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Issue 24 | JUNE 2012

Introducing

OIL & GAS

Green spaces; happy faces The correlation between green office interiors and employee productivity explored

December 4, 2012 A r m a n i H o te l D u b a i , B u r j K h a l i f a

Submit your nomination at: http://www.thebigprojectme.com/awards2012/ ALSO INSIDE

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Energy and water | construction | green it | eco-leisure | Green Business Publication Publication licensed licensed byby IMPZ IMPZ


Contents

JUNE 2012

21

12 News

10

News Roundup

12

Really?! Truth can be stranger than fiction

energy and water

21

ENPARK - a look at the region’s only dedicated energy, environment and life sciences cluster

CONSTRUCTION

24

Roundtable: Integration in design and construction

Green Business

42

24

Productivity and office interiors

Green Technology

34

There’s a (green) app for that!

Eco-leisure

38

34 www.buildgreen.ae

Green Games: The London Olympics

Oil and Gas

45

GPIC’s Responsible Care Initiative

SOCIETY

51

The Green Spy on green viral marketing

53

Diary dates

Comments

14

Michael Kramer: Solar incentives

28

Vick Mamlouk: Greening telecommunications

36

Luc Onockx: 50 ways forward

49

Omar Al Jaddou: All that glitters is gold

SPECIAL FEATURE

30

38

42

At the Khor of itSharjah’s Eco-tourism plans revealed

54 June 2012

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7

Editor’s letter

Inside out Y

ou’re at a 4 o’ clock meeting and time as you know it has slowed down to the point that every metered tick of the second hand resonates like a hollow thud. Discreet yawns ripple around the oblong table as your team attempts to stave off fatigue. It’s not your presentation that’s bombing; it’s just good old fashioned carbon

dioxide overpowering the room and inducing yawns across the board. Installing carbon dioxide sensors can put an end to that by balancing indoor air quality, a huge marker of sustainable interiors, with outdoor oxygen levels. Even the greenest of corporate spaces can learn a thing or two from keeping up with the times. This issue of BGreen looks at simple strategies that can help improve employee productivity, while preventing the onset of “sick building syndrome,” a mysterious assortment of maladies related to poor interiors. We also review the greenness of the London Olympics; take a walk on the wild side in what is soon to be the UAE’s biggest eco-tourism project; and share our tête-à-tête with the region’s leading voice in petrochemicals.

June 2012 Issue

Praseeda Nair Editor praseeda@cpidubai.com

Director Business Development Rhiannon Downie rhiannon@cpidubai.com

Publisher Dominic De Sousa

Online Business Development Manager Pankaj R Sharma pankaj@cpidubai.com

Associate Publisher Liam Williams liam@cpidubai.com

Marketing Executive Carole McCarthy carolem@cpidubai.com

COO Nadeem Hood nadeem@cpidubai.com

Team Administrator Leila El Madalla leila@cpidubai.com Editorial Director Melanie Mingas melanie@cpidubai.com

Editor Praseeda Nair praseeda@cpidubai.com Designer/Photographer Marlou Delaben marlou@cpidubai.com Photographer Cris Mejorada cris@cpidubai.com Online Editor Gavin Davids gavin@cpidubai.com

Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC Published by

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

Webmasters Troy Maagma Jerus King Bation Erik Briones Joel Azcuna

© Copyright 2012 CPI. All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

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June 2012


Expert Panel

8

His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi

Saeed Alabbar

Thomas Bohlen

Luc Onockx

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

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

EMEIA Business Leader - Turnkey and Energy solutions Trane

Jourdan Younis

Dr Michael Krämer

Wissam Yassine

Vick Mamlouk

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

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

UAE National Coordinator The Carboun Initiative

Vice president MEA Commscope

Dr Olisanwendu Ogwuda

Charles Blaschke IV

Roderick Wiles

MEP BIM Manager iTech Holding

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

Abdulrahman Jawahery

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

Academic Head & Director of Studies Civil and Architectural Engineering Institute for Infrastructure and Environment Heriot-Watt University Dubai

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

June 2012

President Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company Chairman GPCA Responsible Care Initiative

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

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10

News | UAE

Hospitality Seminar targets TCO reduction LG’s one-day seminar, ‘Five Star and Beyond’ brought strategies for reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) in the hospitality sector through investments in green technologies. According to recent figures from a worldwide economic impact report produced for the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the sector’s growth will rise to almost 15 per cent of the UAE’s GDP within 10 years and be worth AED 277.8 billion annually. The impact of

TCO holds a significant importance, allowing hoteliers to evaluate all costs incurred throughout the life-cycle of an asset, including acquisition and procurement, operations and maintenance. Representatives from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Jones Lang LaSalle, Etisalat, the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, AVAYA and LG presented their innovations and case studies exhibiting

reduced TCO technology solutions in the hospitality sector. Topics up for discussion at the seminar included UAE’s hotel and tourism performance, trends and growth; industry case studies; simple cost effective solutions in design, technology, E-hospitality and entertainment innovations; B2B and revenue generation business models focussing on the importance of TCO, sustainability, and how hotels can ‘go green’.

Dubai Police launch electric patrol cars Dubai Police has announced the addition of a green fleet of electric cars has joined the force. Lieutenant General Dahi KhalfanTamim, Dubai Police Chief, said that the cars would be used as both patrol cars and service cars for transporting employees and visitors around the police headquarters. He added that the cars demonstrated Dubai Police’s continued efforts to keep up with the UAE’s policies in health, safety and environment. He also said that the environmentally friendly electric cars are a step closer to “the sustainable use of fuel and reducing carbon emissions and other harmful gases.”

Dubai Municipality joins Emirates Energy Star programme Dubai Municipality (DM) recently joined the Emirates Energy Star project, launched by Etisalat and Pacific Controls, in hopes of urging a reduction in the city’s carbon footprint. As part of this project, Etisalat and Pacific Controls are reducing greenhouse gas emissions of the UAE by retrofitting existing commercial and government buildings with energy saving controls systems. The project is capable of achieving energy savings of 10-35%, and has been rolled out across the country under the patronage of the Ministry of Water and Environment. The project utilises the machine-to-machine (M2M) technology from Etisalat, to reduce energy consumption for organisations. “The UAE has already committed to reduce the carbon footprint of the country by 20% by 2015,” said Abdulla Al Ahmed, Senior Vice President, Business Solutions at Etisalat. “Through the Emirates Energy Star project, we are now able to offer companies and government organisations a real opportunity to contribute to a more energy-efficient business environment.

June 2012

Statistics available with the United Nations Environment Programme have revealed that currently, buildings are responsible for 60% of the world’s electricity consumption and one-third of greenhouse emissions from energy use. Consequently, no other sector has such a high potential for drastic emission reduction. We believe that in partnership with Pacific Controls, Etisalat can make a genuine and measurable impact on energy-efficiency in buildings and offices,” Al Ahmed added. Commenting on the partnership with the Emirates Energy Star project, Juma Al Fuqae, Director of General Maintenance Department at Dubai Municipality said: “As a key provider of public utility services, Dubai Municipality is determined to make its operations more environment-friendly and carry forward the sustainability agenda in the Emirate.” The programme implementation will begin at Dubai Municipality’s Al Twar building centre and upon successful completion, will be rolled out in the rest of DM buildings and assets. Al Fuqae added: “Using Etisalat

networks and Pacific Controls Command Control Centre, the Emirates Energy Star initiative will support Dubai Municipality in reducing its utilities consumption and service costs, while increasing the operational efficiency of its assets with the ability to remotely manage them in real time.” The Emirates Energy Star program will help the organisation decrease pollution, water consumption and resultant waste. The municipality will recover their investment towards the program from the savings they make. The average payback period for a building owner is in the range of 18-24 months depending upon the rating opted for by a client. The project is open to all Etisalat clients, such as building owners, contractors, real-estate companies, and government companies.

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WORLD | News

Solar plane takes off across continents

A solar-powered plane set off from Switzerland to Madrid at the end of May, as part of a virgin transcontinental voyage to Rabbat, Morocco, in a clean energypowered craft. After a 17-hour journey, the Swiss-built Solar Impulse landed in Madrid for a technical stop-over before setting off for this world’s first. Upon landing in Madrid, pilot Andre Borschberg said, “it was incredible to fly alongside the barrier of clouds during most of the flight and not need to hesitate to fly above them. This confirms our

confidence in the capacity of solar energy even further.” The plane’s construction itself cost over $100 million in 10 years as a pilot project demonstrating the capabilities of solarpowered transportation. The plane’s four 10-horsepower electric propeller engines are powered by batteries charged by roughly 12,000 solar cells fitted along its 64-metre wings. Solar Impulse’s pioneer flight was a 26-hour voyage in May 2010, and commemorating its first flight, in May 2011, the plane completed a 370-mile trip across France, Luxembourg and Belgium. Scheduled for 2014, the next big voyage for the plane is an around-theworld trip, following the success of this transcontinental experiment. The second leg to Morocco will be flown by Bertrand Piccard, who reportedly has to manoeuver past the notorious straits of Gibraltar to get to the Rabat- Salé airport. Solar Impulse’s presence in Morocco is meant to kick-start a series of awareness projects and construction activities lined up by the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen), in the Ouarzazate

region. This site in the solar complex is to hold the world’s largest thermo-solar power plant of a 160 MW capacity, as part of the country’s energy plan that aims for five solar parks of 2000 MW capacity by 2020. The country’s energy goals also include the reduction of emissions by 3.7 million tonnes by the same year. “Solar Impulse symbolises the pioneering and explorer spirit necessary to find new solutions, outside of old habits and certainties, to respond to today’s challenges,” said Bertrand Piccard, gearing up for the second leg of the voyage.

Small emitters given option to opt out of EU carbon scheme

Small emitters and hospitals can be excluded from the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) from 2013 to 2020 as a way to ease the “administrative burdens on these

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installations,” according to a recent announcement by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The UK government projects that this waiver could save the industry up to £80 million in that time frame. As part of the UK’s “Red Tape Challenge” to remove bureaucratic obstacles impeding small business owners from operating, this move invites operators around 250 eligible EU ETS installations to submit their application to opt out of the scheme. DECC outlined the major benefits of the opt-out scheme: • Replacement of requirement to surrender allowances with an emission reduction target

Simplified monitoring, reporting and verification requirements, including removal of requirement for third party verification • No requirement to hold a registry account, and • Less burdensome rules for target adjustment following an increase in installation capacity. Small emitters are installations with annual emissions less than 25,000tCO2e and, where the installation carries out Annex I combustion activity, a net rated thermal input below 35MW (excluding emissions from biomass). Aircraft operators are not eligible for exclusion. The application period will run from 23 May to 18 July 2012.

June 2012

11


12

News | REALLY?!

