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Issue 10 APRIL 2011

Also inside

Energy and water Construction Green IT Eco-leisure Green business

The party has just begun Experts provide their opinions on 12 months of sustainability as we look back on one year of BuildGreen

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APRIL 2011

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Green IT





Saudi Green Building Council founder claims the organisation will soon be the region’s largest GBC Last month towers were plunged into darkness as the lights went out for Earth Hour 2011


Find out what eco-friendly gadgets will soon be making their way to the shop shelves

energy and water



BuildGreen speaks to sustainability experts as we look back on our first 12 months of publication



Taking trucks apart can lead to a new lease of life in the motoring industry, as we find out in Sweden





Chartered engineer Alan Millin discusses the role of sustainability within the district cooling industry


Heriot-Watt to launch the region’s first architectural engineering undergraduate degree




54 Panasonic Middle East’s Seiji Koyanagi talks about sustainable initiatives

The Hotel Show’s Frederique Maurell reveals the sustainable side of the Dubai exhibition


BCG’s Rend Stephan discusses ‘green’ industry and the effects of the financial downturn The girls from Goumbook talk about running a ‘green’ business in the Middle East market




As it makes its mark on the region’s IT sector, we look at the ‘green’ side of cloud computing

The green spy targets those who refuse to acknowledge the region’s environmental problems BuildGreen visits a Dubai school that held its own environmental-awareness week for students



Editor’s Letter

One year on... W

hat a difference a year makes. On a late night in the office some 12 months ago we sent the magazine to the printers for the very first time, somewhat apprehensive as to what mark, if any, we would make on the region’s readers. One year on and we are still here, continuing to bring you the latest environmental news and comment from across a plethora of industries; albeit with a few design changes along the way. A year ago it was still a risk to launch a publication devoted to the business of sustainability, but there’s a saying in publishing that if a magazine makes it past its first 12 months, it will be around for some time to come. While I sincerely hope this will be the case, it is not just our success that is being celebrated in this issue. In my first editor’s comment in BuildGreen I said that the region was “slowly waking up to the threats posed by climate change”. Well wake up it has, and while we still face a battle to convince the many sceptics out there, the growth of ‘green’ business across the Middle East has been truly phenomenal, in spite of the recent political turmoil and a lingering financial crisis.

The Middle East is an exceptional place when it comes to adopting new business practices and it often astonishes me how fast the speed of change can blow through the region. A year ago I felt we were many years behind the West in our adoption of eco-conscious business practices. While we have not quite caught up yet, we are pacing along and in another year or two I predict we will be leading the industry from the front. Masdar, WFES, Qatar winning the World Cup bid, the introduction of the Estidama Pearl Rating system in Abu Dhabi, the growing number of businesses adopting carbon-cutting business models, and the increase in the amount of LEEDaccredited buildings in the region, are just a few of the successes of the past year. Defying the doubters, the market for sustainability is currently blossoming and will continue to grow as demand for environmental products and services expands. Before signing off, I would like to say a word of thanks to every single one of our devoted readers who have supported us from the beginning or have stumbled across us along the way. We’ll be here for some time to come yet, supporting an economic movement that will no doubt rival the successes of the industrial revolution more than two centuries ago.

Publisher Dominic De Sousa Associate Publisher Liam Williams COO Nadeem Hood

Editor Ben Watts Contributing Editors Melanie Mingas Christine Fashugba

Director Business Development Alex Bendiouis

Designer Marlou Delaben

Group Sales Manager Rhiannon Downie

Photographer Cris Mejorada

Business Development Manager Nayab Rafiq

Webmasters Troy Maagma Elizabeth Reyes Jerus King Bation

Ben Watts Editor

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Head Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 Web: © Copyright 2011 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.

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April 2011

Saudi GBC to be biggest in MENA region Council’s founder claims the organisation has the momentum to be the biggest GBC in the region


audi Arabia will be home to the largest and most active green construction council in the region, according to Saudi Green Building Council (SGBC) founder Abdulelah Al-mohanna. The council, which has been officially operational for less than a year, is now working to improve its media coverage and recently signed up with a company to supply industry training programmes. Abdulelah Al-mohanna told BuildGreen: “By 2012 we will be fully supported by universities and municipalities across the country, and within three to four years we will be ahead of other GBCs in the region. “The money is there, the people are there, and once they understand our objectives we will be there,” he remarked. The council’s founder cited infrastructure in the Kingdom’s big cities, housing and religious tourism as the three core sectors that would fuel the expansion of Saudi’s construction market; with rising energy prices and increasing water shortage problems, Al-mohanna said the demand for sustainable construction projects was growing. “Before people did not care about saving water and energy, but now they do as electricity bills are rising,” he commented. “Now they want their bills lowered and that means greener buildings.” “King Abdulla has also created a ministry dedicated to sustainability and there are plans in Saudi Arabia to build a city in Riyadh along the lines of Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, and these will definitely help us in reaching our goals.”

SGBC founder Abdulelah Al-mohanna claimed the council would be the region’s biggest GBC within three to four years.

The SGBC also hopes to take advantage of its links to other green building councils in the region, through its prospective membership of the World GBC MENA network, which held its first meeting in Dubai last month. Chaired by the Emirates GBC, and with representatives from Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Jordan and Palestine present, the council members discussed a working strategy for GBCs across the region. “Through the WGBC MENA we will gain the advantage of learning from longer established organisations and through the sharing of ideas,” said Al-mohanna. “The group’s experience will help speed up our own initiatives.”

UAE’s rail network to be powered by diesel

Environmental benefits make diesel trains more viable than electric, claims rail boss


The AED 40 billion (US $10.9 billion) rail network, which will link six major hubs across the UAE, will run on diesel with “provision for electrification in future”, say master planners Etihad Rail. Speaking at the official announcement in Abu Dhabi last month, Etihad Rail chief executive officer Richard Bowker said each train on the network would take 300 lorries off the UAE’s roads, “considerably reducing CO2 emissions”. “In reality, diesel technology is improving in terms of emissions and now diesel is an extremely good option,” Bowker explained when asked if the technology itself was also environmentally friendly. “You really have to look at it from the beginning; if you generate electricity from

hydropower, the carbon chain is quite high,” Bowker added, assuring delegates from Etihad Rail and the press “we have thought about it”. Pioneered by Etihad Rail, formerly Union Rail, construction on the 1200km track will commence at the end of this year. The first phase, a cargo line linking Habshan and Ruwais, is due for completion in 2013. According to the plans, a complete passenger and freight line will be online in the UAE by 2017. There are concerns the power infrastructure and UAE’s reliance on fossil fuels would prevent electrification of the network in the near future, as northern emirates such as Sharjah continue to struggle to meet the demands of residential and industrial users.

Etihad Rail chief executive officer Richard Bowker.

April 2011

Capital emirate targets Worldwide water investment top five standing and responsibility urged International development organisation use World Water Day to promote government water responsibility

Averda has been awarded a contract to help Abu Dhabi meet its aim in becoming one of the world’s cleanest cities. The waste management firm beat off competition from several international waste management companies to win the five-year contract, which forms a part of the capital emirate’s ‘2030 Vision’. The Centre of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi general manager HE Hamed Al Ameri said: “We are certain this contract will lead to Abu Dhabi’s recognition as a world leader in sustainable and integrated solid waste management and as one of the world’s top five cleanest cities.” “We chose Averda to assist us in reaching our waste management strategic goals and making our city among the cleanest on the planet due to the quality of its technical and financial submission.” The contract includes solid waste collection and transportation services, manual sweeping and unscheduled services. Averda chief executive officer Malek Sukkar remarked: “The standards and times of execution here are very challenging but we are certain that with our innovative ideas and forward-thinking approach to integrated waste and resource management, we will succeed in making Abu Dhabi one of the world’s top five cleanest cities in no time.”

Governments have been urged to invest in water and sanitation by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as part of its message on last month’s World Water Day. The OECD used the day to remind governments of their responsibility to provide clean water for both their citizens and the environment, adding that 828 million people are living without access to safe drinking water and sanitation across the planet. OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria remarked: “People in developing countries can least afford to treat water-borne disease. “Governments and the international community need to overcome the annual shortfall of US $10-30 billion to meet the water and sanitation infrastructure goals implied by the Millennium Development Goals. “For governments, basic water supply and sanitation services are a good investment, with the savings outstripping costs by seven fold.” World Water Day took place on March 22 and led to a series of events based on the theme ‘Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge’. According to the organisation, the USA would have to spend US $23 billion in each of the next 20 years to maintain water infrastructure at levels that meet health and environmental standards.


Winning bid by waste management firm to help Abu Dhabi’s clean city ambitions

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April 2011

Earth Hour 2011 The candles were lit and the lights went out for one hour last month as skyscrapers, hotels, schools and businesses across the Middle East took part in the Earth Hour 2011 celebrations Ida Tillisch, acting director general of EWSWWF, said the commitment from companies, governmental bodies and individuals shown during Earth Hour, demonstrated what could be done when everyone agrees to take action.

Lights out at the Burj Khalifa.

“Moving forward it is important that we keep our commitments and pledges to go beyond the hour and stay alert and open minded to solutions to further reduce carbon emissions,” remarked Tillisch. “Earth Hour provided

an opportunity to demonstrate the UAE’s commitment to tackling climate change.” Dubai was the first Arab country to join the WWF-organised Earth Hour, which began life in Sydney, Australia in 2007.

Burj sinks into the night To celebrate Earth Hour 2011 the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, was plunged into darkness. After the event in Downtown Dubai, HE Saeed Al Tayer, DEWA chief executive officer and managing director, stated: “For residents to participate in the Earth Hour initiative shows the elite awareness in the community about the importance of conservation.” The huge voluntary show of commitment by residents and businesses in Dubai led to savings of 204,000 kW/h of electricity and 122,000kg of carbon emission. Emaar Properties managing director Ahmad Al Matrooshi commented: “Earth Hour is one of the key sustainability initiatives that we undertake across our communities to further strengthen awareness on climate change, while at the same time driving the participatory action of our residents. “The participation of our communities will contribute to tangible energy gains in addition to encouraging people to be more judicious about energy use.”

Lights off in emirate of Sharjah

More than 2000 candles were lit in the shape of the word Japan at the Courtyard by Marriott Dubai Green Community last month, in tribute to those suffering following last month’s earthquake. The candlelight soiree was part of Marriott Hotels in Dubai’s drive to save a combined 1097kW hours of electricity in its hotels in the emirate during Earth Hour.


Bee’ah, the Sharjah-based Sharjah in darkness during Earth Hour 2011. environmental and waste management company, used Earth Hour to send the message that conserving energy through recycling is equally as important as reducing electricity consumption. Bee’ah called on Sharjah residents to drop off their recyclable household waste items such as paper, aluminium cans and plastic at a central temporary collection point that was setup during Earth Hour at Al Qasba. Khaled Al Huraimel, chief executive officer of Bee’ah, said: “We believe that the residents of Sharjah are committed to conserving energy for a cleaner and greener emirate, not just during Earth Hour, but beyond as well. “We are committed to raising awareness and educating our community on the importance of saving energy through continued daily recycling and to become an example of leading environmental change.”

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April 2011

From the conference floor Attracting thousands of industry exhibitors, professional and curious visitors, Arabian Construction Week returned last month for its second outing at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ACW). Alongside the main exhibition were a plethora of workshops, focus days and industry summits, which provided the green building sector a chance to demonstrate its continuing growth throughout the Middle East. Highlights at the three-day show included free building code workshops hosted by the Department of Municipal Affairs, an Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) focus day and the Green Building Middle East conference LEFT: The exhibition floor at Arabian Construction Week featured a wide range of businesses from across the global construction industry, including many companies promoting their eco-friendly initiatives and products. RIGHT: The CPI stand at ACW — BuildGreen’s base for the duration of the show.

LEFT: Conference delegates are treated to a 3D presentation by Peter Neuschaefer, Middle East director of environment, water and energy at Waagner Biro Gulf. RIGHT: The EGBC had a strong presence at the show. Here the organisation’s chairman Adnan Sharafi chats to Van Tran from the UAE Business Council for Sustainable Development at the exhibition.

LEFT: Keith Clarke, chief executive officer of Atkins, delivered the 8th Brunel Lecture Series at the Green Building Middle East conference.


LEFT: Day one chairman Thom Bohlen (right), chief technical officer of the Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development, listens to one of the speakers at the Green Building Middle East Summit, which took place alongside the ACW exhibition.

ABOVE: Matthew Plumbridge, consultant on environmental and sustainability planning at Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipal Affairs, was one of the top speakers at the event.

ABOVE: Delegates listened to news on the latest developments and innovations presented by the speakers at the Green Building Middle East summit.


April 2011

Around the world

A look back at some of last month’s wackier stories emerging from the world’s ‘green’ industries

India to impose CSR on businesses In a bid to improve its business environment and showcase to the world its sustainable credentials India will force companies to adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. According to India’s The Economic Times, spending on corporate social responsibility is no longer going to be voluntary for businesses across the country. The magazine reported that every company that meets certain annual profitability standards will “be required to spend at least 2% of the company’s average net profit every year during the three immediately-preceding financial years, on CSR activities of the company’s choosing”.



