusses the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead


atar has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the past few years and is one of the main business and investment destinations in the Middle East. The successful bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, coupled with Qatar National Vision for 2030 programme, helped boost the construction sector and accelerate the country’s longterm infrastructure development programme. This includes a metro and light rail system, railways linking to regional networks, and improvements to the road system.

April 2013

A study by Research and Markets has indicated that Qatar’s construction industry will grow at a rate of 12% per annum until 2015. The construction sector has witnessed a wave of new project announcements where the country is set to spend up to US $150 billion on infrastructure projects as well as hotel, leisure and tourism projects over the next five to six years in preparation for the World Cup. This expansion and economic growth is also expected to drive an increase in population, as new businesses will have to recruit personnel from outside the

country. This in turn will continue to drive demand for residential accommodation.

Challenges and opportunities with Building Information Modelling Projects delivery time is one of the key challenges for most contractors especially leading up to the ambitious World Cup 2022. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an intelligent, modelbased process that provides contractors, designers and engineers with the ability to have

Comment | Dahmash

faster project delivery, efficiency, quality performance, greater predictability, reduces safety risks, and reduced waste – all of these are important factors for the construction industry. Qatar has an opportunity to lead the Middle East in a comprehensive approach to BIM implementation. The country can develop standards, set expectations for deliverables and create training and information infrastructure that highlights the leadership and foresight necessary to transform the construction industry at a perfect time in the country’s history. The approach will both make the current project pipeline more efficient and set Qatar as the standard-bearer in 21st century project delivery going forward. Autodesk, a leader in BIM software, has been active in the Qatari market, focussing on

developing the infrastructure and construction sector. Autodesk’s network of more than 80 channel partners in the Middle East has contributed to the success of customers such as Amana Contracting and Steel Buildings, Robert Bird Group and Dar Al Riyadh adopting and implementing BIM. With BIM, coordinated, consistent information is used throughout the building process to design innovative projects; visualise and simulate real-world appearance, performance and cost; and create more accurate documentation. This data-driven 3D approach helps architects and engineers accelerate sustainable design by using information in building and infrastructure models — gaining insight for more informed decisions from planning through construction and beyond. A market survey conducted in 2010 by buildingSMART ME provides some insight into the state of BIM usage in the Middle East. The survey included respondents from key construction industry sectors operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan. Findings suggest that BIM penetration in the industry is moderate (around 25%) however the level of competency is underdeveloped compared to regions such as Western Europe (36%) and the US (49%). What needs to be taken into consideration is that this figure includes those who use BIM in its most basic capacity, as a tool for a specific purpose and not as an integrated process. Findings also show that the recognition of the value of BIM is strong, with respondents identifying ‘reduction in design errors’ (66%), ‘improved quality control’ (64%) and ‘improved productivity’ (64%) as the primary benefits. The recognition is not necessarily leading to adopting the software. Overall the findings

of the survey represent a market that is optimistic and aware of BIM solutions, but inexperienced in implementing them. Real benefits are recognised, but not necessarily seen as achievable (ROI was identified as one of the least recognised benefits). Concerns regarding the need for training and skilled staff are well founded. This suggests an opportunity to address concerns and tap on competitive advantages in a period where efficiency, accuracy, faster delivery and cost savings are most needed.

Cloud, collaboration and green construction The cloud is the next major disruptor in the industry. Although the concept of cloud computing has existed for decades, the moment has arrived for it to move beyond simply enabling better collaboration or basic officeproductivity applications toward the delivery of entirely new business and creative capabilities. It is also opening up a world of opportunities for smaller players in the construction industry and can help boost local entrepreneurship, which is one of the Qatar’s main aims as it grows the economy. With respect to design, the cloud has already begun to dramatically impact the creative process – enabling the delivery of not only more sophisticated products from an engineering and appearance standpoint, but also helping all parties involved to understand exactly what a product (car, building, bridge, etc.) will look like and how it will perform when produced in the physical world. Designers and engineers are increasingly using the cloud for more refined capabilities such as high-performance rendering, design optimisation, simulation and collaboration that were once the exclusive domain of organisations with access to local high-end computing resources. For example, the Autodesk Building Design Suite contains

April 2013



Comment | Dahmash


products and capabilities that help in the process of designing more energy-efficient facilities. Designers, architects and engineers can perform faster and more accurate energy analysis of multiple building design iterations in the cloud. This also enables building professionals to optimise energy efficiency and support carbon neutrality, which is fast becoming a priority with changing regional laws and the growing requirement for green construction. In addition to this, the government of Qatar is also increasing its focus on ensuring that new buildings and utilities are environmentally friendly. This is clear in the Qatar National Vision 2013 where the government is promoting green urban planning. The Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) is also working on ensuring that existing and planned hotels meet green standards with aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase waste recycling. This emphasis on environment at the national level creates a need for green construction and engineering solutions for developers and contractors. Companies have started using Autodesk 360 cloud offerings to meet green building requirements. Autodesk BIM 360 Glue is a data-centric, cloudbased management solution for building and infrastructure projects that provides easier access to project models and data to support collaborative, multidisciplinary workflows. Using Autodesk’s free tool, Project Vasari, designers can pull in relevant information about sites such as the local climate, prevailing

April 2013

winds and typical weather conditions for different times of year. The weather and related information is overlaid with the site plan. The tool allows the user to set programmatic requirements for the type of structure such as mixeduse or commercial building. From that information, Vasari built-in functions perform a solar analysis on one floor or the entire structure. The architect instantly sees the energy consequences of shifting the building to face a different direction or how chopping a floor into smaller rooms changes the airflow for heating and cooling. They can add more detail such as the height of the ceilings, number of floors, square footage throughout the analysis with speed and ease. Then as the building concept takes shape, see the consequences of those design changes. All this is done before construction and therefore a huge benefit in “staying green.”

Qatar as a game changer Qatar’s National Vision for 2030 includes building the knowledge and skills of its future generations.

This mission is in line with the opportunities created with the economic expansion. The booming construction and infrastructure sectors create a need for more talent and hence a great opportunity to invest in local talent. Growth and resulting construction are likely to continue for the long-term in Qatar, and it’s in the national interest to create the most efficient and sustainable projects and the processes and tools to support them — right now.  This will allow Qatar to be a centre of design, construction and asset management excellence over the long-term.  Rapidly emerging construction markets often take short cuts by failing to establish appropriate construction standards, relying heavily on low-cost labour, and not taking building construction codes seriously.  Using technology and discipline processes Qatar can demonstrate to the rest of the region that these shortcuts are neither necessary nor appropriate to build the infrastructure and buildings of the future.

KONE Eco-efficient solutions ™

KONE Elevators

KONE is the pioneer of eco-efficiency in the elevator industry. For several decades, KONE has led the way in creating innovative solutions that help to significantly cut the energy consumption of buildings. Lifecycle assessments of KONE elevators show that the greatest environmental impact of an elevator stems from the electricity used in the operation of the equipment. Therefore, the key focus area for KONE is to systematically reduce the energy consumption of its elevators with each new product release. Elevators consist mostly of metals and over 90% of this material can be recycled. Supporting green building through energy measurements and calculations KONE MonoSpace elevators have achieved excellent A-class energy efficiency ratings in measurements performed by independent third parties. We offer VDI A-class energy efficiency for our entire elevator range. KONE is focusing on the ongoing development of standards such as ISO/DIS 25745, Energy Performance of Lifts and Escalators, which will define globally agreed criteria for measurement and comparison between different technologies and products in terms of energy consumption. KONE has developed tools to estimate the energy consumption of customer-specific solutions in the design phase of each project. These tools are especially helpful for customers working on green building certified (e.g. LEED, BREEAM) projects.

KONE eco-efficiency milestones • 1987: KONE introduces the V3F frequency converter, improving the energy efficiency of its hoisting machines. • 1991: KONE is the first elevator company to utilize regenerative drives in its elevators. • 1996: KONE invents and launches the first machine-room-less elevator, KONE MonoSpace® , providing up to 70% energy savings compared to conventional technology. • 2005: KONE MonoSpace is the first elevator to include LED lighting as a standard feature. • 2006: KONE unveils the concept of solar powered elevators. • 2009: KONE launches high-performance regenerative drives for a full range of applications. • 2010: KONE receives A-class energy efficiency ratings for its elevators (VDI standard 4707). • 2012: KONE launches completely renewed and more energy efficient KONE EcoDisc ® hoisting machine for the KONE elevators.

KONE follows the latest green building trends through its involvement in green building associations around the world.

KONE elevator energy efficiency performance according to VDI 4707*** KONE N MonoSpace ® KONE S MonoSpace ® KONE N MiniSpace ™ KONE S MiniSpace ™ KONE MiniSpace ™

Environmental impacts during the lifecycle stages of a typical KONE elevator * Raw material production Component manufacturing Use Delivery Maintenance End-of-life treatment

***Guideline issued by the Association of German Engineers

*The calculations are based on an elevator speed of 1,6 m/s, a load of 800 kg, 200,000 starts/year, an average travel height of 14 m, and 18 floors.

KONE Middle East LLC - P.O. Box 21474, Dubai, UAE - Tel. +971 4 2221393 Find out more info on products and local branch listings at




Solutions BGreen speaks with Ross Jackson, general manager at Delta Faucet, on the leading water fixture company’s green focus

BGreen: What are some of Delta Faucet’s strategies when it comes to addressing sustainability in building interiors? Ross Jackson: Delta Faucet is committed to green manufacturing processes and to helping people use water in smarter and more environmentally responsible ways. We place a high priority on products that address today’s environmental concerns, such as accessibility to water, water conservation and water quality. From consciously working to reduce our footprint to developing environmentally-friendly products and technologies that can be included in homes and buildings, we at Delta Faucet Company are committed to doing our part to help sustain the environment. Delta Faucet Company, America’s faucet innovation leader, has been named 2011 WaterSense Manufacturer Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The manufacturer of Delta® and Brizo® branded products was recognised for our outstanding support of the WaterSense programme and on-going commitment to promoting advancements in water efficiency. Within the industry, Delta Faucet Company maintains memberships and is a leading voice in several key trade

April 2013

associations directed toward promoting water conservation, with employees taking active roles in various committees.

BGreen: Are there specific products in your portfolio that address excessive water consumption?

Ross Jackson

Ross Jackson: Delta Faucet has developed several groundbreaking technologies helping to promote water conservation such as H2O Kinetic and Touch2O. The science behind H2Okinetic technology creates a shower experience like no other. With a full range of options to meet the needs of any homeowner, H2Okinetic showerheads are now offered at flow rates of 6 litres per minute, 8 litres per minute, and 10 litres per minute at 5.6 kilogram-force/square centimetre at a rate less than the industry standard of 10 litres per minute thus using up to 40 % less water than their standard counterparts showerheads. Our Touch2O Technology is designed to make it easier to turn on the water flow when hands are messy or turn off the water when it is not needed between tasks, potentially helping to save water. It also helps keep the faucet cleaner while helping to reduce the potential for crosscontamination.

BGreen: Considering Delta Faucet’s global reach, how would you describe the Middle East and North Africa market in responsiveness to water efficient technologies in an international context? Ross Jackson: This region has one of the highest rates of water consumption globally. For this reason, we decided to be socially responsible and highlight this important issue and try to change the way people think about water usage. We recently launched the “Sustainable Bathroom in the UAE” competition together with our partners, American University in Dubai (AUD) and Alabbar Energy & Sustainability Group (AESG). This event coincides with United Nations’ World Water Day which took place on the 22nd March 2013, and the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. The objective of this competition is to engage the decision makers of the future at an early stage to ensure they are actively thinking about sustainable design and water conservation. Through our affiliations with leaders in the green building industry globally, such as PMI, the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the WaterSense Program, we strive to bring water-efficient, sustainable products to market, and educate


We place a high priority on products that address today’s environmental concerns, such as accessibility to water, water conservation and water quality.”

systems such as the Pearl Rating System. I think therefore it is important to offer individuals who are environmentally conscious the choice to behave responsibly when it comes to water without compromising on design and experience.

BGreen: What are some of the key outlets and venues where water saving technologies can be or have been implemented successfully?

BGreen: What would you like to see in the region in terms of sustainability in place (such as stronger regulations, an informed buyer’s market, eco-conscious consumers, etc)?

trade professionals and consumers about water conservation and environmental awareness. Delta Faucet Company sells products in more than 53 countries including 11 markets in the Middle East.

Ross Jackson: We have definitely seen great progress in the region when it comes to promoting sustainable living and we have witnessed a genuine push by the government to implement stricter regulations. In the UAE we have seen organisations such as Estidama promote sustainability through rating

Ross Jackson: I think public places are a great way to implement technologies and promote sustainability. Delta Faucet implemented this strategy in the region by undertaking projects such the Rolex Tower (Twin Towers – Dubai); Al Khaleej Palace Hotel, Dubai; Dubai International Airport (Terminal 2); Jumeirah Lake Tower (Dubai); Kempinski Hotel (Bahrain); and Aramco Building, Dammam. We have supplied a number of global projects with our H2Okintetics water-saving technology and we have written a number of specifications throughout the GCC region including our watersaving innovations. We are currently working on a number of private villas in the UAE besides a number of Residential and Commercial projects.

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rubber specialist


Demonstrating their expertise in sustainability and design, nora systems GmbH develops, manufactures and markets high-quality, resilient floor coverings, shoe components and steptreads under the noraÂŽ brand name


he Weinheim-based company was formed by Freudenberg Bausysteme KG in 2007, and as a global market leader has been shaping the development of rubber floor coverings for many years. In 2012, nora systems with over 1,100 employees recorded a turnover of about â‚Ź205.8 million.

April 2013

Creative interior concepts with innovative designs nora floor coverings are based on high-quality natural and industrial rubber, which is mixed with naturally occurring minerals and other components such as environmentally compatible colour pigments, drawn into blanks, pressed and then vulcanised

under heat and high pressure. This process gives the coverings their permanently resilient qualities and resistant surface. nora floor coverings are practically indestructible, displaying scarcely any signs of wear even after years of intensive use. With more than 300 shades of colour, different surface structures


and inlays for innumerable composition possibilities, the standard nora assortment gives architects, planners and building developers prolific options for creative interior design. Implementing sustainable practices as an intrinsic part of nora’s culture and core values, the company’s product portfolio includes floor covering that boast low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), recycled and recyclable packaging, and green logistics in terms of transporting their finished products in the United States.