BGreen presents some of the world’s most surprising green news

Plastic Bubble Saudi artist makes an eco-statement

T

here’s a reason why plastic bags come with a ‘choking hazard’ warning for children under 12. Nothing cuts off air supply faster than a plastic bag over your head. Considering this, Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem sealed himself and an imported Cornocarpus

June 2012

Erectus tree in a makeshift plastic bubble, surviving solely on the oxygen produced through photosynthesis. Titled ‘Flora and Fauna,’ his performance art piece was staged in the centre of the Saudi city of Abha, where passers-by were presented a provocative message about the interconnectivity of man and nature. “People thought I was crazy,” Gharem says. “But they wanted to know more. Their minds are not closed so they came over to ask about it. When they understood it, they liked it.” The Cornocarpus Erectus trees were imported en masse from their native Australia by the Abha Municipality to line the desert city with year-round greenery. Reportedly known for its resilience to harsh weather and ability to produce large amounts of oxygen,

these trees were initially seen as an urban landscaper’s dream come true. According to Gharem, the negative impact of importing certain foreign trees hadn’t sunk in at the time. The roots of desert trees run straight down to access groundwater. However, the roots of the Cornocarpus Erectus runs horizontally, and as a result, the city lost a large number of its natural vegetation. Gharem, wanting to call attention to the importance of environmentally sensitive urban design, submitted an image of his performance piece to the 8th Sharjah Biennale to spread this message beyond Saudi borders. “What’s important are the lessons for the future. Our architects and planners need to consider the environment more carefully in their designs.”

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14

Comment | KRÄMER

Tariff Quest Dr Michael Krämer, Senior Associate at international law firm Taylor Wessing, shares his thoughts on a possible incentive scheme for solar energy in the UAE

On-site energy generation is more popular in the United States

A

s of yet, solar energy cannot compete with conventionally generated electricity. You may be surprised to hear this from somebody who is very much for renewable energy generation, but it is the truth nevertheless—or at least sort of. The cost of electricity generation from solar sources is more expensive than

June 2012

what the average UAE resident pays for grid-supplied electricity. Whether or not the price for grid-supplied electricity is realistic or kept at artificially low levels instead is a different story, but cost is the main obstacle for solar in the region and many other countries around the world. However, there are very good and valid arguments to be made why “going solar” is a good idea. Apart from the obvious advantages for a healthier, less polluted environment there is also a cost argument. In some Gulf countries, generation of renewable energy is already cheaper than the true cost of generating electricity from burning oil. Identifying the “true

cost” of electricity generation is a tricky game, however, since it is arguable which (opportunity) costs should or should not be taken into account. To keep things simple, let us assume for the moment that generating a comparatively large part of the general energy mix from renewable sources really does make sense. The question remains how investments into solar energy generation can be made financially viable.

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PNUW Plant – Riyadh / KSA

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PNUW Control – Riyadh / KSA

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Solar Cooling Pilot – Aqaba / Jordan

MASDAR – Abu Dhabi / UAE

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16

Comment | KRÄMER

Most countries have closed the cost gap between solar and traditional electricity by introducing incentive schemes. In a nutshell, the way incentive schemes work is by “paying” solar investors a premium which not only covers their cost, but also leaves them a profit, thus making investments into solar energy generation interesting. How could an incentive scheme look like that “work” in the UAE? It is usually a good idea to look for “best practices.” Many countries have introduced incentive schemes already. Many have worked (and continue to work) very well while others have failed. Hence, there are lessons to be learned. The first step towards finding the most suitable solution for the UAE is taking stock of some key parameters that any UAE incentive scheme will have to deal with. In my view, the most important parameters are the following: cost of electricity; high radiation levels; level of energy consumption; grid stability and the UAE’s unique demographics. Cost of electricity The cost of electricity in the UAE is very low compared to most other jurisdictions. It is artificially low. In Abu Dhabi, for example, the cost of electricity is as low as AED 0.03 / kWh for farms. By way of comparison, one kWh of electricity in Germany costs roughly AED 1. Such low electricity prices are only possible because somebody else “picks up the tab.” In Abu Dhabi it is both the Abu Dhabi government and, somewhat surprisingly, the State of Qatar. The Abu Dhabi government keeps the electricity prices in the Emirate at pre-determined levels and pays any difference between “true cost” and cost actually charged to residents. The State of Qatar assists by supplying Abu Dhabi with natural gas at far-below market prices. Needless to say that such artificially low electricity prices do not help making the case for solar energy. High radiation levels The solar radiation levels in the UAE are about twice those in Central Europe. In fact, they are amongst the highest in the world. This is a virtually perpetual, yet almost untapped source of energy. It also means that solar technology will be

June 2012

able to produce about twice the amount of electricity here compared to what the same technology would be capable of producing in Germany, for example. Energy Consumption UAE citizens consume very large amounts of electricity. The average annual consumption of a normal household in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, for example, is 41,000 kWh. By way of comparison, annual consumption in the UK is in the region of 4,000 kWh. Grid Stability One of the UAE utility companies’ main concern is the effect privately generated solar energy may have on the public grid if such energy is fed into the same. This, in principle, is a valid concern. Large amounts of renewable energy can have a negative effect on the grid, if the amount supplied to the grid exceeds certain levels. Given the extremely high energy consumption of private households in the UAE, however, the question is whether there is actually a need to feed any selfgenerated electricity into the public grid. I will get to this in more detail further down below. Demographics Around 81% of the UAE’s overall

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KRÄMER | Comment

The UAE’s high radiation levels guarantee a high electricity yield, which helps significantly in bringing the cost down”

privately generated renewable energy could have a negative impact on their grid. Taking the extremely high energy consumption in the UAE into account, there is no need to feed any self-generated electricity back into the grid. It makes more sense for households to actually use whatever they produce.

population are expats. Most expats tend to stay in the UAE for a limited period of time only and then either move on or back home. Incentive schemes require a couple of years to pay off and will therefore not be of interest to a large part of the UAE population. Then again, only home owners are likely to invest into solar roofs and it can be assumed that many of those who purchase property in the UAE intend to stay for a little while. Existing Incentive Scheme Models There are mainly four different types of incentive schemes that are applied around the world: Feed-In Tariffs, Net-Metering Schemes, Subsidy Schemes and TaxExemption Schemes. Feed-in Tariffs Feed-in Tariff Schemes have been successful in many countries around the globe. Such schemes are based on private power producers, feeding all electricity they generate into the public grid against payment of a pre-determined price that is guaranteed for a set period of time. A Feed-in Tariff Scheme has the potential to work very well in the UAE as well. However, local utility companies are concerned that a large amount of

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Net-Metering Net-Metering Schemes work on the basis of self-consumption. The return on investment is generated by investors using selfgenerated electricity instead of purchasing electricity from utility companies. This scheme will work only if private investors are actually able to generate electricity at lower cost than they would pay to the utility companies. Hence, with the current cost structure in the UAE Net-Metering Schemes do not work here. Subsidies Subsidy Schemes work by someone, usually a government authority, paying for parts of the system that is supposed to be installed. This lowers the cost for the private investor and thus makes it possible for such investors to recoup their investment. Subsidy Schemes require a fair amount of administration, however, and usually keep system costs at artificially high levels, which is why a Subsidy Scheme is unlikely to be the best solution for the UAE either. Tax Exemptions Tax Exemption Schemes, as the name suggests, provide investors with tax incentives if the investor decides to invest into renewable energy generation. In the absence of any tax regime in the UAE, however, such scheme would not work in the UAE either. Customised Incentive Scheme So what are we left with if none of the typical incentive schemes appears to work in the UAE? Developing a custom solution is the answer. Taking the extremely high energy

consumption levels in the UAE into account, it is best to promote selfconsumption of self-generated solar energy. This avoids concerns regarding grid stability, simply because the public grid remains virtually untouched. Payment should be made only for selfgenerated and self-consumed electricity on a per kWh basis. This would avoid an oversupply of solar power (simply because feeding into the grid does not make any financial sense) while simultaneously making investments into solar energy generation viable. The UAE’s high radiation levels guarantee a high electricity yield, which helps significantly in bringing the cost down. At present, it remains impossible to compete with the highly subsidised cost of electricity at which local utility companies operate, but solar energy can be generated much more cost efficient than in Central Europe, for example. Instead of the utility companies paying independent power producers for whatever they produce, any incentive payments due should simply be deducted from the overall utility bill, thus further simplifying the process. The above scheme has many advantages. It is very simple, hardly requires any infrastructure update and is easy to administer for utility companies. With tariffs set at levels comparable to those in Germany, investors would be breaking even after just over four years of operation. Even at lower tariff levels breaking even would occur significantly earlier than in most other parts of the world. Maybe the suggested scheme is worth exploring in more detail? It might just be the solution that brings us closer to a healthier and altogether more sustainable future here in the UAE. Dr Michael Krämer is a Senior Associate at Taylor Wessing (Middle East) LLP, and Legal Counsel to the Emirates Solar Industry Association’s first Executive Committee. Contact him at m.kraemer@taylorwessing.com

June 2012

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WORLD ECO CONSTRUCT| In Focus

South East Asia’s bid for green buildings The 13th edition of ARCHIDEX (International Architecture, Interior Design and Building Exhibition Malaysia) is set to extend its parameters to include Eco-B, the first ever Eco— building and design exhibition this year

S

ustainable design is a steadily growing industry requisite across borders. Recognising this need, ARCHIDEX has co-located with the inaugural edition of Eco-B, Malaysia’s first exhibition exclusively devoted to sustainable design. Held in conjunction with Malaysian Institute of Architect’s (PAM) Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival 2012, it is touted as the year’s most important architecture, interior design and building exhibition in South East Asia that congregates architects, interior designers, developers and other building related professionals. Both ARCHIDEX and Eco-B will span approximately 18,000 square metres, accommodating 1,100 exhibition booths by 430 local and international companies. To recognise outstanding exhibits, awards will be presented to outstanding entrants. The concurrent conference on DATUM:KL 2012 (International Architectural Design Conference 2012 ) will be held on 6 and 7

IN BRIEF: The Idea House, sime darby properties, Malaysia With an abundance of rain, wind and sunshine, South East Asia might be the ideal laboratory for green design. Sime Darby Property, Malaysia’s largest developers, launched The Idea House as a pilot project incorporating certifiably green design strategies aimed at meeting the lofty goal of being the first net-zero residential building in the region. Design principles Aesthetically, the Idea House is a visually open, futuristic building immersed in natural flora. “The Kampung (traditional Malay) house, in its socio-environmental

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July, presenting ‘Roots’ as a theme capturing the architectural origins of Malaysia’s built environment. The conference grapples with the reflections of the past, of cultures and traditions that define the nation’s complex identity in architecture. While in the Tropical Subtropical Green Building Alliance Conference (TSGBA 2012) will be held on 4 and 5 July, following the theme of “Naturally Tropical, Truly Innovative (Biomimicry, Green $ense, Tropical Innovations)”. TSBGA 2012 is also held alongside with Green Building Forum (GBF 2012). The Kuala Lumpur Design Forum (KLDF 2012) on 5 July will feature a discourse on the intricacies and integrity of the entire design process. The four conferences and forums will feature 17 industry leaders speaking from their expansive experience across 11 countries. Other events held alongside at ARCHIDEX 2012/Eco-B are the Designers’ Day (5 July) and Architects’ Day (6 July), the Building Industry Gala Night (BIG Nite), Green Biz @ ARCHIDEX and the Architectural Tours.

responsiveness, provides deep overhangs that permit shade, weather protection and therefore opportunities for social interaction and habitation of the verandah spaces. Lifting the building on stilts maximises air flow, provides a clear separation between public and private,” outlined Jason Pomeroy, speaking on behalf of BroadwayMalyan, the architecture firm handling the design of the pilot project. Water management 50% of the water from wash basins and showers are collected and treated, to be used again to flush toilets. Water wastage is further minimised by aerating the showers,

resulting in less water being consumed by the room occupants. Rainwater captured by the sloping roof can be used for irrigation. Passive design Clever orientation in design helps reduce heat gain and air conditioning loads. It also takes daylight into account, allowing for less reliance on artificial lighting. Deep overhangs provide shade from the sun and rain, which provide natural cooling. On-site energy generation The Idea House incorporates photovoltaic cell technology on the roof. Calculating the roof area, figures project that PVs spanning this space could power consumption of a family of five.