Flak for fish guide A former fisheries scientist has criticised a consumer fish guide published by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS). Fisheries Research and Development Corporation consultant Nick Ruello said that AMCS’s Sustainable Seafood Guide “is seriously flawed, misleading and not really helping consumers find sustainable seafood at all”. The booklet and accompanying online guide focus on the sustainability of more than 100 Australian species of fish and other seafood. Ruello remarked: “The guide readily accepts all overfished type verdicts but ignores the sustainability of improvements reported in other [fish] stocks. “The AMCS doesn’t recognise that Australia leads the world in reducing the impact of commercial fishing on the environment,” he added.


Study tries to prove polystyrene credentials A study carried out by Franklin Associates for the American Chemistry Council has found that polystyrene cups, plates and sandwich boxes use less energy and water in the manufacturing process than rival packaging materials. While the study noted that polystyrene products generate more greenhouse gas emissions than PLA products, the life cycle analysis claimed that a polystyrene cup require half of the energy from raw material to end-of-life compared to wax-coated paperboard cups. The study also claimed that polystyrene clamshells use two-thirds less energy than PLA clamshells and that PLA clamshells use four times the water of polystyrene clamshells.


‘Better Cotton’ commitment for sportswear firm German sportswear company Adidas, famous for its three strips designed attire, has declared its intention to use more sustainable cotton as part of a new five-year environmental management strategy. The company is aiming to use only cotton produced by farms that practice techniques for water conservation and pesticide reduction by 2018 and has also announced a range of individual targets including a 20% relative reduction in energy consumption and 20% increase in water savings per employee. Adidas has also set a midpoint sustainable cotton goal of 40%, which it has named “Better Cotton”.










April 2011


Celebrating one year of BuildGreen

Looking back, moving forward

This month marks one year since BuildGreen first went to print. It’s been an exciting 12 months, which began with much anxiety across the sustainability industry and one that appears to be concluding with a market that continues to grow at pace. We spoke to a selection of sustainability professionals and suppliers who shared their thoughts on the industry’s last 12 months. We also decided to take stock of some of the features and stories from our first year of publication


There have been many good initiatives taking place in Abu Dhabi in the last year and the government has imposed a lot of strict rules and regulations. A lot of people have been complaining that the system is slow and that it is delaying the process, but at the end of the day to achieve something you have to comprise on some things. Sustainability is something still new in the region and in the old days the population here used to do many of the things that are now being reintroduced; but it’s new in the sense that they have not been doing it for many years and Estidama is basically about going back to your roots.

Estidama is not only about saving power, it’s about how you use power, segregate your waste and a lot of other energy and water saving solutions. These are being promoted through public messages from the government. In the earlier stages sustainability was too expensive, but everyone has the right to live in a clean environment and it should not be about who can and who can’t afford it. In 12 months time you will not be able to see significant developments, but in two to three years time those that have been pushing Estidama developments will realise what they are saving. Pal Group general manager Syed Basar Shueb

When it comes to this region the progress here is just immense, and since 2006 we’ve been involved with the Emirates Green Building Council and involved in educating people on sustainable materials. It’s great to see it happening and at such speed, but the new regulations and codes help because people will follow them. It’s an educational process; four years ago we started from scratch in this region in educating people on how our products can make buildings more sustainable, but that level has definitely been raised. Before the financial crisis in Dubai the level was already high, but now in Abu Dhabi it is being driven by Estidama. Now people have to get their head around how to achieve things, but it’s definitely

easier to talk to people as the knowledge and awareness has increased. I expect the movement to continue the way it is going. If we look at new buildings it takes time to implement sustainability and for everyone to get to grips with it, but the next discussion will be about what we do with our existing buildings. Regionally the positive signs are there. If you go to Qatar, Bahrain and Oman they are also starting to talk about green building. If you look at the region’s electricity and water demands, it has to be reduced otherwise you won’t be able to find it in the future as it simply won’t be there. BASF regional business systems manager EIFS and tiling Dr Michael Schmidt

April 2011

Celebrating one year of BuildGreen

SOCIETY Small pieces of cork bark are often grounded down into granules for constuction materials.

BUILDING AN ICON “In Portugal cork is part of the culture, so as well as the environmental benefits, it is also an iconic material,” remarks Barbini. “We like the material and have been thinking about building a building out of cork for some while now. “It’s a Portuguese product and one of the country’s biggest exporting materials,” he adds. The bark of a cork oak is harvested on average every nine years, in a process that actually saves the tree from dying.

Shining solar

Industry insiders reveal what is fuelling the solar sector’s growth

Carbon control

Cork is placed into a steam bath where it flattens before the outer layers are removed.

In a letter sent to BuildGreen by the region’s first eco-undercover agent, The Green Spy questions the quality and rationale of environmental education across the Arab world

Until the next time,

How the construction industry can control its CO2 emissions

Cork trivia Cork is the outer bark of the evergreen cork oak (Quercus suber L). This variety of oak grows mainly in Portugal, Spain, southern France, Italy, and the Maghreb. Cork is completely sustainable. It is harvested by stripping the bark every nine years. Each cork oak tree provides an average of 16 harvests over its 150200 year lifespan. Cork oak trees are never cut down during the harvesting process. In fact, Cork oak trees are protected by law across Portugal. Cork consists of a tight web of up to 40 million cells per cubic centimetre. The cell membranes retain air-like gas, which give the material its capacity to float, insulate and re-expand quickly after compression. Cork is a natural product that is recyclable and biodegradable. Cork retains unique qualities of flexibility, elasticity and compressibility.

The green spy Many winds have blown and many suns have set over the cities of the Middle East, but knowing more about the sun or the winds, why they occur and what impact they have on people and the environment has been an unachievable challenge for most of the region’s children. I cannot help but wonder why? Digging deeper into the conundrum, it is shocking to realise that environmental education is not part of the curriculum of schools in the region. Why is it important in the first place? Children do not read the major newspapers that overwhelm grown-ups with updates on global warming, animal rights issues and quite often the continuing political pressures. Do our kids need to know why species are going extinct or why daddy cannot fly back home as the country he is stuck in has been flooded? They certainly must do as they are the generation we are really borrowing our present from; the ones to amend our mistakes and to inherit the world we are leaving to them. And this world better be healthier than the one we took over from our parents. The UAE is allegedly the first country in the region to implement some sort of environmental activities in schools; these, however, do not form part of the curriculum, but are ‘hit and miss’ extracurricular happenings. What does this mean? It simply means that schools have to wait for NGOs and private companies to come and involve the kids in happenings concerning environmental awareness. Is that all right? Hardly; the efforts are scattered, there is no follow up to measure the result of the impact and, as we all know, children need to be regularly reminded otherwise the time and efforts spent is futile. Also, most private companies do it for the ‘wow-effect’; it is undoubtedly a strong PR angle, yet once ticked off the to-do list for the season, it is usually not repeated. Some efforts are also plainly wrong. Why should a school get an award for collecting the most waste? How about getting praised for generating the least amount of waste? Where does the issue lie and how could we resolve it? The fundamental problem is that we need solid and regular collaboration among all parties involved — parents, schools, the government, companies and NGOs. Most likely it lies in consistently wrong communication tools, the ignorance of many teachers themselves and, last but not least, environmental education being low on the priority list. We need a new system that approaches children in an innovative and creative way, day in and day out, with scientifically backed-up research and a lot of passion. All children love nature and caring for it is nothing but a passion. After we all owe it to the planet, don’t we?


Welcome to the future

and co-founder Flavio Barbini describes the material as “versatile and distinct”, despite its relatively high cost. “Cork is not a cheap material, but it is better than most other materials,” says Barbini. “The idea of using cork is a new strategy for us, most people use cork inside the wall for insulation, without relation to the exterior,” he admits. “We are experimenting with this idea, and have found it relates well with an outside environment. “Cork is great in terms of design, but it has more qualities than that. “For example, in exposed areas such as coastline buildings, many materials can suffer from the elements; cork on the otherhand has very few maintenance issues; and it is very light and a great energy insulator. “We have used the material on one project called the Eco-Cabana (see page 56-57), an environmentally-friendly hut, which we want to use to educate people on the environment. “Not only does cork act as an insulator, but it is a very versatile material to use. “We have had to change our plans somewhat from the initial design stage, but as we learn more about the material we are becoming more likely to use it on other projects — especially projects in natural environments such as in forests and on beaches,” he adds. Barbini notes that one of the benefits of using cork is that it comes with a significant amount of heritage.

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The Green Spy



October 2010

September 2010

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April/May 2010

September 2010

October 2010

In the first issue of BuildGreen, we spoke to founding member and former chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council, Jeff Willis, who discussed the council’s mission and the obstacles facing the green building industry in the UAE.

In the third issue the team travelled to Portugal to speak to experts from the country’s traditional cork industry to find out why the country’s cork export council was changing its focus to become a sustainable materials industry.

The first letter received by the BuildGreen team from the elusive green spy featured in October’s issue. The spy continues to tackle the environmental issues affecting all of us and has shown no signs of slowing down in the fight for a ‘greener’ future.

For every company and organisation the last 12 months have been extremely challenging. I think 2010 was probably slightly better than 2009, but it is obviously still a very challenging business environment. The EGBC relies on its member organisations to support itself and they obviously all took a hit in 2010, so it was challenging for everyone. But it seems in 2011 we have turned a corner; in 2010 a lot of organisations and companies spent a lot of time bidding for projects and a lot of that work is finally coming to fruition — it seems pretty busy again. Everyone’s still cautious because recoveries are difficult to predict — especially with everything going on across the Middle East at the moment — but it certainly seems like we’ve turned a corner. Emirates Green Building Council vice chairman Saeed Alabbar What I have found is that the green building concept is catching on very quickly in the Middle East marketplace. I would say that two years back we were not seeing any dedicated exhibitions or magazines that are covering the ‘greener’ issues, but as awareness is growing in the market this concept is catching on very quickly. Public awareness has grown phenomenally and that is reflected in every architect firm that is now talking about green building and has created a separate department that is dedicated to green building. This awareness is changing building concepts and this is something we are finding in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE. Jasmit Singh, senior manager — exports, Everest Industries Ltd

In the last 12 months the sustainability market has changed a lot. In general, people are starting to pick up the idea of sustainability and they want to implement it, but it still needs a lot of educational focus for it to be implemented across projects in the region. It is, however, still a confusing picture — in order to get the required building code points people still have to run behind Estidama or LEED while implementing them. It will get better and better as people understand what they have to do. We are now looking to people with different concepts and different views — those that are leading the race, rather than the people running behind those leading the way. Waagner Biro Gulf Middle East director of environment, water and energy Peter Neuschaefer


April 2011

s many countries across the world look to lose their dependency on imported oil, it is perhaps no surprise that the noise emanating from the motor industry regarding electric vehicles is getting louder. In September of this year Jordan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Company to promote zero-emission mobility within the Kingdom, advancing the theory that countries with little to no oil reserves are actively hunting for oil-free solutions such as electric vehicles. But while Jordan is better known for producing phosphates and not oil, it is interesting to note that there remains a desire from the big carmakers to bring electric cars to the oil-rich Gulf nations. Upon signing the MOU with Nissan, Jordanian Minister of Environment HE Hazem Malhas stated: “I firmly believe we have an obligation to our future generations to take the necessary actions towards a greener and better world. The introduction of electric cars

offers many advantages, not only for the environment, but also from an economic, social and national security perspective.” The car that will undoubtedly benefit most from the agreement, the Nissan LEAF, has been heavily marketed in key markets across the globe by the carmaker for close to 18 months, yet there is still little chance you will see them on the region’s roads in the coming months. Nissan corporate vice president Gilles Normand says of the Nissan LEAF: “We have an electric car with the real technology to meet the needs and challenges of 21st Century mobility. It offers 160km of driving autonomy and superb handling without sacrificing on comfort and convenience of modern lifestyles.” While the desire to push these zero-emission vehicles onto the market remains strong, with little infrastructure in place and consumer knowledge on the vehicles

weak, is it really a surprise that it is taken so long for this potential market to fully develop?

Challenging false impressions The two most common misconceptions related to electric vehicles are range and performance, says Ménochet. “In terms of performance people tend to think electric cars are slow and a bit sluggish, but it’s exactly the opposite,” he claims. “Both Zoe and the Fluence ZE actually perform better than their petrol counterparts. “The Fluence ZE accelerates 30% faster than the petrol version and in terms of performance it’s actually fun to drive. “In terms of range, people find it difficult to understand what 160km means in terms of everyday life, but it’s actually about three times of what the average driver needs. “You wouldn’t be able to drive the distance of England to Spain now, for example, but it is developing very quickly and we know that the batteries will improve and the range will improve,” he says.

The Nissan LEAF has been heavily promoted for 18 months.

The full Zero Emission range from Renault.

