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Issue 26 | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012

A Global Spike AS the primary driver of a knowledge-based workforce, education in sustainable disciplines are on the rise in the gcc

ALSO INSIDE

| exclusive! dubai carbon on escos

| south east asia review | climate change roundtable | Publication Publication licensed licensed byby IMPZ IMPZ


EDITOR’S PAGE

Publisher Dominic De Sousa

A losing battle

Praseeda Nair Editor praseeda@cpidubai.com

It’s the same game in a different time frame. The scramble for natural resources inexorably forms the cornerstone of humanity, and from food and water, to energy and precious metals, scarcity and poor resource allocation might catalyse the next mad dash for survival. The first sign of intercontinental pandemonium has been in the form of exponential population growth, rising global food prices, pressure on water supplies, conflict over land for mining and agriculture, and the skyrocketing price of energy in the conventional sense. As it stood for decades, when the free market failed to equitably distribute key resources, governments were sought to step in and secure the basics for their people. Propagating this model has led global leaders to question its success for sustained progress, which is what set the cogs in motion for a global-level agreement for sustainable development 20 years ago. It did little then to concretise goals and secure international cooperation, and as most world leaders and analysts concur, the reunion conference has done little now. The United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development (Rio+20) was put together for all the right reasons; to address resource issues and aaother environmental problems, including pollution, climate change and the loss of biodiversity, all of which are likely to have a domino effect on the development of emerging markets, while cyclically affecting the developed world. Yet at the end of the summit, global targets were as vague as the word ‘sustainability’ has become from years of overuse. As a platform for facilitating dialogue between the public and private sectors, NGOs and the larger community, we brought the issue of climate change mitigation vis-à-vis sustainable development in a too-hot-to-handle roundtable with key players in the GCC. Standard economic principles dictate that price signals can rectify inefficient behaviour in a free economy, but when the price of energy is subsidised, the business case for energy monitoring seems redundant, prompting us look at the need for smart meters in a subsidised tariff market in this issue’s green technology section. This month, we dust off our binders and highlighter pens and hit the campus scene to scope out the UAE’s greenest faculties. We find out what separates the green degree holders in this sluggish economy and the potential for a green academic oasis in our oil rich desert. And while we’re on the topic of our sprawling golden deserts, this issue has us zeroing in on Sharjah’s AED 1 billion ecotourism project, as it expands with a greater focus on green tourism in the Eastern region of Khor Kalba.

March on!

COO Nadeem Hood nadeem@cpidubai.com Associate Publisher Liam Williams liam@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9158 Editorial Praseeda Nair praseeda@cpidubai.com Business Development Junaid Rafique junaid@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9150 Harry Norman harry@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9142 Marketing & Administration Leila El Madalla leila@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9151 Design & Photography Marlou Delaben marlou@cpidubai.com Cris Mejorada cris@cpidubai.com Web Development Troy Maagma Faisal Ahmad Production and Circulation James P. Tharian Rajeesh M Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC Published by

Head Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 Web: www.buildgreen.ae __________ © Copyright 2012 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.

If you’d like to receive BGreen every month, log on to www.buildgreen.ae to subscribe.

August/September 2012


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CONTENTS

CONTENTS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012

38

ENERGY AND WATER 16 Remote control Pacific Controls and their Emirates Energy Star programme explored

CONSTRUCTION 20 ASEAN tiger Southeast Asia’s burgeoning green construction industry under review

Upgrade now, pay later BGreen speaks to the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence on their latest project to monitor and manage energy usage in our built environment

News 10 UAE

22 Malaysia’s rating tool BGreen presents the Green Building Index 24 Case-in-point: Platinum pioneer The LEED Platinum certified Diamond builiding in Putrajaya, Malaysia is the country’s first GBI Platinum project 26 Renewable tropics A look at Malaysia’s national strategy with renewable energy

12 WORLD 15 REALLY?! Eliodomestico — Truth can be stranger than fiction

32 Red hot summer HVAC systems and energy efficiency

SPOTLIGHT 14 Dhofar Trading Chandan Singh charts the Omani tissue dispenser company’s sustainable course

COMMENT 36 D.Y Kim on corporate sustainability 59 Brian Mullis on eco-travel 72 Jourdan Younis on green schools

August/September 2012

18


CONTENTS

50

24

ECO-LEISURE 56 Eastern sunrise Progress on the Khor Kalba project

60

GREEN BUSINESS GREEN TECHNOLOGY 49 Metering energy The role of smart meters in a subsidised tariff scheme 53 The right framework Jose Alberich, partner at AT Kearney, speaks about smart metering

SPECIAL FEATURE 43 Green degrees A trend on the rise 44 Role call Masdar alumni share their experiences, one year on 46 Case-in-point: Sustainable studies Heriot-Watt University Dubai’s two groundbreaking programmes and more

60 Carbon control Roundtable on climate change and the built environment

OIL & GAS 68 Brimming with billions Have companies in this multibillion dollar industry become smaller, energy efficient and cost-effective?

SOCIETY 75 The Green Spy: Conspiracy theorists Our green spy rants about climate change deniers 77 Diary dates Notable events, conferences and exhibitions in the region 78 Sustainable past ‘Round the fire: a look at roundhouses and crannogs

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Expert Panel

8

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

Jourdan Younis

Dr Michael Krämer

Wissam Yassine

IVANO IANNELLI

LEED AP, PQP Managing Director Alpin Limited (Masdar City)

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

UAE National Coordinator The Carboun Initiative

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

Goktug Gur

Charles Blaschke IV

Roderick Wiles

JosE Alberich

COUNTRY PRESIDENT UAE and Oman Schneider Electric

MEP BIM Manager iTech Holding

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

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

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

August/September 2012

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

PARTNER AT Kearney

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 praseeda@cpidubai.com.


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NEWS | UAE

Mandate on malls to manage waste

Capacity over Consumption

A

ccording to the latest report by Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz), UAE’s power generation has grown at a compounded rate of 12% per annum for the last 5 years, with the current capacity at approximately 30,000MW and consumption growing at a little less than 8%. This suggests that UAE’s energy is secured for the coming years, possibly even making the country a net power exporter to the rest of the GCC once the regional power grid is installed and operational. “Power sector in the Emirates had been seeing a rise in tandem with the economic growth it has achieved over the last decade,” it said. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) recently reported a 7% increase in the capacity and efficiency of its electricity transmission networks to 6637 MW compared with 6206 MW for all year 2011. “We are fully committed to maintaining and improving the capacity and efficiency of our substations and transmission networks to continue offering world-class sustainable and environment friendly services, which will achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. Part

August/September 2012

of our strategy is to expand our transmission and distribution networks catering to Dubai’s construction business growth,” His Excellency Saeed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said. 98% of the UAE’s power plants are fuelled by natural gas, and the remaining 2% are by liquid fuel. In neighbouring Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the ratio is significantly different, with natural gas as fuel in the power sector reaching only 49% and 29% respectively. “This gives UAE an advantage as gas fired plants are efficient and the fuel is cheaper as well compared to Oil,” according to Markaz. “Over the next four years, we estimate consumption to grow at 8.5% annually, with much of the growth coming from Abu Dhabi. While Dubai expects consumption to grow at 3.5% over the next decade and at 2.5% from 2020-30, Abu Dhabi expects demand to grow by 11% annually till 2015.” Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company (ADWEC) supplies electricity to Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and also exports the surplus to Northern Emirates. Additionally, by 2014, FEWA is expected to stop its generation and rely on ADWEA for power.

Despite a recent ruling by the Dubai Municipality (DM), only one in five shopping centres in the city segregate waste at the source at present. Targetting 100% implementation by 2013, DM will be stepping up efforts to have shopping centres comply to the regulation. According to the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres (MECSC), Dubai currently has 70 shopping malls and shopping centre units totalling 2.6 million square metre of retail space. In 2011, an average of 8,000 tonnes of general municipal waste was generated daily in Dubai, with the individual average put at 2.8 kilogrammes daily. Shopping centres and malls were alerted of this ruling to segregate waste last year through a circular, including suggestions on how it can be carried out. However, many of them have yet to comply with the Waste Management Department’s February 2012 deadline. The department expects malls and centres to submit monthly status reports, outlining the actions undertaken to segregate waste. As it stands, six months from the deadline, only 20% of the many shopping centres in Dubai have been adhering to the rule. Earlier in the year, these establishments were alerted that non-compliance would lead to Local Order No 11/2003 being imposed. Despite warnings, non-compliance on the part of retailers has raised a red flag with the DM who are concerned that perhaps these shopping centres are facing barriers to waste segregation. This has urged the government body to arrange for a meeting between the parties to address obstacles to implementation. Ultimately, Dubai aims to recycle 100% of the city’s waste and bring the percentage of garbage sent to landfills from the current figure of 80 to 90% to zero by 2030.


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NEWS | WORLD

A say in climate change financing

Qatar highest in construction costs In preparation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has been actively handing out tenders to revamp its infrastructure. According to EC Harris’s International Construction Costs Report 2012, Qatar is the most expensive country to build in the Middle East. The study accounts for 53 countries around the world, and with the amount of construction activity in Qatar, the country is now 13th in the list. According to the report one of the primary reasons for this is the focus on large-scale infrastructure projects with the Qatari government having allocated 40% of its overall budget between now and 2016 to improving both transportation networks and social infrastructure across the country. “Careful planning and a more strategic approach to supply chain management will be key to ensure companies do not become overstretched and are able to plan ahead so they can source additional labour, plant and materials before construction demand begins to peak,” Nick Smith, Head of Cost and Commercial Management for EC Harris in Qatar said. The UAE rose one place to 17th overall from 2011 as the construction industry starts to

August/September 2012

stir with government tenders and social infrastructure projects. Certain commercial projects in Dubai that were put on hold during the economic crisis are now being reviewed, which is a positive sign for the industry in the UAE. The report adds that the UAE may need to compete with Saudi Arabia and Qatar for labour and materials, which could lead to a price increase in the near future. Despite Saudi Arabia’s construction costs being considerably cheaper than that of Qatar and even the UAE, the kingdom rose in the list by eleven places from 36th to 25th this year. This is mostly due to large investments in the new airport, highways and rail system. Smith added, “Saudi Arabia’s construction industry is entering a potentially vibrant period as an expanding young population is creating increased demand for housing whilst a developing tourism and leisure industry will see new hotels built in under-supplied Jeddah and Riyadh. Furthermore, construction of the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah will help to sustain the pipeline of work on both a short and mid-term basis.” The most expensive countries are Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, Japan and Sweden.

In an open letter to policymakers, NGOs supporting indigenous rights have demanded an official role in planning for a new global fund for climate change mitigation. The Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and Jaringan Orang Asal Se-Malaysia (JOAS) expressed the need to include indigenous groups in planning for the Global Climate Fund (GCF). The United Nations-backed GCF committee proposed a US $100-billion dollar fund to help developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts such as increasing sea levels, erratic weather and volatile agricultural conditions. The letter included a report providing advice on climate funding for the world’s 370 million indigenous people, who take part in global climate discussions through the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC). Indigenous cultures have deep ties to nature and sustainable lifestyles that provide crucial lessons to the rest of the world, said IIPFCC members at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June. “Indigenous peoples and human rights organisations were very disappointed to learn that some governments sought to eliminate rights language and in the end any mention of rights was also entirely lost,” said FPP in a statement after the summit. In 2007, a UN agreement established the right for indigenous groups to fully participate in policy decisions that affect their interests. Indigenous communities, according to this declaration, are allowed to defend their land and resources from exploitation from mining, construction or deforestation. “The Green Climate Fund can play a significant role in bolstering support for adaptation and mitigation, but in order to do so, it must recognise and respect international human rights…and fully recognise indigenous peoples’ right to participation in its governance structures,” the letter concluded.


Consumption values

energy consumption*

Water consumption*

0,20 kWh

0,12 kWh

9.8 Liter

7,0 Liter

1997

2011

1997

2011

up to

–40 %

up to

–30 %

* Based on programme, cotton coloured at 60ºC. Comparison between energy and water consumption values of a standard washing machine from 1997 (0.2 kWh/kg, 10 ltr/kg) with values of WM14Y890GB washing machine (0.12 kWh/ kg, 7 ltr/ kg) for full load.

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Preserving resources for future generations. The new Siemens iQ700 master Class washing machine with i-Dos automatic dosing system.

www.siemens-home.com/ae At Siemens, we believe that high-performance appliances and lower energy consumption are by no means mutually exclusive. Hence we take resource efficiency very seriously, to the extent that our appliances have gained ranks among the most energy and water efficient in their class. The i-Dos automatic dosing system is one such feature of the Siemens washing machine that dispenses detergent and

fabric softener automatically, which saves 7,062 ltrs* of water compared to a standard washing machine. The WM14Y890GB has an annual energy and water consumption value of 189 kWh and 10,500 ltrs.** * Source: WFK Institute for Applied Research, Test Report WL 5132/10 **Based on the EU regulation 2010/1061 (220 wash cycles)

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Better Life Showrooms: Mall of the Emirates, Tel: 04 3410716. Deira, Tel: 04 2680656. Mirdif City Centre, Tel: 04 2845728. Al Hamra Mall, Tel: 07 2434316. Gulf Technical Company Showrooms: Abu Dhabi, Tel: 02 6797211. Al Ain, Tel: 03 7640370.


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NEWS | SPOTLIGHT

Sustainable hygiene BGreen speaks with Chandan Singh, Deputy General Manager of leading tissue dispenser company, Dhofar Global, on their award-winning sustainable projects Chandan Singh: We ran a campaign called “cut back,” a unique kind of organic ecoline dispenser with a funnel that helps reduce consumption by dispensing one sheet at a time, as compared to traditional dispensers with free flow tissues that are hollow from the bottom.

O

man-based Dhofar Global Trading launched state-of-the-art organic tissue paper dispensers which won the Arab Investment Award in 2010 and 2011 for good reason. These dispensers are modified to dispense a single sheet of pre-perforated tissue, which is commonly used across the region from hotel kitchens and offices to mall restrooms and cleaning companies. As the preferred supplier of hygienic paper tissue dispensers, Dhofar spoke with BGreen on how they evolved to secure a leading position in the industry, spanning a broad range of sectors such as five-star hotels, facility management solutions providers, airports, and more.

the tissue-related business would always try to increase their top line, but we always try to reduce consumption of tissues in all the segments of industry. We also reduced consumption of tissue by 22%. We did a study in the market and discovered that the gulf is one of the biggest markets for the consumption of tissue, and when it comes free, people tend to over consume. The municipality rule is that tissues are to be next to wash basins. We started demonstrating our dispensers that cut down tissue and help the customer to reduce costs. We proved that using the right dispensers at the right place helps to reduce cost and consumption by at least 22%.

BGreen: What makes Dhofar unique in the market?

BGreen: What secured your win of the “best green investment project” title at the Arab Investment Summit for two consecutive years?

Chandan Singh: Our business approach itself makes us unique. Any company who would be in

August/September 2012

BGreen: How did you position yourself to attract top hotels in the UAE to use your products? Chandan Singh: It’s a matter of ensuring top product quality, a professional and

ABOVE: Chandan Singh Deputy General Manager

scientific approach, best in service and a focussed approach towards saving cost.

BGreen: Were there any initial obstacles you had to face when starting up? Chandan Singh: Change comes with a lot of hesitation, ignorance and dealing with dogmatic mindsets that are pessimistic toward change. But change is vital, and it is in many cases an advancement. Our premium product may be priced at double that of any tissue roll, but we can prove that you can cut costs by 22%. This was not an easy task, as we had to invest money to prove our statement true. The thanks go to our entire team, who believed and had the foresight that we can achieve positive change. We feel proud to say that we are one of the market leaders in our specialised segment of business.

BGreen: What are the major differences between the market in Oman and here? Is one more environmentallyconscious than the other? Chandan Singh: Every country have a positive approach towards their environment. It would be difficult to derive differences, but I would certainly say the whole world has now realised the importance of minimising human impact on the environment, and are moving towards a greener direction. The environment is a value need, not a price to pay for achieving your greed.