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Energy and Water

Community rules Dubai’s Energy and Environment Park (ENPARK) is the region’s first free zone dedicated to the energy and sustainable industries. Saeed Ghubash, Director of ENPARK, speaks to BGreen about the cluster’s vision, as a leading scientific research community

BGreen: What is ENPARK’s business model and objectives? Saeed Ghubash: Our objective is to shape a destination for the entire environment and energy value chain and serve as a holistic regional hub for the industry. We also support the UAE’s vision of shaping a ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Development.” Towards this end, ENPARK is working with the government of Dubai and other stakeholders to facilitate the growth of a green economy in the UAE. Furthermore, we aim to offer an enabling platform for four strategic sectors including renewable energy, conventional energy, green buildings and waste management. ENPARK operates under a free zone model, which extends inherent business incentives such as zero corporate, personal or import-export taxes, as well as 100 per cent ownership and repatriation

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of capital. The free zone also provides a one-stop-shop convenience, where all establishment and administrative services can be found under one roof. Moreover, by coalescing industry players into a cluster environment, ENPARK seeks to create business synergies and offer access to a multicultural, multi-lingual skilled workforce. ENPARK also aims to serve as a facilitator of green dialogue. We regularly host the ‘Green Brunch’ series, an occasion for our business partners and stakeholders to come together and deliberate on a wide variety of industry related matters. BGreen: How many business partners do you have currently? SG: Currently, we have more than 40 business partners ranging from

international companies, such as ExxonMobil, to small and medium sized enterprises. BGreen: What is your growth strategy? SG: We have attracted major companies to ENPARK solely on the strength of our successful strategy and economic viability of the free zone. Sector-wise, we are focused on four areas: renewable energy, conventional energy, green buildings, as well as waste management and recycling companies. Geography-wise, we are looking to attract business partners from across the world. Dubai serves as a natural regional partner for investors seeking to expand their global footprint. On other green fronts, ENPARK is keen to host organisations in waste management and green buildings. The government is anticipated to regulate

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Energy & Water

a balanced approach – one that is rooted in reality – is required when considering the global energy mix”

waste segregation, recycling and green buildings, offering an opportunity for more players to enter these sectors. BGreen: Recently ENPARK participated in Globe 2012 as part of a high level government led delegation. Can you tell us if and why ENPARK is seeking collaboration with the Govt in the sustainability arena? SG: In March, ENPARK participated at the Globe 2012 – a biennial trade fair on business and the environment, held in Vancouver, Canada – along with other entities of the Dubai Government under the banner of ‘Dubai Green Economy Partnership’. Our participation expressed ENPARK’s support for the UAE’s ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Development’ announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on January 15, 2012. In line with the initiative to build a green economy, ENPARK is working with the government of Dubai and other stakeholders to facilitate the growth of the green economy in the UAE. After all, the quest for sustainability is advancing on several fronts and voices of the government, utility providers, and consumers need to be heard and considered. BGreen: Can you tell us more about ENPARK’s waste management drives? SG: ENPARK has spearheaded a Dubai-wide bulb recycling campaign, in collaboration with the Emirates Wildlife Society and the WWF (EWS-WWF). Launched in June 2010 to mark the World Environment Day, the campaign replaces, for free, conventional light bulbs that contains toxic mercury and must be prevented from reaching our landfills with new, energy-efficient ones. The campaign has garnered significant success, and recycled 32,643 bulbs at the facilities of our partner IDAMA. Initially, ENPARK aimed to include the offices and residential units within the ten business parks at TECOM. Now,

June 2012

the initiative has grown to include the participation of major organizations such as Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Microsoft™ Gulf FZ-LLC. BGreen: What is ENPARK doing to encourage SME participation in the renewable energy landscape? SG: ENPARK is home to a good number of SME companies, which reflects our belief that the SME sector has a vital role in the renewable energy industry. Recently, TECOM Investments and Dubai SME signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)

to develop the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector. This will serve to further encourage entrepreneurship among the UAE nationals and advance the sector’s contribution to the country’s economy. ENPARK has always highlighted the role of SMEs by providing them with a special place in our events such as the Green Brunch, which offers a platform for the exchange of information, and best practices.

BGreen: Without the benefit of Feed-in-Tariffs, how can the solar industry in the UAE take off? SG: Feed-in-tariffs is essential for the growth of the renewable energy industry. The introduction of such incentives features on the wish-list of many players in the UAE market. On its part, the government is looking into the enforcement of feed-in-tariffs at the federal level in the UAE. Ultimately, I believe a combination of factors will see the UAE adopt a very progressive stance that will spur the development of the renewable energy industry. True, the government is subsidising fuel prices to cushion customers from the impact of price hikes. However, there are other longterm factors too that the government is paying attention to – such as the need to diversify our energy sources and reduce

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Energy and Water

Figure: Energy intensity trends by region, 1980 to 2005. Source: Realising the Potential of Energy Efficiency: Targets, Policies, and Measures for G8 Countries, published by United Nations Foundation.

About ENPARK

dependency on oil, cut down the UAE’s per capital carbon footprint and preserve the environment. Already, both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have committed to renewable energy targets and are working towards them: Abu Dhabi aims to source seven per cent of its power from renewables by 2020, while Dubai is aiming for five per cent by 2030. I am confident that the country will eventually transition to a model where energy is used more efficiently and responsibly, and every avenue that facilitates the end result will be considered. BGreen: Can you tell us about your personal interest in the sustainability arena? SG: I believe sustainability is the way forward and each and every business must implement sustainable behaviour in order to reap increased profits. Seen from

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all sides – whether individual, society or business – sustainability makes perfect sense to me. This is not an option but an imperative need. The way we source and use our energy plays a great part in deciding our sustainable future. Regardless of how exciting the technological march surrounding renewable energy is, a balanced approach – one that is rooted in reality – is required when considering the global energy mix. Oil and gas will still continue to be dominant sources of energy for much of the world, at least in the first half of the 21st century. We need to ensure that the hydrocarbon industry operates as greenly, and advances in technology allow us to reach higher levels of fuel efficiency. There is a way whereby the growing needs of the economy and the environment can both be fulfilled, and I am a huge believer in that.

The Energy and Environment Park (ENPARK), was launched in Dubai as a member of TECOM Investments in 2007. It is the first free zone dedicated to the energy and sustainability industries in the Middle East. ENPARK is part of TECOM Investments’ Sciences Cluster that also comprises the Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech), the leading life sciences park in the Middle East. Together, ENPARK and DuBiotech serve to advance the life sciences and sustainability industries in Dubai and the region. The two sectors are complementary in many ways. For instance, the quest for sustainable fuels, which is the domain of biotechnology, will also transform the green industry. ENPARK provides an environment that enables companies to locate, consolidate and capitalise on opportunities in the domestic and regional markets.

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Construction

Integrated design and construction Representatives from Bayer Material Science, WSP, Buro Happold, iTech Holding and the Middle East Facility Management Association assembled for the first edition of the Sustainable Solutions roundtable, held by BGreen and the Emirates Green Building Council on 15 May, to dissect the globally successful Eco Commercial Buildings (ECB) programme as it branches out to the Middle East

Could you elaborate on the ECB Programme and its scope? Pejman Norastehfar: Between 2008 and 2010, Bayer has invested about â‚Ź1 billion per division for environmental projects, and the answer was the Eco-Commercial Building Programme. About 5 years ago, we started to build our

June 2012

buildings in more environmentally friendly and energy efficient ways. At that time, we began to integrate all the elements of construction for our own buildings. By calling all our customers in the industry to sit with architects, planners to design a building together. We found out that through our 4 buildings worldwide (in

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Construction Participants

Dr Ommid Saberi Associate in Building Physics WSP E&E Middle East

Dr Pejman Norastehfar Head of the ECB Programme Bayer Middle East

USA, Germany, Belgium and India) that the integrated planning approach could be beneficial from the economical point of view. Amortisation times are up to a maximum of 80 years, which is a good number if you consider the 50 to 70 yearlifecycle of buildings in Germany. Then we thought if it is so beneficial for us, why don’t we offer it to the rest of the world, so we asked our customers to join this programme actively. It’s a global programme with a local face. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to bring environmentally-friendly products from China over to the UAE in the longterm, so our programme encourages our customers in this region to produce sustainable products and solutions based on our raw materials. It’s not only based on members who use our raw materials, but involves consultants, engineers and designers who offer services based on sustainability, which is why we came together with WSP about four months ago to expand this programme into other aspects of design and construction.