The Renault ZE range


WFES: The lowdown

This month the region’s largest renewable energy and environment industry exhibition, the World Future Energy Summit, roles into Abu Dhabi. BuildGreen speaks to some of the show’s exhibitors to find out what their plans are for the exhibition and looks at some of the show’s USPs



November 2010

January 2011

The Paris Motor Show featured in November’s issue, where we investigated the growing demand for electronic vehicles in the European market. While we still await the launch of EVs in the Middle East, the talk at the show was positive and while we may have to wait some time for service stations with plugs rather than pumps, several months after the show the European EV market now looks primed for an explosion in demand.

At the turn of the year it seemed the region was gearing up for the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. BuildGreen profiled the event before it took place and was on the ground reporting from the four day conference. Big name speakers included Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general and Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, who said climate change was already upon us. “We have assaulted the balance of nature,” declared Zardari. “Tomorrow is now and our arrogance has finally caught up with us.”

While we are new to the Middle East market and only came out here in January this year, we have done our research on the GCC and the UAE and people here are aware of sustainability across all areas. They are keen to put a lot of effort into sustainability education and there are also a lot of exhibitions here so people can see with their own eyes what is good and what is ‘green’. In Europe, where we’re from, being ‘green’ is nothing new, but here they are learning very quickly because they have to; but Dubai was developed in ten years and the speed of change here is fast, so they will be able to adapt to sustainability quickly. Barluks managing director Ursa Sprah


eturning for its the fourth year, the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2011, is set to bring together politicians, businesses and climate change experts to the Middle East, all under one roof. Taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the exhibition will feature exhibitors and key government policy makers from across the world. The event, organised by Reed Exhibitions, runs from January 17-20 and will comprise a four-day conference, alongside two exhibitions — the World Future Energy Exhibition and the World Future Environment Exhibition. Reed Exhibitions president Frederic Theux says: “Born of a commitment to promote and advance innovation, research and regulation of the future of renewable energy, WFES is the only event that enables policy creators and business decision makers to come together to find solutions to the world’s energy challenges. “The global demand for energy, combined with depleting fossil fuel reserves, requires a global response to the challenges of enabling future energy solutions that are both secure and sustainable. “It is important that world leaders and renewable energy experts have a forum to address the most pertinent issues affecting the future of energy globally and to discuss the needs of the public and private sectors in overcoming these challenges.” Last year the conference programme included 145 keynote speakers and 100 official delegations, and the full summit has more than 24,500 attendees from 148 countries. Theux believes that WFES 2011 will “surpass the success” of WFES 2010, with visitor numbers looking set to be equally as impressive as last year. In September of last year Reed Exhibitions announced that 80% of the exhibition space had already been booked, and has predicted that more than 600 exhibitors will participate in the fourth edition of the show. New and existing features to be launched at the fourth edition of the show include the Project Village, the Roundtable Discussions and the Exhibitor Seminars in which large multinational companies, rapid growth companies and start ups will come together to promote climate change technologies and share their latest innovations.

The smallest of the four vehicles from the range is the Twizy, a two-seater city car. “It’s very innovative as there’s nothing like it on market at the moment,” remarks Renault’s David Ménochet. Then there is the Zoe, the last of the four to enter the market. Ménochet claims this vehicle could one day become the biggest selling electric vehicle in Europe. “This will be the biggest selling EV car, because it will be one of the first on the market. Among our competitors in the range of small city cars you have the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Peugeot iOn and the Citroën C-Zero, which are basically one and the same car. “The Zoe has been designed from the beginning first of all to be an electric car — there will not be a petrol version of this car. It’s designed from scratch to be electric only, so it’s very well balanced in terms of mass and the battery, which is about 250 kilos, sits underneath the floor between the four wheels. This gives it a very low gravity centre, providing good road handling and a lot of comfort when driving.” The next model in the range is the Fluence ZE, the biggest passenger car of the four cars. And the final model is the Renault Kangoo ZE, an electrical version of the popular small van. “It is designed for small businesses that want to transport materials in an environmentally-friendly way without emitting any CO2,” states Ménochet.



is the quick drop system, which is also a feature of the Renault Zoe concept car. This could free potential electric car customers from what Ménochet describes as “the range anxiety”. “The quick drop system would allow a driver to change a depleted battery with a full battery in just three minutes at a battery switch station, and then drive on for 160km,” he explains.

Powered by an electric motor, the DeZir concept car from Renault represents the shift in design currently underway at the French carmaker. This sports coupé, which was on display at this year’s Paris Motor Show, aims to combine respect for the environment with elegant design.



Renault product manager electric vehicles David Ménochet, who spoke to BuildGreen at the Paris Motor Show 2010, believes that the market for electric cars is about to take off. When questioned on why many people still view electric cars as somewhat ‘uncool’, Ménochet retorts: “They are very cool; electric vehicles are cool because they do not pollute, they do not make any noise and it’s a new technology. “For me buying an electric car rather than a petrol car would be just like buying a digital camera instead of a traditional camera; it is simply as exciting as that.” The Nissan and Renault alliance has suggested that 10% of the global market will switch to electric vehicles by 2020. “Personally I think that’s pessimistic,” bemoans Ménochet. “The technology is evolving quickly, and there is no reason why when a new technology exists, someone would want to buy the old model.” Ménochet is responsible for delivering the zero emission version of Renault’s Fluence sedan. The Fluence ZE, the first electric car to be equipped with a switchable battery, is equipped with a wide range of innovative technologies, but perhaps the most impressive

January 2011


At this year’s Paris Motor Show, the focus on electric vehicles was bigger than ever before. As the car industry looks for ways to lose its reliance on oil and cut carbon emissions, Ben Watts took a trip to the French capital to speak to one of carmaker Renault’s zeroemission champions, David Ménochet, to learn about the potential of electric vehicles

January 2011

November 2010


November 2010

Charge of the voltage vehicles



Celebrating one year of BuildGreen

In 12 months we have seen a significant seachange in terms of sustainability in the region. When I first came here three and a half years ago, ‘sustainability’ was just a word and there was a lot of greenwashing in that respect. Now we’re getting into the nuts and bolts in terms of its application to real projects and processes, and we are integrating it into our everyday thinking. From the very onset of interactivity with developers and their clientele, we have been asking them to set real sustainability goals in respect to water usage, energy, waste, materials and in thinking about natural and urban systems; that represents an incredible seachange, not only in the process, but also in terms of the quality of the product that is coming out at the end and in its role in creating value within the community. Because Estidama is a government programme there is now a real opportunity for design professionals and product suppliers to really capitalise on it and differentiate themselves from the ‘business as usual’ model. Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council senior planning manager John Madden

There is growth in the sustainability market and that’s because of several different factors. The intention of people to go ‘green’ is the first factor; there is also a drive to save energy to save us from building new power plants, which will save governments billions of dollars. Also, while there is still some new construction, it has slowed somewhat and as a result there is now more consideration of existing buildings, and we are therefore witnessing a growth in the number of facility management companies. People are now looking to cut costs in existing buildings and to implement more energy-saving solutions. There is more intention from places like Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai to make sure new buildings are LEEDor Estidama-certified projects. Leviton Middle East technical support manager Motaz Al-Batta

For all our tomorrows...

In the products we bring to you, all bear a constant work ethic: “Recycle, Reduce and Reuse�. We have lived by these values for the last 35 years in the region - and will do so for many more... From our reusable linen towels, to our recycled paper, to our 99% biodegradable cleaning products, to harnessing solar energy for waste disposal - and so much more... For today... and tomorrow

...going greener


April 2011

Seeing the light in wider walkways An innovative LED lighting technology designed to brighten dark streets is being implemented in the Netherlands. BuildGreen takes a closer looks at the system that is cutting neighbourhood CO2 emissions



street lighting project in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, is helping to demonstrate how the application of LED technology can cut both costs and energy usage. The Dutch city has wasted little time in replacing some of its existing street lights with energy-saving LED lights, which were previously difficult to install due to the limited application possibilities for available LED solutions. Since the introduction of Fortimo LED street lighting technology, LEDs can now be applied on a much wider scale than before. According to manufacturers Philips, LED lighting was, until recently, only suitable for narrow streets. Fortimo technology, however, now makes it possible to implement LED lighting systems in wider residential streets of up to 10 metres. In Holland this means that some 50% of all street lighting could be replaced with LED lighting. Fortimo technology provides a warm, white 30W light source and appears to produce as much light as a 50W yellow high-pressure sodium lamp. The difference with previous lighting installations proves considerable with traditional lights bathing the area in an orange-coloured glow. Arthur Noordhoek, manager and coordinator of public lighting for Eindhoven municipality says: “When used in combination with a ballast the old lamps use 70W.” Placing the energy savings at 57% for the municipality, thanks to the installation of the new lights, Noordhoek adds that once a street named Ministerlaan in Eindhoven has been fitted out with 51 Fortimo modules “it will save 3.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions”. “This is equivalent to saving a forest the size of a football pitch because less energy has to be generated in the first place,” he notes. Noordhoek adds that the extended lifetime of the Fortimo modules is 50,000 burning hours — three times longer than their predecessors.

AFTER: Ministerlaan after the installation of Fortimo lighting products.

BEFORE: Ministerlaan as it was prior to the new lighting installations.


April 2011

Engines in reasonable condition are stripped of their alternator, starter motor, AC compressor, servo pump, radiator fan, air compressor and clutch before all the openings are sealed with red plugs and the engine is thoroughly cleaned before being sold. (Photo Volvo Trucks)

Reborn roadster Recycling can give an old truck a new lease of life, as we find out from Volvo Trucks whose dedicated centre in Sweden is a hub of eco-friendly activity



truck straight off the factory assembly line may not be quite as new as it seems. Close to a third of the vehicle’s total weight consists of recycled metals, and Swedish manufacturer Volvo Trucks has embraced a production system that embraces the recycling of old trucks, whereby old becomes new in a sustainable process that benefits both economy and ecology. The gate slides up slowly and a 2002 Volvo FH 460 Euro 3 rolls into the workshop. The truck has covered about a million kilometres and its active days are now over. At the Volvo Truck Centre just outside Göteborg, trucks like this are dismantled down to their last nuts and bolts and their materials recycled. “The biggest advantage of this approach, from both environmental and personal perspectives, is that the materials live on,” says sales representative Mikael Olofsson as he surveys the workshop and the truck that is about to be stripped down to its smallest components.

The newly arrived truck will continue to be useful. Its best parts will be sold on the used vehicle market. All materials removed from the truck that cannot be sold will be put into containers marked separately for iron, aluminium, brass, copper, plastic, combustible and so on. All parts that are too worn out will be sent away for melting or incineration, to be re-used in the form of new products or district heating. Nothing goes to landfill. Since the mid-1990s Volvo Trucks has applied a thought-out recycling strategy in it attempts to cut its carbon footprint. “We have to consider the environment, our resources and future generations,” says Volvo Trucks environmental affairs director Lars Mårtensson. “What is more, there are sound financial reasons for the customer to recycle the truck. We try to aid that process as much as possible, for instance by providing detailed instructions with each truck on how it is to be recycled.” Every Volvo truck is designed and built at the factory to take account of what will happen on the day the truck is withdrawn from service.

“We tailor the technology needed for subsequent dismantling and recycling into the design and production of new trucks. For example, we use plastic rather than metal clips to attach wires and hoses, since

April 2011

Kenneth Olsson removes the roof spoiler. It is cracked and will end up in the metal container. The first step is to remove everything on and around the cab. With the spoiler on the roof, the cab would be too tall to be lifted off. (Photo Volvo Trucks)

After the cab, it is time for the gearbox to be removed, followed by the truck’s large 12 litre engine. “We often send gearboxes and rear axles for renovation, but engines are often regarded as too expensive to rebuild. Instead, we clean them thoroughly. They look good, we’re really proud of them,” Olsson concludes.

The environmental benefits According to Volvo Trucks’ Environmental Product Declaration calculator, a recycled truck reduces carbon dioxide emissions by just over four tonnes. This is because it takes less energy to manufacture new products from recycled materials than from entirely new raw materials. If a Euro 3 truck were replaced by a Euro 5 truck that consumes almost 8% less fuel, particulate emissions would also be cut by 80%. Moreover, the more modern truck would also release 86 tonnes less carbon dioxide during its lifetime than its older counterpart. This corresponds to more than 20 return air trips between Stockholm in Sweden and Bangkok. A trip of this kind is calculated to produce emissions corresponding to four tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. A carbon dioxide equivalent is a measurement of greenhouse gas emissions. This measurement takes account of the fact that different greenhouse gases have different greenhouse impacts. It specifies how much carbon dioxide can be emitted to produce the same climate impact as all the other greenhouse gases put together during the course of a given journey.

