Issue 15 | SEPTEMBER 2011
MANAGING WASTE FOR MONEY Why our landfills can be gold mines
Please recycle after use...
Energy and water Construction Green IT Eco-leisure Green business
Publication licensed by IMPZ
26 Green IT
Shopping goes green. Find out how
Going green in the UAE. BGreen approves!
Composting green gadgets cause it’s all about waste management
How IT can help you manage your carbon emissions
energy and water
ESIA’s chairman talks renewable energy
BGreen brings you a roundtable on sustainable lighting
An exclusive on Taipei 101, the world’s tallest green building BGreen and Masdar City bring you a review of Jotun’s Jotashield extreme
BGreen brings you the region’s first carbon neutral agency
Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior turns into hospital ship
In New & Improved, a special treat from BASF
Marketing LED, obstacles and techniques
Introducing BGreen Heart, the first in a series of unique green CSR initiiative guides
Dealing with trash? BGreen tells you how to manage it
Ecomaid becomes Ecoclean. Same great service, great new name!
educe, reuse, recycle. We’ve all heard of them, the 3Rs of sustainability. Today, as the world fills up with landfills of waste, they are more relevant than ever. But did you know that managing waste can also serve to make money? BGreen explores the industry in the region and its many money-saving solutions. Next, we bring you a sustainable lighting roundtable that covers everything from LEDs to those suspicious fluorescents. The experts don’t hold back and the result is a passionate educational conversation. We take a look at Taipei 101, the world’s tallest green building, bring you our usual
experts’ columns and our news, both from the region and around the globe. This month we’ve also got a story on aliens. In IT, we discuss how the industry can help businesses manage carbon emissions and take a look at home composting bins. In Ecoleisure, we introduce the world’s first carbon neutral agency and its famous mountaineer founder. “They said what” is back after a break last month. Make sure to read your favourite ecoquotes. Finally, in Business we cover the ups and downs of marketing LEDs, and bring you a brand new feature; BGreen Heart. We promise you’ll love it!
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Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy agrees to hire energy consultant
Dubai at night.
News comes after the council reviews the Dubai Integrated Gas Strategy 2030 Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy has agreed to issue a tender to appoint an energy consultant by the end of this year to set an energy strategy which will be in compliance with Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. The news comes after the Council held its 12th meeting at DEWA’s Headquarters where the body reviewed the latest updates and developments related to implementing Dubai’s Integrated Strategy of Energy 2030. After the meeting, His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Council, said: “This strategy includes all requirements and elements that can serve the council and the government’s
aspirations. Further, we have focused on effective policies in the field of energy, diversifying its sources, as well as demand management and resources sustainability.” His Excellency added that the council discussed several energysaving procedures including adjusting air conditioning temperatures to 24 degrees centigrade during office hours and raising them to 27 degrees centigrade after working hours, replacing traditional lights with high efficiency ones, as well as using solar energy for heating water. His Excellency concluded that the council’s aim is to reduce the demand for energy and carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2030.
New Future Cities Conference event to unveil Dubai vision Dubai Municipality and the Environmental Center for Arab Towns join together with the organisers of Cityscape to produce three-day event
Dubai Municipality and the Environmental Center for Arab Towns (ECAT) have joined together with the organisers of Cityscape, to produce a three-day event, which will showcase leading solutions and technologies and deliver information and inspire debate on the needs of the cities of tomorrow and unveil
the future vision for Dubai. Scheduled to take place from September 27-29 in Dubai, Future Cities 2011 will welcome high level speakers from the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, Birmingham City Council, the Sao Paulo City Council, Dubai Exports and the Arab Urban Development Institute have already been confirmed. It will also feature an exhibition and conferences on sustainability, urban design, and creating identities. CityScape MD, Rohan Marwaha says the event has been produced in response to industry demand for discussion on the “key challenges that face every city today”, including sustainable economic growth, infrastructure provision and social well-being and cohesion.