Raw materials


A rapidly renewable raw material extracted from the sap of the tropical rubber plant is supplied as compression-moulded bales of rubber, labelled as natural rubber. nora flooring is only purchased from suppliers that are ISO 14001 and 9001 certified.

nora floor coverings are distributed as rolls and as tiles. Tiles are delivered on wooden palettes either loosely or in cardboard boxes that are produced from waste paper and are 100% recyclable. Its rolled goods are supplied on hard paper cores also made of recycled cardboard. Even the secondary packaging is made of recyclable paper. Each roll is supplied on wooden pallets (which are taken back and then reused), that are sealed in recyclable, environmentally friendly polyethylene film. nora floor coverings are GREENGUARD Children + Schools

All-in-one package for clean indoor air The rubber floor coverings are free of PVC, plasticisers (phthalate), and halogens (such as chlorine). This translates to a healthier indoor environment, as the rubber floors are guaranteed not to generate any hydrochloric acid, dioxins or furans. These low emitting adhesives meet the requirements of the South Coast Air Quality Management (SCAQMD), District Rule 1168 required by LEED. Awarded the internationally renowned Blue Angel “for low emissions” eco-label several years ago, nora system blue® is an all-in-one approach to integrate the laying materials together with floor coverings to ensure that negative interaction can be excluded once the flooring has been installed. With nora® pad, we have extended this concept so that our floorings can be cleaned, and their value preserved, by using just water to the total exclusion of cleansing and care.

nora rubber floor coverings are manufactured in state-of-the-art production plants. The production process is designed to conserve resources. In order to reduce water consumption, the water used for cooling the rubber is contained in a closed cycle. Electrical energy and process steam are generated as much as possible in an environmentally friendly power plant, utilising not only highefficiency air filtration systems, but also the principle of combined and power (CHP) cogeneration.

Certified, a high level certification that offers stringent criteria to meet the strict emissions levels as presented by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI). GEI is a worldwide acknowledged institute focusing on healthy indoor environments. All certified products are subjected to regular emissions tests. nora products have also been awarded the Blue Angel ecolabel, one of the most storied and respected eco-labels in the world, which includes strict emissions limits as part of its certification criteria.

Installation and maintenance Thanks to their resilient material, industry-recommended tile sizes, extended life cycles and installation with solvent-free, environmentally compatible acrylic adhesives, nora flooring is designed to be installed efficiently and to stay down for decades without replacement. In addition, nora floor coverings are dimensionally stable, meaning

April 2013




they will not shrink or expand, eliminating the need for welding, which saves time and money. nora rubber floor coverings can be maintained in an environmentallyfriendly and cost-effective manner. Aboout 80% of costs generally associated with floor coverings come from maintenance, and since nora rubber floors do not require any waxing, stripping or finishing, those costs and the impact on the environment are low. Independent studies have shown that life cycle costs of rubber floors are far lower than other resilient floors. With innovative cleaning practices like the nora® pro clean system, you now have a sustainable alternative of maintaining your nora floors with only water, a custom nora cleaning pad and an autoscrubber — thus eliminating the need for harsh cleaners and detergents.

Recycling Recycling is a top priority and aggressive recycling measures result in over 75% total substance recycling. nora rubber flooring can be recycled by specialty firms for use as landing mats, industrial or stable mats and coverings for sports areas. nora floor coverings can be used as substitute fuel instead of gas or oil in thermal power stations, where the energy contained in the combustible material is recovered. nora’s Construction Waste TakeBack Program makes it possible to return waste and scrap material from new installations of nora flooring. When we receive the construction waste, that material is reused in the production of new nora floor coverings, or it is recycled into other products. It can also be used to generate energy. In accordance with LEED standards, nora’s Construction Waste Take-Back Program diverts waste from finding its way to dumpsters and landfills as much as possible and can contribute to LEED Materials and Resources Credits for Construction Waste Management.

April 2013

Workforce nora employees are committed to reducing their carbon footprint. The company’s sustainable operational practices include recycling programmes that encompass paper, bottles, computers and office equipment, as well as the use of recycled shipping materials and office furniture. Lighting motion sensors, low mercury compact fluorescent lights and programmable thermostats contribute to energy conservation. Even the coffee and tea we drink is fair trade.

Over recent years, nora systems have completed a number of projects in the Healthcare, Education, Oil and Gas , Hospitality and Industry market segments.

To improve and support the after sales service of these projects, nora systems is going to open its own regional representative office. The regional office is based in Dubai, and headed by their Regional Manager, Steven McFadden, who can be contacted at


insulation Green

Buildings consume energy exorbitantly, which makes it crucial to focus on insulation as a means of improving energy efficiency. As a cost effective way to reduce energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, elements from passive design to energy efficient glazing and strategic shading can be employed to the same end. BGreen and Emirates green building council chaired a sector-specific roundtable discussion, as part of a collaborative series: sustainable solutions


Christopher Brown

n attendance were Scott Coombes, Director at AESG; Christopher Brown, Vice President at HOK; Graham Barrett, Regional Manager, Wall Systems at BASF; Brown Joseph, Technical Development Manager, Dow Construction Chemicals, IMEA; Ahmed El Bayaa, Regional Sales Manager; and Ahmed Elgendy, Business Development Manager at Caparol Paints LLC.

BGreen: Starting from intuitive design practices to the operation of buildings, renovation and retrofits, how would you say the region is coming to terms with the necessity of green insulation? Scott Coombes: Green building standards, regulations and rating systems, especially when they’re made mandatory, help drive the

industry forward. In Abu Dhabi, for example, a key aspect of Estidama makes it a requirement for all buildings to meet certain energy performance standards. This encourages the project team to consider the building performance at an early stage in the design when simple tweaks in form, massing, orientation and shading can have a significant impact on a building’s energy

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April 2013


and thermal performance. Using energy modeling software, these tweaks can be verified and used to further assess the impact of various optimisation strategies, including decisions and justification for the type of insulation used.

BGreen: Are we then looking at an integrated approach to ensuring building efficiency? Christopher Brown: Integrated design has become another much talked about trend in the industry. There are two mainstays of practice here: the all-encompassing consultants who are do most things in-house, and practices like ourselves (HOK) who do everything from the planning to the construction of the vision. This market is mostly a mixture of multidisciplinary practices and individual practices, so there could be a large team working on a project where sustainability requirements of the client need to be considered on every level. Abu Dhabi is very strong in this regard, but Dubai – not so much. We have green building codes which were first issued in 2008, and they still aren’t going to be implemented until 2014. There’s a strong message being promoted in Dubai, but nothing has been enforced. Clients do not need to lead the discussion. There are a basic series of design steps that all competent designers should be taking. Passive design, for example, is massively neglected in this region. There are very simple tools available within programmes like Revit and Ecotech, which can tell you the basics of smart design, such as ways to orientate your building and so on.

Dubai World Trade Centre

in master planning, there is no reason for these elements to be overlooked. Fundamental planning steps that need to be considered in this region is as simple as asking: “should we build this in the first place?” If we need to build it, what density will we be aiming for, and will it be evenly applied? All these elements get missed out in the conversation, and when we talk about individual building performance, the greater cluster of buildings can be overlooked.

BGreen: Where does the responsibility lie? Christopher Brown: I think it starts with a design team which is confident with their vision, even if the client doesn’t necessarily need an over-the-top green building, there is no need to neglect basic smart design principles. Even

Scott Coombes

BGreen: Speaking of master planning, there has been growing

interest in connecting buildings in the central business district with fully air conditioned above-ground walkways. For example, there are plans in Saudi for Riyadh’s CBD to use 3 kilometre-long sky connectors, similar to those in Hong Kong. Christopher Brown: That’s a good example. Saudi Arabia is not short of ground. The CBDs are building up, just like they are here. But if you look at Hong Kong island, the amount of viable land is very limited, so the incredible

April 2013




(The GCC) is not traditionally an area where all the buildings were covered in glass until about 20 years ago when it became a trend”

density you see is due to the geography of the land – high altitude hills on one side, and the sea on the other. So you either reclaim or build upwards. That’s a necessity-driven development. So high rise structures have its place; it’s very efficient to group buildings like satellite cities. If we take these Asian models and apply them here, it doesn’t necessarily make sense. An 8 to 12-storey building here could still achieve FAR figures of 2 to 3.5. These sky connectors are essentially elevated air conditioned streets. While that meets a need, there a few missing steps in this model. Scott Coombes: The regional design trend over the last decade or so shifted towards tall glass buildings, influenced by modern skyscrapers around the world which usually exist in very different climates. Keeping these buildings cool when it’s 50 degrees and sunny outside is very energy intensive. The growing incentive for energy efficient design is directing the trend back towards traditional and passive design measures, such as good ventilation, thermal massing and

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Brown Joseph

shading. It’s interesting to see that these techniques better reflect some of the older iconic buildings of Dubai, such as the Trade Centre, which employed a number of intuitive design strategies. All of the windows are recessed and shaded during the day, the area of the windows is low, and it’s white so it reflects a lot of light — a lot of logic went into that building. Christopher Brown: (Designers) need to be familiar with crucial design decisions, such as the ratio of solid material to glass. (The GCC) is not traditionally an area where all the buildings were covered in glass until about 20 years ago when it became a trend.

BGreen: What about spandrel panels? How does that mitigate heat build-up?

Graham Barrett

Scott Coombes: Using spandrel panels, architects can design buildings that have a glazed curtain wall exterior while still providing good levels of insulation to the interior. Instead of the curtain wall providing floor-toceiling windows, non-transparent sections can be insulated on the inside, for example, areas near the floor or the suspended ceiling, or where the slab joins the edge of the building. Using spandrel panels is more expensive per square metre than an insulated block wall, but the external glazed appearance can be maintained.

Christopher Brown: Curtain walling is used a lot here for skinning buildings. A lot of the market is driven by speed and the ability for contractors to enclose a building in as short a time period as possible. The client, designer and contractor work together, and it’s natural for them to shy away from more complex interfaces. If you look at a lot of residential construction projects here, you can see stop-start facade construction, where you have two main construction materials (precast or terracotta, for example), and a window system. Because have potentially lower standards of construction in general, designers, contractors, clients may be concerned about that interface as there is a prospective for problems. This could be an ingress of water or ingress of air, for instance. Curtain walls are a good way to skin a high rise building. It’s a convenient solution, but at the end of the day, you end up wrapping a building in glass and no matter how high-performance the glass may be, it requires a balance. If you perform daylight analysis of

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the interior of buildings, you’ll find that we don’t need wall-towall glass.

BGreen: With all these elements and players involved in these decisions, who calls the shots? Christopher Brown: It’s got to be a joint effort. But I do wonder if there is a basic standard in the industry missing. If the industry is better at self regulation, if every engineer or architect would routinely detail or specify a decent thickness of extruded polystyrene, or the air barrier needed, perhaps that could drive change. If there tend to be a lot of lousy doctors, for example, they have to face the consequences of malpractice. No one would give them a slap on the wrist and say “try harder next time”. The industry regulates itself and the government regulates the industry, yet you see so many instances of bad design and detailing here.

BGreen: In your opinion, it’s about exercising initiative as a designer or engineer? Christopher Brown: What excuse do we have as a profession for designing poorly? When we look at initiatives like the Aga Khan Awards, it’s about coming up with solutions to solve fundamental problems creatively. That’s fantastic! They don’t spend a lot of money. It’s more about going back to the basics—clever, but fundamental design. I think with all the products that are currently available in the market, there is really no excuse for not having far better thermal performance.

BGreen: Following your metaphor on doctors, what if all the medication available in the market, are not of the standard or quality expected internationally? In this instance, we’d be talking about building materials. Christopher Brown: We all have to pay the society of engineers an annual fee to ratify our qualifications to get a commercial license from the Dubai Municipality. That verification process could be tighter. You can’t blame everything on the client. You can’t say the client does not spend on design, or specify green standards. Well, what did you go to university for and learn about, if this doesn’t come to you intuitively?

April 2013

BGreen: On the supply side, what would be the major challenges faced by the industry in thermal insulation?

Ahmed El Bayaa

Brown Joseph: I’d see the challenges in two different areas. The existing regulations are inadequate for the energy needs of the region. The second challenge

is where we get involved, in supplying raw materials, and the biggest challenge is the lack of regulations in terms of building materials. For us, sustainability includes the durability of the entire system. For example, we use an EIFS (exterior insulation finishing system) or ETICS (external thermal insulation composite system) for our materials today, but there is no regulatory body to ensure that the right elements and ingredients are included in the products. This could lead to substandard quality products entering in the market, lacking durability. Buildings will need regular maintenance because of this reason. Ahmed El Bayaa: On the same note, we have two different elements to contend with – between the materials that come into the market, and specifications for building systems. There is a clear need to push for proper thermal insulation regulations and basic


requirements. There are so many issues to consider in this respect. Thermal insulation and air leakage are important, just as much as the standards for building materials. Christopher Brown: There are optional credits for building tightness, but it is a fundamental element of any well-designed and well-maintained building and as such, should be a prerequisite. Scott Coombes: In Abu Dhabi it’s an Estidama prerequisite for all villas to meet mandatory envelope tightness requirements. Ahmed El Bayaa: From our discussion with our colleagues and competitors, this process has been honed in the European and American market. We don’t need to reinvent anything. It’s all based on existing practices, principles and technologies. It’s just about opening up the market and regional perceptions. Graham Barrett: There’s never an excuse for poor design or for

choosing substandard building materials. The market is full of internationally tested and approved products that have also been regionally adapted to account for the harsh desert climate. Christopher Brown: We like to use light weight solutions in this region. We talk a lot about solid materials here, but cladding is essential because if you get that wrong, it soaks up energy all day and radiates heat at night. Light weight solutions can be good as long as they are robust. From the supply side, companies have the choice to put in and keep out certain products from the market. Ahmed El Bayaa: The consultant’s role ends at plaster. It’s the owner’s responsibility to then account for the choice of paint. He selects and pays from his pocket. From the industry side, there should be a code of common understanding to advance the buildings here. Otherwise they would need much more investments in the future. If contractors use thermal insulation, they could save 5 to 10% in offsets. Christopher Brown: If every enduser asked a few more questions beyond “what is the rent,” it would help the cause. The push has to come from numerous angles: not just from the government or the industry, but the end-user. Brown Joseph: The highly subsidised energy cost is detrimental for this. The incentives aren’t enough for consumers to adopt some of these technologies. Most of the Gulf countries are at the top of the global list as carbon emitters. They are on the global radar so there is an obligation from the government to do something regarding the country’s footprint. Ahmed Elgendy: There needs to be a level of awareness among tenants to ask informed questions.