Making the cab ready to be lifted off is what takes most time. Many parts have to be removed first. But now it’s time for lift-off. Jimmy Gustavsson (left) and Kenneth Olsson (right), guide the cab to ensure it does not strike against and damage the radiator and engine. (Photo Volvo Trucks)

is also marked with the vehicle’s ID number. Every single part that can be sold must be traceable back to the exact truck model, year of manufacture and production series. The trucks are dismantled from the front to the rear and the team gets to work immediately. On one particular truck they struggle with the bolts because rust is holding them securely together. The bolts usually need to be heated with a welding torch to get them to work loose. “We sometimes have to fight them a bit, but we always win,” jokes Gustavsson. It takes the team six to seven days to dismantle a truck and clean all the parts that are to be sold on. In all, the workshop takes in about 30 to 40 trucks a year. If the cab of a Volvo FH is judged to be in good condition it will be cleaned up and resold. Cabs older than ten years, however, are seldom saved. Instead, they are melted down to make new metal components. Everything on and around the cab is first removed. Olsson attaches a hose to the small refrigerant reservoir and transfers the gas to a cylinder that is carefully weighed to verify that the reservoir has not leaked. “Draining off the refrigerant is perhaps the most important part of the whole dismantling operation, because it is so environmentally hazardous. Here we can see that 880 grams of refrigerant remains, which is OK considering the truck’s age,” explains Olsson.  The toxic-green glycol and engine oil drain off into two containers placed below the vehicle. All environmentally hazardous fluids are poured into sealed tanks that are put in the yard outside and will later be sent for destruction. After the cab has been lifted off using a roof-mounted traversing crane, all its interior fittings are removed. Seats, steering wheel, wall and roof panelling and all electronic components are removed and sold individually, if they are in good enough condition. The rest is recycled. 


metal clips take far longer to remove,” explains Mårtensson. “The challenge is to balance usage demands against recycling properties. For some purposes, plastics that can be melted down are more suitable than plastics that are incinerated, while for other purposes the opposite applies,” he adds. In terms of weight, roughly 50% of the wrought iron used in a new truck comes from recycled metal, while 97% of the cast iron is recycled metal. Since it takes less energy to manufacture products from recycled material than from new raw materials, the environmental gains are considerable. Recycling also has its financial advantages. If, for instance, there is a shortage of certain metals and prices rise, recycling becomes even more important. At present, more than 90% of a scrapped Volvo truck is recycled. When a Volvo FH is scrapped, more than nine tonnes of various materials are recovered for recycling. The newly arrived Volvo FH is carefully inspected by Kenneth Olsson and Jimmy Gustavsson in the dismantling workshop. The team looks for oil leakage, as well as other easily identifiable faults. All dents and rusty panels are marked with a large yellow arrow and the truck’s ID number before the dismantled parts are placed in a container that

The Volvo Truck Centre in Kungälv, Sweden has been dismantling trucks since 1988. There are plenty of used truck cabs in storage. A good cab is easy to sell and turnover can be high. (Photo Volvo Trucks)


April 2011

A question of sustainability


Chartered engineer Alan Millin, head of technical services at Mace Macro International, gets his teeth into the question of sustainability within the district cooling industry, and asks what ‘sustainability’ really means within the sector in the Middle East



istrict cooling is a great technology, often promoted as the sustainable alternative to packaged plant. But just how sustainable is it and how might it be improved? When we consider the sustainable development goals of the UAE and Qatar for instance, is it enough for an industry to simply position itself as the more sustainable solution? Allow me to suggest that it is not. The industry needs to continuously improve. It should not be difficult to do this either, with management systems such as ISO 9001 and 14001 at our disposal. Where are we now with the “sustainable” option? Let’s start with water. We are in a region facing serious water scarcity, but do our district cooling providers publish how much water they use? Do they publicise their plans to reduce consumption of this precious resource? The industry is all too happy to shout about kW/Ton values but the roar diminishes significantly when water is the focus. Why is this? More than one provider has taken the leap and implemented chemical-free water treatment. Great for the environment and, as it turned out, also great for the bottom line. Sustainability can be good for business so why don’t we see more of it? It would be informative if district cooling companies reported the results of their water footprint assessments as part of their annual performance reports. To truly promote sustainable development end-users need to be in control of their own environmental impact. Some district cooling consumers have this opportunity as a result of consumption-based billing, where consumption is measured at the unit level. There are, however, many unfortunate consumers who pay for district cooling based on the floor area of their homes. These

Regional hubs such as Doha rely on district cooling systems to develop.

people realise little benefit when they turn off their air conditioning or raise the setpoint a degree or two. They are still paying the same amount to the district cooling provider. How can an industry promote sustainable development while denying consumers the opportunity to reduce their environmental impact, and also reduce their bills, by billing them based on floor area? Are district cooling companies happy to operate at design efficiencies when they should be continually trying to improve their performance? How do we know that district cooling providers are operating efficiently? For those developments where billing based on floor area is the norm the providers charge what they have calculated they need to achieve their business goals. However environmentally aware and responsible consumers may wish to be the providers still get their money, but if everyone could reduce their cooling requirements, and be billed based on consumption, revenues might fall. This would be bad for business so we have a conflict; shareholder returns or

Dubai’s rapid growth can in some part be attributed to district cooling technology.

April 2011

Our regional district cooling providers seem to be averse to publishing their operational data”

About the author Alan Millin is head of technical services at Mace Macro International in Dubai. Millin is a chartered engineer, LEED AP and fellow of the Institute of Refrigeration with more than 35 years experience in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

sustainable development; which should the district cooling providers choose? The providers will certainly have erred on the side of caution when developing their business models so they will get their money even if they are operating at their worst planned efficiency when billing on floor areas. How closely do providers work with developers to accurately assess cooling loads? As recently as 2010 I have seen district cooling system designs implemented with almost no challenge to the load projections. Is it morally acceptable for a company to knowingly agree to connect and charge a consumer for a load that they will not generate while either not installing the required capacity or actually installing it and connecting another customer and also charging them? Our regional district cooling providers seem to be averse to publishing their operational data. Wouldn’t it be better for them to publicise their environmental performance statistics and show how the industry can reduce its environmental impact year on year? It is not difficult to track down some quality reports from North America simply by searching on the internet. Suppliers report breakdowns and downtime by the minute, service availability, environmental issues, health and safety issues and so on. I don’t see much in the way of published reports in the GCC region. Why is that?


Alan Millin, head of technical services at Mace Macro International.

For an industry that offers itself as the sustainable alternative to packaged cooling why is it that publicly available operational performance reports are in short supply? Is it down to commercial issues? Perhaps, but when we consider that many consumers are captive there has to be more to it than that. Could it be that if figures are routinely published the end-users, and indeed the investors, might get a bit upset if what they see confirms operational efficiencies? Those end-users who are billed based on floor area could very well be subsidising operational inefficiency while those that are billed on consumption at least have an element of control that might force operational improvement. How would you feel if you found that the company that serviced your car employed technicians who were not very good at setting your engine management system up? Would you happily go on paying for the extra fuel you would need to travel to work? In some apartment buildings where there is no unit-level metering, a consumer whose apartment is mostly in shade will pay the same rate to satisfy his air conditioning needs as someone whose apartment is in direct sunlight for several hours a day. If you were subsiding your neighbours’ air conditioning, and if your district cooling consumption is not metered, you might just be doing that — how would you feel? How can we assess the environmental impact of district cooling plant operations? Without monitoring and reporting we can’t. Maybe it’s time for the district cooling industry to actively consider and promote real sustainable development rather than just promoting itself as sustainable. In an age of rapid technological progress, being the sustainable option today might not be good enough to still be in business tomorrow, if we don’t improve our performance. When it comes to district cooling my advice is to plan, check and act. We’ve had some planning, we’ve had some doing, now where is the checking and acting? Again, it’s a question of sustainability.


April 2011

Mapping out Masdar More than 14 years before its scheduled completion, those interested in taking a tour of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City can, with the aid of a computer and some innovative software. Melanie Mingas takes a virtual tour of the futuristic city




n the year 2000, architecture student Gregory Morlet had an idea. While working on his final assessment, Morlet realised the ideal method to communicate his designs would be to create a world in which they could exist, before being built. Inspired by a passion for video games, Morlet created a virtual environment in which his audience could view his project with total freedom of movement and perspective. The idea was a success and after graduation Morlet developed the platform further. In 2003 he founded Vectuel, a company which today provides an urban design software programme, VectuelStory. At the World Future Energy Summit, in January 2010 the programme also known as VStory, was used to bring the world an exclusive preview of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City; the world’s first zero-carbon city, scheduled for completion in 2025. Bringing each project to life, VStory communicates all existing and future elements of an urban environment, going as far as to simulate animations such as people, vegetation, traffic and even climatic conditions. Carrying less data than BIM modelling, but more details of the surrounding environment, the software provides the dual functions of architectural and urban visualisation for all project collaborators. Taking four months to produce, the Masdar programme mapped every aspect of the project, from the underground water pipes to the interiors of the stations that will form part of the Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) . The software allows interaction with the architectural environment — from within or above — as well as additional options to view the utility infrastructure or an overview of how each completed phase will look, step by step. By building this interactive environment, VStory facilitates the production of “large scale, three dimensional models

in a photo-realistic way, enabling the requirements of decision-making and communication of architectures and urbanism projects”, claims the company. “Our 3D virtual models also integrate the notion of 4D — time criteria — which aims to visualise an environment before and after the insertion of future architecture projects,” explains Middle East branch manager, Caroline Tasse.

Vectuel allows the user the option of viewing each phase of a development individually.

the governments are, the need to understand and exchange information is essential, to enable a sustainable urban design and plan, dedicated to a better quality of life for the project’s citizens.” In addition to Masdar City, A map of Masdar City’s underground utilities network. Vectuel’s planning software has also been used in a “Thus, we can follow the evolution of a number of large scale projects in France new area and answer questions about its such as Poitiers town centre, Grand Lyon progress: what will this place look like in Presqu’île, Pierre Sénart and the tram three, five or 10 years?” system in Nantes. While Tasse describes the product as The company is now looking at further a “work tool” that enables the user to potential applications in the Middle East, “simulate, visualise and assess a project with an aim to establish a presence in in the purpose of validation”, she points every GCC country by the end of the year. out that the secondary function of 3D “The 3D technologies and expertise interactivity is found in the communication we have developed aim to support major and sales promotion value. urbanisation and architecture projects at The 6km² development area of Abu each stage of their development: from the Dhabi’s Masdar City project has been design to the support of decision-makers entirely mapped using VStory. in the project promotion,” continues Tasse. “It is easily displayed on the Internet, “Facing the redesign of master plans, in a showroom and during an exhibition, the implementation of new transport everybody can discover the future of systems, the whole change cities face Masdar City,” explains Tasse. in the UAE and other countries in “By testing different options, we can the region today need to acquire the produce a first-class development without tools to lead this change,” she notes. supporting the cost of real construction “Consequently, the main focus is on mistakes,” she comments. “Whatever understanding the existing environment the urban strategies implemented by in order to keep developing.”

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April 2011

Learning to respond This September, Heriot-Watt University in Dubai will launch the region’s first architectural engineering undergraduate degree. BuildGreen speaks to academic head and director of studies, Dr Olisanwendu Ogwuda




s construction design disciplines continue to evolve so too does the demand for smart, responsive, structures. According to those in the industry, the creation of such structures will depend on the training provided for the next generation of designers, developers and engineers. The Dubai-based campus of HeriotWatt University will launch the region’s first course in architectural engineering (AE) this September, which has been designed to meet demands from both within the industry and prospective students. “We have looked at what has been happening in the market, particularly with green building technologies and the way things are developing,” says academic head and director of studies, Dr Olisanwendu Ogwuda. Speaking of the “future leaders of tomorrow”, he adds: “In the past two to three years we have looked at developing a programme that will meet the needs of the green building community.” As a discipline, architectural engineering encompasses all the services associated with the built environment, including performance of buildings, designs for acceptable indoor environments, lighting and water supply and disposal. The four-year programme incorporates three principles: energy and sustainability; the architectural design of buildings and engineering systems; and human behaviour. According to the institution, it’s the first course of its kind in the region and is equivalent to a British university degree. Running eight modules each academic year, the course addresses a skills gap in the Middle East, which has caused an increasing demand for engineers who can provide “multi-disciplinary skills at the interface of engineering and architecture”. “We are actually training the next generation of engineers who will be educated to design a building to energy efficiency standards, taking into account the needs of the occupants. The programme addresses the current and future issues that

will need to be addressed on a global scale, essentially adaptation to climate change.”

Dr Olisanwendu Ogwuda, academic head and director of studies at Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus.

Future leaders Ogwuda says the enthusiasm he sees when speaking with prospective students confirms there is a momentum for change among the next generation of construction professionals. “Student’s eyes light up when you visit their schools to talk about the programme; when they see these courses are on offer

April 2011

Industry needs young graduates who can come into the profession and bring this vital knowledge with them”

and that they can get into a programme like this and do something great in their careers, it’s very exciting.” Explaining that the course is unique, he adds: “Within the industry there are a lot of people at the ends of their careers who do not consider these aspects of AE in their designs. Industry needs young graduates who can come into the profession and bring this vital knowledge with them.” The syllabus was developed by Ogwuda, in collaboration with colleagues at HeriotWatt’s Edinburgh campus, in Scotland.