NEWS | REALLY?

DIY Desalination If employed in water-starved regions, Gabriel Diamanti’s rudimentary install-at-home desalination unit could make fresh water scarcity a thing of the past

A

The Eliodomestico in action

s part of his graduate studies back in 2005, Italian designer Gabriel Diamanti invented the Eliodomestico, a simple solar-powered oven that can convert five litres of salt water into potable water daily. The Eliodomestico is made of easy-tofind materials like clay, and needs nothing but sunlight to function. The appliance has a boiler on the top where sea water is poured in and sealed with a watertight cap to prevent the leakage of steam. As the temperature and pressure of the water in the boiler increases, the lid functions as a condenser, producing steam which is then channelled through a metal pipe on to a clay receptacle. In a

few hours, the five litres of sea water is stripped of its salt and ready to use. Diamanti’s open source design means that the Eliodomestico can be used and modified for use all over the world, evolving to serve various communities on their specific needs. With 1.7 billion people living in places that have little to no groundwater, this device could democratise water to serve households and communities in remote areas with sea or river access, as well as an abundance of sunshine.

August/September 2012

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ENERGY & WATER

Remote control As a unique service provider for smart buildings, Pacific Controls rolled out their Emirates Energy Star programme in 2010, tying up with telecommunications giant, Etisalat, to manage energy consumption of building clusters remotely. Praseeda Nair speaks with CEO Sougata Nandi on Pacific controls’ role in making our built environment smarter

P Sougata Nandi.

August/September 2012

ast the sandy haze of the Jebel Ali Freezone, the glass-clad facade of the Pacific Controls headquarters catches the unrelenting glare of the mid-morning sun. The striking building is the nucleus of the entire Emirates Energy Star programme, housing controls that monitor and manage the energy systems for buildings across the country. According to Pacific Controls CEO, Sougata Nandi, they have audited about a thousand buildings between

January and May, and more than 990 of those buildings are poorly managed with great potential for energy savings. He speaks to BGreen about the region’s growing interest in sustainability, despite major cutbacks in the construction industry. Sougata Nandi: Fundamentally, what we are seeing right now, I would imagine, is largely caused by the global recession. With diminishing revenues, companies are obviously looking at their

operational expenses, capital expenses and so on. Before the recession the focus was not so much on these expenditures because developers could count on the real estate market to yield returns. If it costs me US $1 million to build something, it will get valued at $2 million, and I can still make a 50% profit. But what we see now is that the valuation for property is down from what would have been $2 million to $200,000, which means that developers need to scale back their building costs


ENERGY & WATER

partners who can provide access to thousands of buildings. The partnership with Etisalat brings us this connectivity. We physically have the capacity to manage 100,000 buildings anywhere in the world, although our focus is on the UAE. This links the real estate sector and our programme, where we can use the UAE as an example for the region.

BGreen: How did the partnership with Etisalat come about?

The moment you start building green, your expenses go down

from $1 million to $100,000 if he wants the same profit margins. There are different ways to scale back, and one of the ways pushed by green building councils around the world is through green construction. The moment you start building green, your expenses go down. Projects with reduced revenues can still maintain certain sensible levels of profits if they are going green. By going green, naturally I include energy efficiency. The reality is that close to 100% of the real estate in cities are already built, which means that new construction has a limited, almost negligible impact on a global level. The focus now for all practical purposes should be on modifying the existing building stock. You can’t change much of that or even modify the building without

making significant investment. It’s far cheaper and easier to construct a building from scratch as compared to converting regular building into a green building.

BGreen: With your recent tie-up with Dubai Municipality’s headquarters, what’s your take on the region’s progression in terms of meeting efficiency standards?

Above: building owners can keep tabs on their consumption remotely using any device that has internet connectivity

Sougata Nandi: Pacific Controls came with the concept of Emirates Energy Star simply because the UAE economy is driven by real estate, and 80% of energy and water generated is consumed inside buildings. Therefore we wanted to create a programme that is cheap, easy to implement and can be rolled out in thousands of buildings in a short period of time, where we can have a much bigger impact as far as sustainability and operational expenses are concerned. That became the driver of Emirates Energy Star. We have engineering skills and the software, but for the programme’s success, we need

Sougata Nandi: Between 30,000 to 40,000 buildings under Dubai Civil Defence are connected to the Pacific Controls headquarters to monitor emergency services like fire alarms, elevators and so on. So we are naturally one of the largest customers of Etisalat. The project is rolled out using SIM cards, allowing a connection with individual buildings through data. If something odd happens in a building, the alarm pops up here. To connect 30,000 buildings, we need 30,000 SIM cards, which is a huge business opportunity that Etisalat spotted. We realised this could optimise our costs through dedicated data lines, so we engaged in a mutually beneficial partnership. Most telecommunications companies are noting a declining trend from traditional revenue schemes from landlines and internet lines, so they are constantly looking for innovative ways of generating money while meeting consumer demand. What is currently taking the telecommunications market by storm is machine to machine technology (M2M), where you limit human interference and allow equipment in different facilities and even regions to talk to each other to optimise their output. This is where Etisalat brings the connectivity and we bring the technology and the software needed, making it a very intelligent partnership.

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ENERGY & WATER

there are regulations in certain countries where (large) buildings need to be monitored for energy as a rule

be carried out without down time or disruptions. Because we have direct access in monitoring systems, we can tell you which unit of equipment needs maintenance and when. So you can now optimise your costs, as you don’t need to deploy trucks or large pools of people to various buildings. We can fix certain problems from our control room, making this the revolution of the Emirates Energy Star programme.

BGreen: What about maintenance? Is there a cost-effective strategy to manage these systems, like training staff with the technical know-how? Sougata Nandi: The Emirates Energy Star programme can hook up to 100,000 buildings to operate from one control room here. It’s all about managing the air conditioning. When you leave the office do you know what happens to the air conditioning? The majority of buildings in this part of the world keep their air conditioning running. So the programme is all about optimising operations 24/7 as a kind of energy police who can look at individual buildings, measuring, monitoring and verifying consumption. We are able to carry out ongoing diagnostics, and if systems deviate from the norm, we are able to isolate the problem and relay that information to facilities managers responsible for the maintenance of the equipment. This is what happens in an M2M scenario. For instance, instead of going to the doctor when you fall ill, if you’re monitored around the clock and any changes in vital parameters are brought to the doctor’s attention, preventive action can be taken. Similarly, we are able to undertake preventive action, so that if problems arise, maintenance can

August/September 2012

BGreen: Currently, people on the programme are big players like banking institutions and government agencies. How can you get small and medium enterprises involved in something like this? Pacific Controls HQ is where the Emirates Energy Star programme is monitored and verified

Sougata Nandi: We have different programmes for different sectors of the industry, be it the financial sector, healthcare sector, hospitality, and so forth. In the end, what we

look for is whether a particular facility has the potential to reduce its consumption. This also means that if it is already being managed efficiently, we may not be able to reduce the energy consumption dramatically, but we can automate the whole process and make sure that operational costs and manpower is limited.

BGreen: Are there any major obstacles you have, are, or foresee facing? Sougata Nandi: There are certain limitations. For example, if you go to an old residential tower, the apartments are fixed with window air conditioners that are more expensive and difficult to control remotely. Centralised units can be automated and controlled much more easily. At the end of the day, what we need to address is the end beneficiary of the project. For example, a tower owned by a landlord who doesn’t have to pay for the electricity consumption would not see the need to embark on the project. There are regulations in certain countries in the world where if the building size is more than a certain square foot, then that building needs to be monitored for energy as a rule. I’m sure those rules will eventually come to this part of the world as well.


ENERGY & WATER

This programme shows you how much percentage you have saved since the implementation of any new technologies. It enhances the work of consultants. They have to sell concepts based on cost/benefit analyses, and this programme concretises their recommendations with numbers, making us a kind of third party who actually validates the impact.

BGreen: Speaking of which, do you think the UAE is catching up with the more energy-aware part of the world? Sougata Nandi: I feel that the UAE is faster than any other part of the world. Countries like the US and India had green building movements from the early 1990s. By 2003, the trend started catching on in other parts of the world. In the UAE in 2006 there were 2 LEED projects, and in 2007 there were 3. Today there is an excess of 60 to 70 projects. In terms of green construction, the UAE has been very quick.

BGreen: In terms of monitoring public spaces, could the programme take up areas like metro stations?

BGreen: If a building takes on a new renovation plan to change all their elevators, for example, would these changes affect the programme at all? Sougata Nandi: The programme will actually enhance that process as metering is a fundamental feature of the Emirates Energy Star. The programme gives you instant access to all energy consumption information in kilowatt-hours of energy, or gallons of water, or tonnes of carbon. This aids in creating an energy profile, which then helps if you decide that you want to replace all your elevators to a more energy efficient kind.

BGreen: Can these obstacles be countered by establishing an environment where there is an appreciation for energy management? Sougata Nandi: The energy management industry in this part of the world is damaged badly by other industries. The first challenge I have had to overcome is getting the time with a customer who is willing to listen to us. Customers need to understand that we’re not an energy management initiative that is vendor driven. It is a national-level energy efficiency programme in partnership with Etisalat and is also supported by the Ministry of Environment. It is not changing things in your building nor replacing equipment; it is only about alerting you on ways to manage your building in the most effective way.

Sougata Nandi: Absolutely. The Emirates Energy Star programme works best to derive an optimum benefit, with an owner who has multiple facilities spread across a geographical region. What this does is form an Internet page so you can actually see all your facilities at the same time and individually, removing the need to visit each building to monitor consumption. All the sites can be connected to one platform and anyone in that company can log in and see the year to date consumption of water and energy.

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Construction

Case-in-point: Tropical paradise In subtropical Southeast Asian climates, air conditioning accounts for about 50% of a building’s energy use and up to 30% of operating costs. Green building strategies can greatly benefit the world’s most consistently warm region to drive costs down sustainably. BGreen reviews Southeast Asia’s sustainable strategies

Vietnam Legislation: Energy efficiency law reportedly in the works Green certification system: LOTUS LOTUS is a market-based rating tool developed by the Vietnamese Green Building Council (VGBC) specifically for the Vietnamese built environment. LOTUS is based on existing rating systems such as LEED from the US, BREEAM from the UK, and Green Star from Australia. VGBC has introduced two new categories to the LOTUS rating tool. The first is ‘Community’ to encourage buildings to not only reduce environmental impact, but to also improve social and community status. The second category is ‘Adaptation & Mitigation’ to ensure buildings are resilient to the impacts of climate change. Green building council: Vietnam Green Building Council

Thailand Green certification system: TREES (2012) 30% of TREES criteria come from LEED, with the remainder modified to fit Thailand’s environment. The criteria were finalised following discussions that began in 2008. Green building council: Thai Green Building Council

Malaysia Legislation: Green certification system: Green Building Index (2009) GBI is designed specifically for the tropical climate, dealing with high temperatures and humidity in construction. Green building council: Malaysia Green Building Council (2007)

August/September 2012


Construction

Singapore

Indonesia

Legislation: All new developments and refurbishments on buildings in Singapore have to meet the minimum Green Mark standards (as of April 2008). Green certification system: Green Mark (2005) The assessment criteria cover energy efficiency; water efficiency; environmental protection; indoor environmental quality; other green features and innovation. Green building council: Singapore Green Building Council

Legislation: From April 2013, a green building regulation will be enforced for all big building owners in Indonesia, urging them to adopt green management, energy efficiency, water efficiency and internal greywater recycling, as well as ensuring high air quality through proper ventilation. Green certification: Greenship rating system (2009) The rating tool features several key elements - sustainable site, energy, water and waste management, material resources, indoor quality, innovation, transportation and social economy that are divided into credits. Points are awarded in each credit. Green building council: Green Building Council Indonesia

Philippines Legislation: Philippine Green Building Act (filed in August 2012) Green certification: Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (2007) As a consensus-driven third party certification, BERDE monitors and verifies green buildings against a single green building rating system that acts as a recognisable eco-branding tool. Green building council: Philippine Green Building Council

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Malaysia’s rating tool As a means of promoting sustainability in the built environment by raising awareness across every stakeholder in the construction industry, the Green Building Index (GBI) was formed. BGreen looks at how this rating tool has helped shape Malaysia’s green outlook

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he GBI rating tool provides developers and building owners to design and construct sustainable buildings by keeping tabs on energy and water use, health and safety measures, recycling facilities, as well as ensuring accessibility to the rest of the community through connectivity to public transportation. GBI is developed specifically for the Malaysian tropical climate, environmental and developmental context, while balancing cultural and social needs. At ARCHIDEX 2012, BGreen caught up with Boon Che Wee, chairman of the GBI accreditation panel. “As a developing nation, we can’t afford to hold back our progress, but we can ensure that all future projects will be sustainable in design and construction, to provide for our needs without compromising future generations,” he said, describing how the rating tool came into being, as a

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collaboration between Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM), the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM) and the Building Industry Presidents Council. Since its inception in May 2009, 70 buildings covering over 26 million square feet (2.42 million square metres) have been certified under this rating tool. According to Boon, this figure leans heavily towards commercial buildings, with 39 non-residential green projects taking the lead over the 25 residential buildings that were certified. Five older buildings were retrofitted with greener features. The demand has come from an array of sectors—from government and corporate offices to individual property. The GBI rates all applications according to six criteria: energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, sustainable site planning and management, materials and resources, water efficiency,

and innovation. The criteria were established by the GBI accreditation panel to guide building design, construction and operation in Malaysia to focus on increasing the efficiency of resource use, while reducing the overall impact of the built environment on its surroundings during the building’s life-cycle. Owners of GBI-certified buildings receive two incentives from the government – tax exemption and stamp duty exemption. In Malaysia’s neighbouring garden city-state of Singapore, the government has placed legislation for the construction industry to abide by its 80% target, whereby all buildings must be green-certified by 2030. Malaysia could follow suit, considering the government’s vested interest in integrating renewable energy systems into their built environment.


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Construction

Platinum pioneer Both diamond and platinum are a green building’s best friend, at least as far as the nation’s first LEED and GBI Platinum-certified building shows. BGreen looks at Putrajaya’s Diamond Building.

Greywater recycling Greywater from wash basins and taps are collected and reused in keeping the greenery lush. The Diamond building in Putrajaya made waves in Malaysian green construction in 2011 when it incorporated in practice what a lot of architects only imagined on paper.

Onsite PV panels Photovoltaic technology is integrated into the design of the metal roof.

Green interiors Recycled green-certified plaster board from Boral; Low-VOC paint from Dulux; and recycled content carpet from Shaw all feature in the interiors of the office space. Nano titanium dioxide (tio2) has been applied throughout the building to help to maintain the indoor air quality by continuously reducing the VOCs and Formaldehyde levels.

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Tannenbaum reflector panels placed on the fourth and fifth floor of the atrium walls reflect light down to the opposite side for floors one and two. Natural light is allowed into the seventh floor seating area through a skylight.


Construction

Daylight harvesting Light shelves installed on the façade’s glazing cuts glare from direct sun penetration, while diffusing heat radiation

Landscaping and roofing To minimise the impact on the microclimate, extensive landscaping has been done on the roof. It is not a waterdraining add-on, however, considering Malaysia’s yearly level of precipitation.

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malaysian power Despite being clubbed with other emerging markets, Malaysia differentiates itself with an intense focus on renewables and greening their built environment. BGreen travels to Kuala Lumpur to learn how green building concepts are revolutionising Malaysia and the Asian tropics at the nation’s largest architecture, interior design and eco-construction event of the year, ARCHIDEX 2012

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outheast Asia has a naturally verdant landscape, an abundance of sunshine, more than 60 inches of rain a year, and houses around 20% of the world’s plant, animal and marine species. Although the Asian tropics sound like a veritable idyll, Malaysia is one of the first nations in the region to actively embrace renewable energy as the primary driver of sustainable development. Naturally, Malaysia’s potential for renewable energy generation is extensive. Located along the global sun belt, the nation is ideal for solar technology; while its rich tropical forests provide biomass and fresh water in large quantities.