Ahmed Elgendy

BGreen: In terms of building materials, we were talking about how there was a need

for regulation. Is this something that research and development from the private sector can fuel? Ahmed El Bayaa: There needs to be an incentive—not just the stick, but the carrot. Companies like ours (Caparol) abide by international standards, but in order to match the demands of the region, we need further incentives. In the paint industry, the incentive is there, the market is there, because the quality is visible and tangible. With thermal insulation, the incentive is still not there. Ahmed Elgendy: This region deals with high UV intensity. It’s humid and hot. You can relate the use of products here to the ones in Florida. If green practices can be commonplace in Florida, there really is no excuse. Graham Barrett: That is an area that is important for this region. Verification and product development need to be specific for this market. The tendency is to bring in products that would work in Germany or the US. Ahmed El Bayaa: This is true. We (Caparol) came here back in ‘98, and had almost one and a half years of failures because of the simple fact that they brought in paint that works in Germany. It would dry the minute the lid was opened. It would dry in application, and would crack on the walls. So the company had to go through R&D for this climate. If a regulatory body was to use the data collected by the private sector, that could definitely help set standards for new entrants in the market. Brown Joseph: Base technologies can be imported, but the manufacturing of local components should occur locally. Over several decades, we (Dow) have realised that product development is necessary for this region, so we invest in supplying suitable raw materials for paints and coatings. Standard resin or binders that could work very well in Germany may not be suitable in the UAE in terms of durability.

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BGreen caught up with Holley Chant, KEO International’s Corporate Director of Sustainability, ahead of this year’s edition of EcoConstruct, to run through key topics facing green construction BGreen: What are some of the key requirements for optimal thermal insulation? Holley Chant: With the ever increasing focus on resource conservation and optimised performance in building legislation, proper design and material selection is  key to meeting the most stringent sustainability regulations. Thermally insulating a building’s facade is a cheap and efficient way of reducing the huge waste in energy experienced each day in a harsh climate such as the UAE.  The main focus for building designers should be to achieve a low overall facade U-value that not only reduces heat loss but also protects the building and its occupants from solar gain. This can be achieved by specifying insulation and glazing that not only insulates but also reflects solar heat. These insulating materials should be highly durable, with zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of less than five. Designers and developers in this region should be aiming for a facade U-value of below 0.3 W/m2/K and a glazing Uvalue of  between 1.6 - 2.0 W/m2/K. The solar heat gain coefficients used to rate glazing for their solar protecting properties should be in the region of 0.2-0.4.  Insulating products of this nature are readily available in the UAE market today, products and suppliers can be located in the Dubai Municipalities green materials guide available on their website.

BGreen: How can the public sector enforce an industry-wide standard for thermal insulation? Holley Chant: By implementing and enforcing an internationally recognised building code that has best practices for thermal insulation included in it, similar to what is mentioned above. The Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs has a wonderful initiative for Abu Dhabi to adopt the International Building Code, or IBC. The IBC has many criteria that would lead to use of design

April 2013

methods and materials that produce better thermal insulation results in buildings. But the IBC goes beyond thermal insultation-The goal of the DMA IBC is to promote costeffective buildings with greater durability. They do this by covering all aspects of buildings, from energy conservation to safety from hazards like fire. As such a regionally optimised industry-wide standard for thermal insulation would promote both energy efficiency and structural durability. Further, Abu Dhabi has a wonderful platform for conservation in the Pearl Rating System administered by the Estidama team at the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. There is a section in the Pearl Building Rating System which focuses on the energy efficiency of buildings in which the industry-wide thermal insulation standard can be included as one of the requirements to achieve a 1 Pearl Rating.

BGreen: To what extent does the private sector influence the forming of green building regulations?

Holley Chant: The private sector can certainly support forming of green building regulations by having corporate social responsibility commitments to uphold international best practice in how we design and construct the built environment. That way we are prepared to be able to apply international best practice in our execution of our duties as engineers and architects. Further, the private sector can seek out opportunities to help build a green economy by supplying the goods and services required behind green building regulations. It’s already happening in the Gulf and I am proud that Abu Dhabi has been in the forefront of this transformation. As part of a new format this year, a series of presentations and seminars will be held within an open theatre on the exhibition floor throughout the event. These quickfire sessions will run concurrently over three days (16-18 April 2013), and are available free of charge to ecoConstruct Expo visitors. This year’s edition will feature presentations by Robert Cooke, Associate, Sustainability and Alternative Technologies, Buro Happold; Stewart Cash, Partner and Head of Cost and Commercial, EC Harris; William Whistler, Managing Director, Green Building Solutions International; Ivar Krasinski, Design Director, STREDGE; Sherif Anis, President, AIA Middle East, A chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and other leaders of industry.

Farnek Avireal

Total Sustainable Facilities Management Contact Us Over 30 years in the UAE 1700 employees 7 oďŹƒce locations 1 contact number

800 FARNEK (327635) PO Box 5423, Dubai, UAE m

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space Breathing


ou may notice that whenever you’re at work your eyes get watery or you start to get a headache. But soon after you leave the building you feel relief. All these are indicators of the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). It is a situation in which building occupants experience health issues because of time spent in a building. According to a study commissioned in 2007 by the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi and University of North Carolina, air pollution might have been responsible for more than 850 deaths in the UAE that year, of which 250 could be attributed to indoor air pollution. The built environment should ideally look beyond energy and water saving measures, bearing in mind ways of preventing SBS for a truly sustainable living and working space. Indoor air quality is an important factor to consider when planning office interiors as it invariably impacts the overall working environment and well being of staff. A number of factors as varied as a lack of proper housekeeping to the materials used in furniture can affect workplace productivity. It is also important to ensure that the building or office occupancy does not exceed the outlined

Exposure to the mechanical and chemical industrial processes at the advent of the Industrial Revolution was a lethal affair. Factory workers led short and miserable lives in their severe environments, known for contracting various maladies, from consumption to “grinder’s asthma”. We’ve come a long way from those dark days of coal mining and iron distilling, yet sick building syndrome still plagues our concrete workspaces. Deepa Narwani outlines ways around indoor air pollution in the modern context

How to improve office spaces Exposure to pollutants over long periods can increase the risk of serious illnesses, including respiratory problems. Below are a few ways in which indoor air quality can be improved: 1. Air circulation: Make sure that all air vents are free of obstruction and there is room for air to circulate freely. Furniture placed near supply vents can affect airflow. 2. Waste disposal: Dispose of all waste in a proper manner. Leaving waste around the office can result in unpleasant odours and contaminate air. 3. Ventilation hazards: Actions and items that could release unhealthy contaminants should be confined to wellventilated areas. Office equipment, such as copiers and printers, can have damaging emissions as well. 4. Air Conditioner: High quality air filters will remove air pollutants from indoor air when they are properly maintained.

March 2013

number, as crowded offices can also impact air quality. Indoor air quality and environment is one of the six major factors assessed by the US Green Building Council when it comes to LEED certification for interior projects. So it is important to avoid poor quality furniture that can cause pollution and install products and materials with low volatile organic compound (VOC) levels. When it comes to maintenance and housekeeping, cleaning products that are free of toxic solvents don’t emit fumes that could cause air pollution. Designated smoking areas away from the office building can further avoid indoor contamination. Air pollution can also be caused by a general lack of fresh air supply. Having the right ventilation system design at the time of construction and having a maintenance policy that is strictly adhered to, will help monitor the supply of fresh air. Heidi Demuynck, Sales Director, Summertown says: “Every sustainable project starts with preparation of an indoor air quality plan which is adhered to both during and after construction. At the time of building a project, fit-out contractors should investigate existing air conditioning systems, air supply ducts and ventilation units to ensure they allow an adequate flow of fresh

air into the workspace.” She adds: “At our LEED Gold certified showroom, sensors have been installed in closed meeting areas to ensure fresh air is pumped in when carbon dioxide levels are high. In this way, we have been able to provide 30% more fresh air in our offices than ASHRAE standards.” There is no specific research to prove this, but it is logical to say that indoor air quality can be harmed if the level of pollution outdoors is high. If workspace is located in an industrial area or even within a busy city where the air is more polluted, it is likely to damage air quality indoors, especially if when pumping in fresh air from outside. Demuynck says: “At Summertown Interiors, indoor air quality was improved by monitoring carbon levels and increasing fresh air supply. We did this by using lowemitting adhesives, paints and sealants, certified eco-friendly system furniture and seating, and by implementing a two-week flush-out period before occupancy.” Good indoor air quality management practices can make a significant difference in the quality of the office environment. It is dependent on the actions of everyone in the building to ensure a healthy and productive office environment.


Special feature

down truths Watered

Innovative water demand management policies and new technologies that reduce water waste are helping countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) contend with critical shortages

April 2013

Special feature

Water pricing and tariffication are generally problematic in the MENA, as policy makers in many nations in the region believe that paying for water disregards a religious edict that decrees water as a divine gift.”


dearth of annual precipitation and a low per capita volume of renewable water resources singles the MENA region out as the most water-scarce in the world. The global yardstick pegs countries with less than an annual 500 cubic metres of water per person as having reached the “water barrier” — a critical line below which it becomes difficult to survive. Several countries in the region have already fallen below this mark, while others teeter on the edge. Population growth and development trends point to a high likelihood that this situation could worsen. Increased urban migration and the high proportion of youth within national populations all lead to an exponentially increasing demand for water. Economic players — such as manufacturing and industry, a growing tourism sector, and irrigation-dependent agriculture — are also competing for this limited resource, and when this mounting demand meets a fixed and meagre water supply, it will categorically stifle any chance for sustainable economic development.

Water saved equals water increased Dealing with the region’s water crisis must comprise of more than relying on energy intensive seawater desalination. Considering the enormous amounts of water wastage in the MENA, a significantly effective means of increasing available water supply would involve smart domestic water demand management (WDM) programmes. WDM programmes often involve reusing water for uses where water quality may not be a priority, or by changing the timing of water use to avoid wastage. A common use of greywater is for irrigation of crops and landscapes, as a WDM programme to reduce the demand for freshwater. If irrigation is timed at night when there is less evaporation, less of the precious resource will be required. Using efficient technologies such as drip irrigation and low-flow faucets and toilets is another way of reducing water use.

Reforming the pricing and valuation of water delivery is one aspect of WDM. Raising water tariffs to bring them closer to the actual cost of delivering water may bring several benefits, such that higher fees will force consumers to rationalise their water consumption. Increasing tariffs may also generate more revenue to fund improvements of the water system. Upgrading infrastructure, such as leaky or rusty water pipes, may have a significant impact on amplifying the water supply. Water pricing and tariffication are generally problematic in the MENA, as policy makers in many nations in the region believe that paying for water disregards a religious edict that decrees water as a divine gift. The key issue would be to differentiate between paying for water (which may not be culturally acceptable), and paying for the delivery of water services. There’s a growing awareness of WDM in the MENA region, but this has not been occurring widely enough, or strongly enough to avert the looming water crisis. The Water Demand Initiative, or WaDImena, was a vital five-year intra-regional, multi-donor programme designed to address these issues back in 2004. Coordinated and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), WaDImena served as a networking forum for the sharing of knowledge and comparative experiences to sway policy makers to adopt sustainable principles in their processes. Member countries included Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza, Syria, and Yemen. “The paradox of this region was that water was very scarce but also cheap,” explains IDRC programme officer and former WaDImena project manager Hammou Laamrani. The solution since adopted in several countries is to have meters on wells that allow some water to be drawn for free, ensuring fair access for poor farmers. At the same time, distribution fees are imposed for greater use, providing an incentive to conserve water.

April 2013



Special feature

Leading the Levant Learning from experience Adopting a multi-stakeholder approach, WaDImena includes participation by members of government, research institutions, and the greater public. Research grants, in eight of the WaDImena participating countries, are demonstrations of a water demand management strategy or tool, supported by a cost-benefit analysis and integrated with traditional knowledge. Produced at the community level, this research is intended to be scaled up to the policy level, with the results shared regionally. The knowledge base garnered through the project allows for water starved countries to improve the practical application of WDM strategies in specific rural contexts, with a special focus on women and the rural poor. “The idea of using water more efficiently is now on the top of the policy agenda in the Middle East,” says former IDRC programme officer Lamia El-Fattal. “Our work provided the intellectual backbone that made it possible for people to move with confidence in that direction.” According to El-Fattal, “the best way to manage water is to give power to the people who are using it.”  

Influencing policy

New ideas have led to policy changes at many levels. In Jordan, for example, building codes have been changed to require wastewater recycling to be incorporated into new construction. In Morocco, government subsidies for efficient drip-irrigation technologies are also used as a lever to encourage farmers to grow value-added crops that make better use of scarce water.