Framec Engineering Ltd. He has a PhD in sustainable construction and has spent the last 16 years teaching; moving to Dubai in 2009 to establish the university’s engineering programme. He has also contributed to industry publications, covering such topics as the disposal and re-use of construction waste. “Buildings have to be designed first of all to be structurally stable, but we also have to look for ways to make them smart,” notes


Building smart With a career spanning four decades and four continents, Ogwuda is well positioned to equip this next generation of engineers with the skills they need to contribute to the evolution of the industry. “Compared to the UK, the community here is still developing. Mistakes are made in the design of both buildings and infrastructure in terms of energy efficiency and planning the re-use of materials when the building reaches the end of its current lifecycle,” he says. Ogwuda’s career began in 1987 in Nigeria where he worked as a civil engineer for Left: Dr Olisanwendu Ogwuda says it is important to equip the next generation of engineers with skills that will help the industry evolve. Right: Ogwuda says that he sees a lot of enthusiasm from prospective students and senses a momentum for change among the next generation of construction professionals. Below: The Dubai-based campus of Heriot-Watt University will soon launch the region’s first course in architectural engineering.

Ogwuda. “Linking into that is if buildings have to be demolished, we should reuse the materials from these buildings and plan that into the demolition. “Concrete and brick works is already recycled and crushed, but I think if more care was taken we could see components like glass and timber reused more as well.” In anticipation of a full cohort this September, Ogwuda is also making use of his industry contacts to arrange guest lecturers and networking events, as well as work placements for students. “Huge demand already exists. When you go to schools to market the programme it’s all about green building and accreditation, this will be the generation that builds realising that you cannot just build for the sake of it,” concludes Ogwuda.


April 2011

Taking the environmental initiative


Panasonic is one of a handful of companies that has made a commitment to switch to a more environmentally-friendly business model. Several months after announcing the launch of its ‘eco ideas’ campaign in Dubai, BuildGreen speaks to Panasonic Marketing Middle East managing director Seiji Koyanagi to find out how the campaign is progressing and the effects the company hopes it has


BG: What do you hope the long-term effects of the Panasonic ‘eco-ideas’ initiative will be on the company’s business activities, and has its implementation affected the long-term strategy of the company? Seiji Koyanagi: The basic business philosophy of Panasonic centres on how we believe we can contribute to the development of the society by living in harmony with the global environment. The ‘eco ideas’ project and associated eco activities are a core focus for Panasonic and we believe that we must always meet global excellence indexes and at the same time, be top of green indexes. In order to achieve the status of the leading green innovation company by 2018, we will monitor our progress on a regular basis. As an example of our evaluation from external stakeholders, we are already on some indexes such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and will continue to be selected in these indexes as an objective indicator. We also aim to make the environment central to all of our business activities with a firm attitude that allows for no exceptions. BG: How is Panasonic acting to avoid any instances of greenwashing, and do you believe your customers are convinced by and understand your ‘green’ credentials? SK: Today our customers are demanding green products, and all ‘Panasonic Green Products’ have been internally

certified. Having achieved the industry’s top environmental performance in terms of energy saving, effective utilisation of resources and the management of chemical substances, we are aiming to double the regional sales of ‘Superior Green Products’ by March 2013. Furthermore, in this region, Panasonic aims to educate 100,000 of its customers in the next three years by celebrating a ‘Green Day’ on the first Friday of every month. By utilising its showrooms across the region, which will be kitted out with Eco Kiosks that will be made available to anyone visiting Panasonic stores, we aim to raise awareness on energy and water conservation, as well as waste management. Panasonic Marketing Middle East managing director Seiji Koyanagi.

The Middle East is a fragile ecosystem and we need to do more to protect the region”

BG: What are the major hurdles to working in the Middle East and adopting a sustainable agenda? SK: Compared to any other region the Middle East has its fair share of hurdles, but for Panasonic this region is one of the key emerging markets and we have placed a great deal of emphasis on bringing the latest technology and products to all our Middle East consumers. There are also a large number of high net worth consumers throughout this region and Panasonic’s focus is to bring a range of very high-end products to these consumers. The Middle East is a growing market and people in the Middle East are very passionate

Panasonic is heavily involved in the Lake Victoria Environmental Education Programme and representatives from the company recently travelled to Kenya to see the programme in action.

BG: How do Panasonic’s internal CSR policies work and how do they relate to its The declaration of Panasonic’s ‘eco ideas’ in the Middle East took place environmental initiatives? in front of a packed auditorium at last year’s Gitex exhibition in Dubai. SK: For Panasonic ‘Green Business-styles’ is a business We recently kicked the programme off in activity designed to achieve the ultimate BG: Panasonic has linked up with charity Kisumu, Kenya, at an event that attracted environmental impact reduction. environmental organisations such as the senior government officials, school children There is a general idea of ‘Zero Cost, Zero WWF; how do these programmes work and faculty members. The programme Time, Zero Inventory’ as an ideal situation and what are their environmental aims? involves activities that will conserve the for the manufacturing industry. We have also SK: Panasonic believes in giving back to catchment basin and provide alternative added one more idea called ‘Zero Emissions’, the community, which is one of its basic livelihoods, which aims to empower people which will target zero waste and zero emissions business philosophies. WWF is an authority and alleviate poverty. including CO2. More specifically, what we when it comes to the environment and we Some of the activities include setting up are proud to be associated with such an promote includes minimising CO2 emissions, tree nurseries and tree planting, agro forestry, iconic organisation. a manufacturing policy of waste recycling and organic farming, fish farming, bee keeping, The company is currently involved in a a green work style that reduces unnecessary chicken rearing, crafts making, mushroom biodiversity project entitled Lake Victoria indirect work, travel and transportation. growing, the use of energy-saving jikos and Environmental Education Programme, Panasonic Marketing Middle East is aiming biogas production. which is based around the famous Lake to cut CO2 emissions by 15% at its regional One school each from Kenya, Tanzania Victoria, one of the African Great Lakes. facility by March 2013 and the company is and Uganda will be transformed into green The programme is being undertaken in also working towards LEED and ISO 14001 model schools, where students will be association with the WWF (LVCEEP). certifications by 2012.


about the best consumer electronics. People here are at the forefront of the technology and demand only the very latest and increasingly green technologies. We therefore believe the region will be a valuable market for Panasonic in the coming months and years.


April 2011

Compared to other regions the Middle East has its fair share of hurdles, but for Panasonic it is one of the key emerging markets”


The KWN Programme


As part of its Eco-declaration, Panasonic Marketing Middle East (PMM) has initiated a series of internal and external programmes designed to spread its environmental message. Its ‘Eco Picture Diary Contest’, which took place last year, was aimed at encouraging 6-12 year old children to learn more about protecting the environment. PMM also observed an Earth Lunch Hour last October at its Jebel Ali office, which saw 176 Panasonic employees enjoy lunch made from organic ingredients and created using energyefficient cooking methods. Working with the UAE Ministry of Education, Kid Witness News (KWN) is another of the company’s initiatives. Conducted in more than 20 schools across the emirates, the video-education programme focuses on environmental themes and is a hands-on video education programme with an emphasis on teamcentred learning. The scheme is designed to encourage students to develop valuable cognitive, communication and organisational skills through the use of state-of-the-art, highdefinition video technology. Panasonic supplies both middle and high schools with up-to-the-minute digital equipment allowing students to communicate their stories and perspectives through the production of videos. Under the supervision of teachers, students research, write, act in, produce, direct and edit videos on a subject of their choice. The videos centre on topics important to students and their communities, and reflect the world that they experience.

encouraged to develop and sustain a green idea. Students will be encouraged to take responsibility of the environment and act as citizens of the earth to take action to protect the planet. This project will be used to communicate and raise awareness on the upcoming wider partnership between WWF-ESARPO and Panasonic in WWF’s Lake Victoria Catchments Environmental Education Programme in Africa. In the UAE, we are working with Abu Dhabi University (ADU). The university offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees based upon the American model of higher education, as well as several professional diploma and postgraduate diploma programmes that utilise the British system of postsecondary education. As part of its Eco-declaration for the Middle East, Panasonic will provide scholarships to two graduation students under the Environmental Science Bachelor Degree Programme from the university. BG: Do customers really care whether a company’s products are ‘green’ or not? SK: Yes they do as today it is the norm to opt for ‘green’ products. As manufacturers it’s our responsibility to make all our products environment friendly, because we need to leave behind

a sustainable future for coming generations. Consumers are increasingly demanding energy-saving products and as a result we must deliver. BG: What is your personal view on the market for sustainable products and services here in the Middle East, and what do you make of your competitors ‘green’ initiatives? SK: The Middle East is a fragile ecosystem and we need to do more to protect the region and the environment around us. Our products have to be green and have to be energy efficient in order to reduce the carbon footprint. At Panasonic we will realise the greatest possible reduction in environmental impact through our own business activities. We aim to widely offer to the public the technologies and ideas that are brought forth from such activities. These include innovations such as minimising the amount of CO2 emissions across the entire business process, implementing recycling-oriented manufacturing systems that generate minimum waste, pursuing a green work-style by eliminating unnecessary indirect work and excessive business trips, and offering to share the company’s know-how and experience with the public.

Seiji Koyanagi on a recent trip to Kenya to witness the work of the Lake Victoria Environmental Education Programme.


April 2011

Up in the clouds The demand for cloud computing from businesses across the Middle East is currently on a high and as the sector evolves it looks like there will be no stopping its rapid rise. BuildGreen asks IT industry experts what exactly cloud computing is and what the beneficial effects of its wide-spread utilisation could have on the environment



uch like how the environmentally-minded abundantly use terms like ‘sustainability’, ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘green economics’, within the IT community it seems the term ‘cloud computing’ is currently all the rage. While the aforementioned environmental terms are now widely understood and have become part of our common language, ‘cloud computing’ is proving to be more than just a ‘buzz term’. The potential of cloud computing within the IT market is huge, claims Wirestorm Innovations LLC chief executive officer Abdulmunem Miri, who says that within the next three to five years the cloud market will blossom.

“Analysts predict that by 2014 more than a third of the global enterprise IT budget will be spent on cloud services,” remarks Miri. “As the number of companies that are doing business globally increases, the demand for mobile software solutions is increasing. “What the majority of these companies are looking for is an effective, affordable and secure method to provide their employees with productivity applications that are available everywhere.” According to Miri, cloud computing is going to be a “game changer”. “It can offer key software applications essential to the growth of any organisation at an extremely affordable price tag. This will drive companies of all sizes to start

investing in technology, driving demand upwards,” he notes. Mahesh Vaidya, chief executive officer of ISIT Middle East, says that the cloud computing market is growing because of the amount of applications being rapidly adopted under the cloud computing umbrella. Vaidya explains: “Email systems, email security, email continuity, email and file system archiving, CRM, managed security services and offsite backups are just some of the applications being used more commonly across the cloud computing platform. “The adoption of cloud-based solutions is becoming ever more rapid in the Middle East because the impact


April 2011


of bandwidth and latency is being better addressed,” he adds. According to Vaidya, organisations are taking up cloud computing due to the associated lower total cost of ownership (TCO), as well as faster deployments, the lack of investment required for each application, the leverage service providers’ skill sets, the ability of IT to shift its focus to innovation rather than operations and the fact that you only pay for the IT as you use it. Despite these obvious benefits to a business, Vaidya argues that the term ‘cloud computing’ is still shrouded in confusion, with different parts of a business likely to disagree on the direction in which to take. “Cloud may mean completely different things to different people,” says Vaidya. “For a chief executive officer agility is on more core competency, while an external provider takes care of IT. A chief information officer will look at refreshing opportunities and an efficient data centre, while an application owner is tired of IT and does not want to do it himself. Elsewhere in the business IT workers are afraid of losing their job while sceptics think this is all hype.” So while the argument for cloud computing is strong in regards to the business model, what exactly is it?

A white paper released by Oracle last year, simply states: “Cloud computing is a significant advancement in the delivery of information technology and services. “By providing on demand access to a shared pool of computing resources in a self-service, dynamically scaled and metered manner, cloud computing offers compelling advantages in speed, agility and efficiency. “Today, cloud computing is at an early stage in its lifecycle, but it is also the evolution and convergence of several trends that have been driving enterprise data centres and service providers over the last several years,” continues the paper. “Cloud computing builds off a foundation of technologies such as grid computing, which includes clustering, server virtualisation and dynamic provisioning, as well as serviceoriented architecture (SOA) shared services and large-scale management automation.” As a term, ‘cloud computing’ still espouses confusion, says Wirestorm’s Abdulmunem Miri, but as technology continues to evolve, the term is gaining a more solid meaning. “I am not a big fan of the term cloud computing or its translation in Arabic,” says Miri. “It is a term that literally means having computers in the sky.

“I often see a smile on the face of a customer or a friend who is not in IT when mentioning the term. The fact is that we have been using cloud computing for ages. “Hotmail, Messenger and many others were the true pioneers of cloud computing, and the reason it is getting huge hype now is because we are finally reaching the evolutionary stage of technology where the infrastructure support, software innovations, market demand and business model are aligned to make the leap to the second era of computing.”