Alan Millin Consultant and Trainer Middle East Facility Management Association

Phil Dalglish Director Buro Happold

the people here, that it’s not an add-on that drives up costs, but it’s something that benefits them as clients, their users, and in the bigger picture, the nation. Bayer has a strong research team in Germany that are constantly innovating new products for various environments. This allows access to knowledge of which materials and technologies would be best suited for our environment. Norastehfar: We used to have to wait until the customer asks us to develop something specific to their needs, but now we want to take a step forward, by going to the end-users and finding out market needs. For example, if the market says that we need a new façade system that doesn’t exist in the region yet, it would be easier for us to source the right company to join the programme to supply these needs to our members here, or even initiate research for the right

Charles Blaschke IV MEP BIM Manager iTech Holding

solutions. We have over 50 companies joining the programme globally, of with 7 are from this region. Of course there will be some applications that are not available here, but we will have the access to them internationally. As of now, buildings in the UAE don’t have access to onsite alternative energy generation, impeding them from achieving net-zero status. How do you think buildings here can move closer to that ideal? Phil Dalglish: I think energy is subsidised in this region to a ridiculously high extent. Secondly, the legislation here is not geared towards strict sustainable design practices. In this market, buildings are a 20 to 25-year-old proposition. How quickly can we get our money’s worth, how cheaply can we build it. This is an

Ommid Saberi: We see this programme less as a marketing tool than a means of raising awareness. We’re all working in this market and we know the challenges we face when working on sustainable buildings. One of the major reasons (for bringing this programme to the Middle East) is that it can be much easier in the UK, for example, to persuade clients to opt for sustainable design than it is here. Part of our work is to create awareness in this market. We want to make sure that sustainability is built in to the DNA of

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Construction

We cannot train the industry to do things in a particular way overnight unless there’s a huge incentive”

seems like we’re at least moving in the right direction.

unregulated market, and companies come and go, so it’s very difficult for designers to integrate sustainable solutions into their buildings, because quite often they’re not feasible for developers who have a short-term vision. It has a lot to do with the regulations, what designers have to design to, and clients’ aspirations. Norastehfar: We can only increase the lifetime of the building by increasing the quality of the building. That comes from the materials used and the choices made in the design process. Buildings lasting 50 to 70 years in Germany isn’t magic; it’s just the high quality of the products. Saberi: If we look at the history of the region, even just 5 years back, we’ll notice that sustainability for some of the first green buildings was a matter of prestige more than anything else. Dubai started its green building regulations as a first step in the UAE towards pushing the market towards green buildings. Then Abu Dhabi followed that with Estidama, and despite all the challenges it has, it is picking up the market and changing trends. Doha’s QSAS is another example. All these changes suggest that the region is gearing towards sustainability, so it

June 2012

sign, quick schedule, bad construction, lack of attention given to the operation side?

Alan Millin: I think that the region is gearing up for green buildings, not sustainability. I noticed you mentioned “sustainable buildings”. That’s not where we’re going with green buildings. From one Facility Lifecycle book from 2003, the author said that it almost seems like the objective now is to build buildings to conserve energy rather than to house people. Even in the 1990s, 92% of the operational lifecycle costs of buildings comes from the operation of the facility. I think there’s only so much we can do with green buildings, and unless we get the people involved in green buildings, it can’t be sustainable. We can make buildings as efficient as we like, but if we can’t staff them and operate them efficiently, then I think we’re only going to see little savings.

Millin: When I arrived here in 1996, this was very much a contract-driven market. Draw a building up, rent it out, who cares how much energy it consumes because somebody else will be paying. Now the owners are taking much more interest in the sustainability of their buildings, but simply building a green building doesn’t lead us down that path.

What do you think is the main cause of this—is it poor de-

What can make green buildings transition to sustainable

Dalglish: I think also the developer community here is not very mature. If you take big developers in the US and Western market, they’ve been in the business for many years, whereas if you look at the big property developers here, they’ve only been around for the last 8 to 10 years. They haven’t been in the market long enough to know what they really want for the long run.

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Construction

buildings? Millin: One of the good things is that the greener we make the buildings, the more important facilities management becomes. We need strong FM right at the beginning of the process as facility managers are the ones who will be operating the building and they need to have input right at the design stages to factor in simple changes that can be made to increase efficiencies. I’ve seen lift schedules for mixed-use buildings where the food court is on the mezzanine floor, but the office lifts don’t stop on that floor. So employees in the building have to come down to the lobby at the peak lunch hour and take separate lifts to get back up to the mezzanine. This costs a huge amount of money and wastage in productivity, and that’s where we need FM input in the design process. Some designs are technically brilliant, but they just don’t work properly, and that’s what needs to be addressed.

everyone involved can access. From the suppliers’ side, if we drop in a Bayer wall, all the properties—the specs, materials and so on—makes all that information available to the contractor. It’s a great tool for visualising and communicating FM problems so that they can be addressed early on.

Norastehfar: I think we shouldn’t leave the entire responsibility on facilities managers. We should first make a design that is sustainable and feasible that can be optimised by facility managers. Dalglish: By the time the project reaches FM, the deal is already done and all he can do is work with that he has got. The design needs to go to contractors who can build the design up to the specifications. If the consultant doesn’t get it right, the contractor following their specifications wouldn’t get it right either. The designers usually follow the clients’ brief and legislation. If the clients’ brief is too vague, then designers have to rely on government legislation. So it’s all kind of a domino effect right back to what the government wants to see in the country’s built environment. QSAS, LEED and Estidama are all key tools but they don’t actually get to the core issue: how do we save energy in this market. Norastehfar: We cannot train the industry to do things in a particular way overnight unless there’s a huge incentive. In Germany, energy has always been expensive, so there’s no way out but opting for greener solutions. A lack of awareness is what is holding the region back, but this can only increase slowly. Saberi: Going back to regulations, as

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Phil said, if they are fixed, the resulting processes will be fixed as well. If there is a clear benchmark for office buildings, that they cannot consume more than a set amount without getting penalised, then the design will be challenging. That’s how innovation can provide creative solutions. Norastehfar: It also comes from making sustainability chic, as it is in Europe. If you can make people believe that they have to have green buildings because it is chic, they wouldn’t mind even a 20 per cent higher cost to achieve this. What about energy modelling as a tool for integration? Charles Blaschke: A lot of our demand now, as technology consultants for building information modelling (BIM), is coming from the owners. We’re brought in to see how we can specify the BIM so that the FM can take it in the end and operate it. We’re using through the whole lifecycle. We go in with the consultants and contractors and we use this tool to provide an integrated platform where we bring in various elements early on in the process. The technology promotes integrated design as a shared model that

The design process, construction or post-construction stage: which do you think is a key stage for implementing green practices? Blaschke: Right now, contractors can use it to their benefit, to precisely plan the schedule and address coordination issues ahead of time, to manage materials and costing. But it ultimately goes back to design. BIM is a tool that can help design to make construction easier, and the eventual operation of the building. Dalglish: At the end of the day, it doesn’t give you a sustainable building. It gives you a platform to carry the design forward through to the end. But in the future, it is going to be a much more powerful tool as it is developed further. It’s still just a tool, and the way it is used can positively impact the end result, but it all comes back to regulations. There’s still nothing really driving the development of world-class sustainable buildings here. For example, can we generate our own electricity for our buildings? No, we can’t, as it is not allowed under the laws. There’s only so much that can be done. The market has a long way to go.

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Comment | Vick Mamlouk

Making mobile networks leaner, greener and cleaner Vick Mamlouk, Vice President MEA at CommScope, explains why energy efficiency holds the key to lowering both costs and carbon emissions for mobile networks across the Middle East

D

espite the region’s extensive reserves of fossil fuels, the Middle East has become something of a test-bed for green technologies during the last decade. In 2010, Vodafone Qatar and AlcatelLucent announced the deployment of the first hybrid-powered base station in Qatar, using an integration of solar and wind energy. Similarly, Orange recently unveiled a new green tower design which operates on solar and wind power as part of a larger project to increase the use of renewable energy in Jordan. It’s hardly surprising that managing energy more efficiently has become a key concern for mobile network operators. Businesses are entering a new era where environmental issues play an influential role in brand perception. Additionally, with crude oil prices soaring above US$100 per barrel in 2011, rising energy costs provide a strong impetus for mobile operators to drive efficiencies across their extensive networks of base stations. Fortunately, a multitude of proven, high-performance technologies exist

June 2012

today that can reduce base station power consumption by as much as 40 percent. So what are the options? Green power Since access to electricity grids can be unreliable in many Middle Eastern countries, back-up diesel generators are commonplace and off-grid base-stations

may run entirely on diesel power. These generators are extremely expensive, not only because of the cost of diesel, but also because they require frequent maintenance and refuelling. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind or sustainable biofuels provide an alternative means of powering base stations. When used in tandem with

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Vick Mamlouk | Comment

a back-up power source, solar and wind technology can be relied on for peak period power generation. Once photovoltaic cells or wind turbines are installed, power is almost free as these solutions require very little maintenance. The GSM Association has set a target of powering 118,000 base stations through renewable sources by 2012. Achieving this target would save up to 2.5 billion litres of diesel per year and cut annual carbon emissions by up to 6.3 million tonnes.

subsidising their travel. The more trips taken, the more fuel burned - which translates to more CO2 produced as well. If operators adopt the ability to remotely monitor and control base station functions, they can vastly reduce the need for physical inspections. “Soft alarms” can warn operators when equipment begins to fall below optimum performance, allowing them to choose the best time to respond and thus increasing efficiency by enabling multiple problems to be solved in one visit. Remote monitoring of fuel supplies can also ensure that truck rolls are only made when generators require refuelling, lowering the total number of truck rolls needed per year. The ability to make remote adjustments, like altering thermostat settings, also completely negates the need for visits to make simple changes to infrastructure settings. For example, the remote tuning of antennas means adjustments can be made as many times as necessary without any additional site visits, or tower climbs to manually change an antenna’s orientation. An added benefit is that adjustable antennas can cover a wider area than their fixedposition counterparts, meaning that fewer antennas need to be installed on a tower. Technicians also often alter the temperature settings of network sites by many degrees to make it more comfortable to work. This can create significant costs if the thermostat settings are not returned to normal when the technician leaves. If operators are able to monitor the temperature of their sites and remotely adjust thermostat settings, such unnecessary drains on OpEx can be eliminated. Base station efficiency can be further improved by using remote monitoring software to switch-off non-essential services when traffic is low, ensuring they only consume power as and when it’s needed.