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Hydropower already features significantly, especially in Borneo, where power generated from streams and rivers allow even rural Malaysia consistent energy supply.

Malaysia boleh! Staying true to Malaysia’s unofficial national motto (Malaysia boleh, which translates to “Malaysia can”), the Eighth Malaysia Plan (2001 to 2005) identified renewable energy (RE) as the nation’s “fifth fuel” after oil, gas, coal, and hydropower. The next national plan (2006 to 2010) set a target of 350 megawatt (MW) of gridconnected RE generation.

Although the Asian tropics sound like a veritable idyll, Malaysia actively embraces renewables as the primary driver of sustainable development


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“In April 2011, Malaysia adopted an Advanced Renewable Tariffs system while pushing our RE targets even further. Following the launch of a Renewable Energy bill (RE Bill) and a bill for Sustainable Development Authority (SEDA Bill), a 1% feed-in-tariff (FiT) was established to cater to biomass, biogas, mini-hydropower and solar energy,” says Puan Badriyah Haji Abdul Malek, Chief Executive Officer or the Sustainable Energy Development Authority of Malaysia (SEDA) at the Green Building Forum, ARCHIDEX 2012. With all systems go for Malaysia, a lot of industry experts predict a boom time ahead for the RE sector, particularly for photovoltaic energy. “As it currently stands, the national RE generating capacity targets are 985MW by 2015 (to meet 6% of peak demand), 2,080MW by 2010 (11% of peak demand) and 4,000MW by 2030 (17% of peak demand),” Puan adds. For photovoltaic solar power, the targets are 65MW by 2015, 191MW by 2020 and 1,370MW by 2030. As a percentage of total RE generating

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demand will reach what could be an underestimated 20,669 MW by 2020. The government targets RE to make up 5.5% of the country’s generation mix by 2015, and the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water’s Green Technology Financing Scheme, worth RM 1.5 billion (US $500 million), has been launched to encourage the developing and use of green technologies. offers incentives to green technologies.

Malaysia’s FiT explained

capacity, solar photovoltaic would leap to 34% by 2030, from a projected 11% by 2015 and 9% by 2020.

Energy capacity

Above: Oil palm plantations make up over 15% of the nation’s land

Malaysia’s energy demand is projected to increase from 66 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2005 to 131 Mtoe in 2030. Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the nation’s utility company, estimates that peak

According to Puan, the Malaysian tariff is derived based on the cost of generation, and thus makes allowances for different technologies. A notable green tech project underway is an initiative by EQ Solar Technology International Sdn Bhd, to manufacture solar modules, cells and wafers in Senai Hi-Tech Park in Johor. Investing RM 1.6 billion ($500 million), the project is expected to have a peak annual production of 50MW of modules initially, which will gradually reach 200MW. Berjaya Solar Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Berjaya Corp Bhd


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A green precendent - ARCHIDEX 2012

The government targets RE to make up 5.5% of the country’s generation mix by 2015 (BCorp), plans to invest RM 180 million ($61 million) in a 10-MW PV plant at Bukit Tagar, Selangor as a forerunner to its proposed 50 MW PV plant. Other projects in the works include hydropower projects Ulu Jelai (372 MW) Hulu Terengganu (250 MW); a 5-MW solar PV project in Putrajaya, and Felda Holdings Bhd’s biomass project planning on using the highly promising byproducts of palm oil processing.

Biologically speaking Above: 31,600 visitors and 5000 conference delegates attended ARCHIDEX 2012

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Being one of the prime producers of Palm oil, Malaysia can lead in biomass power. Over 15% of the country (4.7 hectares of land) is devoted to

oil palm plantations, inevitably producing vast quantities of biomass and biogas as byproducts. While 18 million tonnes of palm oil is produced yearly, it is mainly for export. The waste generated in the process include palm fronds, trunks, and fibre that can be used as biofuel. For biogas, the methane capture of palm oil mill effluent (POME) is large enough to power 20% of Malaysia’s electricity by 2020. However, voices protesting the extensive use of palm oil and its byproducts argue that converting over one million hectares of forest into plantations is in itself unnatural, ironically emitting a considerable amount of carbon dioxide in the process.

Held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, overlooking and interconnected to the nation’s iconic Petronas Towers, ARCHIDEX 2012 hosted several concurrent conferences and two sizeable exhibitions, including a regional first in ecoconstruction known as ECO-B. Representing 450 companies across 11 countries, ARCHIDEX 2012 and ECO-B housed 1,100 booths across eight halls. It’s no surprise that this large-scale trade event received foot traffic of 31,600 visitors, excluding close to 5,000 conference delegates. ARCHIDEX 2013 will be held from 19 to 22 June next year, while ECO-B will branch out on its own earlier in the year, scheduled for 26-28 March in Kuala Lumpur.


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Red hot summer Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) typically accounts for 40 to 50% of the total energy bill for businesses and commercial buildings, making it a crucial component of any organisation’s energy-efficiency programme. BGreen looks at energy reduction strategies in HVAC systems

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n the GCC, cooling is a top priority for the built environment. The UAE is the second in a list of GCC countries where there is a booming demand for HVAC systems, led by Saudi Arabia. Projected to hit SR4.5 billion by 2014, the Saudi HVAC sector is expected to achieve between 30 to 50% growth by then. HVAC systems generally include dampers, supply and exhaust fans, filters, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, heating and cooling coils, ducts, and various sensors, and all these components can be tweaked for greater energy efficiency. The most significant modifications, however, exist at the design stage for HVAC systems.

Energy efficient system design Designing energy efficiency into a new building, along with the proper sizing of equipment, can minimise the energy consumption

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and operational costs of a development’s HVAC systems from the outset. It is generally cheaper to install energy efficient HVAC equipment at the point of construction than it is to upgrade an existing building with an energy

76% of a chiller’s total lifecycle cost lies in energy consumption in operation

efficient HVAC system later on, particularly if those upgrades lead to production downtime.

HVAC retro-commissioning The Emirates Wildlife Society –World Wildlife Fund (EWSWWF) has designed the ‘Leading by Example’ programme to encourage UAE government agencies to conserve energy and water in their buildings. As part of this effort and to demonstrate that changes are realistic, feasible and cost-effective, EWS-WWF has conducted a makeover of the UAE Ministry of Environment & Water’s building in Dubai. They anticipate up to 24% carbon footprint reduction by improving air conditioning efficiency. An initial capital investment will pay back in 2.5 years on current prices, with projected annual savings of AED 62,000. Before replacing HVAC system components to improve energy efficiency, HVAC system retro-

commissioning could be a better option. Like commissioning, existing HVAC and electrical systems are put through the series of tests to determine a baseline for the retrofit. Commissioning is the check and balance necessary in determining whether a new building meets its design function, allowing the building management team to monitor its performance once facilities are installed. In practice, commissioning costs are not included in design fees and often compete with other activities. As a result, commissioning is seldom pursued properly. It is critical that the building is commissioned to ensure that energy performance and operational goals are met. The US Energy Star has a small checklist for ensuring that the commissioning process is followed through for increased savings: • Identify energy performance goals during commissioning to ensure that the design target is met. Encourage


Construction

Retro-commissioning may help avoid the need to install new or additional equipment, leading to savings in capital investments

energy-use tracking that will allow performance comparisons to be made over time. Specify detailed commissioning activities in your project contracts. Seek separate funding for commissioning work to ensure that it is given the appropriate level of importance. Hire experts that specialise in building commissioning. Include the commissioning firm as part of the design team early in the project. Finalise and transfer a set of technical documents including manufacturers’ literature for systems and components. Supplement technical literature with summaries of intended operation. Provide additional explanation for innovative design features.

In the case of existing buildings, retro-commissioning involves a detailed assessment of equipment performance and maintenance procedures for comparison to design goals to identify and correct inefficient systems. Retrocommissioning may help avoid the need to install new or additional equipment, leading to savings in capital investments. According to Thomas Bohlen, Chief Technical Officer

at the Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development, “retrocommissioning can produce energy efficiency improvements in the order of 5% to 15%, with payback periods of 2 or less years, depending on the age of the building systems, past maintenance levels, and so on.” The US Energy Star Building Upgrade Manual suggests a building “tune up” in the following order: • Lighting and supplemental loads • Building envelope • Controls • Testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) • Heat exchange equipment • Heating and cooling systems Each of these steps related to HVAC systems, directly or indirectly, where efficiency can lower cooling loads.

Energy monitoring and control systems An energy monitoring and control system supports the efficient operation of HVAC systems by monitoring, controlling, and tracking system energy consumption. Such systems continuously manage and optimise HVAC . Turn to page 16 for information on the Emirates Energy Star programme, a focussed energy monitoring solution for buildings. Adds Bohlen, “monitoring an existing building’s HVAC systems in real time provides ‘continuous commissioning’ of these systems and allows building managers the ability to continuously drill down to even lower energy consumption rates and provide in-time maintenance with fewer staff. Based on historical data collected, this measuring, verifying,

and monitoring in real time methodology can reduce energy consumption in most existing buildings by 10% to 20%.”

HVAC at night? Increasing building temperatures during periods of non-use, such as after work hours or during weekends, can lead to significant savings

75% of the building’s total energy bill consumed by HVAC systems

in HVAC energy consumption as well. The Burj Khalifa uses advanced district cooling technology to meet its HVAC requirements. The system uses thermal storage technology to produce ice slurry during offpeak hours, which is then used to cool the tower, essentially saving electricity costs. The ice-storage facility is much smaller in size than conventional cooling apparatus, making it ideal for a large project like the world’s tallest building.

Variable-air-volume (VAV) systems Variable-air-volume systems adjust the rate of airflow based on the requirements of the space, working to optimise the airflow within HVAC ductwork. This reduces the loads on building air handling units, by extension reducing the electricity bill. Makkah’s Holy Mosque in Saudi Arabia is a GCC-based example of how VAV systems can save power, according to data recorded by Ventures Middle East Field Research.

Adjustable speed drives (ASDs) Fans within the system are not constantly running at full speed.

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2

months the expected payback period for fixing leaks

They can be lowered by ASDs, which regulate the speed of recirculation fans, chiller pumps and water systems pumps to minimise energy consumption based on demand, rather than by default.

in reducing cooling loads in our desert clime. Strategically planted or placed trees around the building can provide shade for part of the building, passively reducing cooling demand internally.

Modifying fans

Insulation and glazing

Exhaust fans are standard components in any HVAC system. Changing the size or shape of fans can help to optimise fan efficiency and airflow, thereby reducing energy consumption. Mixed flow impeller exhaust fans are recognised across the industry as an efficient option, compared to the conventional centrifugal exhaust fans, recording typically 25% greater efficiency. They’re also cheaper to install and maintain, with a payback period for this measure is around 2 years.

Older buildings usually run higher electricity bills than newer buildings, and this is usually because of weak insulation. Adding durable insulation to a building is a guaranteed strategy in lowering utility costs. Low-emittance windows are another effective strategy for improving building insulation. These windows can lower the heat transmitted into a building and therefore increase its insulating ability.

Thomas Bohlen

7% the reduction in cooling capacity due to dirty condenser coils

Duct leakage repair

Heat recovery systems Heat recovery systems reduce the energy required to cool the air that goes into the unit, by utilising the thermal energy from exhaust air. Studies have shown that heat recovery systems can reduce a facility’s cooling cost by about 3% for each degree (Fahrenheit) that the intake air is lowered, with a payback period of three years or less.

HVAC chiller efficiency Chiller efficiency can be improved by lowering the temperature of the condenser water, which increases the chilled water temperature differential. This reduces pumping energy requirements. Another energy efficiency strategy is the proper sizing of chillers to balance chiller load with demand.

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Reflective roofs and landscaping Reflective paint on the roof of buildings can be beneficial

Duct leakage can waste significant amounts of energy in HVAC systems. Measures for reducing duct leakage include installing duct insulation and performing regular duct inspection and maintenance, including ongoing leak detection and repair. A relatively new technique, mobile aerosol-sealant

injection system (MASIS), reportedly reduces overall duct leakage, leading to a 34% increase in the overall efficiency of the building’s HVAC system.

Leak reduction A typical industrial building would have an air leak rate between 20 to 30% of its total compressed air production capacity. By fixing these leaks, studies project a 20% reduction of annual energy consumption in compressed air systems. Energy loss in this context depends on the size of the leak and where it is situated. Most industrial case studies suggest that the payback period for leak reduction efforts is generally shorter than two months. Sustained leaks can eventually take a toll on equipment, reducing the useful life of HVAC systems by up to 10 years. The best way to detect leaks is by using an ultrasonic acoustic detector, which picks up on high frequency hissing sounds associated with air leaks. Leak detection and repair programs should be sustained throughout the life span of the building.


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COMMENT | Kim

Sustaining Environmental Protection

D.Y Kim, President of LG Electronics Gulf FZE, looks at the new generation of air conditioners in the market and how they have the potential to revolutionise the way we live

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ithout electricity, society as we know it would cease to exist. It’s very hard to overestimate just how important electricity is to nearly every aspect of modern life, from keeping the lights on in a child’s bedroom to powering massive manufacturing facilities. For countries, then, securing adequate supplies of electricity is a paramount task. Reliable, abundant electricity enables a higher quality of life for citizens.

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It is also a prerequisite for creating economic growth.  Past and current efforts to increase supply and meet the demands of greater energy consumption have had a significant, negative impact on the environment. Our drive for energy is accelerating climate change and exacerbating environmental problems such as acid rain. Moreover, this problem is not confined within borders. It is a global issue that requires innovative

responses from global leaders. Corporations also have a responsibility to balance opportunities for growth with the need to seek out eco-friendly paths to achieve that growth. And in some cases, corporations are better poised than many countries to tackle such a large-scale problem.

A Deeper Look into Energy Consumption There is abundant data to demonstrate that our planet


Kim | COMMENT

a number of corporations (REALISE) that becoming part of the solution does not have to come at the cost of profit

Earth is in trouble. A greater concentration of greenhouse gases has caused global temperatures to rise steadily over the past 150 years, with a rate of around 0.3 degrees Celsius per decade. Our dependence on fossil fuels has caused, among other things, a massive amount of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide to be released into the atmosphere. While both of these gases do exist naturally, more than 90 percent of the former and 95 percent of the latter found in North America and Europe are of human origin. Because such high doses can be converted quite easily into sulphuric or nitric acid, these emissions result in outbreaks of acid rain that can cover vast distances and do significant damage to both plant and animal life. Multinational corporations have reached an interesting crossroads. While driven primarily by the need to make greater and greater profits in the past, the growing awareness of climate change has caused pressure, from both within and without, to be placed on corporations to become part of the solution rather than the problem. Even more interesting, a number of these corporations have come to the conclusion that becoming part of the solution does not have to come at the cost of profit. In fact, the opposite may well be the case.

Innovating the Management of Home Energy Consumption

D.Y Kim

Homes consume large amounts of energy. Each household has a collection of home appliances and digital services. It has been estimated that more than 25 percent of the world’s energy consumption is being used for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) as well as the lighting of residential and commercial buildings. Therefore, by concentrating on making this aspect of human life more efficient and less wasteful, there are significant gains to be made in protecting the environment. To achieve successes in this endeavor, technological innovations are crucial. LG’s latest air conditioner is a great example of how very clever technology can make a significant difference. A Multi-stage Tropical Compressor combines a highly efficient motor, minimised oil circulation and a specially designed resonator and cylinders to ensure powerful cooling. What this means is that the air conditioner can achieve high reductions in energy consumption while operating in extreme weather conditions. This is made possible because LG has combined its technological knowhow with a positive corporate philosophy of making the UAE’s

indoor experience more enjoyable this summer. Faster cooling or heating is not restricted to small rooms. Even wider spaces can be climate controlled in shorter times. The Power Cooling function actually allows the Titan to cool a wider room 20% times faster than standard air conditioners with 3.02 coefficient of performance. A Tropical Compressor delivers optimised airflow for 24 consecutive hours, even under extreme temperatures of up to 58C. Customers get to feel better about doing their part to achieve more eco-friendly lifestyles, but they also get the enjoyment of seeing lower electricity bills each month. This is win-win. It also explains the appeal of LG air conditioning products, and by extension, it also explains how a multinational corporation like LG can put its focus on environmental protection while still pleasing company shareholders. Working at LG Electronics since 1989, D.Y. Kim started his career in the Research and Development department. Since then, he has garnered over two decades of experience across departments. In January 2012, he was appointed as the President of LG Electronics, Gulf FZE.