April 2013

Greywater reuse has helped many small farming families in the Middle East deal with an extreme water shortage, while significantly boosting their incomes. Considering the Levant and Northern Africa’s current geopolitical landscape, this could be a critical solution for equitable distribution of water


he shortage of water has had a crushing economic impact in Jordan, the world’s seventh most water-scarce country. On the outskirts of urban areas, “the domestic water supply is limited to one day a week, and buying water by the tank is very expensive,” says Murad Bino, executive director of the Amman-based Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management. In this parched environment, small farmers lack the water to grow fodder for animals or to water the trees that are essential sources of food and income. Enter researchers from the Inter-Islamic Network, who proposed that “by separating relatively clean water from the ‘black water’ from the toilet, you could develop a new source of water for irrigation,” recalls Naser Faruqui, now director of IDRC’s Innovation, Policy, and Science programme. The scheme hinged on developing a simple household treatment system that diverted greywater from sinks, baths, and laundry facilities “to a number of 160-litre recycled polyethylene containers filled with gravel, and sometimes crushed pop bottles,” Faruqui explains. The bacteria that forms on the stones or crushed bottles then “attacks the contaminants in the wastewater,”

allowing the mostly purified water to be circulated to drip irrigation systems that very sparingly irrigate fruit trees, crops that are eaten cooked, and fodder crops, he says. Early research showed that participating families’ larger crops led to a 10% rise in incomes. Those families also saved 27% on their water bills and, since less water flowed into septic tanks, paid less to have their septic tanks cleaned out. “For people who are very poor, that’s a significant return on their investment,” Faruqui adds.

Greywater’s growing appeal After the success of the pilot projects, Jordan developed quality standards for greywater use. With inspectors now able to ensure that quality targets were being met, public confidence in the process increased. Jordan’s 14-year national water strategy now incorporates greywater recycling in all new construction projects. With these bold water saving moves in place, governments in the Levant began to pay attention. Research and policy changes to accommodate greywater use have also spread to nearby countries, such as Lebanon and Yemen. On the global stage, the World Health Organisation recently published its own standards for greywater use.



GINA O’HARA Commecial Director Email: Tel: +971 (0) 4 375 1513

HARRY NORMAN Director Email: Tel: +971 (0) 4 375 1502

RUAN MARAIS Business Development Manager Email: Tel: +971 (0) 4 375 1499

DEEP KARANI Business Development Manager Email: Tel:+971 (0) 375 1501


Special feature

pilot Saudi’s


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is located in one of the world’s most arid regions, yet beneath the surface lie reserves of fresh water; a resource which worldwide is only now being seen as finite and in need of conservation and protection

Concrete housings for 24 DynaSand units, plus space for an additional 8

April 2013

Final construction of the DynaSand plant

Inlets to the DynaSand plant

Special feature


n a country where desert temperatures can approach 45 degrees Centigrade, this concern is even more immediate. The protection of this life-giving element falls in Dhahran to DUD - Dhahran Utilities Department - which performs a critical function in the distribution of water, the collection of wastewater, and water well maintenance – and in a constant programme of education and support for the principles of water conservation, and to seek ever more effective ways to convince people of the precious value of water. As part of DUD’s continuing campaign to conserve water through reclamation and treatment, last summer the department celebrated the completion of the expansions of Dhahran North Sewage Treatment Plant (NSTP) and the Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (AWTP). Combined, the projects will add 40% to the plants’ treatment volume capacity, and will contribute to the annual saving of billions of gallons of groundwater. The work was undertaken by Saudi Aramco which owns and operates many water reclamation facilities. The NSTP is located in Doha, and the AWTP is located inside the Dhahran community.

One cell in the DynaSand plant

These two plants serve the Saudi Aramco community as well as Doha, Dana, and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). The Dhahran NSTP has been expanded from 8 to 10 million gallons per day (mmgd) to meet anticipated demand by the year 2010; and in line with original plans to increase the recycling of tertiary water, the AWT plant has been expanded from 3 to 10 mmgd. Work at the NST plant included the installation of two additional settling tanks and a bypass overflow line to divert effluent to the emergency pond during heavy rains. About 3 mmgd of the NSTP secondary effluent is further treated at the tertiary level for use in irrigation throughout the community’s planted areas. The expansion activities at the AWT plant included a new 6 mmgd continuous backwash filter, a 1.5 million gallon storage tank, a new irrigation pump station and tertiary distribution piping. The project also replaced the existing hazardous chlorine gas used in both plants with sodium hypochlorite. With the project completed, the AWT plant will be able to recycle 10 mmgd of high quality tertiary water for irrigation purposes, saving approximately 3 billion gallons of precious groundwater every year. In

Dhahran now, 100% of wastewater is treated to a tertiary level and is suitable for irrigation; the effluent pumped out of the NSTP and treated at the secondary level is pumped to the AWTP and treated at the tertiary level. The greatest use for reclaimed water irrigation is for community landscaping and sports fields. Community landscaping includes parks for family activities, common green areas in housing developments, and roadside strips. In Dhahran, some reclaimed water is also used to water resident’s front gardens, and to grow grass turf for use within the community. Abqaig, al-Hasa and Tanijib communities all have tertiary wastewater treatment facilities, and DUD is currently conducting a study to upgrade Rahima and ‘Udhailiyah STPs to a tertiary level. According to Munir M. Rafie, Aramco’s executive director, Community, Buildings and Office Services, this is in line with the company’s interest in the treatment of sanitary drainage water, because of the company’s belief in protecting the health and sanitation of the environment and community. He added that the treatment plants are the most developed in the region, and are operated according to the latest technology available worldwide

Overview of the DynaSand plant

April 2013



Special feature

The filters’ designed flow capacity is 3,950 gallons per minute, equivalent to 897 cubic metres per hour, with maximum capacity some 17% beyond that

Throughout the wastewater treatment and effluent re-use processes, the fitration requirements were met by Nordic Water Products (formerly Waterlink) and that company’s DynaSand continuous sand filter. Its proven reliability with more than 8,000 installations over 10 years, and no moving parts for maintenance, made it the sound choice for this application. A further key advantage is that the filter does not have to be taken out of operation for backwashing or cleaning: simultaneous with the filtration process, fouled sand is cleaned in a dedicated wash process and the suspended solids discharged with the waste water. In the DynaSand filter fouled sand is continuously removed from the filter bed, washed and recycled without interruption to the filtration process. The DynaSand filter is based on the counterflow principle (see diagram). The water to be treated is admitted through the inlet distributor (1) in the lower section of the unit and is cleaned as it flows upward through the sand bed, prior to discharge through the filtrate outlet (2) at the top. The sand containing the entrapped impurities is conveyed from the tapered bottom section of the unit (3), by means of an airlift pump (4), to the sand washer (5) at the top. Cleaning of the sand commences in the pump itself, in which particles of dirt are separated from the sand grains by the turbulent mixing action. The contaminated sand spills from the pump outlet into the washer

April 2013

labyrinth (6), in which it is washed by a small flow of clean water. The impurities are discharged through the wash water outlet (7), while the grains of clean sand (which are heavier) are retained to the sand bed (8). As a result, the bed is in constant downward motion through the unit. Thus, water purification and sand washing both take place continuously, enabling the filter to remain in service without interruption. Twenty-four individual filter modules were installed, each having six square metres of horizontal surface area, to be installed in six concrete cells. The filters’ designed flow capacity is 3,950 gallons per minute, equivalent to 897 cubic metres per hour, with maximum capacity some 17% beyond that.

One of the factors that made this project particularly challenging was that it entailed connecting and installing expansion pipes and equipment inside the plants whilst they were operating at full capacity. David Barrie is Aramco’s Project Engineer for Community Projects Division in Dhahran. He claimed the project’s timescale had also been very tight, but that the team had pulled together to meet it. “The project’s construction period was 19 months, which set a new standard for such projects in Aramco. It was very challenging, but I was fortunate to have an excellent team and a cooperative contractor. After completion, the project was turned over to Dhahran Utilities for operations.”


We take Cleaning to

“Unmatched Heights”






Futurist Dr Patrick Dixon projects game-changing tech trends in green business

April 2013



hen Dr Patrick Dixon really wants a vacation, he chucks his cell phone into a bucket of water. “I live in a very virtual world,” says Dixon, interviewed via Skype in London. Although trained as a physician, he works as a futurist – a business consultant who specialises in global change strategies. Being a futurist requires neither a crystal ball nor tea leaves. Instead, says Dixon, the author of 15 books on management and trends, “I’m constantly sampling humanity’s stream of consciousness.” In his relentless quest to stay ahead of the curve, Dixon taps into both traditional and social

media, including tweets, YouTube, the Financial Times, blogs, New Scientist magazine and even LinkedIn updates. Along the way, he keeps his finger on the pulse of such hot topics as environmental sustainability and the drive for business innovation. Dixon credits another crucial source of information that helps shape his views: the companies with which he works. “I lecture or consult in many different nations every year, and to many different industries. In each case, I work with people who are creating the future, people on the front edge of innovation. They give a perspective that is much sharper than what you would get from other sources.”

Reducing global warming saves money. That’s why the green tech revolution is advancing so fast.”

So what does the future hold? Dixon predicts major progress in green technologies. This moment in history is one of extraordinary opportunities, he says, because concern about the environment is driving both government policy and consumer demand. “Consumers expect their companies to produce products that are greener but no more expensive,” he says. “And they’re getting those products, because innovation can deliver both.” Looking more specifically at the polymer industry, he believes the future could bring carbon reductions through improvements in transportation efficiency. According to a recent study, 30% of British trucks carry nothing at all on their routes. “Even more shocking,” the UK-based author says, “many thousands of trucks carry identical polymers in opposite directions and on the same roads.” Polish polyethylene is being trucked to

April 2013




the UK, while British polyethylene gets trucked to Germany. If chemical suppliers coordinated their routes, he says, more than 100 million kilometres (60 million miles) of trucking could be saved every year in Europe alone. Dixon’s latest book, Sustainagility: How Innovation and Agility Will Save the World (2010), details dozens of ways companies have found to become greener. “Even the most profit-focussed companies have realised that the fastest way to grow is to look after the environment,” he says. “Reducing global warming saves money. That’s why the green tech revolution is advancing so fast.” New fuel-conserving inventions are springing up everywhere, from winglets on airplane wings to nanotechnology that reduces friction inside car engines. In fact, Dixon says, “many of the most exciting innovations are invisible.” Moreover, the way that innovation occurs is shifting. In the past, corporate innovation teams used to lock themselves away until they were ready to apply for a patent. Now, Dixon says,

April 2013

Dr Patrick Dixon

“many of the biggest innovations are happening more openly.” Companies such as HewlettPackard, GlaxoSmithKline and IBM are using open innovation tools, sometimes giving a problem to several universities to crack or even turning to social media. “Many of the world’s greatest challenges are too complicated to be solved by any one company’s research department.” Certainly, the past can help

predict the future in certain ways, Dixon observes. Today’s pension crisis, for example, was set in motion decades ago by Europe’s declining population. “The trouble is,” he says, “that there are big shifts taking place for which we have no history.” Global warming may indeed bring challenges humanity has never before faced. Yet Dixon says companies that are nimble and entrepreneurial can take advantage of upheaval. “The world can change faster than the time it takes for you to organise a board meeting, so you have to plan ahead. In crisis there is opportunity,” he says. “That’s the lesson of history. Some of the greatest fortunes have been made at times of economic meltdown or war or chaos. Companies need leadership teams that are able to make a big leap.” In facing the future, the real key to success is agility, Dixon says. “It’s always having Plan C, because Plan B is not enough. Every sensible leader has at least two backup strategies.” And perhaps two cell phones.

April 2013



green gets As

as it

On Magaruque, a sun-drenched private island off the coast of Mozambique, Greg Straw of Earth Architectural Landscapes demonstrates how going green does not have to increase project costs


hen thinking up ingenious ways to reduce the client’s costs unintentionally turns into green sustainability, you know you have found the best of both worlds and an exceptionally happy client. The client was looking for someone who could conceptualise, design, build and maintain the gardens for the island’s exquisite beach villas. Not surprisingly, Straw had been recommended as a turnkey landscape architect and horticulturist. However, it was here that Straw first discovered his innate ability to turn lavish designer projects into environmentally friendly gardens – and no less lavish at that, but with an emphasis on local up-skilling and sustainable horticulture.

April 2013

On arrival, Straw did the first thing he always does when conceptualising a new project: he cleared his mind of every thought and settled his senses on the natural landscape, the plants endemic to the area, and the lay of the land as he walked around what would soon be a construction site. Straw asked the builders to hold off clearing the site for construction so that he could first build a nursery in order to sidestep the costly need to fly in plants. All plants would be collected from site, which would save them from being destroyed during site prep for the constructors and at the same time saving costs for the client. As part of his design, Straw decided that a staff village was needed alongside the nursery so

that the island’s local inhabitants could be given the opportunity to learn about landscaping and develop skills in horticulture over the two year construction period. Rather than fly in staff from foreign shores, Straw selected local members to assist in the project. They in turn learnt how to transplant endemic plants to the nursery, how to nurture and grow them, and how to condition the soil. “This was how we trained the local people, so that they did not become maintenance staff but rather they became experienced landscapers and horticulturists themselves,” says Straw. Again, rather than import fresh foods at an exorbitant cost, Straw established subsistence farming onsite for the local staff, and in


so doing taught them sustainable techniques that they could take back to their villages and share their new skills and knowledge. They also learned how to make organic compost from the waste products of landscape maintenance and their own food preparation. Minimising plant pests also involved using natural alternatives such as chickens – which Straw supplied, along with a dhow that the locals could use for their own fishing. “The local staff became so vested in the project over the two years that by the time the beach villas

were built and the gardens had been planted, they felt a personal sense of pride and responsibility for the growth and maintenance of those gardens,” he adds. In equal measure, the client was so impressed with the nursery and farming production that the project was extended to supply the lodge’s kitchen and its guests with locally produced and organically grown fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables. The nursery continues to supply the lodge with fresh flowers – again saving the client the cost of fresh cut imports.

Having celebrated the success of such a truly sustainable project, Earth Architectural Landscapes has since established six ecofriendly nurseries in South Africa, Zambia, and Nigeria, with two more in the making for turnkey projects in the Comores and Seychelles. “The best part is that we never started this method to be green bunny huggers”, laughs Straw, “but rather to reduce the client’s costs. Now we have a way to do that and ensure that our carbon footprint is minimised every step of the way.” Landscape Architect and Horticulturist, Greg Straw, founded Earth Architectural Landscapes in 1992. Since then, the Johannesburg-based company has handled projects such as Nelson Mandela’s Qunu and Houghton gardens, focusing on habitat restoration and harmony with nature. Contact Greg Straw at, call +27 11 465 5276, or visit to learn more.