Reducing site visits Another major area of expense that mobile operators should look to streamline is their dependence on network site visits. Currently, experienced technicians must regularly visit each site to configure equipment, perform maintenance and implement repairs. This inefficient use of a technician’s time is often costly, as is the added expense of

Stay cool The dense electronics within base stations dissipates heat which must be removed in order to ensure the proper functioning of equipment. Given that typical cooling systems consume 30 percent of the energy used by base stations, they are a clear target for improvements in energy efficiency - especially given the high ambient

operators are no longer restrained by a lack of options – all they need is the will to implement them to realise dramatic reductions in costs and Carbon emissions”

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temperatures in the Middle-East. Alternative cooling techniques, such as free-air cooling, economisers and hybrid cooling in enclosures can create significant reductions in both power usage and an operator’s carbon footprint. These techniques can be further optimised through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis and field trial testing. Such analysis can show that freeair cooling can be sufficient to keep equipment within optimum running temperatures for certain time periods. Analysis demonstrates that air conditioning on-time can be reduced – again lowering power consumption. Hybrid cooling systems via a direct air/ heat exchanger within enclosures can also reduce base station cooling costs by as much as 85 percent. Taken together these solutions can reduce overall site power consumption by 20 to 25 percent. New technologies Alongside the two broad areas outlined above, a host of other options exist that can help mobile operators use energy more efficiently and reduce OpEx. Modern telecoms technologies – from power amplifiers to RF antennas - have become far less electricity demanding in recent years. By deploying these new technologies, operators can significantly reduce power consumption across their networks. Given the broad spectrum of robust solutions ready to be deployed on networks today, operators are no longer restrained by a lack of options – all they need is the will to implement them to realise dramatic reductions in costs and carbon emissions

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Special Feature

Green spaces; happy faces Going green and workplace productivity The strong correlation between green interiors and employee productivity has been often cited in the case for sustainable corporate spaces. BGreen looks at how companies can green their interiors for tangible gains in employee productivity and profits

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2009 Michigan State study, Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Occupant Well-being and Productivity in LEED Offices, found that companies moving to green certified office buildings missed less work and put in almost 39 hours more per person annually, leading to a gains of more than US$250,000 per year. More recently, a study by research company YouGov surveyed 1,172 CEOs and directors from the MENA region ahead of last month’s Office Exhibition, to find out the extent that a supplier’s office setting influences their procurement decisions.

June 2012

“These results confirm, with quantifiable evidence, what we and the design industry have always known,” says David Wilson, Event Director of The Office Exhibition. “A healthy workplace environment not only boosts productivity, it signals professionalism and inspires confidence in the company’s product or service. Conversely, offices which smell of food or cigarette smoke, are dirty, or have furniture that is old and unwelcoming turn business away. Businesses in the region need to take a good look at what their work environment says about their company. Ignoring this could literally mean they are throwing contracts away!” According to the study, companies lose an average of Dhs2m in contracts due

to unsightly office interiors. In terms of productivity, 69% of the respondents said they find themselves wanting to leave a meeting early because of uncomfortable seating. Green buildings—inside out Green buildings have become synonymous with high-performance organisations in Europe and America, suggesting that past the moral responsibility angle, sustainable design translates to tangible business benefits. Relying on LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) — which certifies the sustainability of tenant improvements and interior renovations — can help businesses transform their work culture

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Special Feature

Green buildings have become synonymous with high-performance organisations, suggesting that past the moral responsibility angle, sustainable design translates to tangible business benefits

by increasing energy efficiency and the comfort of corporate spaces. Linking LEED certification to quantifiable measures of efficiency, including return on investments (ROI), companies can keep tabs on the improvements and returns. Benefits • Brand performance For many organisations, environmental stewardship is central to brand identity, so a workplace built to LEED standards simply reinforces these core values.

• Employee performance Direct gains in overall health for office workers are an undeniable result of going green. These improvements come from better indoor air quality (IAQ), increased access to daylight, carbon dioxide assessors, ergonomically designed furniture, to highlight a few. The results are obvious: a greener office environment leads to healthier, less stressed out employees who are naturally more productive.

• Organisational performance The bottom-line gains of greener organisational changes lead to a marked increase in work satisfaction, including reducing employee turnover and improving recruitment. Increased faceto-face interaction reduces email volume, for example, which can cut down on the red tape of correspondence trains. Office pantries and well-designed meeting rooms add to this as well. Transitioning Products that use recycled content are expansive—from wallboards and floor tiles to adhesive substances and furniture—allowing organisations to make the green transition smoother. • A central green vision Experts encourage using certifications as a guideline—a means for a sustainable end— rather the end itself. Frequent meetings between stakeholders can help keep the overall green focus of the organisation in place through an eco-charette.

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Special Feature

• Passive changes Access to daylight and expansive views can be factored into the design of the office space. Furniture and flooring choices can reduce energy consumption and emissions while positively affecting employees. Incorporating interior glazing on corridors facing outwards, and locating most office spaces towards the core of the building can help with solar insulation. Using transparent glass along cubicles or workstations, or if panel heights are kept low enough, employees can still enjoy external views without having to reorganise the staff space. • Cutting down on chemicals Studies show that pollutant concentrations are often higher indoors than outside. Reducing the VOC emissions of paints, coatings, inks and toners can be done by using certifications and labels as a handy guide. Labels for products from Europe and the US include ‘Greenguard’ for indoor air quality, ‘Indoor Advantage’ for furniture, ‘FloorScore’ for flooring, and ‘Green Seal’ for paints. Indoor air quality regulations are increasingly stringent in the West, urging wood manufacturers supplying MDF products to toss out the carcinogenic adhesive, urea formaldehyde, with less harmful alternatives to bind wood.

June 2012

In addition to monitoring the emission of VOCs, cutting down on the effects of semi-volatile compounds are also important in keeping indoor air quality high. Some of these compounds include phthalates from PVC plastics; halogenated flame retardant in electronics, foams and textiles; and perfluorochemicals from treated fabrics. • Less is more “Dematerialisation” is a design strategy that can minimise the use of building materials by creating partitions using furniture, for instance, or by demarcating spaces by coloured floor tiles instead of walls. Indoor lighting is also another way where less can be more. Energy efficient luminaires can reduce wattage while maintaining light quality. Using recessed lighting along corridors and capitalising on daylight can be beneficial in curbing energy consumption and lowering air conditioning loads. • Two-in-one Products and strategies that can double up on a company’s environmental reputation

are clearly preferable. Certifications like Cradle to Cradle and Forest Stewardship Council include social and environmental responsibility by providing accountability to the chain of custody. Time-sensitive energy-efficient printers and air conditioners, daylight sensors in light fixtures are added ways in which appliances can multitask with little to no human involvement. • Baby steps There are many elements to consider when greening interiors, and the decision to make the transition might come from the CFO, a dedicated sustainability team or Facility Managers, depending on the organisation and its environmental goals. Drawing up a long-term plan is the first step, after which each element of growing green can be broken down and simplified. Beyond initial costs The key to sustainable spaces is the long-term benefits they can reap. Energy efficient products are priced considerably higher than their counterparts, but that takes their longer lifespan and higher quality into account.

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Green Technology

There’s a sustainable app for that! BGreen outlines seven of the latest green apps for the sustainable smart phone user on the go

June 2012

• GreenMeter US$5.99 on iTunes This app keeps tab on fuel consumption, so even if your car isn’t fuel efficient by design, you can still adjust your usage to keep emissions and consumption within limits. The greenMeter uses the smart phone’s accelerometer to measure a vehicle’s fuel and crude oil consumption, power, and carbon emission with input about the car, the type

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Green Technology

of fuel used, and the weather. Drivers can monitor the app to adjust acceleration for the most efficient outpt. • iViro Free on iTunes iViro assesses the energy needed to power the usual comforts of a home or office, including heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances. The app channels suggestions on upgrades and retrofits that can save energy and money. • HootRoot Free on hootroot.com HootRoot allows users to calculate the

best possible route to get from point A to point B with the least amount of carbon emissions. The app won second place in the American Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Apps for the Environment Challenge,’ allowing it access to the EPA, the Energy Information Agency, and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics within the United States. If this app can be modified for the Middle East, it could cut down emissions as well as shaving off minutes commuting within congested city limits. • Control4 Free on iTunes and Google Play Upon installing a Control4 system

at home and synching it with the mobile phone app, users can adjust the temperature of rooms, control the lighting and even open and close curtains from outside the premises. Users can get feedback on their energy use, costs and efficiencies to adjust their behaviour to get the most out of their lifestyle. • Green Shine US$2.99 on iTunes The Green Shine app is a useful tool for consumers new to making sustainable cleaning choices. It shows the contents of cleaning products in terms of their chemical properties and related impact on the environment from use. The app also suggests greener alternatives for these products, categorising them by room. • Light Bulb Finder Free on iTunes and Google Play “How many apps does it take to change a light bulb? Just one,” quips the developers of this energy efficiencypromoting app. It helps consumers transition from conventional light bulbs to energy-saving LEDs or CFLs that match the aesthetics, light quality and utility by presenting bulb images, cost, savings, and environmental impact. Users can create shopping lists, and buy bulbs directly through the app. • Green Globe Free on iTunes Frequent travellers can rely on this app to find sustainable accommodations, restaurants, conference centres, tourist attractions, tours and expeditions. Allowing users an access to a database of user uploaded images and reviews; the app uses the Green Globe certification as a yardstick for sustainable tourism.

www.buildgreen.ae

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Comment | Luc Onockx

50 ways forward Luc Onockx, Trane’s EMEIA leader for the controls contracting and turnkey solutions, outlines 50 ways to green your hotel, improve guest comfort and reduce operating expenses

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nergy costs and world energy consumption continue to increase. Now is the time for hotel managements to work with facility engineers, maintenance staff and others, to explore innovative solutions and green practices to help improve guest comfort and manage operating costs. A smart approach is to implement green practices incrementally by exploring what can be done in the short-term (zero to three years), nearterm (three to eight years) and longterm (more than eight years). By implementing some of these tips, hotels can easily save between 10 and 25 percent annually on their energy bills. Even small changes can result in significant budget savings that are directly reflected in the bottom line. These savings may be used to fund more significant investments in energy and related

June 2012

systems. Here are 50 near-term, midterm and longer-term ways to green your hotel, improve guest comfort and reduce operating costs. Short term payback plan: 0-3 Years Building Envelope • Find and fix leaks along doors and windows Lighting • Install occupancy sensors • Retrofit existing lighting fixtures (T12 – T8 to T5) Motors • Properly size to the load for optimum efficiency • Check alignment • Check for under/over voltage conditions

Pumps • Operate pumping near best efficiency point • Modify pumping to minimise throttling • Adopt to wide load variation with variable speed drives • Use booster pumps for small loads requiring higher pressures • Repair seals and packing to minimise flows and reduce pump power requirements Controls/Automation • Check schedules, set-point, and setbacks • Confirm heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC)/ refrigeration control strategies are correct /operational • Check/inspect/repair systems for proper operation (fans, dampers,

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Luc Onockx | Comment

While higher initial costs may be incurred with ‘green’ design, upgrades and operational improvements often create cost savings that exceed the original investment” •

belts, filters, variable air volume boxes, etc.) Use free cooling when using chilled water system in cold weather or night time

Steam • Fix steam and condensate leaks • Inspect steam traps regularly and repair malfunctioning traps promptly Boilers • Preheat combustion air with waste heat • Use variable speed drives on larger boiler combustion air fans with variable flows • Inspect and clean burners and nozzles • Close burner air and/or stack dampers when off • Automate boiler blow-down and recover blow-down heat • Use boiler blow-down to help warm the back-up boiler • Inspect door gaskets • Optimise boiler water treatment • Add an economiser to preheat boiler feed-water using exhaust heat; recycle steam condensate and isolate boilers when not in operation Water and Sewer • Recycle water, especially if sewer costs are based on water consumption • Use the lowest possible hot water temperature • Fix water leaks