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UPGRADE now, pay later Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence CEO Ivano Iannelli and the organisation’s Senior Advisor-Low Carbon, Carlos Ospina, speak to BGreen about their game-changing ESCO financing project for greening the skyline, one building at a time

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Ivano Iannelli Chief Executive Officer Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

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recent statistic accounts 70% of the UAE’s energy consumption to the built environment, with existing buildings outnumbering newer ones at a 10 to 1 ratio. The first step towards sustainable development points to retroactively greening the building stock through a focussed investment on energy efficiency measures. This is where Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE) steps in, with their pilot Energy Services Company (ESCO) project. Essentially, ESCOs are utilised to pay for environmental upgrades in buildings with no initial investment from the building owner. The ESCO develops an energy efficiency strategy for a building, following through with the installation, monitoring and financing for the project, appealing to companies and building owners

who don’t have a budget for investing in green retrofits. In a standard ESCO, a financier pays for energy efficiency measures and is repaid by the project owner through a share on the energy savings realised by the project. A carbon Enhanced ESCO model extends the concept to incorporate the value of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. According to DCCE, the carbon enhanced ESCO model provides an integrated approach under which two fundamental aspects of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy (DIES 2030) are addressed simultaneously: how to face the challenges of planning for the growth of demand side electricity consumption while at the same time mitigating climate change through the reduction of GHG emissions. Ivano Iannelli elaborates.

Ivano Iannelli: The UAE is a resource rich environment, and in the context of ESCOs, the actual business of co-investing in efficiencies has not yet been fully developed. The leadership of the Supreme Council of Energy can be used to assess the barriers and implement pilot projects that enable the end-user to take advantage of investments whilst sharing medium and long term advantages. We identify the market mechanisms that have a social impact. If you consider the scale of adoption of a process or product in society, there is a very small number of early adopters. Then it reaches a tipping point where everyone buys in, reaches its maturity level and then slowly declines until a new product or service kicks in. We


Construction

The UAE is a resource rich environment, and in the context of ESCOs, the actual business of co-investing in efficiencies has not yet been fully developed

are looking at different segments of environmental efficiencies as early adopters, and we want to lead by example through our clients. For example, us adopting energy efficient strategies in this office is taken as a given, however, an entity like DUBAL or DEWA drawing out an ESCO project for their facilities has a remarkably significant impact. First of all, they demonstrate the merit of the concept, and they also leverage their own investment for the sake of setting an example for societty. Literally, they’re investing in the community they operate within by finding out how is it for the average company to use this service. The energy efficiency pilot project is hence launched by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy for DEWA, ENOC and DUBAL buildings, for this kind of financing environmental upgrades.

Carlos Ospina Senior Advisor-Low Carbon, speaks to BGreen about ESCOs

BGreen: What are some of the obstacles faced in implementing this project?

BGreen: What makes this project so unique? Ivano Iannelli: There are no true ESCO projects that we know of in the region. There are ESCOtype activities, but this is based on a specific financial vehicle and the moment the client pays for these services, it is no longer an ESCO project. Carlos Ospina: Basically, it was developed in the US and Europe. The idea is that a company that provides ESCO services will go to buildings or hotels and identify what is the actual energy consumption, then conduct an assessment to look at options to generate savings. This could include changing the lighting, chillers, air conditioning systems, and so on. These energy conservation measures (ECMs) are defined and valued at a certain cost. The ESCO

to upgrade the energy profile of their facilities, and rather than investing in their own buildings, they spend a little bit more to invite the community to participate. In doing so, we are interacting with most of the local banks and many of the international banks, identifying what the barriers and limitations are, so that we can find a way around them. We either ask the regulators to take action, or overcome the barrier ourselves. The most important component here is the ability for the banking sector to finance this kind of industry because unless we are able to remove these barriers, we are unable to include the concept of replicability in the industry.

will invest in the initial capital for these changes to be implemented, only to be paid back from the savings in electricity. The financing comes directly from us, and we finance ourselves through banks.

BGreen: Could you tell us more about the financing aspect of this project? Ivano Iannelli: In Europe, the banking sector is quite used to this model, so they have policy regulation processes facilitating this. The work that has to go into it is quite large, and here, many banks may not be ready to invest in these projects until the demand is sufficiently high. It’s a chicken-andegg situation: which comes first? DEWA or DUBAL’s role in this, by being part of the pilot project, is that they take this requirement

Michaela Neukirch Project Originator Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

Ivano Iannelli: It has not been done in the region yet, but it’s a powerful tool to bring energy upgrade to buildings without having them invest initially. It’s also an element of aligning business interests. If you do not know what to purchase, you are basically unable to assess the value that is being presented to you. If I am an engineering consultancy company, I could promise as much as possible. I could come here are say I can achieve 20% energy reduction for $20, for example. It sounds good on paper, but how can you know if that reduction is worth the value of your money, and for those not from the industry, they are not in a position to assess. We’re looking for an alignment of interest. I’m not a solicitor selling a product, but rather I’m putting my interest in yours, and unless I’m achieving the efficiencies that have been recommended, I’m

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not going to get paid. The risk is no longer on you, it’s on me. With the risk comes a new economic revenue model generating savings based on efficiency. Instead of you achieving a return on investment in 2 years, it might take 2.5 years, factoring in the cost of intermediaries involved in realising savings.

to only one particular geographical area. We are not restricted by any such boundary, and sustainable development shouldn’t be limited to just one area. Being a knowledge repository, essentially what we “sell” is the access to knowledge.

BGreen: How is the evaluation done? Ivano Iannelli: We collaborate with Schneider Electric, working closely with them to conduct baseline studies to implement energy efficiency strategies that factor in a high level of technical compliance. As an example, let’s say by replacing light bulbs we’d save 50% of AED 100 energy bill. The bill would then reduce to AED 50. The owner and ESCO will have made an agreement beforehand that the financier will be paid back between than 2 to 10 years, depending on the required level of investment. In this agreement, with a baseline of AED 100, 80% of the savings (of AED 50) go back to the investor, while the remaining 20% are kept with the building owner until the initial capital is paid back. Once it’s paid back, we switch our percentage, where the owner takes 80% of the savings, and we take 20%. In the end it’s a win-win: building owners can lower their energy bill and operational costs without investing in anything, while we’ve created green jobs. By importing new technologies that are environmentally friendly, and circulating capital through three to five different hands, the money the client pays us goes back to the

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bank, and eventually we’re looking at green economic growth. Carlos Ospina: Every kilowatthour (kWh) saved directly represents reductions in CO2 emissions. In Dubai, each kWh of electricity savings means an emissions reduction of 0.49 kg of carbon. The energy-saving measures are under the modality of the clean development mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto protocol, green building programme of activities (POA). Switching off the air conditioning for 20 minutes could generate that saving, as these numbers are simple and straightforward. Because of the complexity of this project, it’s very difficult for an individual to put together a carbon project on their own on a large scale, which is not financially valuable for a small building owner to commission. Under a global POA approach, we can specifically target smaller buildings, where every project is automatically available if they meet the CDM criteria.

BGreen: Would this be open to the entire nation, or is the focus on Dubai alone? Ivano Iannelli: We are already involved in projects in Ras Al Khaimah, as well as actively working hand-in-hand with UAE companies and authorities. What was once perceived as a barrier is no longer such. The UAE wishes to pursue a leadership in renewable energies and green business practices, so there is no longer a geographical barrier of the individual emirates for sustainability related activities. This is the reason we’ve chosen to adopt the framework of a private company. If you’re a government entity, you’re bounded

BGreen: Is Dubai ready for this kind of financing scheme? Ivano Iannelli: Part of our role is to identify the barriers and obstacles, and adapt to navigate around that. It’s not a matter of Dubai being ready, but if the product offering is suitable to the demands of the market. We’re here to identify the product and bring the demand here. Is there a demand for ESCOs, for example? Absolutely! Why isn’t that being addressed? Simply because the banking sector here is not comfortable with the concept of securitisation of the investment. We went through an economic boom that allowed for a large tolerance of inefficiencies. Now that we no longer have the real estate market as the gold mine to tap on, the question that arises is how to sustain our growth strategy. The answer is to look for new products. Now banks have moved out of the frame of working in an economic surplus, to adopting a more market-driven approach. They’re looking at what are the emerging trends, so I’d say Dubai is more ready than ever.


SPECIAL FEATURE

A global spike in the “green collar” job sector may be why more schools and universities have co-opted the environmental sciences into their course catalogues. From environmental health sciences to green management courses, students now have more options to use their strengths for a sustainable future, Praseeda Nair discovers. This generation of students enter green courses with basic knowledge, having heard about climate change and the three Rs of waste management (reduce, reuse and recycle) throughout their childhood. “Sustainability is one of the most critical areas for research as it helps transition our society to a future that is viable. Students interested in this line are those who have an inherent interest in our environment, as well as an inclination towards problem-solving as this area of research can provide multiple solutions for our depleting energy problems,” according to Dr Sgouris Sgouridis, Assistant Professor at Masdar Institute. At the region’s largest sustainability-focused institute, science and engineering students are encouraged to develop the technical know-how to push nascent alternative energy industries into full swing. “Some of our students focus on technological developments like bettering combustion processes or solar power plants. They also develop models for the UAE’s electricity and water consumption, monitoring the benefits and costs in each policy involved. Some of our other students focus on trends in technology in terms of understanding what types of renewable technologies are available,” according to Dr Sgouridis. Driven by growing concern over the environment, Maysa Al Hashmi ventured into sustainable development in 2005, when green courses were unheard of in the UAE. Armed with a degree in Environmental Management and an MBA in Sustainable Business Practices, the Dubai native has built a green little corner for herself in a German chemical company. “In Europe, eco-awareness doesn’t need to be stressed upon. Most people have already converted to the green lifestyle. In the Middle East, there seems to be concern that it’s just a trend that is hot right now. However, as public awareness increases in the region, the green industry –from sustainable small and medium businesses to larger companies that need a green bottom line—will be overflowing with opportunities,” Maysa said. In Europe and the United States, green degrees are available in a wide range of academic disciplines—from architecture to agriculture, and less commonly, from event management to interior design. As more companies embrace the concept of Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER), every major sector, from petrochemicals to aviation, are trying to lower negative environmental impact by greening up their act—which may suggest growing job prospects for students in this line.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Role Call BGreen checks in on Masdar Institute’s pioneer graduating class one year on

Shaikha Ali Al Mazrouei Engineering Systems and Management alumna, Shaikha Ali Al Mazrouei, is currently employed at Mubadala Aerospace, in her area of specialisation. “After graduating from Masdar Institute, I have become more capable of facing challenges, in addition to gaining skills in coordinating and communicating with others within the scope of my work. My knowledge and experience continue to smoothen my progress towards reaching my ambitions.” Al Mazrouei remains confident that she will be able to apply the concept of sustainability in her work as well as her PhD studies in the future. “We must cooperate as a whole and make all efforts in order to achieve the best sustainability model for the country.”

Brian Warshay Alumnus Brian Warshay was also a student of Engineering Systems and Management, who says he has been quite successful in transferring the theoretical skills he picked up at Masdar Insitute in the workplace. “The comprehensive research I performed for my thesis has come in handy numerous times as I have written market research reports and insights into the industry sector that I cover. On several occasions I have used my network of classmates now working in similar industries to gather primary information and research about related topics,” according to Warshay. Currently employed as a Research Associate with Lux Research, Inc., performing market research on smart grid and grid storage technologies, Warshay adds that he gained tremendous experience from taking advantage of the opportunities Masdar Institute had to offer outside of the classroom. He admits that personally he benefited from being an active member of the student government and several clubs, additionally citing his participation in the Zayed Future Energy Prize Review Committee and his role in representing Masdar Institute in Germany at the World Student Environmental Summit (WSES) 2011. “The benefits from personal connections and the interactions with the international group of students, faculty, and administration throughout the Masdar Institute network is unmatched anywhere in the world and will prove invaluable for future career opportunities and success. And, above all, it helps personal growth.”

August/September 2012


SPECIAL FEATURE

Vijo Varkey T New frontiers in scientific research and a platform to debate and learn from a generation that led the change have been the two crucial features that make a post-graduate degree from Masdar Institute different from others, according to Vijo Varkey T., currently employed with Siemens. “I have been very successful because both at Masdar Institute and Siemens, sustainability remains a way of life,” Vijo says.

Steven Meyers For Steven Meyers, student of Mechanical Engineering, it was the hands-on nature of his research and the facilities at Masdar Institute that has made all the difference to his research and his career path. Meyers’ name was included in the esteemed Forbes 30 ‘Under 30’ achievers list in the ‘clean energy’ category for his research in thermal and optical modeling of the Beam Down Solar Thermal Plant in Masdar City. Meyers says: “Not many schools have concentrated solar research equipment on campus grounds like Masdar Institute and this was a big help.  Also, the amount of international exposure I was able to gain through my research, through the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) and other academic conferences. This was absolutely necessary to build a network and helped me to acquire two job offers.”

Josh Halperin Another alumnus Josh Halperin states that the knowledge he gained at Masdar Institute affords him a unique position in the energy industry. “Many of us learned ways to bring value to the energy industry as it transitions toward the broader use of renewable energy. Additionally, I have found that our experience in the Middle East is invaluable because of its significance in the global energy market.” “Whether or not I remain in the energy industry long-term, I will definitely continue to make choices that are more sustainable in both my personal and professional life,” Halperin adds.

Joseph Pan German national, Joseph Pan specialised in Engineering Systems and Management. Pan says: “The main factor that makes Masdar Institute post-graduates stand out in the German job market is the exposure to the international research community. Only a few Master’s students in Germany have publications to their credits (as against several students at Masdar Institute).” Most of the alumni assert that the learning process at Masdar Institute hones the intellectual acumen and skill sets of the graduates, helping them gain a firm foothold in the labour market.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Case-in-point: Sustainable studies From green undergraduate courses to hands-on research-driven postgraduate studies, universities in the UAE are beginning to nudge college-bound students towards a sustainable future

H

Dr Mutasim Nour

August/September 2012

eriot-Watt University Dubai is one of the only institutions in the region offering Masters’ level courses in water resources and renewable energy. The Master of Science (MSc) in renewable energy engineering programme is designed to specifically provide students with a practical and theoretical grounding in technologies and wider knowledge and skills relevant to the renewable energy sector, for the practising engineer as well as decision-making managers and policy makers. Dr Mutasim Nour, Director of the MSc energy and renewable energy programmes, spoke with BGreen on the scope for the course in the region. “The programme gives an overview of the provision and use of energy in the world

today, aimed at students wishing to develop a critical understanding of the significant changes afoot in the renewable energy system due to the development and integration of wind, marine, biomass and solar technologies. The programme will provide graduates of a calibre capable of developing and implementing creative solutions to the problems encountered in renewable energy capture, conversion, storage and management. It is directly related to the energy challenges facing the all regions of the world, including the Middle East.” This syllabus is also concerned with the concepts, applications, design, development and deployment of renewable energy converters, and demand management and energy storage systems. Also, a broad range of disciplines covered by the MSc in energy are reflected in this focussed degree which covers energy resources, energy efficiency, environmental legislation, environmental impact assessment and economics of renewable energy. Dr Olisanwendu Ogwuda, Academic Head and Director of Studies (Civil and Architectural

Engineering), outlined the water resources programme. “The aim of the programme is to provide a sound understanding of sustainable water resources issues by developing the knowledge and skills necessary for planning and management to meet the needs of the built and natural environment within the context of climate change. “The water resources programme in Dubai campus builds on the success of the programme in Edinburgh which trained many people who are now working in different parts of the world. The programmes are mostly identical, excepting that we offer some GCC-specific courses like focusing on desalination, for instance,” Dr Ogwuda says.