April 2013






Two years ago, the UAE was the first to launch the Blue Flag programme in the region. Today, it has spread to 12 different beaches and marinas across three emirates. Lorraine Bangera reports


he allure of turquoise waters and white sandy shorelines has made the beaches along the UAE coast stand out as a major pull for tourism. When it comes to the longevity of its pristine status, there was a distinct lack of long term preservation planning. The Emirates Wildlife Society –WWF Blue Flag programme has turned this around by concretising sustainability plans across 12 difference beaches in the UAE. The esteemed international award guarantees tourists and residents beaches and marinas are clean and accessible, meeting ecological standards directed towards sustainable development. To achieve the label, a beach or marina has to fulfil many criteria, which include achieving the highest quality in

April 2013

water, environmental education and information, environmental management, safety, and other services. The Blue Flag programme is owned by the non-governmental and non-profit organisation, Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). Launched in the UAE around two years ago with its pilot project, Abu Dhabi Corniche beach, the project has spread to 11 other beaches directly influencing the public, decision makers and tourism operators. A symbol of coastal excellence for over 25 years, it is an important step towards spreading sustainability to the marinas and beaches around the Gulf, while ensuring the protection of these natural sites for people and wildlife.

Starting point The concept of the Blue Flag was incepted in the year 1985, when French coastal municipalities were awarded with the first Blue Flag for abiding by the sewage treatment and bathing water quality criteria. However it was in 1987 during the European Year of the Environment, when the programme was officially launched after the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) presented it to the European Commission. Soon the sewage treatment and bathing water quality were not the only criteria for acquiring the label, environmental management, such as waste management and coastal planning and protection were


added to the yardstick. That year, the Blue Flag was awarded to 244 beaches and 208 marinas in ten European countries. The project spread to international coasts after FEEE became a global organisation and dropped the last E in its name to represent its wider focus – as the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 2001. Since then many organisations and authorities outside Europe have joined the Blue Flag Programme through application processes in FEE.

UAE and the GCC Among the GCC countries, UAE and Jordan are leading the way, with four Blue Flags in Jordan and 12 in the UAE. The national coordinating body in the UAE is the Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF). The National

Committee and National Workshop officially launched Blue Flag in 2010; it not only got the attention of the UAE residents but also generated significant interest from local stakeholders, beach managers and marina managers. Within a year, the UAE had three Blue Flag participants, Abu Dhabi Corniche, Yas Marina, and Al Bandar Marina. In June 2011, they were also the first three coastal areas in the UAE to be awarded the Blue Flag. The Blue Flag plays a major role in affecting UAE’s coastal status in the world. Being a maritime nation with 700 kilometres of coasts, UAE needs the symbol that represents Health Safety and Environment (HSE) quality for its marine ecosystem. The award also helps the beaches and marinas

to be consistently sustainable by expiring after every 12 months. The renewing process reminds the participants to stay in line and not lose track of the green initiative. The Blue Flag beaches and marinas are accessible for UAE residents and tourists alike. The programme ensures the management of these sites and facilitates these areas to be kept clean, safe and protected. It also depends on volunteers in many cases, such as in helping spread the message, participate in activities operated by Blue Flag sites, and in encouraging other coastal sites to adopt the programme. Moaz Sawaf, spokesperson for Blue Flag in the UAE and the project manager of conservation and education at EWS-WWF says,

April 2013




Among the GCC countries, UAE and Jordan are leading the way, with four Blue Flags in Jordan and 12 in the UAE.”

“Blue Flag is a recognised symbol around the world, especially by tourists, as an indicator of coastal excellence. It is important not only for the GCC, but around the world as it seeks to protect coastlines and ensure marine biodiversity is protected.” “Marine life in the gulf region includes not only fish, but dugongs and turtles as well as established corals, which offer a home to many types of fish. However, this ecosystem is subject to habitat destruction, pollution and climate change. Thus, Blue Flag plays an important role in not only safeguarding water quality and teaching people about the importance of caring for the environment, but also in ensuring environmental protection. It also ensures coastal sites are only awarded with the Blue Flag if they adhere to the programme’s strict criteria.”

April 2013

Last October, the UAE celebrated the mark of seven additions to the Blue Flag list, which already included the beach at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi in Dubai, to recognise beaches and marinas across three emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Fujairah), after meeting a number of strict conditions. Sawaf adds, “Flying Blue Flags across the country is not only good for tourism opportunities, but is beneficial for the environment. Since the launch of the Blue Flag in the country, there has been a sustained interest from beach and marina operators in implementing the programme. With this in mind, we continue to work with a number of coastal sites to ensure this Blue Flag is awarded to more areas in the coming seasons. Since the Blue Flags are renewed annually in the UAE, a large part of our remit lies in ensuring those currently awarded sites maintain their certification,

The Blue Flag label has been awarded to 3850 beaches and marinas in 46 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.

while encouraging more coastal destinations to join the programme and work towards becoming Blue Flag certified.” “In addition to the great interest from private and public beaches, we are proud that different municipalities and beach operators are supportive of Blue Flag and have agreed that any future development of beaches will be based on the Blue Flag criteria.” Today there are a number of public and private beaches and marinas in the country actively working towards achieving the Blue Flag for the coming season. EWS-WWF acts like a mentor, working alongside them to ensure they meet the criteria. They also assist those who have already been awarded with the Blue Flag to ensure they continue to meet the programme’s criteria which is to meet stringent international coastal standards.

Blue Flag certified beaches and marinas in the UAE • • • • • • • •

Abu Dhabi Corniche Beach Al Bandar Marina Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Emirates Palace beach and marina Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa beach and marina Jumeirah Open Beach Al Mamzar Beach Park Merdien Al Aqah Beach Resort

business | DIVERSEY

A commitment

tosustainability Balancing people, planet and profit, Diversey outlines its expansive portfolio and the road ahead for sustainable operations across sectors •

Programmes that enhance food safety and healthy care of buildings. Specific initiatives to reduce occupational incidents to zero.

Partners and Certifications We join with local communities and leading non-profit organisations to advance sustainability in the cleaning industry. • Recognition for demonstrated commitment to sustainability by leading organisations. • Community activities to improve human health and environmental sustainability. • Joint development of projects with top environmental, health and safety organisations. • A cleaning system of chemicals, tools and procedures certified for its reduced impact on indoor air quality.

Planet Product Development and Production


roviding sustainable solutions is Diversey’s way to enhance health and safety, reduce environmental impact, and create profitable business growth for our customers. At Diversey, we believe that solutions that protect the environment are good business practice. At the same time, they allow us to deliver on our responsibility to the wider community, a key component of the Diversey ethos.


Health and Safety Our products and systems are designed with health and safety in mind. • Closed-dosing systems that eliminate exposure to chemical concentrates. • Floor care programme that reduces slips and falls. • Ergonomically designed tools and equipment.

We reduce environmental impact by continuously improving our product development and production practices. Reduced 2,800 tonnes of virgin plastic in our bottles over 5 years, the equivalent of meeting the electrical needs of 5,000 homes. Removed ozone depleting compounds (CFCs) and ingredients harmful to

April 2013



business | DIVERSEY

aquatic life (APEOs) far in advance of legislation. Audited and certified under AISE’s Charter for Sustainable Cleaning. Certified R&D and manufacturing sites under ISO/OHSAS.

Profit Products and Packaging We contribute to the profitability of our customers’ operations by helping them manage the health, safety and environmental costs. • Automatic scrubber drier that reduces water use by 50% and energy by 60%. • Low-temperature laundry process saving more than 25% on water and 50 to 90% on heating energy compared to regular process. • Bag-in-a-box packaging that saves 55% on plastic waste in weight, and approximately 70% in volume compared to a 20L canister. • Dry lubricant technology for food and beverage operations that eliminates the use of water and provides better lubrication to conveyor systems.

Innovation We explore and develop innovative solutions to cleaning and hygiene for our customers. • Simple, safe solution for users of small dishwashers to maintain proper dosage. • Highly effective disinfectant that breaks down to water and oxygen. • Concentrated product-inpouch dispensing system that reduces storage space and transport by a factor of 10 compared to comparable products. • Process monitoring and management programmes that save water, energy and detergent in laundry and dishwashing operations. • A three-stage auditing

April 2013

system for better environmental performance, and tighter control of water use and operational costs for the food and beverage industry.

Customer Brand Protection Our products, systems and programmes help protect customers’ key assets, their brand and reputation. • Microfibre cleaning system that reduces threat of bacteria by 99% and minimises hospitalacquired infection risks. • A comprehensive approach to food safety including auditing, consulting, solutions and training to meet high regulatory and certification standards. • Total-plant cleaning and hygiene approach for food and beverage processors that assure quality while conserving water and energy.

How can I be more Sustainable with my Cleaning Chemicals? Introduce concentrates into your cleaning operations to achieve the best possible results - excellent

sustainability, safety, efficiency and over-all cost in use. There are many benefits in switching to concentrates where water is added at the point of use rather than place of manufacture: • Accuracy and ease-of-use help users to predict, control and save cost-in-use. • Products are prepared consistently to the correct specification for optimum cleaning performance, so no under-or overdosing or need for time-consuming and expensive repeat cleaning. • Transportation costs are up to 20 times less. • Warehouse and on-site storage requirements are up to 22 times less. • Reduced packaging, using fewer natural resources and producing lower amounts of waste. • Careful design and coordinated colour-coding of products and platform equipment promotes safety in-use & simplifies training.

business | DIVERSEY

we believe that solutions that protect the environment are good business practice. At the same time, they allow us to deliver on our responsibility to the wider community, a key component of the Diversey ethos.�

Diversey has recently launched two new innovative dosing and dilution systems for building care operations:

innovative 1.4 litre SmartDose closed portable dosing system is an ideal solution for when space is limited, connection to a water supply is impractical or complete portability is required. Its innovative pack design incorporates a patented dualsetting dispenser that doses product accurately and consistently into spray bottles, buckets, sinks or cleaning machines. One SmartDose bottle can deliver up to 700 litres ready to use product.

products but in different packaging and for different types and sizes of sites. All the 3 daily cleaning products are available with EU Flower certification, and chemicals are colour coded to aid safety and use.

QuattroSelect & SmartDose - Use the Same Products but in Different SmartDose - For small/ Platforms medium sites A revolution – using the same

The newly launched and highly

Codes for information: TASKI Sani Cid SD TASKI Sprint Multiuso SD TASKI Jontec 300 SD

Acid General Washroom Cleaner Glass and Hard Surface Cleaner Low Foaming Neutral Floor Cleaner

1.4L 1.4L 1.4L

7517840 7517837 7517833

QuattroSelect - For medium to large sites Perfect for large sites served by centralised cleaning teams of seven or more people using three or four products, where you require simple implementation, full control, safety and speed. QuattroSelect is a dilution control system, and its 2.5L pouches are housed inside a closed, wall-mounted and fully lockable unit, offering the ability to fill spray bottles, buckets and/or scrubber driers at differing dilution rates and speed. The concentrate is automatically diluted with water, giving you the right dilution every time, and providing optimum cleaning capability, control and cost-in-use. Two Pouches delivers up to 2,500 litres of the same product in ready to use format, which means savings in transport and storage, and less packaging waste.

Codes for information: TASKI Sani Cid P-E TASKI Sprint Multiuso P-E TASKI Jontec 300 P-E

General Washroom Cleaner Glass and Hard Surface Cleaner Low Foaming Neutral Floor Cleaner

2 x 2.5L 2 x 2.5L 2 x 2.5L

7517830 7517829 7517828

April 2013




way but No

April 2013


business From the earliest understandings of our place in the solar system, right up to the theories that are pushing the boundaries of our knowledge today, the global markers of progress falls on the inventors and innovators of our age. BGreen visits 3M’s Innovation Centre in Dubai, where constant research and development has proven itself to be the sustainable way forward across industries


n the face of close to a decade of failure, five industrious businessmen behind the Minnesota Mining Company clung to the age-old adage that necessity is the mother of invention, leading to multiple successes on the back of life changing innovations. Rebranded as 3M, the company broke the mould as early as the 1920s with waterproof sandpaper made primarily for the burgeoning automobile industry. In the past century, the global leaders in innovation have supplied solutions for the biggest problems plaguing the construction, aviation, defence, healthcare industries, among others. In Dubai, the company’s Innovation Centre helps address larger regional concerns with local businesses, universities and government entities. “The Innovation Centre is a platform for collaboring between scientists, engineers, policy makers and end-users,” says Manohar Raghavan, Area Leader - Middle East and Africa, Strategic Planning and Marketing Excellence at 3M Gulf, as we tour their office at Internet City. “At the end of the

day, innovation is based on mutual development, addressing customer pain-points in an original way.” According to Raghavan, green innovation in the UAE can grow exponentially if the transient population can be mobilised to take accountability for the nation.

innovation is based on mutual development, addressing customer pain-points in an original way”

“It’s a matter of implementation. Specification guidelines need to be in place. Legislation can concretise frameworks for development. In the UAE, we’re dealing with a large expatriate population, so there’s an element of awareness needed to instill the feeling of ownership. With this, small and medium businesses can begin to view sustainable projects for the long term.” The global target for 3M is a 15% reduction in emissions by 2015, regardless of regional guidelines stipulated in their international

April 2013




The 3M Innovation Centre is an understated office space. it’s subdued in decor and ambience much like its products, where the magic of innovation lies in the little things”

Realising dreams

offices. “We have launched over 9300 projects—and counting. It’s not about breakthrough innovations; it’s about tweaking and modifying existing models to solve everyday problems in key sectors,” he adds. 3M’s worldwide access to engineers and scientists helps them take on a multidisciplinary approach to innovation, leading to over 43000 patents, either published or pending. Raghavan summarises the company’s role in the region as primarily to “define products for local needs, both for industrial applications and for consumer requirements.” Efficient technologies that address environmental, social and economic sustainability have a large role to play in keeping emerging markets on the growth path.