“Whilst great advances have been made in ‘greening Dubai’ in the last few years, there is still much more to be done,” said Dubai Municipality director general His Excellency Hussain Nasser Lootah, who give an opening keynote speech at the event. “For this reason and many others we are honoured to host this event in Dubai and look forward to welcoming regional and international leaders to discuss this important subject to ensure sustainable growth and development of our future cities.” “Dubai Municipality and the Environmental Center for Arab Towns (ECAT) are proud of the significant steps we have taken to launch green policies and we intend to use Future Cities as a springboard for new environmental initiatives to be announced at the event,” he continued.
Majid Al Futtaim Properties introduce green clauses and star ratings to contracts Dubai-based developer of shopping malls, hotels and mixed-use community projects to use eco-friendly initiatives to reduce its ecoimpact on the retail sector Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Properties launched two initiatives for tenants to achieve significant enhancement on the eco-impact of the retail sector: ‘Green Lease Clauses’ and ‘Green Star’ rating. The move made MAF Properties the first developer in the Middle Easter to start such a commitment. As a result, starting August 1, all tenant agreements now include a ‘Green Clause’ outlining MAF’s commitment to work with the tenant towards mitigating their impact on the environment. Amongst other criteria, under
the new clause, tenants must also aim to obtain Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Certification from the US Green Building Council. Additionally, the firm’s ‘Green Star’ ratings system initiative for mall tenants will see the company assess tenants’ fit out design against a number of green criteria including water efficiency, energy
Shopping is going green
and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovations in operations and disabled access.
Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy: “No increase in the tariff of electricity and water consumption for the few coming years” Council insists it is the only authority responsible for tariffs UAE’s citizens after DEWA increased its tariff structure in January from 20 fils per kilowatt to 23 fils for monthly consumption below 2000 KWh and from 33 fils to 38 fils per KWh for consumption of more than 6000 KWh per month. DEWA blamed the increase on escalating gas and oil prices. DEWA’s Abdulla Alhajri, Executive VicePresident, Customer Services said, “Given our long term contracts with suppliers, we are not expecting any major fluctuation in gas prices. But as and when the production costs increase it will reflect in the surcharge. We want to be as transparent as possible with our customers.”
Nejib Al Zaafrani, Secretary General and CEO of Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy (SCE) emphasised in a statement on August 14 “that there will be no increase in the tariff of Electricity and Water consumption during the few coming years in Dubai.” Al Zaafrani further added that Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy (SCE) is the only authority responsible for determining the consumption tariff, which cannot be changed without a comprehensive study taking into consideration all the elements that will be affected by such step, as well as the common good of the UAE and its citizens. The news will be a relief to the
BGreen presents some of the world’s most surprising green news
NASA-affiliated scientist says rising greenhouse emissions could prompt alien attack Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, claims expert A NASA-affiliated scientist and experts at Pennsylvania State University have released a report that claims rising greenhouse emissions could prompt an alien attack. In their report entitled “Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis”, Shawn DomagalGoldman of NASA’s Planetary Science Division and his colleagues compiled a list of plausible outcomes that could unfold in the aftermath of an encounter with other species from space. The researchers divide alien contacts into three broad categories: beneficial, neutral or harmful. In the harmful category, the report says there is a chance, although unlikely, that
Sustainability group releases Middle East enviro-graphics 10
Carboun, an online sustainability advocacy group led by Karim Elgendy, recently released some nifty easy-to-understand infographics on the carbon emissions and water resources of Middle Eastern residents. Education is empowerment and BGreen hopes these graphs will help people understand the need for environmental change in the region.
extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere caused by greenhouse gas emissions as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control - and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat. Additionally, “green” aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. “These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets,” the authors write.
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Going green in the UAE
Everywhere you turn it seems everyone is going green and we could not be happier. BGreen spreads the good news, the joy and gives our seal of approval
Eco-advertising you can Hang On to!