Method of education “Heriot-Watt recognises that learning needs to be flexible and the renewable energy programme allows experienced and recent graduates to tailor the programme content and structure to their specific needs,” Dr Nour adds, citing the university’s virtual learning environment tool, better known on campus as “Vision.” Students submit assignments


SPECIAL FEATURE

through Vision at their own pace over the internet, allowing them to study for a recognised degree while balancing a day job. Students studying in the Dubai Campus can choose from a full time (one year) or part time (two years) options with classes for both options being held in the evenings. The renewable energy programme is based on the completion of eight core courses and a dissertation. Assessment is by written examination, reports and coursework. Similarly, the water resources programme is suitable for engineers who wish to specialise, as well as non-engineers with a background in science, geography or mathematics who wish to join the engineering profession. The main classroom work is taught during semesters one and two, and this is supplemented with field visits. During the summer semester (May to September) students are engaged on individual research dissertations with supervisor support. Upon graduation from the renewable energy programme, graduates will meet the academic requirements for membership of the Energy Institute.

Prominent student research Says Dr Nour, “Two prominent studies conducted by our students focus on the generation and application of renewable energybased decentralised power in remote areas in Egypt; and the thermal performance of earth tubes for pre-cooling during summer in UAE. The outcome of these studies resulted in two publications articles in the second edition of the International Conference on Renewable Energy (ICREGA 2012).” Other research studies of note according to him include looking at the air tightness of the building envelope in the region; renewable energy supply for Sir Abu Nu’air island; hybrid renewable energy

solutions for UAE; energy analysis of an integrated solar powered heating and cooling systems in buildings applications; and the impact of enhanced building systems on energy efficiency and building performance in Dubai. For Dr Ogwuda, water management research has a strong and established track record in delivering cutting-edge research in all aspects of water management. “Research activities are focused on the development and application of advanced numerical models for the prediction of both flow and transport problems, providing engineering solutions and improved management practices for a range of water-related environmental problems. Contributing staff possess a broad range of expertise, with particular strength in: environmental flow interactions; flood risk management; urban drainage and culvert design; environmental fluid mechanics; pollution incident modelling; river dynamics; water resources management; hydroinformatics and the application of GIS to water problems. “Where possible, MSc (water resources) dissertation projects are set up in collaboration with industry, in order to encourage contact between the student and industry, and to underpin the industrial relevance of the projects. Students are also encouraged to suggest their own topics and projects may be undertaken at overseas locations.”

Enrolment and demand Due to increased demand from UAE and abroad, the MSc energy programme was introduced in the Dubai campus in 2009 with about 20 students. Dr Nour states that the energy programme is one of the most popular programmes in the school of engineering and physical sciences. “This is evident in the tremendous increase in the number of students enrolled in this programme to about 90 students

Dr Olisanwendu Ogwuda

in the 2011/12 academic year,” Dr Nour says. “In line with the rapidly expanding area of renewable energy engineering resulting in increasing market demand in the Middle East and abroad, the Dubai campus decided to offer an MSc in renewable energy engineering in September 2012. As of August 2012, we have received more than 100 applications for both MSc in renewable energy engineering and MSc in energy programmes. “Due to the committment of UAE and other Middle Eastern countries to generate part of energy from renewable sources to reduce carbon emissions, I would expect the demand on green degrees to increase rapidly in the coming years.” On water resources, Dr Ogwuda adds, “student numbers have increased from the previous year and we expect this trend to continue,” which could bode well for the sustainable development of our region.

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On the green pulse For students straight out of high school, green undergraduate programmes could offer a taste into this fast-growing globally vital niche industry American University Sharjah Course: Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) Duration: 4 years (8 semesters), minimum of 122 credits required. Focuses on practical applications, such as the analysis of air, water and soil samples; monitoring real environments for effects on wildlife, and so on. The program also offers professional training to operate and analyse gas chromatography (GC), high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and inductively coupled plasma spectrometry (ICPS). Problems such as treating and monitoring effluent or gaseous emissions and preparing scientific reports are dealt with, along with carrying out research projects in a team, real time field experiences. Furthermore, students are made familiar with industry tools such as modelling software, and are exposed to protective regulation-forming. Canadian University of Dubai Course: Bachelor of Science (Environmental Health Management)

August/September 2012

Duration: 4 years (8 semesters), 126 credit hours Given options to choose and start from among the summer, fall or spring semesters, students are primed to deal and cope with human health and environmental changes (such as global warming, pollution and depletion of natural resources). The programme provides career eligibilities in environmental agencies, government ministries and healthcare, research and educational institutions. UAE University Course: Master of Science (Environmental Sciences) Duration: 3 semesters, 30 credit hours The course delves into thorough analysis of environmental issues affecting the region, with a concentrated look at UAE case studies. Environmental legislature features heavily in the syllabus, allowing graduates to go on to careers in policy-making and project implementation. Potential careers include working at municipalities, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Public Labour, oil companies, hospitals, environmental agencies, and industrial establishments.

Additional reporting from Tahira Mehmood


K AMSTRUP

– your partner within energy metering

District cooling is a better solution for the environment and district cooling combined with individual BTU metering and exact billing is even better. At Kamstrup we work to develop solutions that make a difference, for the energy supplier, the consumer and the environment. It has been proven that accurate and visible energy metering reduces energy consumption, merely as a psychological effect. People are already aware that energy is an expensive resource, and if they are made aware of their consumption habits, they will automatically seek to adjust to a more energy savvy behavior. European experience states that almost 30% energy savings can be achieved when using individual BTU metering for cooling energy if compared to bulk metering where cooling charge is included into the rent. There is a clear difference in the consumption pattern of energy and water in measured and non-measured apartments. As 1°C in indoor temperature represents 5% of the energy bill a tenant can actually save 10% by increasing the indoor temperature from 20°C to just 22°C. This very concrete economic benefit of individual metering is followed by the important educational aspect that people get used to have a critical eye on their consumption as energy prices are in a steep rise. Kamstrup can provide all needed metering HW and SW to establish BTU metering into new and also existing buildings as retrofit metering.

There is always a better solution – Kamstrup metering solutions

Kamstrup Middle East FZC P.O. Box 500 468, Dubai United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 453 7337 dubai@kamstrup.com www.kamstrup.com


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GREEN Technology

Metering Energy Abu Dhabi has equipped buildings across the emirate with smart meter units as early as April 2011. With this city-wide switch in place, BGreen looks at what lies ahead for smart metering

The direct subsidy paid by the government represents between 40 to 85 per cent of the true cost”

T

he much-anticipated roll out of smart meters in Abu Dhabi hasn’t changed much. The Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB) confirmed that there are no plans to change the tariff structure for utilities, despite the fact that this can accommodate variable tariffs by providing the utilities company real time information about consumption.

August/September 2012

Instead of incentivising the public to curb consumption through high energy prices, RSB’s strategy hinges on making residents aware of the real cost of utilities by publishing the true cost against the amount waived by the government. For Emirati households, at 5 fils per kilowatthour, this can mean an 84% subsidy from the government. Instead of having to invest in expanding energy generation

capacity to serve increasing demand, governments and utilities are encouraging reducing the peak load as a smarter, greener and economical option in energy distribution.

Time-of-day “In Abu Dhabi, no consumer currently pays more than 15 fils per kilowatt-hour for electricity, and the direct subsidy paid by the government represents between 40


GREEN Technology

The energy purchasing trial started in June, with the recruitment of 400 volunteers from villas in pre-selected gated communities, after which there will be a pre-assessment of houses for installation of the electronic display”

to 85% of the true cost,” confirmed Bruce Smith, Business Advisor at Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA). A recently launched experiment by RSB exposed a group of volunteer households in Abu Dhabi to time-of-day pricing as a way to raise awareness of the cost that is otherwise absorbed by the government. While most governments rely on economic incentives to drive public behavioural change, Abu Dhabi’s energy subsidies make it necessary for the Emirate to drive down electricity consumption through awareness campaigns on the benefits of saving. “Meeting electricity demand during peak hours means generators working only perhaps 8 hours a day in the summer and even less in the winter. Ideally, to maximise these generators for a longer period, we need to reduce the short-term peak by making the load flatter over a 24-hour period,” Director General Nicholas Carter said, speaking on behalf of the Regulation and Supervision Bureau. Ramiz Alaileh, the Bureau’s Powerwise Manager explained, “It is all about ‘flattening’ the peak in a voluntary way by incentivising customers to change their behaviour. We are doing this by offering a special electronic display which will inform customers of their electricity consumption at any time during the day.”

How it works The trial introduces two indicative charge rates during a 24-hour period. Peak time (2pm – 8pm) is when electricity is most in demand, particularly in the summer months, and will be assigned a higher charge rate. Off-peak time will cover the remainder of the 24-hour

period, when rates will be lower. Throughout the trial, volunteer households will continue to pay their standard published rates to Abu Dhabi Distribution Company.  At the end of the trial, the Bureau will be able to determine if price signals have changed customer behaviour or not. The energy purchasing trial started in June, with the recruitment of 400 volunteers from villas in pre-selected gated

communities, after which there will be a pre-assessment of houses for installation of the electronic display. This will be followed by familiarising volunteers with the process of reading and interpreting their display. Once comfortable with the process of monitoring and optimising energy consumption, time-of-day pricing will be introduced to assess if the knowledge of having a lower rate has an impact on electricity consumption. “This is a very exciting trial and will enable the whole sector to think about how to use its assets in a more efficient way, once we know the results. In the end, we can only change the way people use electricity wisely when we have good data and that is what this trial and Powerwise is all about,” Ramiz added. The trial will end in late 2013, when all displays will be collected and the two charge rates are switched off.  To reflect the performance of households during the trial, a personalised report will be sent across to volunteers at regular intervals. Participating volunteers will still pay the standard rates (15 fils/kWh for non-nationals and 5 fils/kWh for nationals) throughout the trial. However, consumers who have

Tariff

Nationals

Non-National

Current Standard rates

5 fils/kWh

15 fils/kWh

Peak Time(2:00 PM to 8:00 PM)

10 fils/kWh

30 fils/kWh

Off Peak Time(between 8 PM and 2 PM)

3 fils/kWh

9 fils/kWh

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GREEN Technology

Negawatt is a theoretical measurement that takes ‘saved’ watts into account, essentially ‘paying’ customers not to consume energy as a direct form of positive reinforcement” managed to save under the new tariff structure will receive a refund at the end of the trial. The display unit installed in the volunteers’ houses will show the current and historic consumption of electricity; LED demand indicators colour coordinated to identify low, medium and high demand consumption; and cost and tariff information. The Bureau assures that there is no risk to customers participating in this trial, and if they consistently reduce and shift their consumption from peakdemand hours to off-peak hours, the Bureau agrees to monetise and reimburse the savings accumulated. Since participation is purely voluntary, households can opt out at any point in the trial, as long as they advise the Bureau in writing.

now, none,” he adds, almost controversially. In a cost reflective tariff market, the business case for smart meters is clearly justified. ADWEA’s Bruce Smith explains how it could just as easily work in a subsidised tariff market. “If you look at the benefits against the cost of implementation, I would suggest that the benefits from a pure return-on-investment perspective just don’t stack up. The prime driver for the smart metering programme under ADWEA is very much around the operational benefits. We were looking to reducing the time for disconnecting and reconnecting accounts, for faster outage detection, to improve the accuracy of billing, to reduce the manual need for meter reading through automation,” Smith adds.

Smart meters in a subsidised model? Smart meters are in-home meters with display units that provide realtime electrical data per appliance. “With smart meters in every home, we could help Abu Dhabi reduce peak consumption rates by 249MW-saving 1.2 billion AED,” according to ADWEA. 506,000 meters have been replaced by smart units in Abu Dhabi, and an additional 180,000 in Al Ain, which represents 90% of the metering stock, with about twothirds being linked back to the main system. Data can be gathered from these meters by October of this year. “Are we doing anything with this data at the moment? No. Are we getting any additional value apart from billing data? Right

August/September 2012

Nega-what?

Power outtages still occur in remote parts of the UAE

“Negawatt” is a theoretical measurement that takes ‘saved’ watts into account, essentially ‘paying’ customers not to consume energy as a direct form of positive reinforcement. As a means of demand management, the concept of negawatts can be incorporated into energy control systems within buildings to modify the on/off patterns of air conditioning and lighting. When HVAC systems are at around 90% of their duty cycle,

they could be programmed to turn off, thereby influencing consumer behaviour by force of habit. If energy management systems can log the hours of energy units saved, this information can then be relayed to regulators to potentially establish a negawatt tariff, where their savings can be monetarily recognised as a reward system.

Meter trend A recently released market forecast report by the Northeast Group, predicts that the market for smart metering market will rise to 16.1 million units by 2022, with total capital expenditure of $3.9 billion. The GCC, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will see the majority of near-term activity, with 86% of homes having smart meters installed by the same year. “Smart grid regulatory frameworks are in the early stages of development but progress is being made. Governments are realising they must incentivise energy conservation and are beginning to invest in the technologies necessary to make their grids smarter. Smart city concepts such as Masdar City in the UAE and the Pearl-Qatar in Qatar show that smart grid technologies will be a feature of Gulf infrastructure investments over the next decade, the report adds.


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GREEN Technology

The right framework Jose Alberich, Partner at Energy and Process Industries and Utilities Practice, AT Kearney, speaks to BGreen about the unique role of smart meters in the UAE and how consumers can become “prosumers� in advancing regional energy efficiency

BGreen: In 2010, AT Kearney had projected that implementing smart meters in the GCC could potentially reduce the peak load demand by 10 to 20%. Considering the heavily subsidised tariffs in energy-intensive cities like Abu Dhabi, how can smart meters be utilised as a check and balance system to curb consumer consumption? Jose Alberich: There is potential to reduce peak load demand but smart meters alone will not be enough to achieve a reduction of 10% to 20%. Smart meters enable the installation of other technologies required to reduce the peak load consumption, such as those that empower consumers to change their behavior by informing them about their consumption patterns. The most efficient technologies involve sending information about consumption to consumers (via tablets or internet platforms) and steering the consumption via demand response solutions. External aggregators and system operators with usage of intelligent grid devices may offer such services. Given the subsidised regional tariffs (in comparison to European tariffs for example); there will be less motivation at customers to decrease peak demand load. Key to increasing energy efficiency is implementation of tailored tariffs like TOU or CPP.

August/September 2012

BGreen: A spokesperson from Abu Dhabi Water and Energy Authority (ADWEA) stated that even though the emirate is fully and extensively equipped to gather data through smart meters, they do not plan to use the data at this time. What are some of the potential benefits or obstacles that arise from smart metering? How can this data benefit utilities companies in the GCC? Alberich: Current challenges include high implementation cost, social resistance, regulatory uncertainty and technology uncertainty. Utilities, financial institutions, insurance and telco companies and others can use data from smart meters. Utilities can use the data for the creation of new

products and better network steering. Financial institutions, insurance and telco companies can use data for better risk management and for the development of new and cost competitive products.