April 2013

The 3M Innovation Centre is an understated office space. It’s subdued in decor and ambience much like its products, where the magic of innovation lies in the little things— from the dirt resistant carpet tiles to the privacy protecting tints. A holographic greeter, projected on a cut-out 3M screen, chirps a friendly hello upon sensing the presence of visitors at the front desk. Within seconds, a tour guide arrives to escort us around the Innovation Centre. The well-lit interior space stretches around the office, housing several terminals with gadgets, gizmos and interactive stations. We are ushered to the centre of the room, where a 3M projector flickers on. Hesitantly slipping on the 3D glasses left on the upholstered stools, we are taken through the ages to ever major milestone achieved by 3M in the past hundred years. The success story is inspirational; stemming from a five-person start-up, 3M has evolved into a five-continent conglomerate. Each terminal presented innovations as varied as fire retardant solvents and structural adhesives, highlighting the

company’s track record in supplying industrial solutions. Each innovation on display is juxtaposed with their alternatives, what made the company adopt certain technologies and their corresponding efficiencies. For example, glass microspheres, used for products such as reflective paint on and road signs are placed beside older alternatives which were less reflective and less effective. 3M first launched the concept of an innovation centre in 1997 at their Japan office. The space is meant to be an open platform for the public to engage with the company’s products first hand. “Materials, adhesive and solvents are hardly noticeable to end-users in finished products. The average man on the street may not realise that his home is in a structurally sound building because of 3M’s skotchkote line, or that he can drive along highways at night because of 3M’s microspheres in reflective paint,” Raghavan explains. The Innovation Centre’s displays allow the public to see 3M’s all-encompassing and varied portfolio from a scientific point of view.

business Business

Milestones of success The young start-up was founded for mining mineral for grinding wheel abrasives at the turn of the 20th century, but with failure tainting their business model, ‘invest now, investigate later’ approach led to years of failure. Switching gears when they did led to a century of breaking records. 1920s: The world’s first waterproof sandpaper, which reduced airborne dusts during automobile manufacturing A second major milestone occurred in 1925 when Richard G. Drew, a young lab assistant, invented masking tape – an innovative step toward diversification and the first of many Scotch® Pressure-Sensitive Tapes. In the following years, technical progress resulted in Scotch® Cellophane Tape for box sealing and soon hundreds of practical uses were discovered. 1940s: 3M was diverted into defence materials for World War II, which was followed by new ventures, such as Scotchlite™ Reflective Sheeting for highway markings, magnetic sound recording tape, filament adhesive tape and the start of 3M’s involvement in the graphic arts field with offset printing plates. 1950s: 3M introduced the ThermoFax™ copying process, Scotchgard™ Fabric Protector, videotape, Scotch-

Brite™ Cleaning Pads and several new electro-mechanical products. 1960s: Dry-silver microfilm was introduced, along with photographic products, carbonless papers, overhead projection systems, and a rapidly growing health care business of medical and dental products. 1970s: Markets further expanded in the 1970s and 1980s into pharmaceuticals, radiology and energy control. 1980: 3M introduced Post-it® Notes, which created a whole new category in the marketplace and changed people’s communication and organisation behaviour forever. 1990s: Sales reached the US$ 15 billion mark. 3M continued to develop an array of innovative products, including immune response modifier pharmaceuticals; brightness enhancement films for electronic displays; and flexible circuits used in inkjet printers, cell phones and other electronic devices. 2004: Sales topped $20 billion for the first time, with innovative new products contributing significantly to growth. Recent innovations include Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, Scotch® Transparent Duct Tape, optical films for LCD televisions and a new family of Scotch-Brite® Cleaning Products that give consumers the right scrubbing power for a host of cleaning jobs.

2007: The Scotch-Brite™ brand introduced the first disposable toilet scrubber with built-in bleach. Other products such as Scotch-Blue™ Painter’s Tape for Corners and Hinges and the Scotch™ Fur Fighter™ Hair Remover designed to grip and trap pet hair embedded in upholstery (2008) continued to exemplify innovative products designed to enhance the home environment. 2008: 3M scientists developed a break-through, ultra-compact LEDilluminated projection engine in 2008 for integration in personal electronic devices, including the 3M™ Micro Professional Mpro 110 projector, which has since evolved through further generations and technical refinements. This was the same year when, in the wake of global concern around potential public health medical emergencies such as an influenza pandemic, various 3M respirators were the first to be cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use by the general public . 2009: 3M’s health care business introduced the 3M™ Littmann® Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200, a next-generation auscultation device featuring Bluetooth technology that wirelessly transfers heart, lung, and other body sounds to software for further analysis. The broad footprint of 3M innovation not only made impact in the field of telemedicine in the health care industry this year, but also in the grinding industry with the introduction of 3M™ Cubitron™ II Fibre Discs and Metal working Belts. Featuring a patented, ceramic abrasive grain shape, the structures of this product increased the life expectancy of the abrasive by as much as four times. 2010: 3M earned the ENERGY STAR® award for the sixth consecutive year in 2010 as more energy-saving operational practices continued, not to mention more innovative products delivering eco-advantages in support of the company’s commitment to sustainability. 2012: 3M’s Renewable Energy Division and Gossamer Space Frames unveiled the world’s largest aperture trough using 3M™ Solar Mirror Film 1100 for concentrated solar power.

April April 2013 2013






for them, good

for you

When weathering tumultuous economic conditions, opportunities for cost savings, revenue generation, and overall brand strength may sound like a pipedream. Adopting corporate environmental responsibility in mitigating the impact of private sector activities can lead to positive returns, as evident at the recently held CSR workshop, organised by the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence. Praseeda nair writes

Ibrahim Al Zubi

April 2013


t’s a lot to ask from three little words. In the past decade, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been positioned as the be-all and end-all for brand management. Motivating the competitive landscape of the marketplace to improve operational efficiency, rethink product designs, and seek out new and innovative technology, CSR has evolved as a core part of the corporate agenda. Based on the successes and failures of the region’s leaders in corporate strategy, the CSR workshop held by the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) was held on 13 and 14 April, leading participants through case studies to help them create a tailor-made programme reflective of their company’s goals and unique selling points. Effective resource management and energy efficiency are major environmental goals that keep the bottom line as healthy as employee morale. The IEMA approved global Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training was followed by an insightful roundtable with distinguished guests expounding the principles of CSR. Leading speakers included Ibrahim Al Zubi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Majid Al Futtaim Properties (MAF), Zack H. Abdi, the Chairman of the CSR Subgroup of the Dubai Quality Group, Vinod Sivaraman, Senior Manager at LG Electronics and Aglaia Ntili, Global Trainings and Partnership Manager, from CSE. The ongoing theme amongst these industry leaders was that environmental CSR investments are no longer

viewed as “optional expenses.” Environmental CSR initiatives maintain corporate sustainability within each industry sector, while achieving growth and enhancing competitive advantages. “One of our main objectives is to lead by example,” says Ibrahim Al Zubi. “We consume 40 to 50% of energy in a building, so imagine super-regional malls which operate for 24 hours. We decided that we need to have focussed areas related to our business which can have a concentrated impact. Based on their successes, we can introduce them to other regions.” For MAF, the cost savings alone were enough to urge them down the green path. “We invested AED 45 million in energy efficiency and with a return on investment in 1.8 years,” Al Zubi told BGreen. Other benefits of a strong CSR programme include customer satisfaction, a good reputation, and a licence to operate. “In Syria, where most people have to walk 2 kilometres to fetch water, it is crucial for us to think about the infrastructure of a mall coming up in that region. We must have renewable solutions and include water recycling and so on,” he adds.

Energy and climate change MAF sees the first focussed area for CSR as managing energy consumption and their role in climate change mitigation. “In 2010

or 2011, we spent over 120 million dirham on energy, water and waste. As we use a lot of energy for our assets, this is a chance to measure and change it,” Al Zubi says.

Water and waste “Water and waste need to be monitored, just as energy consumption. We use a lot of water, and we produce a lot of waste on our sites. The problems we face in each country differs. For example, some countries like Egypt had a 100% recycling rate before swine flu, and even now it’s at 90%. In UAE, waste management is a real struggle because 60% of the total waste we deal with is wet waste. This organic waste is hard to recycle, and it can contaminate other waste, which can make it very difficult to achieve our objectives. This is why segregating waste at the first point is so crucial.”

Health and safety Al Zubi recalls a particular project in Cairo which alerted him of the importance of health and safety as a measure of a company’s strengths. “While finalising a site project, I found in one small, confined area there were more than 7000 labourers. That was a disaster in a way, if something were to go wrong. Health and safety is important, and we need to invest heavily in corporate health and safety policies within and outside the company. Using an accident frequency rate (AFR) as a measure, we can perform audits to ensure the highest standards. We also have targets for each country.” Beyond MAF’s rule abiding approach, Al Zubi highlights the human element in this equation. “Labour conditions are a major issue in this part of the world. If you have been here long enough, you will know the trend of labour accommodation, healthcare and transport,” he says. In the 1990s, the UAE was notorious for poor working and living conditions to the extent that labourers used to be shuffled

from site to site in encased trucks at the height of summer, with little to no ventilation or cooling. Working hours were as harsh as the midday sun, and a long day’s toil went unnoticed as the blue collar workforce fought for bed space in their cramped concrete boxes at nightfall. As far as legislation goes, things have taken a turn for the better. The law stipulates respecting basic human rights, but a lot still rides on private companies to go above and beyond standard requirements. “Now what we try to do is impact the supply chain, so we came up with labour accommodation standards and we make it part of our contract for the supply chain of the leading company in construction for twice a year. They have a month to practice what has been outlined to them, and if they don’t accommodate the changes, we terminate the contract. For example, if you work with MAF, bunk beds are a no go,” Al Zubi specifies. By rallying other companies, MAF set the precedent in improving labourers’ lifestyle and morale. “So that is one of the main things of CSR; the labourers or the workforce with us feel lucky and happy to be a part of the team. We are trying to implement these standards even outside our remit, working with government authorities and other GCC countries to get our experiences implemented into a regulation.”

Community and economic development “Creating jobs, of course, is the main thing for us. This year we are going to measure the socioeconomic impact of the retail sector in the region, and maybe have two malls in Cairo and Dubai as a case study and see how many jobs they can generate,” Al Zubi confides. Career fairs, consultation sessions and feedback forums figure prominently in their strategy for this aspect of CSR. “One of the things that we introduced last year is a capital academy with the International Council for Shopping

Centres, as a training course for the young people of the region on how to manage, run and build a shopping mall. We are giving them the opportunity to learn something from the ICSC and give them a chance to take part in internships in these malls.”

Tenants MAF deals with three categories of tenants: global and multinational tenants, regional tenants, and SMEs or local tenants. According to Al Zubi, global brands have

very strong CSR activities at work, while regional tenants take CSR on board as a way of keeping the brand with them. “Many local SMEs have no idea that they can make a difference, even with a small business. So we created something called the Star Rating for sustainability. One of the criteria includes accessibility, which facilitates the environment for people with special needs. We started rating these SMEs from one to five, and included incentives for encouragement. We audit them free of charge, and sooner, hopefully, it will become a compulsory thing.” Al Zubi sums CSR up as a pillar of strength in any corporate model. “CSR makes businesses more sustainable without compromising the customer’s experience. We are not saying we are only focused on environment, we are saying we can conduct the same business in an energy efficient way.” Even with local examples of extensive CSR in play, most companies in the private sector have a long way to go in turning those three little words into actions.

April 2013




OIL AND GAS Despite decades of being thoroughly maligned by most of the world, the Oil and Gas sector still controls the majority of the planet’s energy resources. In a concerted bid to stretch the lifespan and potential of oil and natural gas sites, many big names in the industry have been making marked efforts to diversify their energy sources and incorporate cleaner technologies. Moving away from a black and white view of sustainability, BGreen presents the symbiotic relationship between renewable and non-renewable resources as the conventional energy sector transitions towards a greener future.

century oil 21st

The era of cheap oil is over. Speaking to Chris Rhodes, an expert on energy and environmental issues, BGreen explains why


K energy expert, Chris Rhodes, sees no easy path to fulfilling oil demand. “The big, easy-tofind fields have been discovered and are now mostly depleted,” he explains. Remaining reserves are thought to lie mostly under the sea rather than onshore and new fields will be smaller than previous discoveries, situated in more difficult environments and where oil will be more challenging to produce. The offshore oil industry learned its game in relatively shallow waters. Down to about 200 metres it is possible to fix a steel platform to the seabed. “But further out you have to start using floating rigs, which are moored to anchors on the seabed,” Rhodes

April 2013

says. “The deepest so far is Shell’s Perdido spar platform, a floater located in 2,500 metres in the Gulf of Mexico.” Operations in depths of 2,000 to 3,000 metres are subject to problems not encountered in shallow waters. “For every 10 metres you go down, the pressure increases by one atmosphere,” Rhodes says. “At 3,000 metres, the pressure is enormous – 300 times what it is at the surface.”


Oil companies are looking increasingly to the Arctic, where geologists believe large oil and gas reserves are situated. Operations here face particular problems, such as sea ice, unbroken darkness in midwinter and extreme cold. Rigs have to be specially winterised to operate in such conditions.

Equipment has to be specially designed and reinforced if it is to run efficiently under such pressure. Because of the many challenges involved in extracting oil from such depths, new production methods are being examined. “Rather than pump the oil and water mixture that comes out of the well to a processing facility at the surface, some oil companies are looking to perform processing on the seabed,” says Rhodes. Companies such as Shell and Norway’s Statoil are looking to create seabed oil-processing plants. This is a worthwhile objective, Rhodes says, but a daunting challenge, involving running an industrial plant on the seabed from a control room many kilometres away. For a start, all the equipment must be highly reliable. Drilling is also problematic in deep waters. The drill string to which the drill bit is attached is made up of interlocking sections of pipe that weigh 30 kilograms per metre. When a rig has five kilometres of drill pipe slung beneath it, that adds up to a weight of 150 tons. “Engineering is needed to find ways of supporting this weight at the surface,” Rhodes explains. Trying to hit oil with the drill bit is no easy task at the best of times, as it involves drilling three to five kilometres on average through layers of rock and sand. “But now we are increasingly going twice that distance,” says Rhodes. The deeper you go, the tougher conditions get, as both pressure and temperature increase to quite extreme proportions. Such conditions create significant

technical challenges, including extreme mechanical stresses on equipment. One solution is to use specialist alloys, but such alloys are expensive. Huge discoveries have been made by Petrobras in the pre-salt layer (a geologic formation of rock deposited prior to the salt layer) off the coast of Brazil. Drillers here face a tough task: From a rig floating in some 2,000 metres of water, they have to drill through 3,000 metres of rock and then a further 2,000 metres of salt before reaching the source rock that contains the hydrocarbons. And salt poses its own problems, Rhodes says. At high temperatures it starts to flow, closing up the well bore. The search for oil is also moving into areas with more extreme weather. This calls for drilling rigs that are better able to withstand the rigors of operating in such a demanding environment.