According to the good people at Hang On, at least 100 million metal and plastic hangers from dry cleaners are dumped each year in the UAE. These hangers lie there for over 800 years while continually leaching toxins into the ground. So this savvy new enterprise found a great solution to promote hanger recycling. They created the UAE’s only ad agency to focus purely on eco-friendly advertising platforms. Their flagship offering is the Eco-Hanger, a unique advertising platform that Hang On can reach a businesses’ target markets at home and stay there for as long as eight weeks! Additionally, this agency that describes itself as “young and rebellious” says consumers are supportive of their initiatives because they help to eradicate products that harm the environment. One thing is for sure; they’ve got our support! We love their ultra-cool website and super efficient hangers. And their motto that they are here to save the planet one hanger at a time pretty much makes them heroes to us! Go Hang on! Go! Visit them at www.hangonmedia.com or call them at (+971 4) 454 9743
Abu Dhabi holds ‘plastic-bag-free weekend’ Abu Dhabi’s Environment Agency held a ‘Plastic Bag-Free Weekend’ in the capital starting August 19 in cooperation with four major retailers. The initiative saw Carrefour, Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society, Lulu Hypermarket, Spinneys and Abela give out canvas jute bags to shoppers and leaflets promoting sustainable alternatives to the standard plastic bag. Exciting giveaways were also organised helping the agency raise awareness on the harmful effects of plastic bags and encouraging people to use reusable alternatives.
du goes green to wipe out waste
Determined to contribute to the UAE’s attempts to manage waste and its detrimental environmental impact, du has launched an internal recycling program that includes a collaboration with local manufacturing plant, Union Paper Mills. Employees are being encouraged to cut down on the amount of paper used while bins have been place around the du headquarters to collect non-hazardous waste, such as plastic, cans and glass. A tie-up with HP Planet Partners will also see du’s entire printer cartridges recycled. According to the company’s representatives, du has already recycled a total of 33,670 kilograms of waste from January to June in 2011, comprising of 11,798 kilograms of corrugated cardboard, 250 kilograms of plastic, 226 kilograms of mixed recyclable waste, and a massive 21,396 kilograms of waste paper. Hala Badri, executive vice president brand and communications du, said: ““We’re going green, and we’d like to encourage more people to do so, too, to create a cleaner, greener UAE.”
Green Home automation Nuuon provides intelligent, reliable and intuitively operable turnkey solutions for whole-house automation, security and existing entertainment in residential and commercial buildings. The company’s unique systems are tailor-made for each customer’s needs and can be programmed to help you conserve water, save electricity and, as a result, decrease your living costs. Visit them at www.nuuon.com or call them at (+971 4) 813 5789
KEEPING YOUR CITY CLEAN SINCE 2007. اﺣــﺪ اﻗـﺴــﺎم ﺑـــﻴـــﺌــــﺔ A DIVISION OF BEE’A H
BEE’AH LAUNCHED IN SHARJAH THE
REGIONAL RESIDENTIAL RECYCLING PROGRAMME IN JANUARY 2011
2010 1,750 BEE’AH LAUNCHED TANDEEF, ITS STREET CLEANING, WASTE COLLECTION AND CITY BEAUTIFICATION DIVISION
4,500 700% INCREASE OF
OF RECYCLED PLASTIC BY SHAR-
JAH RESIDENTS IN 2010
DESK SIDE SINGLE STREAM RECYCLING BINS “BLUE BINS” IN OFFICES THROUGHOUT THE UAE
PEDESTRIAN 3-STREAM RECYCLERS THROUGHOUT SHARJAH MANAGED BY TANDEEF
TONNES OF PLASTIC ARE RECYCLED BY BEE’AH MONTHLY IN SHARJAH
OF RECYCLABLES ARE COLLECTED FROM SHARJAH’S LAGOONS BY TANDEEF PER DAY
ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF
MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE
CAN BE RECYCLED
LARGE 40-TONNE TRUCKS ARE USED TO TRANSFER WASTE FROM THE IN-CITY TRANSFER STATION TO THE FACILITIES, REDUCING BEE’AH’S CARBON FOOTPRINT
322 100 900
BY TANDEEF TEAM FROM OVER RESIDENTS IN SHARJAH PER YEAR