BGreen: How is the GCC faring in terms of integrating renewables in terms of smart grids? Alberich: Despite the many announcements of renewables in the region (for example, solar PV and CSP with projects launched or announced in

MENA most of them in GCC, amounting to over 53 GWp,), we are still in the phase of pilots that do not create any difficulty in terms of grid integration. By the time, these capacities ramp up, a parallel deployment of smart grids or smart metering could have taken place. This, together with the need to expand the grid (both transmission and distribution) to accommodate the increase in the demand, make the RES capacities a relatively easy issue, compared to the integration in mature grids in other regions of utilities scale wind and solar capacities. The GCC, in all cases, plays with an additional advantage, which is the overlapping of the demand peak and the solar generation. The extent to which the load curve can be shaved is much larger in the GCC than in other markets. On the other hand, the realisation of the full potential


GREEN Technology

of distributed generation and the role of the “prosumer” will have to wait longer. Even if a full smart grid concept is deployed, measures to promote demand management and incentivise the involvement of the end user (such as net metering or dynamic pricing / dynamic grid parity formulas) will have to wait until comprehensive pricing / tariffs regulation beyond FiT (Feed-intariffs) or PTCs (Production Tax Credits) is developed reflecting actual (or at least more realistic or competitive) LCOEs.

Unbundling Unbundling processes have already started or are in the process of being launched in the GCC states. In the UAE, there is a trend to unbundle activities in the electricity value chain, following Abu Dhabi’s example (see figure 4). In Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and the Saline Water Conservation Corporation (SWCC) currently control the generation market, but there are already seven other producers with different degrees of private-public ownership. An official unbundling plan and a set of incentives promote private investment and competition along the electricity value chain, including a National Plan for Renewable Energies that is complementing the support and accelerated growth mentioned above. Generation in Qatar is liberalized; Kahramaa still monitors the remaining stages in the chain. In these market-opening and unbundling stages, market-based tariffs and price signals to manage demand can be implemented, together with initiatives to promote energy efficiency. It will be easier to introduce smart metering and new grid concepts, including net-metering models and optimized procedures for the integration of distributed renewables generation capacities, here than in systems where unbundling and grid solutions are more consolidated.

Figure 4: Unbundling trends in the region

BGreen: It seems that with smart city concepts like Masdar in the UAE and Pearl-Qatar, most governments are realising the need to incentivise energy conservation. What are your thoughts on this investment trend? Alberich: Unbundling processes and regulatory schemes are needed to provide the framework for the renewables segment to grow into a feasible economic segment. It will be easier to introduce smart metering and new grid concepts, including net-metering models and optimised procedures for the integration of distributed renewables generation capacities, where unbundling and grid solutions are more consolidated. An official unbundling plan and a set of incentives to promote private investment and competition along the electricity value chain, including a National Plan for Renewable Energies is in the process of being launched in the GCC states. A supportive regulatory framework will pave the way forward for providing a renewable power generation source, which supports the economic growth of the region - oil can be used for export, power can be generated from renewable sources, new industry clusters can emerge creating investment, commercial growth and new job opportunities.

The rise of the “prosumer” Because smart grids generate real-time, end-to- end transparency this enables more reliable energy production. In many developed nations, consumers are beginning to embrace the possibilities of distributed generation by becoming producers themselves. These producer consumers, or “prosumers,” are consuming energy while producing it, for example, with solar panels on their roofs. However, prosumer behavior is hard to predict. As people learn to capitalise on market mechanics, the growing share of stochastic energy (such as solar or wind power) does not naturally match demand. The resulting power imbalances may lead to reverse power flows, in which energy is produced by traditional consumers and sent back to traditional transmitters (see figure 2).

Figure 2: Smart grid with reverse flow power flow reducing wastage

August/September 2012

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ECO-LEISURE

Eastern sunrise With Shurooq’s massive Khor Kalba eco-tourism project expanding eastward, BGreen examines Sharjah’s green revival in its prime

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His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal

August/September 2012

harjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) announced the commencement of development works in the Eastern region of the emirate of Sharjah, with the announcement of Al Hisn Island in Dibba Al Hisn in Sharjah, after the approval of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. This brings the total number of announced projects in the Eastern Region to three, following the recently announced AED 420m The Chedi Khorfakkan Resort. Over AED 500m has been allocated

for investment in both Kalba Ecotourism project and Al Hisn Island in Dibba Al Hisn. The announcement was made by His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, who stated that the new project in Dibba Al Hisn is a leisure and tourism project that will be a new unique destination for Dibba Al Hisn’s residents, as well as visitors and tourists from the neighbouring areas. Al Sarkal clarified that the new project will include a big water canal and a number of cafes and restaurants with stunning views on the canal, parks, children areas, as

well as a number of various other facilities. He said the project would raise the level of services offered in this regard in Dibba Al Hisn, remarking that all details will be announced in a press conference that will be held by the authority soon.

Sharjah Ruler’s directives for the Eastern Region Al Sarkal added, “This project is being developed according to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah in developing the Eastern Region, the Jewels of Eastern Coast and his


ECO-LEISURE

order to deliver projects that serve the interests of citizens in these areas, drive economic growth, and attract investments that help create jobs and create added economic value to the city, in particular, and the Emirate, in general.”

Development of the commercial complex of the Kalba Eco-tourism project Al Sarkal highlighted the current developments and efforts being exerted by Shurooq in The Chedi Khorfakkan Resort and Kalba Eco-tourism Project. He said that Sheikh Sultan has approved the commercial complex master plan, which will be located alongside Kalba Lake and will include a number of restaurants, retail outlets, parks, and places to monitor animals and birds in the reserves. He has also issued an Amiri Decree on the establishment of mangroves and Hafiya trees reserves in Kalba city, as part of the project. Al Sarkal clarified, “Work is underway in collaboration with the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah and a number of experts to prepare the area environmentally for the animals and plants which will be in the project. Engineers and environmental specialists are conducting the necessary studies and research to carry out the project to the highest international environmental standards and develop the project to help protect the area and its various environmental components”. Sheikh Sultan recently released 18 gazelles of the endangered species known as ‘Damani’ in the Al Hafiya natural reserve in Kalba. This marked the inauguration of the first phase of the project, which is being implemented in three phases. The first phase will see the redevelopment of natural

More than 300 rooms spanning hotels and chalets are due to crop up onsite. Camping, as a popular pastime in the winter months, will most likely remain unaffected

Local cultural pastimes like falconry are expected to thrive

reserves in Kalba (Hafiya and Al Qurm natural reserves), the release of rare animals and birds and the establishment of a centre within the reserve for visitors, as well as the restoration of archaeological sites within the project. The second phase of the project will involve the development of Kalba Lake and the construction of a commercial complex featuring shops and restaurants overlooking the lake. It will include recreational spaces that will enable holidaymakers to enjoy the area’s natural biodiversity without causing harm or negatively affecting its wildlife, in addition to the development of the Kalba Fountain in the middle of the lake. Phase two of the project will also comprise of the development of a number of islands in the creek, as well as rehabilitation to revive their natural marine and bird life. Phase 3 has been designated for the tourism part of the project, which will see the setting up of a number of hotels and chalets overlooking the Gulf of Oman. More than 300 rooms spanning hotels and chalets will be built in line with eco-friendly standards.

the Ruler of Sharjah has approved the commercial complex master plan of Kalba Eco-tourism environmentally for the animals and plants which will be in the project A destination of choice Regarding the progress of work on The Chedi Khorfakkan Resort project, Al Sarkal announced the commencement of excavation and soil test studies. He added that the planned hotel, at a cost of AED 420m, would be one of the most important destinations in the country and region.

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The project includes state-of-theart amenities including the city hill, beach area and hotel suites which include the hill, front, and health resort, gymnasium, and outdoor restaurants and cafes with beach views, as well as a Beach Club. The 106 hotel suites boast beach views and are located alongside the natural resources of the hill. The hotel will open in 2015.

Khorfakkan Corniche Development Al Sarkal said that the Authority is conducting studies to develop the Khorfakkan Corniche and to add new amenities such as family areas, youth areas, public utilities, changing rooms, showers, bathrooms, a children’s fun area, services area and a number of cafes and restaurants opposite the sea. Other areas will be designated for marine sports, walking, jogging and cycling.

Leisure project in the Central Region As part of the authority’s strategy of developing projects in all parts of the Emirate, Shurooq’s CEO announced that the authority intends to develop a new leisure project in Al Badayer in the Central Region and that the project’s preliminary studies have been completed. He clarified that the project will be developed in the Central Region’s desert, specifically in Al Badayer, which is considered one

August/September 2012

Popular tourist attractions like the desert safari and camel riding will take off at an accelerated rate, with the eco-toruism project in Sharjah

of the most important desert areas in the UAE and is well known for its sand dunes that attract a large number of residents and tourists who enjoy the natural beauty of the region. The project will be comprised of an integrated and self-sustained tourism complex that will include a number of restaurants and cafes, in addition to a tourist information centre, outdoor theatre, camel and horse riding areas, cycling areas, Bedouin style seating areas, walking, resting, and barbecue areas, as well as tourist reception stations. Shurooq was established in 2009 with the aim of achieving social, cultural, environmental and economic development on the basis of Sharjah’s distinct Arab and Islamic identity, and to encourage investment by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and the world. Shurooq’s key mission is to provide facilities and incentives

These projects aim to drive economic growth and attract investments to help create jobs and add economic value to the city

to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the emirate, evaluate tourism-related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.


COMMENT | ECO-LEISURE

eco-tourism helps ensure the economic and social benefits of development remain local

Setting the tone Commenting on the Khor Kalba project, Brian Thomas Mullis, Chief Executive Officer at Sustainable Travel International explains how creating the infrastructure for eco-tourism can have a positive impact on the communities and travellers it serves

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oday’s travellers are increasingly seeking authentic destinations that afford opportunities to interact with the people and places they visit, to experience real culture and sense of place. The Khor Kalba eco-tourism project sounds like a great chance to attract new visitors and revenue to the area, while drawing attention to the great preservation work happening on the reserve.  There may even be an opportunity to develop a traveller’s philanthropy (or “giving back”) programme, educating visitors about conservation efforts and local cultural heritage and encouraging them to interact with and support the local community in a meaningful way through donations of their time and financial resources. Best of all, eco-tourism helps ensure the economic and social benefits of tourism development remain local. Of course, the key is to ensure that tourism operations are developed in a sustainable

ABOVE: Mangrove forest

fashion through green building best practices, limiting the impact of any built infrastructure to the extent possible, and managed that way for the long run. This means that tourism impacts should be measured, managed, and closely monitored.  A good working relationship should be developed with local communities, and the overall business plan needs to be financially viable.  The development of an ecotourism infrastructure, in order to attract tourists to an area where they can experience amazing natural assets, is a great step in the right direction. This kind of project certainly has the opportunity to be economically viable if implemented correctly. Taking a step further, the project can help to support environmental conservation and cultural heritage preservation if implemented in such a way that takes advantage of best practices.  Sustainable Travel International exists to help support these types of projects, encouraging tourism businesses to focus on sustainable tourism. Our Sustainable Tourism Education Programme, for example, provides tools that help businesses establish sustainability management and monitoring systems, verify efforts, and communicate the tangible results of their sustainability initiatives to their guests in a transparent manner.

BRIAN THOMAS MULLIS is an internationally recognised expert in sustainable tourism development and destination stewardship. He is the founder and CEO of Sustainable Travel International, a leading non-profit organisation with operations around the world. Mullis has over 21 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry and an extensive track record of successful project development and implementation with international partners. He began his career working in National Parks in the United States and owned and operated international travel company specialising in adventure travel and eco-tourism. During his career, he has worked on programmes on low carbon tourism, market access, capacity-building, enterprise development and sustainable tourism standards. His experience includes specialist knowledge of sustainable tourism policy and management frameworks as they relate to biodiversity conservation, cultural-heritage preservation and localised economic development. He has extensive experience in working with the tourism value chain in the areas of sustainable and business development, having assisted hundreds of companies and destinations, from Fortune 500 companies and SMEs to emerging destinations and SIDS. His work has taken him to more than 40 countries across five continents.

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carbon control The second edition of ‘Sustainable Solutions,’ a series of roundtable events jointly organised by BGreen Magazine and the Emirates Green Building Council, examined the role of various stakeholders in pushing climate change mitigation for the UAE’s sustained development

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Aanal Patwari, representing the Carboun initiative, highlights the role of research-driven NGOs

August/September 2012

ost attendees at the much-hyped United Nations conference on sustainable development in June, including many signatory nations, left Rio de Janeiro unhappy. The resulting agreement reportedly lacked a strong committment towards establishing measurable targets and climate change mitigation goals, leading the world to question the sustainability of a future that does not account for the environment. Weak words and non-committal promises on the conference floor seems to suggest that onus of achieving sustainable targets may need to fall on the private sector and non-governmental

organisations working locally for global results. How much of the responsibility lies in government regulations, and how much on private sector practices depends on which side of the coin we look at. Experts from research-driven nongovernmental organisations, a top auditing firm, and representatives from the private and public sector weigh in on the issue.

BGreen: There seems to be a popular notion in this part of the world that a top down approach may be the best way to implement country or regionwide change. In order to focus on carbon reduction and other goals that can push the region towards a more sustainable path, how large a role do

you think the government should have in terms of facilitating change within the private sector and within the larger community? Tanzeed Alam: I think the government has a really important role to play, but it’s not the sole actor in this realm. How we work with the government is very much based on facilitating dialogue between different government bodies, and also with the private sector. One of our initiatives, the ecological footprint initiative, is governed by a federal steering committee chaired by the Ministry of Environment and Water, along with utilities companies and the regulators. We’re focussing very much on trying to get them to


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the government will play an important role in setting the right framework within which the private sector and general public can operate

Participants

respond to science-based research to inform their policies. If, for example, they’re putting in place a stronger renewable energy target for the UAE, how should that be implemented, and how do they send the right signals to the private sector to partner and participate in this? They need to think about ways to get the general public excited about this transition so that they change their own consumption habits as well. It’s an even partnership between these sectors, and the government will play an important role in setting the right framework within which the private sector and general public can operate. Julion Ruwette: Over a number of years, the influence of the private sector has expanded. It’s not the government alone that has the power to drive change. It’s the private sector, NGOs, and topical experts that need to work together to solve these issues. Aanal Patwari: The UAE’s involvement in the OECD could be beneficial. The OECD started off in 1960, with almost 30 countries participating in the programme that focusses on different aspects related

Tanzeed Alam Policy director Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wide Fund for Nature “Our mission is to help conserve biodiversity, reduce the ecological footprint, and tackle climate change. We do that through policy work, science-based conservation initiatives education and awareness activities. On the policy side, we focus on working in partnership with government agencies and private companies to help them build their capacity to develop science-based plans and policies to address issues like climate change.”

Tanzeed Alam on facilitating dialogue between different government bodies and the private sector

Michaela Neukirch Project Originator Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence “Our organisation was launched by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE), to manage and facilitate emission reduction initiatives. We work closely with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), focusing on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects here in the UAE with a focus on Dubai; furthermore we look into energy efficiency 
in buildings. Currently we’re working on a Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the emirate of Dubai on, behalf of the DSCE. After that we will proceed with the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) phase of the project”

Dr Christian Geierhaas Head of Regional Business Segment Management Construction Chemicals Division ORA: Middle East, West Asia, CIS & Africa BASF The Chemical Company “My group is responsible for BASF products in the region, including Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Russia and CIS countries. Before I joined BASF in Dubai last year, I had been working at our Headquarters in Germany, so I’m also familiar with our global sustainability approach” Julion Ruwette Senior Consultant Climate Change and Sustainability Services Ernst & Young “I’m coordinating our climate change and sustainability services in the UAE. We support our clients in the areas of carbon reduction, CDM registration, sustainability strategy development and implementation, assurance on sustainability reporting, green building advisory and more” Aanal Patwari UAE Coordinator The Carboun Initiative “Carboun is an advocacy initiative to promote sustainability in the built environment in the Middle East. We work across a wide spectrum, ranging from ecology, conservation, energy and water efficiency. Currently we’re working on a programme to raise awareness about climate change mitigation in the GCC, entitled Road to Doha”

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to the environment. This is a great platform to exchange ideas with other nations to tackle what has been hampering climate change.