The cost of failure can be high. Today a well can cost from US$ 100 million to $200 million – a lot of money wasted if it turns out to be a dry hole, Rhodes points out. To help drillers find the sweet spot, further advances are needed in the geophysical sciences and in technology – for example, multidimensional seismic imaging to provide a rough 3D image of the rock beneath the seabed. Immense amounts of data about the subsurface are collected in seismic surveys to throw light on where hydrocarbons might be located. Advances are needed in analytical programs and computational ability in order to maximize the information that can be extracted from the data, says Rhodes. “Technology development is the key if we are to go on finding oil,” he says.

Formerly a university professor, Chris Rhodes now works as an independent consultant advising on energy and environmental issues. BP and Shell are among his clients. Rhodes has BSc and DPhil degrees in chemistry and a higher doctorate in science from the University of Sussex, England. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

April 2013



Comment | Howard


arbon capture technologies have progressed significantly in recent years in the quest to add commercial value to the process industries. Pilot plants funded by government and private organisations across the world are playing their part in the development of operational excellence and regulatory compliance. The drive to reduce carbon emissions more economically is essential if manufacturers wish to lower plant operating costs and minimise impact on the environment. Weighing up the options between meeting environmental needs and commercial goals is one of the dilemmas for many companies. However, the industry can progress lowcarbon energy technologies and help reduce CO2 capture energy penalties imposed by regulatory authorities by working collaboratively. Cooperation between owners and technology vendors leads to a clear commitment to promote competition among suppliers and this also strengthens the initiative to reduce energy and capital costs. Organisations adopting innovative technology can improve their environmental footprint from a production viewpoint and use cleaner fossil fuel technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS). With more projects dedicated to demonstration on an industrial scale, the more likely that CCS will become commercially viable.

Facing the challenge While business leaders may worry that green taxes on pollution could drive companies to re-think their commercial strategy, it is worth reflecting that CCS can represent an opportunity. If CCS technology is to become a standard, then there has to be an opportunity for businesses to generate profit. Just storing CO2 is a cost unless by storing it you can create value. That is what Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) adds to the equation. EOR is a good option because large volumes can be used and the technology is proven. The Apache Weyburn-Midale Project and in the Permian basin in the Southwest USA has demonstrated for years. One of the world’s first operating CCS projects, In Salah in Algeria, is located in the MENA region. The project has sequestered 1 Mtpa of CO2 annually since 2004. Except for this project, most of the region’s activity is in the United Arab Emirates, where the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is driving a number of projects in a staged approach. However, the Kingdom of Bahrain does have one CCS project, but not an integrated one. The captured CO2 has been used for urea and methanol production.

April 2013

This is crucial for the development of the industry and for its long-term future. If the CO2 is simply stored in the ground or dissolved in the ocean, there will be little incentive for companies to invest, other than avoiding the need to pay fines for non-compliance with government regulation. The consensus of opinion across the process industries is that reducing CO2 is a positive move and there is growing interest around the world in the potential of carbon capture and storage (CCS). Engineers can help reduce emissions in several ways: altering manufacturing processes, such that they require less energy to produce the materials we need; improving the efficiency of the entire supply chain, so that energy consumption over the manufacturing lifecycle of a product is reduced and, finally, the efficient removal of CO2 from industrial flue gases and its pipeline transportation to safe disposal locations. Thus, reducing risk and minimising project costs. The tools for modelling these complex interactions, like process simulation and supply chain optimisation applications, are already in use today worldwide.

The drivers of change For any energy or carbon saving technology there has to be a financial benefit for companies operating in market economies. Whilst reducing energy consumption and supply chain efficiency have an obvious commercial incentive, for CCS technology to become a standard, then there has to be an opportunity for businesses to generate profit. Carbon related legislation is still at the development stage, but

Comment / Howard



capture viable

Carbon capture technologies have advanced to the point of being financially sustainable, according to Rob Howard, AspenTech’s Senior Director of Business Consulting for the Middle East and North Africa.

April 2013



Comment | Howard

the consequences of industry and government policy will have economic impact on global oil markets for many years to come. European refineries are facing the combined challenges of declining regional oil demand and the burden of carbon costs as part of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Many refineries are constantly under the threat of being sold or closed due to market forces. Concerns could also increase regarding the issue of ‘carbon leakage’ if European refineries are subjected to international competition and the potential CO2 cost versus gross margin. Japan, on the other hand, has a long history of carbon regulation. In 1997 the Japan Business Federation (Japan Keidanren) developed and agreed to the ‘Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment’, a voluntary emissions cap and trade programme. The goal was to reduce the emission levels of 2010 below those of 1990, with members of the Voluntary Action Program (VAP) setting their own emissions targets. The programme was integrated into Japan’s Voluntary Emissions Trading Scheme (JVETS) in 2005 and was then expanded in October 2008. China, however, has opposed initiatives to set a stringent cap on carbon emissions and is moving toward regulation on carbon per unit of GDP. In the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai launched a long-term national initiative to build a green economy in the UAE under the slogan, “A green economy for sustainable development”. This will cover a wide range of legislation areas, policies, programs and projects. One aspect of this initiative consists of a group of programmes and policies aimed to promote the production and use of renewable energy and related technologies. Another aspect consists of means for dealing with the effects of climate change through policies

April 2013

and programs designed to reduce carbon emissions from industrial and commercial sites. There is also a focus on projects to recycle waste generated by commercial or individual use.

Leading by example

Rob Howard

Technology plays a major role in helping businesses go green, whether it is out of social responsibility or to comply with local laws and save costs. The principle of knowledge sharing is fundamental to CCS demonstration programmes for accelerating technology development and reducing costs. The know‐how and learning from these projects is often a balance between commercial and environmental preservation. However, accelerating the understanding of CCS projects will gain trust by global communities from both the public and companies involved. A prime example of a leading carbon capture project is Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM), which is using aspenONE® software at the world’s largest

industrial-scale facility for testing and improving CO2 capture technologies. TCM uses Aspen Plus® and Aspen IP.21® for planning, follow-up and verification of test programs and results. TCM’s use of the Aspen Plus and Aspen IP.21 product families shows that process manufacturers can reduce carbon emissions more economically, resulting in lower plant operating costs and reduced environmental impact. TCM is owned by the Norwegian Government and leading global energy companies. TCM’s goals are to: 1) test, verify and demonstrate CO2 capture technology owned and marketed by vendors, 2) reduce costs, technical, environmental and financial risks, 3) encourage the development of the market for CO2 capture technology, and 4) aim at international deployment. aspenONE software enables process industry companies to optimise their engineering, manufacturing and supply chain operations. As a result, the world’s leading manufacturers are better able to increase capacity, improve margins, reduce costs and become more energy efficient. The marketleading Aspen Plus process simulator, part of the aspenONE Engineering software suite, helps

Comment | Howard

process manufacturers to model, track and reduce CO2 emissions. The software can transform greenhouse gas emissions from a challenge to an opportunity. As process manufacturers face increasing regulatory requirements, emissions penalties and rising operating costs, manufacturers can turn these challenges into business advantage through reduced energy and emissions costs and by enabling the creation of alternative fuel sources from the emissions. For example, they can use Aspen Plus to create better carbon capture and biofuel process models powered by the most comprehensive physical property database. Improved amine

solvent models enable users to make closer process predictions. With the new Aspen Plus models, customers can improve their designs and optimise them for energy use and carbon loading. Carbon and energy management software helps companies to understand the complexity that sustainability signifies and facilitates the business toward longterm stability. According to a recent report published by Forrester on The Evolution Of Enterprise Carbon And Energy Management Software (2010): In the global market, the estimate for the Software category was at $395 billion of information and communications technology (ICT) purchases. The report identifies that the key drivers are spearheaded by cost and efficiency improvement opportunities and reflects the fact that companies are more comfortable with financeled initiatives. A rapid return

on investment is the primary driver and sustainability improvements are considered as a ‘positive by-product’.

Economic viability Uncertainty still remains about how carbon legislation will evolve and its impact on the oil markets around the globe, including the refining industries. Costs for manufacturers governed by carbon initiatives across the regions are likely to increase. The European Union and the United States have recognised the need to enforce higher efficiency standards without affecting competitiveness. Compliance for companies could mean the implementation of new operational procedures leading to greater complexity. Software applications, therefore, can help define a company’s sustainability strategy and provide transparency into their carbon footprint. The ability to now measure energy consumption and related carbon emissions means that firms can monitor the sustainability strategy in tangible terms. The ground-breaking work conducted at the TCM test facility will also help the process industries produce commercially viable carbon capture methods on a broad scale. It has demonstrated how process engineers can effectively model carbon capture systems, predict and reduce emissions using aspenONE optimisation software. This results in tremendous benefits for process manufacturers and the environment. Business value derives from developing effective energy and carbon management capabilities for applied across operations and the supply chain. Organisations with a structured strategy to improve energy and carbon management across operations and the supply chain will optimise assets, reduce emissions and become government and industry compliant. With advanced technology, carbon capture initiatives play an integral role in demonstrating environmental benefits and economic viability in the process industries. Rob Howard is AspenTech’s Senior Director of Business Consulting for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Based in Bahrain, Howard leads a team of technical consultants who work with Middle East clients to improve profitability of their engineering, manufacturing and supply chain business processes and solutions.

April 2013




A lot to

Mattar AlKaabi, Executive Director of Building Facilities Management at TECOM Investments outlines how going green is a business opportunity for Dubai’s private sector


ost people in Dubai recognise that reducing energy and water waste, recycling, and generally ‘going green’ is something to be encouraged in a world where supplies of natural resources are extremely limited. However, historically, Dubai and the UAE have not had a great record when it comes to energy usage and carbon emissions. To give you some context on how bad the situation is in the region, according to APMGInternational, a global examination institute, commercial and residential properties in the Middle East currently use 225% more energy than properties in Europe. Of course, being a desert country, it is to be expected that we will require a lot of energy in order to meet our cooling and desalination needs – and to underpin a growing, ambitious and vibrant economy. Nonetheless, the environmental facts do not make for comfortable reading. In 2008, the WWF’s Living Planet Report showed that the UAE had the world’s worst ecological footprint per person, and the reality today is that Dubai’s carbon footprint is often still highlighted as one of the worst in the world. More recently, there has been an increase in awareness around the importance of reducing waste in the Emirate, and global initiatives like Earth Hour, which is taking place on Saturday, and the introduction of more environmentally friendly transportation, such as Dubai Metro, the Green Bus and hybrid taxis, are part of the reason why awareness is steadily growing. That is something we should be proud of. But, is there more we can do, and crucially, are enough of Dubai’s corporates playing their part? While there are many Dubai-based firms, both big and small, making great strides in order to reduce their waste, there are also just as many that need to do more. It is likely that businesses that have done very little to date probably do not fully appreciate the genuine benefits that ‘going green’ can bring to their company, especially at the bottom line where

April 2013

cash is king. It is also possible that many simply do not know how they can cut their waste and energy usage in a meaningful way. Corporate resistance to introducing green policies is something of an irony. Why? Because corporates that take the environment, energy use, and their carbon footprint seriously stand to benefit the most in terms of cutting operational costs, as well as inspiring and engaging more closely with staff, existing customers, and in terms of attracting new customers. The solution to getting more action from businesses lies in greater awareness and education. TECOM Investments, which manages 10 interconnected business parks, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Village and ENPARK, a free zone dedicated to the alternative energy and environmental industries, provides a good example of what can be achieved with some dedication, focus and planning. Energy and water conservation is now ingrained in TECOM’s corporate culture. From a strategic perspective, the business recognises that reducing waste and emissions is a key component for successful businesses in the future and a fundamental part of both financial and

social responsibility. In the last 12 months alone, the company can boast a major reduction to their operational expenditure through an integrated sustainable development policy; it successfully rolled out an initiative to house 15 innovative recycling machines across their business parks in conjunction with Averda and Air Miles; and, TECOM collected over one million tonnes of recyclable waste from the free zones they manage. Actions and initiatives like these are paying dividends. Not only is TECOM saving money, but its customers enjoy more appealing landscapes, which in turn encourages greater tenant retention; and TECOM can boast to being a ‘Verified Corporate Hero’ by the Emirates Wildlife Society and WWF thanks to their efforts in reducing carbon emissions by 10% last year. The latter plaudit is not just a ‘nice to have’ – it acts as a competitive credential. So my message to corporates is clear. ‘Going green’ is not just a moral imperative mainly promoted by eco-warriors. It is now a tried and tested means of companies helping themselves both socially and financially. From that perspective, it is Dubai’s corporates that stand to gain the most by ‘going green’.