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Use water restrictions on faucets, showers, and/or install self-closing type faucets in restrooms Verify water meter readings

Near-Term Payback Plan (3-8 years) After reviewing short-term options, the next step is to undertake a more rigorous assessment. The following list details investments or changes that still have attractive payback, but may take more time to investigate and execute. Systems Change Out • Evaluate chilled water system to specifically consider replacement of chiller(s) with more efficient models. Using the Trane Chiller Plant Analyser is a great way to start. • Consider gas-powered refrigeration systems to minimise electrical demand charges • Assess new HVAC system • Replace boilers (higher efficiency, condensing, modular, etc.) • Consider installing thermal storage or heat recovery systems Operational Strategies • Determine and implement optimum building automation/control strategies • Consider different utility purchasing options, rate analysis, and/or buying utilities on the commodity market • Ensure high efficiency motors are matched to size/loads • Optimise compressed-air systems for maximum efficiency through leak analysis and end-user requirements assessment • Study part-load characteristic and cycling costs to determine the most efficient mode for operating multiple boilers • Consider more efficient options (don’t use the main heating boiler) for domestic hot water during cooler seasons Longer-Term Payback Plan (More than 8 years) The following improvements can provide

a significant efficiency upgrades in a facility: Systems Change Out • Consider a new chilled water system • Implement major HVAC system replacements • Install new or upgrade controls/ facility automation system • Install a geothermal heat pump system Operational Strategies • Assess and verify reliability/ availability of utilities (on-site generation) • Study facility envelope (windows, doors, and roof) and make necessary improvements Renewable Energy Solutions • Study the benefits of adding some renewable technologies such as solar, wind, biomass Ongoing Maintenance • Engage in proactive maintenance for sustained performance. Making improvements of any kind to a facility can help operators achieve better performance and have a positive effect on guest comfort, staff productivity and budgetary resources. Specific results and cost savings will be unique to each hotel. While higher initial costs may be incurred with ‘green’ design, upgrades and operational improvements often create cost savings that exceed the original investment. Ultimately, a green facility creates a healthier and more resource-efficient model of construction, renovation, operation and maintenance; while providing a more enjoyable and productive environment for guests and staff. This is good for customers; good for your business, and good environmental stewardship. Luc Onockx is responsible for the controls contracting and turnkey solutions business for Trane in the EMEIA region. He has more than 15 years of HVAC industry experience with specific focus on energy performance contracting.

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Eco-leisure

Sharjah’s time to shine

Sharjah’s understated landscape includes expanses of desert lands, dry rock, mangrove forests, and wetlands

Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq

The idyllic desert creek of Khor Kalba is on the precipice of worldwide fame. Shurooq has announced its plans for what is soon to be the region’s largest eco-tourism project, 15 kilometres south of Fujairah

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harjah’s sprawling nature reserves and protected sites are finally getting their due. The newly launched Khor Kalba Eco-Tourism project is set to develop these areas to promote ecotourism and environmental awareness in the emirate. Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, better known as Shurooq, in collaboration with the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), and the International Conservation Services, has announced that phase one of the project is currently underway. “The multiphase project will be implemented in three phases, the first of which will see the development of natural reserves in Kalba (Hafiya and Al Qurm nature reserves), and the establishment of a centre within the reserve for visitors, as well as the restoration of archaeological sites within the project,” according to Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq.

The project, the largest of its kind in the development eco-tourism facilities in the UAE and the region, will be set up in Khor Kalba, 15 km south of Fujairah city on the UAE-Oman borders. “The tourism industry has changed dramatically over the past few decades. The concept of tourism is no longer centred on taking an airplane to a new country to be familiarised with its landmarks, traditions and culture. Tourism has become one of the most important industries on which many countries around the world depend to achieve development,” Al Sarkal says, stressing the UAE’s inclination towards keeping apace with the latest developments in this sector as a leading spot for tourism in the Middle East. “Its strategic location overlooking the Arabian Gulf in the West and the Gulf of Oman, and its diverse natural and unique characteristics, including the beautiful mountains, plains and shores of its eastern region, among many other natural

The Kalba Eco-tourism project has the potential to create approximately 5,000 jobs

June 2012

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Dishwashers Consumption per load/place setting 1997: 12 place settings 2012: 13 place settings Energy consumption*

Water consumption*

0.10 kWh

0.05 kWh

1.33 Litres

0.54 Litres

1997

2012

1997

2012

up to

–50 % up to

–60 % *Based on a normal program setting in accordance with EU regulation 1059/2010 (guideline 2010/30/EU), comparison of consumption values for Siemens dishwasher SN 26U893EU/ SN 56U593EU from 2012 with values for a comparable standard Siemens appliance from 1997 based on a standard economy 50°C cycle.

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Eco-leisure

Authority (EPAA) release of rare animals and birds and the establishment of a centre within the reserve for visitors, as well as the restoration of archaeological sites within the project,” says Al Sarkal.

The release of gazelles comes within the first phase of the Kalba- Ecotourism project”

tourist elements, has made Sharjah one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the region.” Progress update His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and ruler of Sharjah, officially inaugurated phase one with the release of 18 ‘Damani’ gazelles in the Al Hafiya natural reserve in Kalba, as well as the release of predatory birds at Al Ghail Fort. 21 less common falcon species were set free as well, including AlHur, Shaheen, Al Wakri, Hawk falcon, and Eagle owl, one of the largest of its kind in the world native to deserts and wooded areas. “The release of gazelles comes within the first phase of the Kalba- Eco-tourism project, which was launched recently. The project will be implemented in three phases, the first of which will see the redevelopment of natural reserves in Kalba (Hafiya and Al Qurm natural reserves) in cooperation with the Environment and Protected Areas

June 2012

Phase Two The second phase of the project will involve the development of Kalba Creek and the construction of a commercial complex featuring shops and restaurants overlooking the creek. It will include the development of recreational spaces that will enable holidaymakers to enjoy the area’s natural biodiversity without causing harm or negatively affecting its wildlife. Phase two of the project will also comprise the development of a number of islands in the creek, as well as rehabilitation to revive their natural marine and bird life. Phase Three “Phase 3 has been designated for the tourism part of the project, which will see the setting up of a number of hotels and fantastically designed chalets overlooking the Gulf of Oman.” More than 300 rooms spanning hotels and chalets are to be built in line with eco-friendly standards as well, according to Al Sarkal. Other sites at Kalba will include a dedicated art building, a centre for diving and marine activities, as well as a site offering day trips to explore Khor Kalba and the mangroves. Rehabilitating reserves According to Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), the release of endangered wild animals in Al Hafiya

natural reserve helps rehabilitate the reserve which was once home to rare animal species, but was damaged extensively over the years as a result of overfishing and human negligence. “Al Hafiya natural reserve is rich in its bio-diversity and natural resources and topographic characteristics that would help rehabilitate and re-introduce rare and endangered animals. The release of these animals and birds would help rehabilitate the reserve and bring it back to what it was before, and preserve its natural resources and environmental characteristics by providing protection and care to mangroves and rehabilitation of rare and endangered birds and animals,” she adds. Job creation Al Sarkal emphasises the socio-economic function of this AED 1 billion project. “The Kalba Eco-tourism project will not only contribute to protecting these areas for future generations, but also to making them sustainable and promising areas for economic growth and the creation of job opportunities,” he adds, projecting an estimated 5,000 jobs to be generated in the coming years. Shurooq aims through the development of this project to curb the environmental degradation of killing animals and destroying plants, preserve biodiversity and re-habitat endangered species and provide protection and veterinary care for these animals, apart from the development of the eco-tourism, which is now a growing global trend.

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Protect our natural heritage.

With the help of your business, we can do ours. Make a change as corporate member with EWS-WWF and help us in our mission to conserve and protect our natural environment. Together, we can make a difference. www.ewswwf.ae


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Green Business

The Greenest Games in Modern Times? A month away from the global event, BGreen examines whether the London 2012 Olympics may set a precedent for large-scale short-term events, especially in the context of the GCC’s growing interest in exhibitions, international sporting events and large-scale concerts

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hort-term events usually fail to factor in after-life use, with exhibitions and conferences topping the list in unsustainable interim construction and infrastructure. As structures as large as the Olympic stadium take shape, questions arise about the tonnes of concrete, water, energy and waste consumed at every stage, and most importantly, after the Olympic flame is extinguished in August. Pledges and promises Exactly 2012 days before the scheduled opening of the Olympics, the organisers of the large-scale event announced their green pledges, including David Higgins, Chief Executive Officer of the Olympic Delivery Authority, announcing their ambitious goal to go down in history as

June 2012

“the greenest games in modern times.” The London 2012 Olympics had everything in place to raise the bar for sustainable practices from design to implementation. “The 2012 games are the perfect platform to demonstrate how high sustainability standards will help transform London into an exemplary, sustainable world city. The prize for hosting the 2012 games will be to transform one of the most derelict and disadvantaged parts of Europe into a revitalised, sustainable, new urban quarter fit for the 21st century. To achieve this, the Olympic partners will need to set the highest standards of design, quality, resource management and environmental protection,” Ken Livingstone, the mayor of the city, reportedly stated five years ago at the announcement.

The Games and beyond In the wake of the 2004 Athens Olympics, most of the facilities from the Games fell to waste. Lessons learned from previous large-scale events can be clearly seen in the planning of the Games, 8 years on. Roughly two million tonnes of polluted soil has been cleaned up and re-used on what was initially an industrial wasteland. The Olympic stadia relied on mostly low carbon building materials to help the event achieve a 50 per cent carbon emission reduction, compared to the business-as-usual scenario. As nearly half of the 2,800 apartments in the Olympic village will be converted into affordable housing lots, residents in the less developed areas of the city will get to enjoy the after-effects of the Games for years to come. Other perks

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Green Business FACTFILE •

• •

• The London Olympics 2012 boast the greenest sites

• include upgraded public transport facilities, large new shopping, sports and community centres, and an expansive park for recreation. In terms of urban and municipal changes, the river Lea has been thoroughly cleaned up made accessible with new bridges and walkways for greater connectivity between neighbourhoods. By 2014, if all goes according to plan, the Olympic site will be converted into the public Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, adding 11,000 new homes, 11 schools, and more than 10,000 jobs in London.   The jury’s still out On paper, the Games had larger, greener, and more long-term plans, including the erection of wind turbines on site to provide for 20 per cent of the total energy needs. This project had to be dropped, and along with it, the 20 per cent target fell to 12 per cent. In terms of carbon emissions, the Games are expected to rack up a considerable 3.4 million tonnes, adding to the half billion cumulative figure annually emitted by the United Kingdom. Then there’s the manpower required to monitor and enforce effective waste management during

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and after the massive event. “It will only be when the torch has been extinguished and the full assessment of London 2012 has been completed that we can all judge its performance, its achievements and its legacy,” Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), told the World Wildlife Fund UK upon his visit to the Olympic Park in late April. “Every Olympic city I have visited (as part of UNEP’s support for the aims and ambitions of the International Olympic Committee) is unique, and hard to compare likefor-like. London’s legacy may well be its regeneration of an old, polluted industrial site, or its efforts to ‘green’ the supply chain of contractors. Or perhaps it will be the way it has served as a catalyst to prompt a major soft drink supplier to establish a big plastics recycling plant with long-term benefits for the UK. Equally it might be the development of a much-needed methodology for carbon footprinting of major mass spectator events that can assist the next Winter Olympics in Russia, Sochi 2014, then Rio 2016 and beyond.”