BGreen: If targets aren’t met, there is a tendency in emerging economies for the buck to get passed, where various stakeholders shift the blame, ranging from a failure of compliance from the private sector, a resistance to change from the community, or a lack of green infrastructure on the part of the policy makers. Are there targets and goals in the UAE that places accountability on the stakeholders? Tanzeed: Regarding renewable energy, yes, Abu Dhabi has a target in place. But they haven’t officially set greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. Michaela Neukirch: To clarify, in Dubai there isn’t a specific target or cap for GHG emissions within industries, but there is a nonbinding reduction goal for the Emirate of 5 million tonnes in the next years. Julion: ‘In the developing world, it doesn’t help to just receive financial assistance from private sector and government organisations; we need experienced people on the ground to push policy makers and entrepreneurs working on the ground in local industries, like farmers, to understand what climate change is all about, what the threads are and the changes we can make in our daily behavior and operations to make a difference. Aanal: NGOs are strongly connected to both policy makers and the community. Their voice reaches the communities, who then in turn can encourage the government to enforce groundrules for sustainable development. Julion: I don’t think the blame should just fall on the government alone, as their role is mainly regulatory. Key to their efforts is to set the infrastructure in place for the private sector to follow, as well

August/September 2012

Julion Ruwette on transparency in sustainability reporting

as taxes and subsidies to dissuade or incentivise them. Christian Geierhaas: The government can make a kind of framework that can make it attractive for private companies to save energy and reduce greenhouse gases. The NGOs and industries can contribute significantly, but you need every single one of us to take ownership of their actions and work towards a sustainable goal. Even personal decisions on air conditioning temperatures need to be justified. All the stakeholders need to be involved. Julion: In the existing built environment, there is a different level of awareness between the private and public sector. It might come down to increasing awareness among schools, universities, as well as in private companies. If all employees understand these principles, then they can bring that home and share that with their families as well. Tanzeed: There’s a real appetite here from the government to do a lot of good things. If you look at some of the green initiatives being announced, such as the development of green building codes, the work they do in Masdar, the green economy initiative; it shows recognition from the top that they need to do something about their environmental impact, which is the kind of culture that needs to filter down to the community. One of things we’re trying to engage with the government on

In the built environment, there is a different level of awareness between the private and public sector is to make their policy making process a bit more open and inclusive from the beginning so that things aren’t just imposed or expected to be implemented. What we really need is buy-in from the right stakeholders at the start to get their feedback. One thing we’re trying to do as an NGO, especially in the policy area here, is to show the government that we’re here to enable them to lead in this area. We do a lot of research it might take the government longer to do, but as an NGO we’re less bureaucratic, and can operate fast enough to feed them information at timely intervals for decision makers to change their plans. A current example is our research supporting the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology to develop an energy efficiency standard for lighting, which would aim to address safety, energy performance, environment, waste management and broader societal issues associated with efficient lights.


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BGreen: When we look at the private sector, a lot of major companies that take sustainability into account from the start to the finish are multinational companies headquartered in countries that may be more forward-thinking when it comes to sustainability. Do you feel that these kinds of values can pass on to small and medium enterprises setting up in the UAE? Christian: In our case, we have global standards everywhere, with a global target for GHG emissions to be cut down by 40% from 2002 levels by 2015. We are on track to achieve this goal, and it’s relevant for BASF everywhere, be it in Germany, UAE or Australia. We define sustainability as one of our strategies for the future, and also to differentiate us in the market. For us, it starts from the source. We’re making energy efficiency evaluations for our suppliers, we’re making audits for environmental

health and safety, and so on. We are also looking at our customers to help them to become more environmentally friendly and thus sustainable, be it from selecting products that have a positive environmental impact or from general topics, such as selection of their fleet if we notice problems. We see ourselves as a kind of developer. However, a stronger framework could help support this further. Julion: You mentioned that multinational companies are on the forefront. Yes, that may be the case because they have global policies they have to abide by here. But from what we see from working with our clients here, it’s also very much the local companies that want to make a difference and be competitive. A lot of local companies want to develop sustainability strategies, reducing their carbon footprint, trying to influence behaviour along the supply chain. But again, it goes back to regulation. A lot of other companies we speak with agree that all these strategies are great, but what is the incentive? Sometimes it’s about branding, but often regulation can influence their decision making. Unless they are exporting or working with countries overseas who have laws regarding carbon, there’s no real urgency in adopting sustainable practices. ‘Right now, France for example is coming up with the concept of carbon labelling,

where products need to list their GHG emission information for public knowledge. Michaela: A big factor is awareness in the senior management. International companies quite often lead the way, but when we work with authorities here in Dubai, we also experience a huge understanding of these issues on a local level. In terms of energy efficiency, there’s a definite economic incentive for companies. Organisations like DUBAL see this as an opportunity for resource efficiency and for setting an example for this country at the same time.

BGreen: As our built environment gets bigger, taller, shinier, how can we keep carbon goals in mind? Julion: Companies need to keep sustainability in mind when working with the supply chain and in their procurement policies, setting up building requirements that look into a low carbon transformation. Other companies that are actually interested in the transition say that they are missing local suppliers when it comes to certain products. As opposed to bringing it in from abroad, they are stimulating SMEs to set up shop here with low carbon products and services. Tanzeed: That’s exactly right. What we’re trying to do with companies here is work with a network of those organisations that have set voluntary emission reduction

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Michaela Neukirch speaks about the DCCE’s emirate-wide Greenhouse Gas inventory

August/September 2012

targets. We have a programme called the Heroes Private Sector. We’ve got a number of different companies from a variety of different sectors who have set these targets for themselves, including multinational and local companies. What they really want to know is if there’s an easy business case to do this. Even in such an environment where energy and water prices are so subsidised, there is a clear business case. Sometimes what they need is for their hand to be held, to take them through the process to understand ‘OK, what can I do with this money to give me the best returns.’ We carried out a number of case studies using the funds raised from the Emirates Foundation. We worked with a number of companies to do a quick energy and water audit and then figured out the number of different technologies they could implement. It was really basic things like water savers on taps, switching to LED lamps, and so on. Because we invested money into the process, these companies saw that they had a partner who is willing to bring that funding, so some of these companies co-invested in the process. It’s a sign that if they have some of that upfront financing then companies are willing to take that step to put in their own money. One to One Hotel in Abu Dhabi is a good example of this, where we’re predicting total CO2 emissions savings of 19% from a mixture of

It’s nice to think that everyone in the world wants to reduce emissions, but People want to know that there’s a good economic case for it

water and energy saving measures. That will pay back in 2.8 years, even with Abu Dhabi’s tariffs. In Dubai, where the tariffs are even higher, the payback is sometimes within one year. It’s nice to think that everyone in the world wants to reduce emissions, but not everyone does. People want to know that there is a good economic case for it, so it’s important to be agile to see how different arguments work for different people, and to present them with a variety of metrics. Christian: If you look at insulation of buildings, these can also be attractive for someone who only considers cost. If you have an owner or investor present, then it’s easier to convince them, as the total

cost of ownership of the building over the years will speak for itself. You can show him that yes, you will reduce your carbon footprint, which is nice, but you’ll also save a lot of money, even at subsidised energy prices. On a higher level, this is another instance where regulations can make the case for the private sector if there are more stringent requirements in place. Michaela: When we looked into energy efficiency in buildings to give an example, the measures we had suggested made financial sense without even pricing carbon. In most of the cases the payback period was within a few years. The DSCE is currently looking into a pilot project to enforce energy efficiency in buildings in which government authorities are looking at their
 own office buildings to set an example by improving their energy efficiency. Hopefully, based on the learnings, this can then spread out to other entities.

BGreen: Julion, regarding transparency in reporting, as a firm that has to vouch for this, how do you think the region is heading? Julion: When I first came here about eight years ago, I was writing a Master’s thesis on sustainability in the UAE, interviewing about 20 companies to find out the level of maturity of these organisations. 8 years ago here, is like 50 years ago elsewhere, considering the rapid pace of development. At that time, the level of sustainability maturity was low, however, some companies had started to develop their sustainability strategies. Now, if you look at the amount of companies that publish sustainability reports, you can see the level of awareness and implementation, and it’s astounding.The drivers behind sustainability reporting differ amongst companies. For example, it could be peer pressure or


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competitiveness, PR/ brand value, regulatory incentives, company policy or many more. Overall, we’re seeing a big growth in sustainability reporting in the region, with Abu Dhabi leading the Middle East. This push from Abu Dhabi is mainly driven by the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group, which has about 30 members now, and all of them are required to publish sustainability reports. Organisations in the Middle East started to publish sustainability reports about 5 years ago, and as these companies have become mature, they’re looking for third party verification to vouch for their credibility. Other countries, like Qatar, are driving this from an industry perspective. Qatar Petroleum, the National Oil Company for Qatar, have published Guidelines on Sustainability Reporting for the Energy and Industry sector in Qatar. These guidelines are based on the IPIECA Oil and Gas sustainability framework, and are aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, the most recognized sustainability reporting frameworks in the world. The aim is for sustainability reporting to demonstrate the industries’ commitment to sustainability issues over time, and highlight the increasing trend in transparency and social accountability.

BGreen: How strong are sustainability markers and guidelines? How can the general public, as a major stakeholder understand these figures and what these numbers translate to? Christian: The public could be guided by a simple scoring system, as is done in Germany. Energy

August/September 2012

efficiency for a house, for example, is quantified as a number, and depending on whether this number falls in the green, yellow or red zone, consumers can control their consumption. This is officially documented by certified examiners, so you are familiar of the figures and your direct impact on these figures. The high energy prices in Europe have encouraged this system to become a part of the culture. Legislation has followed, enforcing that all ‘red’ houses need to lower their consumption to enter the ‘yellow’ zone, for example. Tanzeed: Getting people to change behaviour is a complex mixture of providing them with information, while making them feel like they’re part of the community and the decision making process. If your house, for example, consumes more than the average in your neighbourhood, and that is stated in your energy bill, it could be a powerful way to motivate a household to reduce its consumption. This stems from feeling like you’re falling behind in your neighbourhood. So it’s about packaging information in a way that makes them think that, yes, there is a problem, but you can do something about it. What we’re doing in terms of awareness activities for Earth Hour and the Heroes of the UAE campaign, was very much to create a grassroots movement here. We want to encourage community interaction so that people can discuss these issues with their neighbours in meetings, and environmentally

Dr Christian Geierhaas speaks about the importance of sustainability as a competitive advantage and corporate strategy

conscious decisions start to become an everyday thing, rather than periphery behaviour. Aanal: Talking about the grassroots level, the involvement of the community is essential to streamline environmental education and conservation as part of the standard syllabus in colleges and schools. Students need to be aware of the issues at hand. Speaking about (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20), as stakeholders, it’s one thing that we’re aware of the issues facing sustainable development, but I think it’s equally important to educate children. Eventually, they’ll be the leaders and policy makers who will work on getting regulations in place in the future. Julion: If you look at it from the perspective of the private or public sector, I think it’s important to assess why we’re doing this. I think the goal is to put less strain on our planet, knowing that going forward, we can’t continue like this. The second thing to look at is why should we do this, and how does this link to our company’s strategy. If you are in the aviation industry, for example, you’ll need to look at the impact of emissions of your core product- air transportation. It doesn’t make sense then to invest environmental programmes that look into something unrelated. A lot goes towards philanthropy in the private sector, but that money can be better utilised if the company looks at building a sustainable strategy. Christian: I think it also has to do with how your customers behave. If you look at aviation in Europe, for example, the population is very positively aware of ecological issues. If you position yourself as an aviation company that only uses the latest fuel efficient engines and have a strong offset


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Getting people to change behaviour is a complex mixture of providing them with information, while making them feel like they’re part of the decision making process

programme in place, then this can be a huge competitive advantage for you, and you can see that in terms of credibility in the eyes of the public. That may not work here. Here, the public needs to be educated, starting from children. But then again, legislation needs to be stronger. When they introduced recycle bins in Germany about 20 years ago, the initiative wasn’t initially popular. The authorities then established that your normal garbage will only be collected every two weeks, so you either separate your waste or you’ll be in trouble. This kind of strategy may cause a stir in the beginning, but after that, it will become ingrained in the way people behave. When we looked at our impact globally, we realised that the carbon footprint of our production isn’t that big of a problem. Yes, we reduced it, and we’ll continue to work at it, but by using our products, our customers can reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions by in average 20%. We know this by evaluating the carbon footprint along our total value chain, from suppliers to customers. This is how we try to tie up different industries to achieve overall reductions.

Lora Shrake, from the Emirates Green Building Council, asks about the carbon emissions of the built environment

Michaela: That brings us back to the problem of awareness. If people are not aware of their impact, they won’t see why they should choose sustainable products over the rest. BGreen: While it is definitely beneficial to convince the general public the benefits of energy efficient lifestyle, how can companies who offer energy saving products that may not be directly visible (such as coatings, insulations, et cetera) appeal to the end-user occupying a green office space? Christian: If I was the owner of this building, for example, and I rent the space out to tenants, by insulating the building efficiently, my cost of ownership will be driven down. This also translates to the costs incurred by tenants, such as energy cost from air conditioning use. This makes the space more attractive for tenants as well as building owners. Tanzeed: If you’re thinking about the products that go into green buildings, having some kind of independent ranking or verification system could allow construction companies to make the right choices, and owners can have access to that to make informed decisions as well.

BGreen: Is carbon the be-all and endall for climate change mitigation? Julion: On a global level, a lot of conversation efforts to come up with a global agreement focus on carbon dioxide emissions alone, ignoring other GHG that may be easier to tackle, even though they only account for 40% of emissions. CFCs, black carbon and so on, can be addressed almost instantly. Michaela: We’re in the process of establishing a GHG Inventory for Dubai, and we’re in contact with all the government entities, with private companies, the waste management sector and so on. We’re currently in the data-gathering phase to get a clear picture of the UAE’s carbon footprint, after which we can identify the major emitters and take it from there. We have 
a pretty good idea from previous studies, but this is the most comprehensive study ever taken in the UAE. Christian: If you look at where the GHG emission are most concentrated, compared to a country like China, the industry footprint in the UAE is so much less. This is why it is important to put the seed for change in the minds of the people here than in other emerging markets.

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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.

Brimming with billions Black gold and its by-products have always been our region’s strong suit. With greater governmental focus on sustainability, Abdulmohsen Al Majnouni, SAS-AIChE chairman, notes that companies in this multibillion dollar industry have become smaller, energy efficient and cost-effective

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Abdulmohsen Al Majnouni

August/September 2012

he petrochemical industry in the GCC has been vulnerable to financial crisis, as it has consistently seen up and down cycles in recent years. It has been revealed that these cycles follow the refining industry cycles with a six to twelve month lag, however with recent advances in the petrochemical industry, the cyclic effect may not be the case anymore.

“The introduction of specialty or performance chemicals has differentiated the refining from petrochemical industries,” says Al Majnouni. “The more creative manufacturers are in developing new enhanced products, the more sustainable they become. The more efficient the petrochemicals industry becomes, the less susceptible and less prone to financial crisis they are.”

The GPCA reports that the GCC petrochemicals production capacity grew 13.5 per cent last year to nearly 116 billion tonnes, where Saudi Arabia alone was responsible for more than half of the US$100 billion in sales generated by the GCC petrochemical sector. According to the Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz), Saudi Arabia tops the list with US$12 billion of projects under execution


OIL AND GAS

and another US$41 billion in future projects. Furthermore, petrochemical projects worth US$19 billion are under execution in the GCC providing opportunities in both the long and short terms. Al Majnouni states: “The major short term opportunities are in more integrated speciality and performance chemicals. These are basically secondary and tertiary industries. This is especially true for the Middle East countries as the supply of cheap feedstock is questionable.” In the long term, the opportunities will be found in the compounding industries, detergent basics, pharmaceuticals, rubbers and tires, he adds. Previously, companies operating in the GCC have enjoyed

Companies have become smarter, energy efficient, cost effective and more sustainable subsidised feedstock and less competition in the petrochemical area, however, now, competition and the availability of feedstock are two factors that demonstrate promise and excitement to the SAS-AIChE chairman. “Now, not only has the feedstock become scarce and limited, but the entrance of many international companies in the business has made it very competitive. Companies have become smarter, energy efficient, cost effective and more sustainable,” says Al Majnouni.