Mattar Alkaabi is the Executive Director of Building Facilities Management at TECOM Investments

one mark

greenwatch | earth hour



Community events across all seven emirates commemorated Earth Hour on 23 March this year after 8.30pm for a candle-lit walk to the sound of African drum beats, capoeira dance performances, countdown to landmark switch-offs, and face-painting.



hat do a glow-in-the-dark table tennis tournament, candle-lit walk and a competition to create art from scrap materials have in common? The answer: they are just a sample of some of the events that took place around the UAE on Saturday, 23 March, to mark Earth Hour 2013. As all seven emirates rallied to raise awareness on energy consumption, community events were held at malls, hotels, government buildings and public parks. The Jumeirah Rotana held a table tennis competition where players used glow-in-the-dark balls for their chance to win the tournament title. Residents drummed up their support at Abu Dhabi Corniche, while at Dubai’s Safa park, a large-scale “art from scrap” competition held public interest. Dubai residents also gathered at the base of the world tallest tower in an event organised by DEWA and Emaar. Communications Manager and Earth Hour Project Manager at EWS-WWF, Reem Al Thawadi, emphasises the importance of this global movement. “(It) shows that real change is possible and can happen when we unite our actions. A sustainable future for our planet is something that we all aspire to, and we hope that UAE residents and organisations take the opportunity of Earth Hour (past) the global switch off on March 23 (…) to pledge for sustained action for planet that goes beyond the Hour. ”


Earth Hour celebrations at Burj Plaza began at 5pm, including a candle-lit walk, leading to the hour where the Burj Khalifa went dark. The Archive in Safa Park (gate 5) hosted the Emirates Diving Association’s celebration from 8pm – 10pm, including drumming workshops, an environmental poster exhibition and a video booth for members of the public to record “I Will If You Will” challenges. Jumeirah Rotata hosted an Earth Hour table tennis tournament on the day using glow-in-the-dark balls. Radisson Blu Residence (Dubai Marina) offered a special Earth Hour event for children (ages 5 to 12). Dubai Silicon Oasis Cedre Villa Community Centre hosted an “Art From Scrap” competition between 7 and 8pm.


In a joint effort from different organisations in Abu Dhabi, including EWS-WWF, ADMAF and Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, Abu Dhabi residents gathered at the city’s Corniche from 6.45 until

Environment and Protected Areas Authority held an Earth Hour event in Al Majaz Waterfront between 7 and 9.30pm, inaugurated by a speech by Her Excellency Hana Suwaidi. T-shirts and glowing wrist bands were handed out, while energy saving workshops were held with aerial photography illustrating Sharjah before and during Earth Hour.

Iconic display To mark the occasion, a number of iconic landmarks across the emirates went without lights for Earth Hour including the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. These icons joined a number of global landmarks including: • • • • • • •

The Sydney Opera House in Australia The Petronas Towers in Malaysia The Bird’s Nest in Beijing The Gateway of India The Ancient Citadel of Erbil in Kurdistan Table Mountain in South Africa The Eiffel Tower in France April 2013


Official Hospitality Partner Official Car Partner

Official Cuisine Partner

Official Media Partner

caTegory sponsors best sustainable Initiative

best restaurant or food & beverage Outlet

best lobby, reception or Public lounge best Hotel

best Marketing Campaign

The hoTTesT TickeT in Town The Middle easT hoTel awards On the evening of May 22nd a host of VIP’s and industry figure-heads will come together to join in a celebration of excellence at the annual presentation of The Middle East Hotel Awards. Join key industry colleagues from major hotel groups across the Middle East for an inspirational evening of glamour, luxury and networking at The Middle East Hotel Awards, a five-star event celebrating achievement in the hotel and hospitality industry.

best Convention, Conference or banquet facility

Book tickets here COsT PEr TICkET: $250.00 COsT PEr TAblE Of 10: $2,500.00 lOCATIOn Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Dubai

awards will be presenTed across The following caTegories: ➤ best lobby, reception or public lounge

➤ best restaurant or food & beverage outlet ➤ best convention, conference or banquet facility ➤ best hotel suite ➤ best indoor fitness or leisure facility ➤ best Technology integration ➤ best outdoor facility ➤ best sustainable initiative ➤ best hotel ➤ best Marketing campaign ➤ best hotel apartment

The Middle East is recognised world-wide for it’s ability to innovate, create, lead and achieve in the field of hospitality; and it is at The Middle East Hotel Awards where industry benchmarks are set and more than met. @thehotelshow

Invite your clients and colleagues and take a table or seats for what promises to be the hottest event in the hotel industry calendar.

personality | matt damon

Text: Deepa Narwani

One Strike

Hollywood heavyweight Matt Damon uses humour in a new campaign to draw attention to the need for greater access to clean water and sanitation


top the presses! Matt Damon is on a bathroom strike. That is, until everyone around the world has access to clean water and sanitation. Damon is one of the many celebrities vouching for non-profit organisation,’s Strike With Me campaign. Tackling the topic of the worldwide toilet crisis with more than 2.5 billion people not getting access to clean and safe means of sanitation, the video shows Damon taking questions from the media as a spin on the traditional public service announcement, using humour to get public attention and support for the cause. This video is the first of a series of videos to come for a campaign that has been created by Google, Hollywood, social-media creators and The campaign was launched to raise awareness on World Water Day. And with a little humour and star power, Damon wants to create awareness about world water needs. The actor known for his body of humanitarian work teamed up with Jason Bateman and Jessica Biel, and other stars, to stage a toilet strike on behalf of his charity. With over 800 million people lacking access to clean drinking water every day and 4,000 children under the age of five dying from preventable water-related illnesses,


the campaign gives people a forum to donate for the cause. Its initial fundraising goal of US $10,000 has already been met. According to reports, Damon has said that the concept of experimenting with comedy to generate awareness and participation is new and this video has been aimed to solve one of the most significant issues of recent times. Damon co-founded the H2O Africa Foundation and later merged it with other NGOs to form Water. org in 2009. The organisation helps in building water and sanitation systems in countries such as Haiti, Bangladesh and Kenya. Through outreach campaigns, he aims to call attention to, and revive the Water for the World Act, which would increase funding for projects by the United States in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. To keep the initiative interactive, Damon has asked people to donate US $25 to the cause and contribute their own Instagram photos to support the campaign. And it’s not just money, as they want supporters to use their social media accounts to provide personalised messages to their followers and friends so that the message to have access can be spread across the world to bring about the much needed change in people’s attitudes towards water conservation.

April 2013


event | MENASOL 2013


CSP plan

in review

Saudi Arabia has raised the bar for its renewable energy programme, taking its target from the previously announced 41GW to an even more ambitious 54GW by 2032. Belen Gallego and Heba Hashem write


audi Arabia’s long-awaited Competitive Procurement Process (CPP) for the country’s national renewable energy programme was released by the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE) on 20 February 2013, inviting developer feedback and comments on the White Paper by 5 April 2013. In conjunction with the CPP, K.A.CARE also launched an interactive portal through which potential bidders can register and eventually submit project proposals, which will be evaluated according to price and non-price factors.

Straightforward framework CSP technology has yet to be exploited to its full potential in Saudi Arabia

April 2013

A generous period of six months will initially be given for proposal preparations in the introductory

round, although in subsequent procurements, a shorter period of time will be allotted. Moreover, prior to each round, qualified developers will be able to review and comment on draft RFPs and the terms of the PPAs. Initially, K.A.CARE will establish the initial framework for the CPP, identifying targets, capacities and eligible technologies for each round. Following that, a separate stand-alone governmentguaranteed entity, named SEPC, will take over the responsibility of administering the procurement and executing the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). The CPP will start off with an introductory round comprising five to seven projects of varying technologies at pre-packaged sites. These sites will be offered to bidders at locations that can

be easily connected to the grid. After this 9-12 month process culminating in the selection of the introductory round winners, the first full-scale procurement round will commence.

Saudisation a priority Saudisation is a national policy enforced by the kingdom to promote employment of Saudi nationals in the private sector, and it applies to all industries including renewable energy. Building a national capacity – through job localisation and training – constitutes an obligatory and permanent component of the CPP, and developers will be required to submit a training plan as part of their bid and overall budget, specifying training expenditures during construction and start-up. In fact, training will be so important to the extent that

event | MENASOL 2013

believes they will announce the bidding rounds consecutively with a new round launched each year. However, from international experience this sounds optimistic. The introductory round does appear to go the extra mile by pre-empting a lot of the time-consuming project development issues such as securing land which is in close proximity to grid connection and some admin processes. Local content is likely to be one of the stickiest points of the proposals. It is very high, and just as high for all the technologies. There are also several 1% of income “obligations” to reserve for different payments. These need to be studied closely when submitting a proposal. It is difficult to believe that many of the “usual suspects” in the CSP industry will be able to make it work for bids in Saudi. The key to cracking this opportunity is likely to be found in partnerships with key international and Saudi energy giants – particularly oil companies. Either way, do not underestimate the change that will begin with this series of tenders: we are going to witness the development of the next generation of CSP industry and there will be a significant re-writing of the “rules of the game”.

MENASOL 2013 Analysis

K.A.CARE will be establishing within the SESC a Developer Training Advisory Council (DTAC), to be led by five individuals that developers nominate from their companies. In addition, developers will be required to respond to questionnaires regarding training needs, and DTAC will meet twice annually to review these needs and make recommendations for improvements. Competition in Saudi Arabia’s upcoming CSP bids is expected to be fierce, considering that since K.A.CARE’s programme was announced in 2010.

The Saudi market has often been referred to as the biggest market for the solar industry, and for good reason. The kingdom has an objective of 25GW of operational CSP before 2032. Many solar professionals have been waiting for months, if not years, for the Saudi tender to come out. The announcement of the White Paper, which came out at the end of February, could not have come at a better time, as the industry has been experiencing difficulties in the traditional markets of Spain and USA, while India and South Africa have recently delayed their next bidding rounds. The basis of the tendering process is very comprehensive and it has been modelled to learn from previous experience in other countries. However, the news was not necessarily as expected. The tender will start with an introductory round of 900MW of CSP (vs. 1100MW of PV) and the next round will be 1200MW (1300MW of PV). K.A. CARE

MENASOL 2013 is the leading solar event in the Middle East and North Africa region. As two conferences in one, covering CSP and PV, MENASOL will help solve critical challenges and connect attendees to local decision-makers to secure a sustainable MENA pipeline. With over 300 top participants, the biggest questions facing the region are set to be answered. The event will be held in Dubai on 14 and 15 May 2013, organised by CSP Today.

April 2013




the date Save

BGreen highlights events and conferences taking place in the coming months Dubai Woodshow 2013 9-11 April, Dubai, UAE The Middle East’s landmark event for wood trade and investment is now on its eighth edition, being held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. The event features the participation of major technology brands covering the entire production chain in the wood sector. Additionally, the show also seeks to highlight top quality lumber and highly-polished hardwood and the environmentally friendly systems of processing currently employed for all wood types.. Smartech @ WETEX 15-17 April, Dubai, UAE SmarTech is the only trade platform in the Middle East dedicated to help showcase, promote and market green‐centric technologies, goods and services. This will be showcased at the 15th Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX 2013). WETEX will focus on the larger issues in the power and water sectors, with a wide variety of displays, seminars and technologies featuring insights from international experts from around the world. ecoConstruct Expo 16-18 April, Abu Dhabi, UAE ecoConstruct Expo is the region’s only event that is solely dedicated to sustainable building materials and solutions. The event is aimed to provide the industry with sourcing and knowledge from major construction projects within the region. ecoConstruct Expo will also provide a chance to network with real estate markets, construction professionals and suppliers, along with a chance to meet developers, financiers, architects and engineers.

April 2013

Emirates Green Building Council: Earth Day 22 April, Dubai, UAE EGBC will screen ‘Wild Ocean’ at the Meydan IMAX theatre between 6 and 8pm, to raise awareness on Earth Day 2013. Emirates Green Building Council Networking event: Sustainable Housing 23 April, Dubai, UAE EGBC’s next big networking event will focus on the various elements that go into sustainable housing, from design to material choice. This event will be held from 6.30 to 8.30pm at Dusit Thani Hotel.

Project Qatar 2013 6-9 May, Doha, Qatar Project Qatar is a premier international and regional construction, building, environmental technology, and materials exhibition. Details for Project Qatar 2013 will be officially announced later this month. This year’s exhibition will take place at the Doha Exhibition Centre, between 4 and 10pm. Emirates Green Building Council Networking event: Building insulation 7 May, Dubai, UAE EGBC will examine the highly pertinent issue of building insulation at their networking event, scheduled to be held at the Grand Hyatt Dubai.

20 - 23 May 2013

Dubai World Trade Centre

For more information about exhibiting at the INDEX International Design Exhibition 2013, contact us: Tel: +971 (0)4 438 0355 Fax: +971 (0)4 438 0357 Email:

Text: lorraine bangera



herbs Healing

From ancient to modern times, herbal healing has always been a sustainable alternative to mainstream medicine Some of their most used herbs included cascara sagrada, American ginseng, joe-pye weed, goldenseal, sassafras and witch hazel.

Ancient Chinese In Ancient China, most of the medicinal substances like minerals and plants were classified by their perceived action in each body part. Different elements of plants like the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds were combined in formulas and given as teas, capsules, tinctures, or powders. Acupuncture emphasised on stimulating specific points on the body, most often by inserting thin metal needles through the skin remove blockages in the flow of energy (“qi”).



he World Health Organisation (WHO) recently approximated that around 80% of people in the world rely on herbal medicines for some part of their primary health care. By relying on natural resources to cure ailments and diseases, this centuries old practise has changed hands over generations, eventually making it to the Twitter generation. From the ancient Aztecs to New Zealand’s Maori, every culture adapted to herbal cures before the synthetic drugs came on board. Herbs have been given the

April 2013

significance of sacred plants, sent by the gods to cure the sick. In Chinese and Greek culture, herbal medicine plants with the higher nutrition value were given supreme importance.

Native Americans Native Americans used to instruct early settlers using their knowledge of medicinal plants. They helped in healing wounds, ensuring safe childbirth, and setting fractures.

Maoris produced medicines also called Rongoa from native plants in New Zealand. The use of these medicines prevented and remedied common illnesses. Traditionally, the Mäori looked at a holistic approach that included the healing of mind, body and spirit. 

Ancient Indians Originating thousands of years ago, Ayurveda is a medical system that integrates and balances the body, mind, and spirit. This balance is believed to be necessary for contentment and good health. Practitioners of Ayurveda prescribe herbs, which have been evaluated for their beneficial effects to help adjust the imbalances.

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BGreen Magazine April 2013  

BuildGreen Magazine is the first magazine of its kind in the Middle East to exclusively cover issues relating to sustainability and environm...

BGreen Magazine April 2013  

BuildGreen Magazine is the first magazine of its kind in the Middle East to exclusively cover issues relating to sustainability and environm...