Many IT professionals claim that cloud computer is leading the next generation of computer-based technologies.

ADVERTORIAL Qatar Museum of Islamic Art

Qatar Museum of Islamic Art gets creative with Philips Dynalite


rchitecturally spectacular, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, is one of the most distinguished modern buildings in the Middle East. Designed by world-renowned architect, I.M. Pei, the museum features sleek minimalistic lines, accentuated with the geometric patterns and aesthetic details found in the art and architecture of the Muslim world. Underpinning the gallery lighting scheme for this stunning building is an innovative state-ofthe-art track-lighting control solution from Philips Dynalite. Designed to optimise track-lighting installation, set-up, and operation, the innovative system comprises a Philips Dynalite control card with in-built logic capabilities embedded into the track-lighting fixtures. Once networked, the control card/fixture combination has the ability to automatically identify track location and position to the supervisory control system the moment the fixture is positioned on the track, thereby providing installation and operational flexibility. Each of the track-lighting fixtures incorporate six stepper motors and three dimmable incandescent luminaires, which are controlled via the customised Philips Dynalite control cards in conjunction with leading- and trailing-edge dimming controllers. In addition, Philips Dynalite

DMX512 transmitter interfaces and 1-10V ballast controllers integrate control of decorative fibreoptic and cold-cathode lighting. All components are linked via Philips Dynalite’s sophisticated peer-to-peer communications serial bus network, DyNet. The lighting control system is configured and managed using Philips Dynalite’s DLight III MapView site management software, via a control room PC, or remotely via a handheld tablet PC. “The lighting fixtures can simply be ‘clicked’ into any of the museum’s lighting tracks and be online within seconds,” said Terry Bonham, Global Application Manager - Indoor Networked Controls, Philips Dynalite. “Operators are alerted to the installation or repositioning of lighting fixtures via a small icon on their desktop PC or on the portable tablet PC on the museum floor. Once online, these fixtures can be configured, controlled and manoeuvred remotely, to suit the artwork on show without any prior set-up. The system is extremely simple to use.” According to Bonham, lighting configuration flexibility is paramount in museum/gallery applications. “At the Museum of Islamic Art it is possible to move lighting fixtures without time-consuming re-wiring and control system

reconfiguring,” he said. “This allows gallery staff to customise lighting schemes to individual pieces of artwork or zones, or reconfigure entire areas as exhibitions change.” Lighting control is further streamlined by the system’s WiFi functionality. “Using wireless connectivity and a handheld tablet PC, museum staff can get up close to the art work alongside viewers to experience and configure the lighting scheme,” said Bonham. “They can walk around the museum, identify individual light fittings and make an adjustment on the spot.” The marriage of priceless Islamic artwork with world-class architectural design and lighting control technologies is proving a hit with museum visitors, enhancing an already memorable experience.


April 2011


Environmental benefits While the term may take those less technically inclined some research before it is grasped, the market is continuing its rapid growth. As with most modern industries today, however, an environmental element is also required. Wirestorm’s Miri says that cloud computing is good for the environment for four reasons. First of all he says it enables businesses and organisations to do a lot more with every piece of hardware, which in turn takes away the need to have multiple energy consuming hardware at each individual organisation. Cloud computing also acts to lower the amount of energy consumed per organisation and it puts the responsibility of disposing old units into the hand of bigger more mature organisations, adds Miri. ISIT’s Vaidya agrees that the cloud offers environmental benefits through the convergence of IT machinery and networks often found within the workplace, but adds a note of warning. “Since efficiency and utilisation of resources in cloud data centres are extremely high, in respect to their being more work per unit of energy, the overall power consumption is reduced dramatically compared to traditional data centres,” says Vaidya. “But what you have to watch out for is that since cloud computing is easier to

use, users might start using more compute resources for a wider variety of applications and eventually increase power consumption.” As the cloud computing sector grows and the energy consumed within remote data centres increases, Wirestorm’s Miri says that this issue is being addressed through multiple channels. “Hardware vendors are building better, faster and more efficient servers that utilise less energy,” he asserts. “Also, software platforms and methodologies, such as vitalisation, have become more widely adopted.” BELOW: Cloud computing could lead to the end of energy intensive in-house data centres, and could also bring businesses and communities within large cities closer together and decrease energy usage through cloud-based applications.

ISIT’s Vaidya also adds that these large data centres could cut energy usage by adopting simple, yet effective, energysaving solutions. “Remote data centres could be based out of colder locations where the natural cooling would offer a clear advantage,” advises Vaidya. “The heat generated by data centre operations could also be used for some innovative usage scenarios such as in the heating of homes. “These types of systems that recycle energy are being developed and deployed,” he adds. In its recent report entitled The Central Role of Cloud Computing in Making Cities Energy-Smart, global IT giant Microsoft put across the argument that cloud computing would have to play an integral role in both existing and future cities as they attempt to balance energy supply and demand. The report notes: “Achieving this balance will require the ability to monitor, measure, analyse, report and control energy generation, distribution and use on a massive scale. This level of energy management will both require and generate enormous amounts of data. “Cloud computing provides a strong enabling platform for solutions in this space, because, in addition to providing the necessary scale, storage and processing power, cloud computing can connect all the disparate data sources that

April 2011

Large scale data centres are cloud computing hubs and cutting energy usage within them is a major issue for cloud service providers.

Cloud computing and its four deployment models

will be required to manage this new energy infrastructure effectively.” The report goes on to note that the IT industry would have to “deliver a wide spectrum of solutions for the sustainable design and management of power generation, distribution grids, buildings and transportation systems” in order for cities to thrive. “Information technology solutions, leveraging the scale, diverse data sets and accessibility available from cloud computing, developed by the broadest ecosystem of ISV and SI partners, will connect disparate systems within and across cities such that energy can be generated, distributed and consumed sustainably,” the report states.

ISIT’s Vaidya adds: “The business benefits of moving into a cloud environment are more holistic than just being ‘green’. “But nowadays, with better awareness and development of better standards of measuring power consumption and utilisation, many cloud data centre providers are featuring green benefits in their marketing.” So while it may be some time yet before we see a swathe of billboards promoting the ‘green’ side the of cloud erected across the Middle East, it does appear that cloud computing offers key environmental benefits alongside the financial advantages. If we are to build more environmentallyfriendly economic models across the globe, there can be no doubt that cloud computing, whether intentionally or not, will be in among the mix.

(Source: Oracle Cloud Computing, May 2010)

Marketing the sustainable angle If the cloud can offer so much to the environment as argued by both global IT players and more locally-based businesses, then why has the industry not jumped onto the so-called ‘green’ bandwagon? Wirestorm’s Abdulmunem Miri explains: “In this case ‘green’ doesn’t make you money. The main selling point, which I believe makes sense to the business decision maker, is the lower cost and the lower effort for optimal business growth.”

Optimising the cloud can give businesses more freedom to work remotely.

Private Clouds: For exclusive use by a single organisation and typically controlled, managed and hosted in private data centres. The hosting and operation of private clouds may also be outsourced to a third party service provider, but a private cloud remains for the exclusive use of one organisation. Public Clouds: For use by multiple organisations (tenants) on a shared basis and hosted and managed by a third party service provider. Community Clouds: For use by a group of related organisations who wish to make use of a common cloud computing environment. For example, a community might consist of the different branches of the military, all the universities in a given region, or all the suppliers to a large manufacturer. Hybrid Clouds: When a single organisation adopts both private and public clouds for a single application in order to take advantage of the benefits of both. For example, in a “cloudbursting” scenario, an organisation might run the steady-state workload of an application on a private cloud, but when a spike in workload occurs, such as at the end of the financial quarter or during the holiday season, they can burst out to use computing capacity from a public cloud, then return those resources to the public pool when they are no longer needed.


It is a term that literally means having computers in the sky”


April 2011

Green gadgets From turbines to purifiers there are plenty of ‘green’ tools available for the eco-minded. We take a look at some of the best products on the market


LightCap is an unbreakable onelitre water bottle with a solar-powered LED light. Placing the bottle in the sun for just four hours will provide up to 12 hours of light without producing heat and a strong integrated retaining ring can be used to clip the bottle for carrying or charging. The sealed cap con-tains red and white LED bulbs and the bottle’s narrow waist is designed to be easy to grip for small hands.

This novel Solar Wind Turbine works in both sunlight and artificial home lighting, and is a great way of introducing young children to renewable energy. The self-assembly unit is easy to build and its integrated solar panel acts as a collecting tray for light, which


Airfree Air Purifiers use a patented purification technology, based on safe and natural heat sterilisation, to remove airborne allergens by incinerating them and then returning the air back to the room without affecting ambient room temperature. With a power consumption of no more than 45W and weighing a little more than

is used to power the model’s rotor. The model can be placed anywhere around the home without being bound by wiring, and the turbine arms have a total length of 125mm, while the turbine tower stands 265mm high.

1kg, the machines are light-weight, silent and energy efficient. The machine has been designed for 24/7 use and according to the distributor the cost of electricity is less than AED 6 (US $1.6) a month on Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s highest residential slab.

The big

picture Earthquake leads to nuclear disaster


satellite image surveys the damage at Fukushima-1 Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima Prefecture after last month’s devastating magnitude 9 earthquake off the eastern coast of Japan. Following the March 11 quake and the resulting tsunami, a 20km evacuation zone was imposed around the nuclear power plant and residents living within 30km were advised to leave the area, to stay indoors or to try and make their homes airtight in order to avoid exposure to leaked radiation. Following the March 11 quake and the resulting tsunami, a 20km evacuation zone was imposed around the nuclear power plant and residents living within 30km were advised to leave the area, to stay indoors or to try and make their homes airtight in order to avoid exposure to leaked radiation. (Photo credit: © DigitalGlobe)

Abu Dhabi study provides hotel energy benchmark

Thermal analysis simulation software used to map hotel’s energy usage


A hotel in Abu Dhabi has utilised thermal analysis simulation software to map out energy usage across the property as part of a programme to establish an energy benchmark for four-star hotels. Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi collaborated with environmental consultant 7th Sense on the energy modelling study and performed well against the study’s consumption standards. The results will be tapped to set appropriate energy benchmarks for hotels in the region. Cristal Hotels and Resorts chief executive officer Peter Blackburn said: “Our involvement in the 7th Sense study gave us a better understanding of our energy strategies and

their performance against Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority’s (ADTA) Abu Dhabi Environment, Health and Safety Management System (EHSMS) targets. “The study results have given us invaluable insights on how to achieve ADTA’s EHSMS goals,” added Blackburn. The thermal analysis simulation software used to profile the hotel’s energy performance was based on architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical and operational parameters, while the study also adopted four consumption performance categories: Excellent, Satisfactory, High and Excessive.

Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi opened in late 2009.

News update

Five ways to foster sustainability

Top tips Wyndham Green •

Incorporate energy-efficient bulbs and lighting fixtures with automatic sensors

Institute an ongoing maintenance plan for all

Wyndham Green programme offering tips to competitors on adopting sustainable practices

appliances and equipment •

equipment replacement plan, so outdated equipment and appliances are replaced with the most energy- efficient models •

Turn it off — have standard procedures that turn off lights and equipment in areas not in use, such as restaurants after hours

Seal it up — make sure weather stripping and insulation is properly installed to ensure heating and cooling systems operate efficiently, and guests are most comfortable

All Novotel hotels to be ‘green’ by 2012 Global hotel chain claims to be on course for fully certified network within a two-year deadline EarthCheck’s certification process is based on continuous improvements and the commitment of hotel teams; the performance process is audited and re-evaluated every two years. A hotel can only be certified after a preliminary assessment of its performance and the deployment of an appropriate management system that covers eight distinct areas, including the implementation of a sustainable development policy, water and energy usage, waste management and paper consumption. To date, 78 Novotel-branded hotels in 18 countries have been certified with the green accreditation, while another 104 hotels have embarked on the project.

Novotel World Trade Centre Dubai. (Photo credit: © Fabrice Rambert)

Novotel has announced its intention to have all its hotels certified with a ‘green’ accreditation by 2012. The hotel chain now has two years in which to obtain the environmental and social certification EarthCheck across its extensive global network of hotels, which comprises more than 400 properties. Novotel global marketing director Pierre Lagrange said: “Since 2008, Novotel teams have been actively involved in the EarthCheck certification programme so that we can meet our goal of certifying the entire network by 2012. “Novotel’s commitment to sustainable development is an integral part of the brand’s promise of customer well-being.”


Hospitality company Wyndham Worldwide has offered a helping hand to its competitors by revealing five handy ways hospitality establishments can quickly reduce their energy consumption. Through its Wyndham Green programme the company has focused on sustainability across its global operations and has suggested five simple tips competitors could use to make big reductions in energy usage. The tips range from incorporating energy efficient bulbs to starting an Energy Star equipment replacement plan. Wyndham Worldwide chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Holmes said: “While turning off all our lights can be a challenge for a busy hotel or resort with hundreds of guests, we believe the hospitality industry can and should be a leader in developing innovative solutions to reduce our impact on the environment.” Wyndham Worldwide vice president of sustainability Faith Taylor remarked: “Through Wyndham Green, we aim to develop best practices that make sense for both the environment and the bottom line. “Our brands and business units are increasingly selecting more energy efficient options, and as a result we have seen a continued reduction in our energy costs,” added Taylor.