AIChE was founded in 1908, and 80 years later the Saudi section was born. The company has taken stringent strides on helping Saudi Arabia’s quest to execute its nationalisation strategy and secure the future leaders of the petrochemical sector. Al Majnouni is confirmed to participate at the seventh annual PETCHEM Arabia summit alongside executives from leading petrochemical players including: Saudi Aramco, SABIC, ORPIC, Chevron Phillips Chemicals, NOGA, EQUATE, TASNEE,

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OIL AND GAS

despite its reserves, natural gas no longer meets domestic energy demand, forcing the region to use the oil reserves for internal use, negatively affecting revenue generation

QURAIN PETROCHEMICAL and SIPCHEM amongst others which will be held from 30 September to 3 October 2012 in Manama, Bahrain, under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance, Minister in charge of Oil and Gas Affairs, Chairman, National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA).

Reserves to decrease With global oil reserves at an estimated 97 billion barrels, the UAE’s oil fields represent approximately 7% of this figure, while the GCC makes up 45%. This places the UAE in the top 10 within the OPEC, exporting 2.32 million barrels of crude oil per day. According to Business Monitor International (BMI), UAE oil reserves will decrease by 5.8 billion barrels from 96.8 billion in 2011 to approximately 91 billion barrels by 2016, mainly due to an increase in oil production and exports. By 2016, BMI estimates that oil production will rise to more than 3.2million barrels per day (mbpd), increasing to 3.5 by 2021. This increase is accounted for by mature oil field redevelopment and the introduction of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to maximise current reserves. Similarly, gas reserves are projected to fall from 6 tcm to approximately 5.8 tcm by 2016.

Hike in domestic demand There has also been a marked hike in domestic use by gulf states, especially in summer when energy consumption spikes. Additionally, various reports state that despite its reserves, natural gas no longer meets domestic energy demand,

August/September 2012

Energy-efficient technologies and infrastructure could annually save an estimated AED 11bn

forcing the region to use the oil reserves for internal use, negatively affecting revenue generation. According to a report released earlier this year by Oliver Wyman, the UAE used an approximate equivalent of 1.478 bpd of oil in 2010 as one of the biggest energy consumer in the region. Energy-efficient technologies and infrastructure could annually save an estimated AED 11bn (US $3bn) in energy costs, assuming constant electricity production costs. These savings can be realised in the residential sector (51%), the commercial sector (38%), and the industrial sector (11%). “Even a moderate adoption of measures used elsewhere in the world to increase energy efficiency could significantly reduce investment needs for energy infrastructure, slow the pace of energy consumption growth, free-up oil for export and help mitigate pollution and the region’s

carbon footprint,” the Wyman report states.

Real world efficiency The nation’s oil-rich capital hold one-third of the region’s top largest oil and gas projects, including the recently completed 400km-long Habshan-Fujairah pipeline. The pipeline was set up to pipe oil from Fujairah to Abu Dhabi for export designed to carry up to 1.8 million bpd. Al Gharbia’s AED 37bn (US $10bn) Shah sour gas field is set for completion in 2014, producing up to one billion cubic feet of natural gas condensate and natural gas liquids (NGLs) per day. The GCC petrochemical capacity is estimated to increase from 77.3 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 113 MTPA at the end of 2015 according to the Gulf Petrochemical & Chemicals Association (GPCA), with both long and short term opportunities.


The Middle East’s Premier Conference and Exhibition for Lighting Design and Technology

1 – 3 October, 2012 Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE

Discover who‘s in the spotlight in Asia and Europe Visit us to meet the lighting industry’s rising stars and see how they are influencing the industry, at the only dedicated lighting platform in the region

What‘s unique about Light Middle East? • One of the 8 global exhibitions in the portfolio of Light+Building Exhibitions. • Attended by architects, lighting designers, specifiers and other industry professionals from across the GCC. • New launches and products from over 200 lighting manufactures & suppliers from 19 countries • 2 days of quality conferencing at Light Insight Arabia Conference

Pre-register online today! Enter VP Code LTAD200 for a chance to WIN an iPad! Visit www.lightME.net for details.


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COMMENT | A Global Perspective

It starts in school

Over the past few months, momentum has built globally to support the worthwhile push into Green Schools. Jourdan Younis explains how sustainability education could catalyse the GCC’s green movement

W

hile my team and I were in Stuttgart, Germany for the World Green Building Council annual meeting, Rick Fedrizzi of the USGBC inaugurated the “Centre for Green Schools.”

Why is this important? Typically 25% of our Gulf population goes to school or college every day as students, teachers, staff, faculty and administrators. When you look at the current condition of our schools today, you see outdated buildings in need of repairs, burdened with unsafe toxins, lacking daylight and generally unhealthy ventilation systems. In the Gulf, we spend over 90% of our time indoors. Pause and think about that for a moment. Even with all of the particulate matter in the sky, the air is often

August/September 2012

worse indoors than it is outdoors, with indoor pollutants typically being concentrated at two to five times the levels outside, and sometimes 100 times higher. These contaminants include: Formaldehyde, Nitrogen Dioxide, Mold, Pesticides, Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, PM10 and various Volatile Organic Compounds. In fact, the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi, in the most recent UAE national-scale ranking of environmental risks, listed indoor air quality as the second highest health risk in the country. Due to the rapidly developing repertory systems of children, the negative effects are often magnified. This has led to a 10 fold increase in flu virus, 20 to 40% increase in allergies and a 4x increase in asthma in typical Gulf schools. According to the Carnegie Melon Center for Building Performance, bronchial

asthma is the 3rd leading cause of hospitalisation amongst children. And we thought that sending our children to school was good for their development.

So what is the solution? In Abu Dhabi, the ADEC arm of the government has embarked on the multi-year, multi-billion dirham Abu Dhabi Future Schools Program which has adopted global best practices to create advanced schools for the population. Regarding Estidama, they have mandated, not two Pearls (As in any standard government project), but a more challenging and ambitious Three Pearl certification. That sounds promising for the public schools in AD, but what about the private schools and the schools outside of the Emirate? This is where the joint forces of LEED and The Centre for Green


A Global Perspective | COMMENT

In Abu Dhabi, the ADEC arm of the government has embarked on the multiyear, multi-billion dirham Abu Dhabi Future Schools Program which has adopted global best practices to create advanced schools for the population

Schools come in. As I am sure you already are aware, LEED is one of the most recognised of the global sustainable rating systems for buildings. What you may not realise however is that when it comes to designing and constructing the interior environmental quality for schools, LEED has even more stringent standards based on the California Department of Health. This allows us to give them the healthy learning environments that they deserve. The mission of The Centre for Green Schools (TCGS) is to expand the USGBC’s efforts to drive change in how the development industry designs, constructs and operates our schools so the buildings will actively enhance student learning experiences. We need to remember that we build schools in the service of students and children, and TCGS is focused on the following elements: creating sustainable learning environments for students, generating and applying solid research to inform leadership about the benefits of healthy, high-performing schools, and the creation of resources to help make this transition possible. In addition, the TCGS is working to harness the energy of motivated students, teachers and environmental activists such as you, in order effect local change within our local school districts and private schools.

Are you interested in making a positive impact? Join us for a day of service. On Saturday, 29 September, hundreds of companies will partner with the Centre for Green Schools at USGBC

Jourdan Younis is the Managing Director for Alpin Limited, Masdar City - Abu Dhabi, an instructor for LEED at American University of Sharjah and an instructor for Estidama at the Urban Planning Council – Abu Dhabi. His background spans London Business School, California Polytechnic University, and several international sustainability consulting operations including Sowwah Square in Abu Dhabi and the Energy Foundation in San Francisco. Contact him at Jourdan. younis@alpinme.com

to transform schools around the world during our first annual Green Apple Day of Service. We’re calling on you to engage your employees and staff in local service projects at schools and within your communities. This is an opportunity for your organisation to demonstrate strong corporate leadership, social responsibility and to be recognised for your support of healthy, high-performing schools.

To organise a project in your area, please visit www. mygreenapple.org. Let’s demonstrate to the world what true action looks like and show that where our children learn truly does matter.

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GREEN SPY | SOCIETY

It’s all a conspiracy! Our green spy rants about climate change conspiracy theorists and their wacky ideas

A

couple of days ago, a friend of mine (and I use the term oh-solightly) vehemently declared her disbelief in the existence of platypuses. “They can’t possibly be real,” she exclaimed, dismissing everything science has stood for since the dawn of the modern epoch. “You’re telling me that there’s a duck-billed, beaver-tailed creature that lays eggs and lives amphibiously? How can I take that seriously?” Hearing her refute basic biology broke my heart and shattered my faith in humanity. For conspiracy theorists, everything is inevitably a nefarious scheme of some sort. They’re the kind of people who actually abide by the rules of a Scooby-Doo plotline (zoinks!). None of their claims have ever been proven, but then again, proof is for the weak! Their arguments harbour a level of hatred, perhaps even fear, towards science, which makes these claims all the more ludicrous. Let’s talk global warming. More than 90 percent of climate scientists agree that the global climate is changing, primarily due to human activity.

“I’m just having a bad hair day.”

If it were up to science and logical thinking, global warming would be considered a proven reality. Yet conspiracy theorists thrive on the unanimity in the voice of science to concoct tales of government organisations fiddling with all the thermometers of the world and paying off scientists. What could any individual or organisation gain by hyping up climate change? What could they gain by making robots that look like platypuses? Unlike climate sceptics who try (in vain) to disprove global warming with trumped up charts and reports, climate change deniers naturally align themselves with farout ideas that require a latex stretch of the imagination to connect. Thirty years ago, these guys would have had to resort to huddled meetings in a dingy basement to share their theories, but now the internet has proven to be a safe haven for all kinds of crazies. Cognitive psychology suggests that conspiracy theorists who deny climate change mostly embrace anti-science sentiments

across the board, believing what we consider as axiomatic to be false. Smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer; chemical stimulants won’t cause a physical addiction, and so on. Some of these conspiracy theorists have a behavioural trait that predisposes them to endorse any theory that’s deemed as being “out there” and anti-establishment as a rule. Aside from the platypus, other creatures that fall in my poor, deluded acquaintance’s line of fire include whales (they’re just giant fish!), seahorses (the male carry the offspring? As if!), and starfish and anemones (clearly made of plastic). If anything, research suggests that platypuses are noticeably falling prey to climate change. As the world heats up, scientists have noted that these naturally shy warm-blooded animals are retreating away from their usual hangouts in favour of cooler climes, making them all the more elusive. Don’t blame science if you can’t see one in the wild! Till next time, go green and prosper.

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Light Insight Arabia Conference 1st & 2nd October 2012

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Come and be enlightened about the latest standards, trends and technology in sustainability and how to design with daylight Speakers at the event include: Ted Ferreira, Principal, LEED AP BD+C, CD+M Lighting Design Group LLC, Atlanta, USA Florence Lam, Director, Global Lighting Design Practice Leader, Arup, London, UK Mark Sutton Vane, Director, Sutton Vane Associates Lighting Design, London, UK Martin Valentine, Lighting Expert, Municipal Infrastructure & Assets, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Abu Dhabi, UAE AbdulAziz Al Azem, Principal Lighting Designer, Design Tech Services, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Ivar Krasinski, Design Director, L + B Design Group, Dubai, UAE Ziad Fattouh, Managing Director and Partner of Delta Lighting Solutions, Dubai Dr. Riad Saraiji, Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering, United Arab Emirates University, UAE To register visit: www.lightME.net/register Quote Promo Code: LT12-10D for 10% discount off advertised conference rates Platinum Sponsor

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DIARY | SOCIETY

Save the date

BGreen highlights notable events and conferences taking place in the coming months

Sustainable solutions: Construction waste 11 September, Dubai BGreen and EGBC will host the third edition of our focused roundtable series. This time, the topic up for debate will be construction waste, especially in light of temporary structures such as exhibition booths World green building week 17-21 September, Global World Green Building Week shines a spotlight on the key role of buildings in conserving resources, saving money and creating jobs while providing healthier places to live, work and play. In September, the World Green Building Council will unite 90 nations representing more than 20,000 organisations as they hold conferences, tours, educational events, and gatherings to mark this week. This year’s theme is ‘Green Buildings for Great Communities’, highlighting the role of green buildings in creating greener and healthier neighbourhoods, communities and cities Eco Future Exhibition 27 September, Abu Dhabi Organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, this exhibition is set to run for a year. It will examine our skills at adapting to the various changes with which humanity has had to come to terms over millennia, and future issues that already starting to arise, such as the food, water and energy nexus. Eco Future will

a more responsible future.The show is organised by Epoc Messe Frankfurt and will feature 2 days of quality conferencing and over 200 exhibitors from 20 countries.

feature the research and expertise of Masdar, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Urban Planning Council, Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, Emirates Wildlife Society and Tourism Development and Investment Company. Light Middle East 1-3 October, Dubai The Middle East’s premier conference and exhibition for lighting design and technology is one of the eight global exhibitions in the portfolio of Light+Building exhibitions. It provides a dedicated lighting platform in the region for architects, lighting designers, specifiers and other industry professionals from across the GCC and Middle East regions to discover innovative solutions and lighting design applications Light Middle East is the Gulf region’s leading trade show and conference for urban, architectural, theatrical, and retail lighting solutions in the Middle East. The theme of this show is Sustainability, Design, Quality and Know-How for

Green Middle East 15-17 October, Sharjah Green ME will be held at the Sharjah Expo Centre as a regional exhibition devoted to the environment industry in the Middle East, featuring the technology and products that go into environmental conservation. The Big 5 5 – 8 November, Dubai The Big 5 provides a business and networking platform for the construction industry. It is an opportunity to source an astounding array of the very latest technologies, innovations and techniques. It will also feature conferences to add value to the trade event. Future Cities and Cityscape Gobal 2 – 4 October, Dubai Future Cities is the leading event in the Middle East on Sustainable Urban Development and Strategies, visitors will be able to Source new suppliers and spot the latest products, services and information, Be at the forefront and explore latest updates occurring across the sector, Meet with key decision makers from local and regional leading organisations and Network with major providers and establish new strategic partnerships.

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SOCIETY | SUSTAINABLE PAST

‘Round the fire

A rebuilt crannog at Loch Tay, Scotland

August/September 2012

T

he first evidence of circular houses was reportedly in Britain during the Iron Age. With stone or wooden panel walls, conical thatched roofs topped off the ancient roundhouse. Experimental archaeology has recreated these structures to find out why the ancient Celts would want a home without corners. A conical rood with a 45-degree pitch demonstrated to be the most efficient design in retaining heat from a central fire. These structures did not feature any kind of crude chimney or smoke hole, as that would cause an updraft fire. Instead, the heat from a central source in the home would be allowed to gather, with the smoke slowly filtering out through the gaps in the roof. From the Neolithic period until the early 18th century, roundhouses in Ireland and Scotland (crannógs) were built as freestanding wooden structures in lakes and rivers for protection. These “offshore” homes were constructed by driving huge timber piles into the lakebed, strengthened by crosspieces to bear the load at the base. In Italy, houses with conical roofs found in the southern region of are called trulli. In Spain, similar structures are called palloza, specifically made to withstand severe temperatures at high altitudes in Galicia. Archaeological evidence suggests that circular structures were common features in ancient civilisations. As the focus of the structure is on one central point, these structures were popular as crude “town halls” where the community could gather. In colder climes, these structures allowed for greater insulation, keeping the residents close together around a fire.


The Global Centre of Future Energy

Masdar City is an emerging clean technology hub in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Organisations and institutions from around the world are coming here to pioneer solutions to the global energy challenge. With access to key international markets, funding and investment, and a skilled, specialist talent pool, Masdar City creates an environment where innovation and entrepreneurialism flourish. To learn how partnering with us can transform your business and change the world, email joinus@masdarcity.ae or visit us online at masdarcity.ae



BGreen Magazine August/September 2012