ALMOST TONNE OF ALUMINUM IS RECYCLED BY BEE’AH IN SHARJAH
TANDEEF BOATS COLLECTING FLOATING SOLID WASTE FROM THE SHARJAH LAGOONS
TONNES OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE COLLECTED
362 600,000+ TANDEEF COLLECTION VEHICLES IN OPERATION
TANDEEF INTRODUCED THE MIDDLE EAST’S
14-TONNE STREET FLUSHING TANKER TO CLEAN ROADS WITH WATER
TONNES OF WASTE PASSES THROUGH THE MATERIAL RECOVERY FACILITY (MRF) DAILY
529 33% ALREADY ACHIEVED MORE THAN
LITTER PICKERS INCLUDED IN THE TANDEEF TEAM
DIVERSION RATE OF TOTAL WASTE FROM LANDFILLS IN SHARJAH
81 9.68 STREET SWEEPING AND CLEANING VEHICLES OPERATING IN SHARJAH
TONNES OF PAPER AND CARDBOARD ARE RECYCLED THROUGH BEE’AH’S FACILITIES DAILY
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Around the world
A look at some of last month’s wackier stories emerging from the world’s ‘green’ industries
Last call for Ukrainian bears Ukraine’s environment minister vowed to bring to an end the country’s unorthodox and unethical practice of having a real bear at bars that gets forced to drink vodka for the patrons’ amusement. Minister Mykola Zlochevsky said he plans to take the bears from the institutions where they are kept in poor conditions and release them into a wildlife sanctuary.
Fukushima radiation too high to register According to the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), its Fukushima nuclear power plant now has radiation levels six times higher than the highest level they have ever recorded. TEPCO reported that radiation levels at the plant are over 10,000 millisieverts per hour on the second floor of reactor one. Geiger counters cannot even measure past 10,000 millisieverts per hour so it is impossible to determine the plant’s current exact levels of radiation.
French eco-haute couture for shoes A fair trade footwear label has partnered with a high end Parisian boutique to create a collection of luxury men’s sneakers that merge classic design with sustainable materials. Veja x FrenchTrotters sneakers are crafted with wild Amazonian rubber and leather that has been naturally-tanned with acacia extracts. These stylish kicks will be available this fall in three classic colours, navy blue, white, and camel, at select boutiques around the globe.
Texas draught sees residents drink their pee Texas has been suffering from a draught and it seems the state has found an original way to deal with their water shortage issues. Inspired by NASA’s innovation in urinedrinking, Texas is installing a wastewater recycling plant to transform sewage into drinking water. The plant, commissioned by the Colorado River Municipal Water District, will cost US $13 million and be located in Big Spring city.
ESIA chairman Vahid Fotuhi discusses DEWAâ€™s Slab system and the need to introduce renewable energy into the power generation mix
ENERGY AND WATER
As demand for electricity rises, itâ€™s time to look for alternatives A
is now in discussions with governmentbacked European banks for an export credit facility worth $2 billion. And later this year, DEWA will finalize the tender process for its latest Hussayn electricity and water plant which will cost $6 billion. This is on top of the roughly $20 billion debt it already has on its books. Across the country, the governmentbacked utilities will have to spend $18 billion to generate 20,000 MW of electricity by 2015. This strategy of spending for the sake of keeping pace with demand will lead to more debt and more financial concerns for the utilities and the UAE government which
guarantees those loans. It also overlooks crucial problems such as the widespread inefficient use of energy in this country and corresponding low involvement of the private sector in power generation. A more sustainable approach would be to focus on curbing consumption and winning over the collaboration of the private sector. First, consumers should be encouraged to waste less energy. Simple steps include turning off our AC when we leave home, taking showers instead of baths (three times less water), and using energy saving light bulbs the next time we want to replace them (last 10 times longer).