The Velodrome is almost 100 per cent naturally ventilated and uses natural light to reduce energy consumption and rain water will be collected from the roof for flushing toilets and irrigation. The Olympic Stadium’s roof was made out of unwanted gas pipelines.   Water used to clean the swimming pool filters in the Aquatics Centre will be recycled for toilet flushing. The foundations for venues and roads have used recycled materials and many of the venues and bridges will have green habitat spaces incorporated into walls and roofs. Over 100 hectares of new parklands for people and wildlife with over 4,000 trees and over 300,000 wetland plants. 100 per cent of spectators arriving at the Games by public transport or by walking or cycling. Investment in permanent improvements to existing public transport infrastructure and services.   Improvements to 80km of cycling and walking routes to the Olympic Park and just under 6,000 temporary bike parking spaces during the Games.

The London 2012 Sustainability Plan World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) concept of ‘One Planet Living®’ aims to help people live within the world’s resources, rather than using three planets’ worth, as consumption figures in the UK projects. London’s strategic plan of action encompasses 5 key core areas: Climate change: minimising greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring legacy facilities are able to cope with the impacts of climate change. Waste: minimising waste at every stage of the project, ensuring no waste is sent to landfill during Games-time, and encouraging the development of new waste processing infrastructure in East London. Biodiversity: minimising the impact of the Games on wildlife and their habitats in and around Games venues, leaving a legacy of enhanced habitats. Inclusion: Promoting access for all and celebrating the diversity of London and the UK, creating new employment, training and business opportunities. Healthy living: Inspiring people across the country to take up sport and develop active, healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

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Oil and Gas

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

Behind Responsible Care BGreen speaks with the President of Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company, Abdulrahman Jawahery, on the trans-governmental joint venture’s environmental growth strategy

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bdulrahman Hussain Jawahery wears many hats. As a Chartered Engineer, Scientist, and Environmentalist, Mr Jawahery has a vast wealth of knowledge on greening even the most thoroughly criticised industry. As the President of Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC), he shares his expansive experience with other players in the industry, especially through his role as the Chairman of the globally recognised environmental programme, Responsible Care. Abdulrahman Jawahery: GPIC is a joint venture between the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), and Saudi Arabia and Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) of Kuwait. It is also a founding member of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) based in Dubai. GPIC is currently operating a petrochemical complex consisting of

June 2012

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Oil and Gas

We have been able to increase production as a result of the installation of a Carbon Dioxide Recovery Unit, installed in December 2009, at a cost of US $50 million”

a 1,200 MTPD Ammonia plant, 1,200 MTPD Methanol plant and a 1,700 MTPD Granular Urea plant, together with associated utilities and offsite facilities, utilising natural gas resources available in the Kingdom of Bahrain. In addition to being a world renowned petrochemical manufacturer, GPIC prides itself in being a world leader in health, safety, care for the environment and the welfare of the society. The company

Abdulrahman Jawahery, President of GPIC

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is the proud winner of prestigious awards in the fields of Health and Safety, Environmental Management and Corporate Social Responsibility. All these achievements were made possible by a 100% Bahraini executive management team. BGreen: What are some of the new policies and procedures GPIC has introduced to meet with growing consumer demands? AJ: Our main focus is on business strategies, effective maintenance plans and investment in modernisation of our plants and equipment. In addition, we have adopted robust inspection schedules in all areas, strengthened by Risk Based Inspection (RBI) studies. We have been very pro-active in investing on replacement of equipment through our 10 year rolling plan. These plans have enabled us to replace equipment when 100% inspection is not possible due to various constraints and based on its life span. By focusing on these areas we achieve a high degree of reliability and increase utilisation of resources. Our investment strategies in human resources training and development create a capable and talented manpower to complement our maintenance and modernisation strategies, leading to our operational excellence. This is also supported by GPIC’s adoption of the Responsible Care policy of RC14001; implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility standard ISO 26000 and issuance of the company’s Sustainability Report, attested by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). We have been able to increase production as a result of the installation of a Carbon Dioxide Recovery Unit, installed in December 2009, at a cost of US $50 million. The unit recycles 450 tonnes of Carbon-Dioxide per day and despite the fact that GPIC installed this unit as part of its environmental drive to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions, it has

yielded an IRR of over 22%. The unit recovers the Carbon Dioxide from the flue gases of the Methanol plant and uses it to increase the production of Urea and Methanol by 80 and 120 metric tons per day respectively. Consistency and the high quality of our products yields better netbacks and not having to shutdown unnecessarily allows the plants to produce when others are having difficulties in running their plants. Therefore, we are able meet customer and market needs at premium prices. BGreen: Last October, GPIC won the first place of the Arabia Corporate Social Responsibility Awards and was the runner up in 2008. How did GPIC manage to beat competition from notably green organisations in our region? AJ: GPIC considers Corporate Social Responsibility as a very important aspect of its business. This has been the policy of GPIC since its inception; a crucial factor that was taken into consideration by the award judges. Our commitment to CSR emanates from the GPIC Board of Directors led by His Excellency Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, Advisor to His Royal Highness the Prime Minister for Industrial and Oil Affairs. What differentiates GPIC from the others is its level of commitment, sustainability of its projects and the depth and breadth of its CSR programmes. That is to say we have had a very solid commitment right from our Board of Directors down to the lowest level in the organisation. Participating in the Arabia CSR Awards provided us with an opportunity to share our best practices in sustainability and reaffirm our commitment to provide a leadership role in this field. BGreen: What is next on the agenda after receiving the CSR Award? AJ: In order to ensure we lead the path

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Oil and Gas

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) indices have been taking notice of Responsible Care Initiative companies” towards responsible business, transparency and accountability, and to ensure we remain leaders in this field within our industry, we are taking the next step towards monitoring and reporting excellence. We have decided to develop our new Sustainability Report 2010-2011 in compliance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability guidelines and the report will be issued in 2012. Along with measuring and communicating our economic, environmental and social performance as per the guidelines, we will also be aiming to create a solid alignment with other key initiatives such as the UN Global Compact, Responsible Care, and even highlight key areas/initiatives which are aligned to support the 8 UN Millennium Development Goals.

June 2012

We are mindful of the fact that the future growth strategy of GPIC relies on how we measure and manage our stakeholder engagement, social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and our overall financial optimisation. Hence, in line with this we benchmark ourselves against the best of the best. We want to learn from others and also share our best practices and provide a leadership role in inspiring Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility ethics, both at regional and international levels. BGreen: What about GPIC’s history? AJ: For over 30 years, GPIC has been a part of Bahrain’s economic landscape. In that time, we have survived the many

challenges and shared in some of the triumphs that the country has been through. Our commitment to Bahrain, however, has never wavered and we have served the nation as a company that believes in achieving excellence, and even going beyond excellence, in every aspect of what we do. From the very beginning we have learned that a cutting edge competitive advantage can only result from weaving social and environmental considerations into business strategy. This ethos, developed by the visionaries of this Company, and consistently mandated by the Board of Directors, has become the fundamentals of our Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy. GPIC’s engagement with society has extended far beyond the

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Oil and Gas

country. However, it takes much more than good pay to start the ball rolling. Organisations need to go beyond the financial incentive; important as it may be. The safety and health of the employee must not be compromised under any circumstance. Not only that, but care must be extended to his/her family. It is the collective impact of organisations embracing the true values and principles of CSR that lift the whole country. GPIC’s experience has shown that Bahrainis, educated, trained, and properly looked after can compete with the best in the world and even surpass them. Winning two of the highest Safety, Health and Environment Awards: the Sir George Earle Trophy from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) UK and the Robert W. Campbell Award from the National Safety Council of the United States, are but two examples. traditional understanding of corporate philanthropy. It has taken on the form of proactive, hands-on engagement, to assist in meeting the myriad social sector needs, in education, health, development of skills, poverty alleviation, women’s empowerment and improvements in local infrastructure. BGreen: Can you cite few examples of the projects and programmes that reflect your CSR contributions? AJ: All our projects have been designed with forethought to ensure that they can be sustained over long periods of time; the Charity Vegetable Garden, the Fish Farm, and the Bird Sanctuary are but a few examples. Furthermore, our CSR programmes are multi-faceted to cover the widest sectors of the society and designed to penetrate to the lowest level of each sector. BGreen: How important should CSR be to each nation in the GCC? AJ: CSR is a moral responsibility before anything else. Organisations have a very important role to play in the welfare of society. A happy and loyal employee creates a happy workplace and a happy family. A happy family forms a happy society and eventually a prosperous

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BGreen: GPIC is a founder member of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) based in Dubai, which has a globally recognised environmental programme: the GPCA Responsible Care. Mr. Abdulrahman Jawahery, as the Chairman of the GPCA Responsible Care committee, what is GPCA Responsible Care Initiative? AJ: The GPCA Responsible Care Initiative is the chemical industry’s comprehensive Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE) performance improvement initiative. Originally conceived in 1984 by the Canadian Chemical Producers Association, the initiative was brought to the United States by American Chemistry Council (ACC) in 1988. Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) adopted the Responsible Care Initiative in 2009 thereby bringing this important initiative to the Gulf and Middle East region. Responsible Care Initiative continues to strengthen its commitments and enhance the public credibility of the chemical industry. Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) indices have been taking notice of Responsible Care Initiative companies.