Start an Energy Star


April 2011


The Hotel Show is looking to adopt a ‘greener’ outlook this year.


Accommodating sustainability In May the twelfth edition of The Hotel Show takes place in Dubai, bringing together hoteliers and hospitality suppliers from across the world. BuildGreen speaks to exhibition director Frederique Maurell to find out how effectively the hospitality industry is adopting sustainable practices BG: What ‘green’ elements will visitors see at this year’s edition of The Hotel Show? Frederique Maurell: This year we have decided to launch and implement a soft marketing approach towards green initiatives, which aims to recognise companies that are providing solutions, technologies, products and supplies that meet eco-friendly standards. We will highlight to hoteliers and general managers eco-friendly solutions and practices that will provide them with better waste management systems and reductions in their utility bills. So far we have nine companies signed up to the show that endorse green

On the conference floor at last year’s Hotel Show.

initiatives and on the second day of our conference programme we will see discussions and panel sessions focused on eco-friendly projects and initiatives designed to measure cost savings for hotels.

The Hotel Show’s Frederique Maurell.

BG: Where are the key problem areas in respect to energy usage within the region’s hotels? Maurell: Air conditioning is certainly a problem as it can account for 60-70% of a property’s utility bills. You also have to consider swimming pools without covers as you have to continuously heat them up and anything to do with laundry is often a problem zone at a property.

April 2011

You cannot go green with just one angle such as changing your light bulbs — if you want to embrace sustainable solutions and receive a green accreditation there is so much more to take on board. BG: Is there a will from within the Middle East’s hospitality sector to adopt energy-saving initiatives? Maurell: I think there has always been a recognised will from the industry to go green. Obviously the real initiatives started a couple of years back and I can understand that this has been slightly set back by the global financial climate. There is, however, the consciousness from hoteliers that eco-friendly initiatives not only reduce costs, but also maximise a guest’s experience. There have been surveys by different organisations that state that 50% of guests would not mind paying slightly more if a hotel is embracing eco-friendly initiatives and if you do make an investment that might be greater at the beginning, in the longer term you will break even. Reducing consumption is a win-win situation and it is definitely something in the minds of hoteliers today.

BG: If 50% of potential customers can be swayed by a hotel’s eco-consciousness, how can the other 50% be convinced? Maurell: The other 50% of customers need to be shown tangible reasons for them to pay that extra 10%. At sometime everybody wants to embrace the green element and attach it to their brands and their names, but if I’m a guest I want to understand why I’m paying 10% more and be aware of what exactly is being done. If you are able to prove to a customer that you are adopting sustainable initiatives it will justify the slightly higher price being charged, and once that is clear to the guest you will find it is more than 50% that will be swayed — perhaps 70-80% will pay more.

Exhibitors at the exhibition range from furniture suppliers to electronics companies.

BG: Does the region’s hospitality sector have a negative image in respect to its ‘green’ credentials? Maurell: The region probably gets some mixed views. There are a lot of contrasts in the region — from having in one country a project like Masdar taking place, to having a ski slope in the middle of the desert. You also have to look back and consider what was in the UAE 20 years ago, and put it into that context. There are some contrasts, some positive initiatives and many challenging problems, but there are real tangible initiatives and regulations in place, and as a result hoteliers are responding. BG: Does the Hotel Show have a ‘green’ future? Maurell: When it comes to next year’s show and beyond you won’t just see nine companies focused on sustainability, but 50 to 100 companies. It’s definitely something that is growing and I really think it is a real concern for hoteliers. There is a bigger picture, because it’s about the environment and where we live; from recycling to becoming more ecoaware, it’s the simple things that can help change the world.

It seems surprising that some suppliers who can provide really hard chemicals can still be permitted to pitch for business”

BG: The region’s hospitality industry is plagued by a fast turnover of staff. Has that element encouraged a short-term approach to sustainability? Maurell: I think the brands are waking up here to the need for a much more ecofriendly outlook and personally I don’t think the turnover of staff would explain the reason why we have been delayed in the process of sustainability. If you put it into context, it is still a fairly new market that has grown rapidly in the last two decades. They have developed standards as soon as possible, but within a slightly later developed market. In terms of being able to tackle the growth of the industry, it could be through cutting the utility bills or being more techsavvy in order to retain a guest’s loyalty. All of these things come together and provide a very clear need for hoteliers to address that situation.

BG: Does the hospitality industry across the region require further regulation in order to help improve the sector’s commitment to ‘green’ projects and programmes? Maurell: I have had opportunities to speak to general managers and heads of departments, and you can tell that there is a real need for the support of governments. From a housekeepers’ point of view, it seems surprising that some suppliers who can provide really hard chemicals can still be permitted to pitch for business, and in that respect there is a need for more regulation, as well as greater involvement of some of the region’s governmental bodies. There are some government initiatives in place, but there needs to be a constant follow up and review of the best practices and products within the region’s hotels.


The Hotel Show attracts a range of hosptiality industry figures.

Visitors queuing up to enter the 2010 edition of the exhibition.


April 2011

Investment update GREEN BUSINESS

...Boost for the biodiesel sector...Pakistan energy market to receive Brazilian assistance...Masdar residents get first bank... Masdar’s first bank opens its doors

Raptor capture biodiesel deal

Samba support for Pakistan’s energy sector

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has become the first bank to open a branch in the UAE’s eco-showpiece Masdar City, which is under construction in Abu Dhabi. Masdar employees will also have the option to benefit from exclusive offers made by the bank. “Opening a branch in Masdar City is a natural outcome of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s vision and principles,” said NBAD Domestic Banking Division senior general manager Saif Al Shehhi. “As NBAD continues on its path toward becoming a sustainable bank, it supports and promotes other national programmes and efforts that advance sustainability; this is why we are here in Masdar City,” explained Al Shehhi. NBAD has previously provided US $600 million financing to a group led by Masdar to build Shams-1, the UAE’s first utility-scale solar power project.

Technology supplier Raptor Technology has signed a US $1.6 million deal with energy firm Eco Ventures Group’s (EVG) to supply machinery for a biodiesel plant. The new plant, which will be built in the southern US state of Florida, will produce 3.6 million gallons a year of biodiesel. The facility will also house a crushing line and extraction process for seeds and other biofuel crops, and will be able to handle a number of different feedstocks. Raptor president Tom Gleason said: “Our contract with Eco Ventures Group is our third largest plant of 2011. “This facility is important to Raptor because we will not only build the plant, but we will operate it for EVG in a profit sharing agreement.” The plant is expected to be operational by the mid-April 2011.

Brazil has declared its intention to invest in Pakistan’s faltering energy sector. During a visit to Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), Brazilian ambassador to Pakistan, Alfredo Laoni, said that Brazil was prepared to aid community traders and industrialists throughout Pakistan’s current energy crisis. The South American country, which has one of world’s fastest growing economies will increase its assistance to Pakistan’s energy sector, chiefly through investments in its biofuel and ethanol sector. Pakistan has been hit by a series of natural disasters in the past few years, which have had a knock-on effect on the country’s energy market. According to the RCCI trade between the two countries is currently relatively low at US $170 million a year.

Biodiesel production growth boost


Global biodiesel production will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 15.5% between 2010 and 2013, according to a recently released research report. The report, by market research company RNCOS, claimed that that an increase in government incentives across the world and the growing number of biodiesel plants in Asia have had a beneficial effect on the sector. Along with the emergence of the biodiesel industry in Asia, the European Union currently accounts for the largest percentage of worldwide biodiesel production. The US has been closing the gap on Europe in terms of production, while Brazil is currently one of the fastest growing biodiesel-producing countries.



April April2011 2011


Demand is hotting up in sustainable business sectors such as the solar industry, says Rend Stephan.

Chat with a consultant

BuildGreen speaks to Rend Stephan, partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group Middle East, about how the region can overcome the global financial downturn by adopting sustainable business, and asks his advice on the economics of climate change

BCG Middle East partner and managing director Rend Stephan.

BG: During the global economic crisis, did businesses take their foot off the sustainability peddle, and as we emerge from the slump are we witnessing a renewed interest in sustainable investments? Rend Stephan: Trends differ between businesses in the sustainability field and those in other industries. Businesses within the field, such as renewables and water treatment, have seen a reduction in investments and subsidies during the crisis. More recently, however, we see them picking up relatively quickly even though the markets have not fully recovered yet. This is partly driven by politicians using ‘sustainability’ as a new growth area, like US energy policy and the new French off-shore wind commitments, to name a few. As a result, this space has become more competitive and companies need good strategies, business models and operations to thrive, not just ride the wave.

For businesses that are not in the sustainability field, but are introducing sustainability into their operations or corporate social responsibility, we see two types of groups emerge, in the post-crisis landscape — ‘embracers’ that constitute a group of companies who see sustainability as a source of competitive advantage and ‘cautious adopters’ who are more attracted towards sustainability due to its efficient cost savings and risk mitigation.

Focus your strategy on areas that are relevant and significant for the country in question”

April April2011 2011

In general, there is evidence suggesting companies are increasing their commitment to sustainability in their 2011 plans as they move away from the crisis. BG: In regards to the Middle East, are businesses fully aware of the alternative energy options available to them, and if not where do the largest knowledge gaps exist? RS: There are not, yet, many economically viable alternative energy options in the Middle East, such as distributed PV. Plans at the country level will allow businesses to integrate some of these available energy solutions, such as solar power in the UAE and KSA, in a seamless way as part of the overall energy mix. There are, however, no ground-breaking options available in the short term.

BG: In preparing a response to the threats and challenges associated with climate change, would you advise the region’s governments to focus first on either the public or private sector? RS: Public-private cooperation is inevitable as it is now the case nearly everywhere, including in the region. Each country in the region needs a climate change strategy. These strategies can be conservative or aggressive, but all the components of each strategy have to be defined. There is no one answer-fits-all, otherwise COP-15 and COP-16 would have been easy to implement. Commonly given advice, however, is to primarily focus your strategy on areas that are relevant and significant for the country in question. In this region, that could be primarily carbon capture and storage and enhanced oil recovery (CCS-EOR), and solar; though it should be emphasised that this will vary from country to country. BG: Do educational opportunities exist for private sector professionals to learn more about alternative energy solutions in the Middle East? RS: While BCG does not specialise in education in this particular field, there are many forums and exhibitions in the region focusing on energy and green energy solutions aimed at educating professionals.

BG: Can you provide your top three tips for businesses looking to adopt greener business models? RS: When it comes to greener business models, there is only one tip: this is not a fad. Adding a bit of ‘green’ to be in fashion, or as part of corporate social responsibility or to be able to communicate about it is fine, if managed within this context. But adopting a ‘green’ business model means that, like any strategy question, you need to be convinced that it is a core part of your strategy and competitive advantage.

About... Rend Stephan Rend Stephan is a partner and managing director at BCG Middle East. Stephan’s industry focus is on energy, power, renewables and sustainability and he leads the Corporate Development Practice in the Middle East. An English, French and Arabic speaker, Stephan has vast global experience in corporate strategy, business build, conglomerates and private equity, and has worked in BCG’s Sydney, Chicago and UAE offices, having led projects in Australia, Asia, Africa, the US, Europe and the Middle East.

Public-private cooperations are commonplace across the region, which helps ‘green’ businesses, says Rend Stephan.

Rend Stephan says that ‘green’ business practices are not a fad and markets are fast adopting the model.


BG: In your view, what are the best ‘green’ technological solutions available to the region’s businesses? RS: For businesses in the sustainability field, solar is likely to be the most attractive industry, although the region, even with its massive solar advantage, will have difficulty in capturing all the added value. For businesses not in the field, ‘green’ solutions do not yet provide massive advantages anywhere, including in the Middle East, except for those who choose to make ‘green’ a competitive differentiator. We expect that many companies will claim that they will make use of these ‘green’ solutions and that it will become a fad, but we expect that only a few will be able to take and sustain a profitable position doing so.


April 2011


The lady entrepreneurs


After entering the region’s eco-products market a year ago, the girls from online directory and all-round ‘green’ web resource Goumbook, speak to BuildGreen about the directory’s emergence within the marketplace, where they feel the green industry is heading, and provide their reflections on a successful, but busy year since the website went live


oth Tatiana Antonelli Abella and Randala Jishi Anabtawi have a passion for environmental endeavours, but in utilising their wide ranging skills they have found a gap in the market and are now taking full advantage. Based in Dubai, the Goumbook site was launched more than a year ago, and is now one of the region’s leading ‘green’ directories. As co-founders of the website, both Anabtawi and Abella say that when they started Goumbook more than a year ago the main resource of the website was the regional green directory. “The initial idea was that if you are a green business or company selling or offering eco-friendly products and services you could be listed with us. If it is not a sustainable product or service that is offered we do not accept the listing,” explains Anabtawi. From that point the business stated to grow leading to requests from users of the website for regional news and information on the industry. Abella notes: “From there it started growing and we know that there are more businesses out there, but we don’t have the physical resources to see where they are or how to track them.” As it stands, the Goumbook team estimates that between 700 to 900 companies are listed on the website — all with a ‘green’ motive or outlook. “We would deal with businesses like oil companies if they were bringing something consistent to the sustainability market,” adds Abella. “But we wouldn’t go immediately to an oil company for sponsorship; we would target other companies first, but we would invite them to talk to us.”