s the summer heat kicks into force in the UAE, there is growing concern that we will once again start witnessing pockets of power shortages across the region. The UAE already has one of the highest levels of per capita energy consumption in the world (12 MWh/yr). As the country grows, so will the trend towards higher power consumption. Whilst many new construction projects across the Emirates have been halted or postponed, there are hundreds of towers that are completed and waiting for a power feed. In Dubai alone, some 50 towers are still without electricity. And there are still more buildings on the way. DEWA expects that in 2011 demand will grow between 7-9%. In the Northern Emirates, there are an estimated 300 towers currently waiting for electricity. This has led to tension between the government and developers. Given these developments, the UAE electricity market is expected to remain tight during summer months in the next years with very thin surplus power available in the worst-case scenario. Faced with this ever-growing demand for electricity, the utilities are planning to spend billions of dollars to expand their power generation infrastructure. DEWA is looking to raise several billion dollars from sukuk (Islamic bonds), bonds and syndicated loans to fund its expansion plans. Having sealed a US $2.2 billion refinancing loan last year, DEWA
ENERGY AND WATER
Sustainable lighting in the region and beyond BGreen meets with four lighting specialists to discuss LED, natural lighting, those sketchy fluorescents and more BGreen: How can sustainable lighting contribute to energy saving? Martin: In Abu Dhabi, we are working on a lighting strategy to change all the street lights to LED and reducing the lighting target levels down by nearly 50% per year. The sort of savings in energy and cost run into millions very shortly. This also comes from reduction in maintenance. It’s shocking how much can be saved in large scale. We are doing this because we’ve seen the figures that back this up.
Vic: It’s a very dramatic situation. We’ve done quite a few new job to date in the region and have been fortunate enough to be part of the Abu Dhabi Municipality program as well where we’ve seen savings of 50% almost immediately. It’s a very exciting area especially if you consider all the knock-on benefits such as those to the environment.
Gabriel: There is a new process driving the sustainable industry in Europe and that is the EPD, Environmental product Declarations and Zumtobel is taking part in that. The target of EPDs is to look at a product’s entire lifecycle assessment from material acquisition to transportation. Then, you look at how you use your products, lighting management systems, dimming, different scenes that appeal to human’s energy. You can save energy by thinking beforehand how you bring products together. Sometimes to achieve to achieve a certain level of light here you don’t need 50 watts, you need only 25 both from 2 different products .This is all about consultancy and design. If we start looking at EPDs in the Middle East that would help a lot in determining products’ true carbon foot print. Because we can say a product is more efficient but then at a closer glance you see that the factory producing the product has a horrible carbon foot print. EPDs allow you to compare apple with apple. Martin: That is a very good point because when doing the lighting strategy, we
The panellists with our editor.
managed to work out the true cost of electricity including production. The one thing we could not get from any manufacturer is the embedded environmental impact of the product. That’s the one thing that was missing. Gabriel: Good news! Many manufacturers are looking at this and Zumtobel is driving the process with European governmental authorities. However, we are having challenges in producing them because it requires that we have an EPD from every component. It requires a change in the whole industry. Vic: It will obviously be difficult but I think it is something we should be striving for but the more clients we have like the Abu Dhabi Municipality, who are concerned with their carbon footprint, the quicker we will get there. The Americans have begun this and I can see it spreading here and it would be a very good thing for the industry in terms of transparency. It will also allow everyone to be evaluated in the same way. BGreen: LED had a bit of a marketing problem because of upfront costs. Has this been overcome? Vic: No, we still require education. We
The Zumtobel ECO + label on an LED lamp.
found that it has taken 2 years of educating the market to accept LED to the point we’re at now. It’s still seen as an expensive technology so you have to teach people about all the savings involved. You have to look down the line to get a proper perspective on overall costs and returns. Andrew: One problem was that the market was flooded with bad cheap LEDs that were bought by many, even the big boys. And these caused disaster in lots of buildings. So you had a credibility problem. The other is that quality comes at a price and therefore price is still a challenge. Because most builders are only interested in how can I build it cheap and make it run for 365 days until the management takes over. That’s their only concern.
to achieve them, it’s not horrendously expensive but people have to think when they design. These things are causing people to achieve in many cases even more than in Europe.
BGreen: Where is the region heading in terms of sustainable lighting? Andrew: The future is tremendous. We are seeing an impressive growth in sustainable light. We stopped the development of standard systems in 2009. All our development is now heading in the direction of LED. And we are happy to announce RUUD lighting has been acquired by CREE, a trusted market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs and LED lighting. I see acceptance of sustainable lighting growing by 30% every year, especially in energy sensitive areas.