For example, the FTSE Good Index (managed by the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange) has (noted) a significant overlap between Responsible Care Initiative requirements and FTSE Good environmental criteria. Additionally, FTSE has identified the strong possibility of streamlined inclusion on the FTSE Good Index through Responsible Care Initiative implementation, should that be something your publicly-traded, large or mid cap company strives to attain. BGreen: How did this initiative develop? AJ: GPCA member companies would implement Responsible Care Initiative to effectively manage their operations. The idea of establishing a management system approach within Responsible Care Initiative has evolved from several factors. They include: • Management systems are increasingly recognised as key performance drivers by industry and Government. • Businesses are already implementing management system models for organising their internal activities and delivering improved performance. • The need for the industry to demonstrate to stakeholders that it is meeting its Responsible Care Initiative obligations through an independent third-party certification process. Experience with management systems across many business sectors demonstrates that their application provides the most systematic and consistent method for delivering higher levels of performance in environmental, health, safety, security, quality and other areas. The management systems are typically structured around the Plan-Do-Check-Act model; this provides an “engine” to drive performance and continual improvement. The management system itself is a set of organised policies, procedures, work instructions, and practices that express a commitment around a core set of objectives and values. Read the full interview, as well as extensive information on the Responsible Care Initiative online at www.buildgreen.ae.

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Al Jaddou | Comment

All that Glitters is Green Omar Al Jaddou, Director of Special Projects at Advanced Global Trading, notes the growing demand for ver carbon credits as the global environmental movement gains momentum

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raditionally a safe haven for investors, the price of gold has seen an almost unprecedented surge generated by demand driven by a variety of factors, ranging from the increasing emergence of an affluent middle class in heavily populated countries such as China and India, to the growing economic turmoil including most recent fears of instability in the Eurozone. Economic uncertainty, particularly with regard to the finances of sovereign states, has engendered wariness in investors, manifested in the increasing cost of state borrowing, which will undoubtedly have a detrimental impact on countries whose national budget is reliant on debt to fund the shortfall between income and expenditure. This stark reality has ushered in what the pundits have labeled an ‘age of austerity’, a socioeconomic reality that has seen the rise of far-right/ ultranationalist political parties

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in several European states. Tied to the fortunes of the currency exchange market, gold is far from immune from the economic forces, which drive demand and determine prices in the commodities market and, as such, has seen something of a marked decline over recent months. In the long term, limited supply and increasing demand will see the price of gold appreciate, but most investors are both risk-averse and keen to generate returns over the short and medium term rather than the long term. A diversified investment strategy represents one potential method of achieving these aims, given the old adage, with risk comes reward, allocating a proportion directly dependent on the term of your investment strategy to alternative or exotic investments is generally accepted wisdom within the world of finance. In other words, it would be wise to avoid gambling lifesavings on a risky stock tip the year before retirement in the same way it would be unwise to save for retirement by putting some cash under the carpet every month from the age of 20. The most sought after investments within the alternative investment bracket are those which are noncorrelated, that is, not impacted by movements in traditional equity markets. One

example of this is the Carbon Credit market, specifically Verified Emission Reduction or VER Carbon Credits, a market in which demand is driven and governed by the growing environmental movement and increasing pressure on companies and organisations to minimise or offset their carbon footprint. With investors seeing a return in excess of 25 per cent in the past year, the VER Carbon Credit market benefits from some of the same realities governing the long-term future of gold, in that the supply is limited due to the nature of the projects which have been sufficiently audited and accredited by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) to generate VER Carbon Credits. Also demand is growing at an ever-increasing rate due to the popular expectations from corporations of corporate social responsibility (CSR), particularly in terms of the environment. The relentless growth of the global environmental movement has sparked something of a paradigm shift in consumer values and behaviour, particularly in the West. VER Carbon Credits offer investors the opportunity to invest in and profit from the universally accepted reality that this planet we occupy will be mankind’s only home for some time to come. A reality which will eventually drive companies to be more responsible for the one asset whose value cannot be measured, yet whose impairment detriments the quality of life for all humans - the environment. Omar Al Jaddou is the Director of Special Projects at Advanced Global Trading. Contact him at o.jaddou@advancedglobaltrading.com

June 2012

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Green Spy | Society

Font and centre This month, our Green Spy reports on how ecomessages can capitalise on viral marketing

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fraction of a second. That’s all it takes to change your font size, and the result is a marked reduction in printing and paper needs. It’s called the Minus One Project, and it’s an on-the-nose eco-message that has managed to go viral all over the world, encouraging offices, schools, homes and governments to reduce their font by one size before printing. Vishal Sagar from Cheil, an advertising company in India, started spreading this message through an iconic hand pose and before he knew it, a global phenomenon was born. Recognition from everyday social media users urged Samsung to adopt the campaign as part of their basket of green initiatives. Going viral never looked so green. Time to roll out the figures: forests now cover around 31 percent of the globe, and are home to 300 million people, supports 1.6 billion livelihoods and hosts 80% of the world’s biodiversity. Granted, many of the species are bugs, but even they have a place on this planet—the forests! Lowering font sizes by just one translates to an 18% reduction in paper

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use, which is where the eco-message comes in. According to Sagar, “in the last 40 years, paper consumption in the world has grown by a staggering 400%.” The move towards e-everything should have helped the green cause, but even those “think before you print” email signatures seem to fall on deaf ears as paper consumption grows apace. In our part of the world, the UAE has the highest number of tablet PC toting, e-reader loving, tech savvy consumers, yet we also top the list in terms of our per capita paper consumption. Where does this print-happy attitude come from? Perhaps it’s the underlying tenets of bureaucracy—the safety of holding a tangible and oh-so-hard copy of everything—that push us to print every document. But as UAE government services—from utilities bills to traffic fines— move towards paperless systems, we really have no excuse. We can’t blame the big guys anymore. Back to the Minus One project. What makes it the ideal case study in terms of viral marketing is its appeal to the younger generation. I don’t mean to sound like an old coot, but

kids love their hand symbols, amateur photography and telling everyone what they’re up to at any given time. Kids also like to feel like they belong to something larger, a higher purpose that is noble in itself. Instant success. Stepping away from the sweet pull of social media marketing, another environmentallyfriendly idea in cutting paper usage down is Ecofont. This software saves users up to 50% on ink and toner by leaving miniscule gaps in each letter that can’t be detecting by the naked eye. Here’s to environmental innovation! Till next month, live green and prosper.

May 2012

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YOUR ONE-STOP GUIDE TO CONSTRUCTION DEVELOPMENTS IN THE REGION... The Big Project is the Middle East’s leading monthly B2B magazine for the construction industry.

40,880 readers per month Average projected readership

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KING of the reGIoN From the brand new cities, to the nationwide rail network and the world’s tallest tower. The Big Project goes behind the scenes in Saudi Arabia

After the gold rush

Future Cities

Five year phenomenon The Big Project takes a grand tour of Saadiyat Island; the Abu Dhabi hide-away that has been transformed from a mangrove reserve to world class cultural and leisure district in five years

in a special edition to mark the third anniversary of the global economic crash, The Big project reports on the legacy of boom and bust

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AbU DhAbi’S new rUleS nATionAliSATion & hr SpeciAl formwork TrenDS from The Top

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CHINA’S GCC TRAdE TIES THE BRIBERy ACT 2010 fM RE-dEfINEd

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The rise of The superTalls The inside story on a new generation of skyscrapers transforming cities worldwide

THE Big playErs

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The inside track on the region’s biggest projects, including exclusive interviews with Adrian Smith, Tony Douglas, David barwell, Joachim Schares, laurie Voyer and Sudhir Jambhekar

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THE fIVE YEAR PLAN SET TO TRANSfORM fUJAIRAH INTO THE UAE’S NExT CONSTRUCTION CAPITAL

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BEIRUT’S VERSACE TOwER RECRUITMENT TRENdS 2011 ECONOMIC PREdICTIONS

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The SafeTy CirCuS

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The region’s most lucrative developments in 2011

CONTACT DETAILS Associate publisher Liam Williams liam@cpidubai.com TEL: +971 (0)4 440 9158

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Train to gain How Alec Construction’s new site training initiative has boosted profits and productivity on its Saadiyat Island projects


DIARY DATES | Society

Save the Date BGreen highlights events and conferences taking place in the coming months

Sustainable Solutions II The second edition of the industry-specific roundtable, jointly organised by BGreen and EMirates Green Building CounciL will be held in mid-july. Check www.buildgreen.ae for more information on the roundtable closer to the date.

Middle East Environment Industry Meet 4 June, Dubai. As a way for potential industry participants to get insider knowledge on desalination, waste water and solid waste management, and related sectors, Frost & Sullivan is hosting a regional meet in atlantis, Dubai. The event will conclude with the Frost & Sullivan Environment Excellence Awards recognising key players. international Green Awards for creativity in sustainability 5 June, Dubai This event includes a full-day conference featuring speakers from the United Nations Development Programme, the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, EWS-WWF and more. SmartCities World MENA 4-6 June, Dubai This event addresses strategic and technology master planning for smart urban infrastructure, aimed at those seeking ICT solutions and strategies to design, build and manage future cities.

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ARCHIDEX and Eco-B 4-7 July, Kuala Lumpur ARCHIDEX 2012, now in its 13th year, is South East Asia’s leading summit and exhibition platform for design and construction. This year, it is colocated with ECO-B, the first Malaysian sustainable design and construction exhibition. With four conferences spanning the four-day event, the exchange of information will be led by industry experts from 11 different countries. EMIRATES GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL Technical workshop 3 - Dubai Green Building Regulations 13 June, Dubai The workshop will focus on reviewing the new green building regulations prepared by Dubai Municipality with DEWA. By encouraging members from across the Building industry, the workshop aims to present ideas and solutions that can be shared across EGBC’s extensive membership, as well as with the Dubai Municipality. The resulting feedback and possible solutions will be shared across their membership and with Dubai Municipality.

June 2012

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Society | SUSTAINABLE PAST

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A man and his steam engine French inventor, Auguste Mouchot, was a visionary before his time. His research and discoveries led to the invention of the first solar-powered train

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uguste Mouchot was a pioneer in harnessing solar energy back when the world had just begun revelling in the benefits of coal. He had the foresight to know that the word’s supply of coal, which fuelled the Industrial Revolution, would eventually run out, leading him to search for alternative energy sources. In 1860, he drew on the research of Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and Claude Pouillet, on solar cooking that had been circulating among Europe’s elite

June 2012

scientific circles. Mouchot’s experiments involved a water-filled cauldron enclosed in glass, which would be exposed to the heat of the sun until the water boiled, producing steam. This steam would theoretically provide motive power for a small engine. Six years later, Mouchot had developed the first parabolic trough solar collector, which was presented to the emperor Napoleon III in Paris. Mouchot continued his research and increased the scale of his solar experiments. The

publication of his book on solar energy, La Chaleur Solaire et ses Applications Industrielles (1869), coincided with the unveiling of the largest solar steam engine he had yet built. This engine was displayed in Paris until the city fell under siege during the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, after which it mysteriously disappeared. In January 1877, Mouchot obtained a mission and a grant for the purchase of materials and execution of his solar engines in French Algeria, where sunlight was in abundance.

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BGreen Magazine June2012  

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

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