April 2011

Randala Jishi Anabtawi (left) and Tatiana Antonelli Abella (right), the team behind the Middle East-based ‘green’ directory and website Goumbook.

Growth and competition From its base in the regional hub of Dubai, the Goumbook team has a reach that stretches across the MENA region and beyond. Abella notes: “We’re now working with all the green building councils across the MENA region and we cover the Arab League’s 22 member countries, as well as Iran and Turkey.” Despite its wide reach, Anabtawi remarks that competition is still weak across the region. “Regionally we don’t have any competition. In terms of green tips and news we do, but in terms of the green business directory we don’t,” she says. This factor provided one of the key motives behind the girls’ inspiration to start the Goumbook website. Abella recalls: “We realised that the more we were searching for ‘green’ products we would find a ‘green’ directory in the UK, in New Zealand, in the United States and so on, but here there was nothing. It meant that there was something missing, but now there isn’t. “Perhaps we started too soon as there were not many companies offering ‘green’ products, but because we got there first, we have an advantage of having started the directory and are aware now of what is needed to make it work.” While it might seem strange that Goumbook’s success has not been replicated elsewhere in the Middle East, Anabtawi says she’s not surprised due to the hard work involved in establishing the business. “We have been working on this project for nearly two years now, and we literally have to go to every single exhibition and every


With credibility a sensitive issue within the sustainability market, Anabtawi remarks that the team has to audit businesses looking to be listed on the Goumbook site “because there is a lot of greenwashing out there”. “People who really are into the environment do look into these things and people who know will come back and tell us that a listing is not ‘green’ or that a product is not eco-friendly,” notes Anabtawi. “As we really don’t want to be in that position we try to be as diligent as we possibly can.” If the team is unsure about a business’s ‘green’ credentials it puts the potential listing on hold until supporting evidence is received.


April 2011


single event,” she says. “You have to put yourself out there as you can’t just go online and look for organic products for example — it just doesn’t exist. “It’s a very tedious job and I remember when we started many people in the industry told us it couldn’t be done. They said we would struggle and wouldn’t be able to find the information. “It has been very challenging collating all the information and the only way I see people doing it is by copying our information as everything is already on there,” she notes. Abella says that the long hours and hard work that has gone into building the directory has led them to protect Goumbook’s content. “On the website you cannot copy anything, because we realised that people were going onto the site and copying the directory after we had been working on it for more than a year,” she states.


Unpaid labour Having spent the best part of two years establishing the business and working to protect their hard work, the two businesswomen have still to take money away from the project. Abella explains: “We didn’t start as a proper venture with investors or backup funds, because two years ago people didn’t believe in our product. “We decided to start with our own money on a smaller scale and this money has allowed us to have a licence and has paid for the website, as creating a website can be very costly. “It has also been invested in monthly maintenance, as well as covering our expenses such as business meetings and lunches; everything from business cards to roll-up banners has been paid with the money we put aside. “After a year, through sponsorships and advertising income, we have been able to renew the licence and pay for new upgrades to the website, so there is money coming in, but it’s all being reinvested,” she adds. In order to create a buzz the Goumbook girls have adopted social media platforms as a way of getting the company’s name out to the general public, as well as undertaking various PR initiatives. “We’ve been very fortunate that a lot of people have come to us,” Anabtawi explains. “We’ve done a lot of PR work and we’ve received a lot of interview requests, and as a result people have heard about us and heard about what we’re doing.

“We’ve not done any PR in the sense that it’s been paid for it, but we do rely a lot on Facebook, which is an amazing tool, and through general word of mouth.” Abella adds that the fact Goumbook is a free tool for visitors to the site has helped in the company’s growth. “It has acted to make people a lot more reactive,” she notes. “That’s why we’re going to keep the directory free as a basic listing, but we are going to introduce a premium package where companies will be able to adjust their listing anytime they want and document a lot more on their services and products.”

We’ve been very fortunate that a lot of people have come to us”

“There is a tonne of money to be made and tonnes of new technologies out there, but because it’s all very new, everything is very expensive — whether it’s a solar panel or energy-efficient machinery. “The prices you can charge are insane, but you still need to pay for it,” she adds Abella claims that Goumbook charges “well below the market price” in order to attract new custom. “We know people are going to look for the price, so we perhaps ask for maybe half of what you would in other countries, which is enough to cover expenses and give us a margin that means we can keep trading,” she says. While they may seem well versed in the intricate nature of running a business in the Middle East marketplace, both have quite different backgrounds unrelated to the entrepreneurial arena. Abella studied architecture in Rome while Anabtawi’s background is in human

Tatiana Antonelli Abella (left) and Randala Jishi Anabtawi (right) say that Goumbook is benefitting from the growing demand for sustainable products and services from consumers within the region.

Fitting into a growing marketplace A year after the website went live, both Anabtawi and Abella believe they entered the sustainability sector at an opportune time. As Abella points out, the market is “booming”. “You now have an event to attend every week and it can be difficult to keep up,” she remarks. “Sometimes we worry about the quality of an event and you have to work out which events you can attend, because at the end of the day time is money.” But despite the evident growth within the industry, costs remains an obstruction to business, says Anabtawi. “I think pricing is the main issue within the region’s green industry,” notes Anabtawi.

resources, but both were inspired to act when they found a large hole in the marketplace and have shown a penchant for entrepreneurship. Now, as opportunities within the sustainability market continue to grow in number, the future for the Goumbook team appears to be bright. As Anabtawi points out: “We were looking for products that were good for our children, that were eco-friendly and green, and we were sure we could get them here. “The products were badly advertised and promoted, so we wanted to figure out ways of getting the information out there through a website.

The green spy SOCIETY

April 2011

BuildGreen’s intrepid and elusive spy has a bone to pick and this month argues that the problems we face in this region are the same as elsewhere

nvironmental problems in the Middle East have received rather little consideration, compared to those of the Americas or Europe. Yet, the environment in this region is no less admirable. Middle Eastern environmental problems are often forgotten in the midst of volatile politics and the economic stagnation of the region. This is a grim lapse, since environmental challenges more often than not trigger the political conflicts in this area. Other substantial hurdles in most of the region’s countries include the considerable lack of technical information on the biodiversity of the area, and the complexity of sharing relevant research findings among the countries of the region. Now that I started all nice and got you interested, read on. It does not make me happy to go a beautiful wadi in the desert and see thousands of plastic bags, cigarette butts and cans. Every time the same feeling overwhelms and enrages me, and I ask myself what is wrong with people? Whether you are an expat or a local, it makes absolutely no difference. This is the country we live in, regardless of whether it is short term or long term, and this is the place where we drink water and breathe air. These things do not miraculously come from the Swiss Alps — they are sourced and supplied right here in the desert, and under pretty harsh conditions. Does it dawn on you what that means? It means, get your act together and do not litter; save water just as you should do anywhere else on earth; and remember to turn off items on standby. Why, some may ask? Well for those brilliant minds I would put it in really simple terms — because it matters to you, your beloved ones, to me, and to the camel. Yes, that random camel in the desert. Oh, and it matters to the desert fox as well. What’s with the environmental conscience, or, more precisely, why is it not there? Easy to spot, the lack of political will is undoubtedly a factor that keeps the region and its people from reaching their full potential. Sustainable environmental development and growing free will should be seen as two aspects of the same challenge. Free will is already important in itself, but public discussion may be fundamentally critical for a better understanding of the value of environmental preservation. Developing educational opportunities for women should create more possibilities for more informed and enthusiastically-involved citizens to appreciate and resolve the environmental issues of the Middle East. As you may have guessed, I feel pretty strongly about this topic. There are tonnes of things you may do to help, raise awareness, and hopefully wake the ones still living in darkness to the importance of environmental conscience. We are drops, but together we make up the ocean.

Until the next time...


The Green Spy

Camels are just one of many species forced to live with the environmental impacts of the human population in the desert.


April 2011

Child’s play Students at one Dubai-based school were treated to a week of fun activities, presentations and games to raise environmental awareness


reenwood International School, one of five private schools chosen in October 2010 to trial the UAEbased HSBC-WWF Eco Schools Green Flag Programme, last month held an Eco and Environment Week to highlight Earth Hour 2011. Based on the theme of ‘Reduce water, energy and waste’, the Dubai-based school’s Eco Club organised a week of festivities with the help of private businesses to highlight the impact of mankind on the environment. Highlights throughout the week included a healthy lifestyles day, a sustainable gardens day, two eco open days and a fashion show. “It was so much fun and now I understand the true meaning of being eco friendly,” says 11-year old Ciara Zelda, one of the school’s students. “On one of the days we all came to school dressed in green and students designed posters for Earth Hour 2011.”

A selection of local companies came down to the school to speak to the children about their green initiatives, while an eco fashion show took place and an eco speedway was constructed, giving the pupils the chance to came in their own ‘green’ outfits and build small cars from recycled materials. “Dubai Aluminium Company (DUBAL) came in and gave an interesting talk and we all now know that change starts with us children,” adds Zelda. “We are the ones who can make a difference.” Three students participated in a radio broadcast for Suno 102.4 FM where they discussed Earth Hour and the school’s eco week, while other students drew pictures that demonstrated their understanding of the Earth Hour project, which were displayed in the public gallery at Dubai Festival City (DFC). The week concluded with a visit to the mall at DFC where students from a collection of schools performed street plays about environmental issues.

Cars built out of recycled materials were launched down an eco-speedway.

Children learnt about the benefits of dealing with waste responsibly.


re es we k d gam n o a o t s t zzle ities tha ent. v g, pu aintine fun activek-long e h Facep t we f e o h t e som e during plac

April 2011


Exhibitors at the school passed on their knowledge and experience of sustainable business practices. Duciati conseque ent. At lab ipis del elentiandel illatia volum consequam,

Students got creative by designing artwork on environmental issues and for Earth Hour 2011. Future fashion designers hit the catwalk in clothes made out of recycled materials.

The school’s pupils gave presentations on environmental issues to classmates. The week-long event proved to be a successful educational and social exercise.

ome welc

Greenwood International School was chosen to host the HSBC-WWF Eco Schools Green Flag Programme.

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April 2011

CALENDAR Find out when and where sustainability and environmental events are taking place in the coming months

International Conference on Environment Science and Engineering April 1-3

MAY 17 - 19 Sustainable Facilities Expo

Bali Island Indonesia

Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre

Middle East Waste Summit April 12-13


The Palladium Dubai UAE Renewables Indonesia 2011 April 13-16

Jakarta International Expo Indonesia

APRIL 17 - 20 CityBuild Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre UAE

APRIL 17 - 19 Dubai Global Energy Forum

Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre UAE

This event will provide a platform for energy leaders and professionals to exchange views and ideas on regional and global issues affecting energy policies, programmes, technologies and investment opportunities

Incorporating an exhibition, awards and networking events, CityBuild Abu Dhabi is a B2B trade exhibition that will attract suppliers, manufacturers and importers of products used in the construction of real estate and infrastructure projects, as well as buyers and trade professionals

World Renewable Energy Congress May 8-13

Konsert and Kongress, Linköping Sweden

A first for the Middle East, the Sustainable Facilities Expo will bring together facilities management firms and their suppliers for the chance to showcase eco-friendly FM products and services

Renewable Energy World Conference and Expo - Europe June 7-9

Fiera Milano, Milan Italy

JULY 4 - 6 Environmental Management and Engineering

Calgary Canada

This conference will explore the challenges posed by the confluence of finite energy supplies, demographic trends, and political considerations, and discuss possible solutions to these problems Solar Asia 2011 July 28-30

Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy  Sri Lanka

Bali International Convention Centre, Nusa Dua Indonesia

World Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Conference October 17-19



April 2011


A look at our sustainable heritage


ld lines up against new in this image from the Mediterranean coast, with an early sail-wing horizontal-axis mill used to grind grain sat in front of a modern wind turbines used to generate electricity. Wind power has played a crucial role in the advancement of the human race and today is commonly associated with the impressive power of giant electricity-generating wind turbines. The first windmills, however, are believed to have originated in Persia between 500AD and 900AD, and

were designed to automate the tasks of grinding grain and pumping water. The earliest documentation of a Chinese windmill dates back to the 13th century, while in the 14th century the Dutch refined the classic tower mill design. In the late 19th century, the American multi-blade windmill design was used in the first large windmill to generate electricity. Today electricity generating wind turbines are becoming an ever more common sight across the globe and the largest wind farm currently under construction is the 800MW Alta Wind Energy Centre in the USA.

BuildGreen Magazine  

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

BuildGreen Magazine  

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