BGreen: How can you differentiate the good products from the bad? Vic: There are five basic points you can use and it is up to the industry to educate people on what they are and how to use them to try and get equality when looking at LED products with one another. (Please see graph for five points)
Martin: It’s when you look at LEDs long term, 5 years and more, that they become a no-brainer choice. There are some other new technologies following which may be of use some day. But for now long term, quality LED solutions are your best choice. Payback can be achieved in just 5 years Gabriel and after that you’re saving money not only in terms of energy but also maintenance costs and disposal. But you have to look long term. And if you’re growing quickly you can’t afford not to.
Andrew: LEDs also suffer from value engineering because lighting happens quite late in the build process. So value engineering comes when they’re over budget on the build and they compromise on quality. •
Vic: It should not be called value engineering. It should be cost-cutting.
Gabriel: Cost-killing! If you are serious about sustainability, you won’t be looking at lighting as a cost, you’ll be looking at it as an investment. If you look at it as an investment then you’re being clever about design. That’s what Estidama is doing, trying to assess sustainability. At Zumtobel, we have created a label that can assess all products from any manufacturer called Eco+ (see box out). Eco+ looks at energy use, lighting quality and components. BGreen: How could we prevent value engineering? Andrew: In Europe they created a law to stop people buying incandescent bulbs. So it does take the law to interfere. However, another driving force can be power restriction. One client was given a power limit by DEWA and he found many energyefficient solutions for his building.
BGreen: What about the role of LEDs in waste management? Andrew: Yes! One aspect of LEDs is that they don’t use heavy metals, chemicals or things that
Martin Valentine - MSLL PLDA lighting expert, Abu Dhabi Municipality
Gabriel Abdelhakmi-Gaisne - head of marketing, Zumtobel lighting ME
Andrew Prince - managing director, RWN Trading Vic Andrews- managing director, Ruud Lighting Arabia
Martin: Abu Dhabi has the building codes already out and that sets a lot more standards across the energy board. They set square metre energy limits on AC, lighting, power and so forth. In order
ENERGY AND WATER
Andrew: In the region, it is easier to encourage people by legislating so we succeed in getting a much more viable system in the energy field including lighting. Abu Dhabi has led the way in terms of creating energy changes through statuary regulations and Dubai is following.
ENERGY AND WATER
White LED is based on blue not UV light so it’s safer for the skin and it feels better for people” natural lighting as much as possible. Vic: Any lighting designer would try to harvest as much natural lighting as possible, but it’s always a compromise between building design and lighting and heat/cooling in this region. You should always integrate and use lighting controls to include daylighting with artificial lighting in any building design. It’s free so use as much as you can. And then complete it with whatever source is applicable. LEDs are great because they are a danger to the environment. Compact fluorescents have a very high content of mercury. One tea spoon of mercury will contaminate a 20 acre lake not for one or 5 years but forever. If you think about that, you realise the industry has to take waste management very seriously. With LEDs there are no environmental aspects. Martin: White LED is based on blue not UV light so it’s safer for the skin and it feels better for people.
BGreen: A recent study found that LEDs helped babies with jaundice. Please discuss. Gabriel: Three or four years back scientists discovered that we have some cones in our eyes that are very sensitive to blue lighting. And the bluer the light gets the more it stimulates the body and goes along with the circadian rhythm. So this begs the question again; what do we want to do with lighting? We need to be doing activity based design. We need to ask ourselves who will use the space and plan accordingly. There are a number of studies that reveal that proper lighting can even reduce employee sick leave and improve productivity. We have even tested this theory here in the Zumtobel light centre. There is a strong biological and even emotional angle to lighting. It is useful and interesting to explore it.
Martin: I was jaundiced as a baby and to cure me they left me by a window. I had quite a bad case and when they moved me I recovered in just four days because of the natural light. I think the biggest advantage of this is the long term sustainability thing. You can do it with natural light or fluorescents.
LEDs in particular provide healthy economic solutions that last and last and are low maintenance. Gabriel: You know in the end the best lighting manufacturer in the world is the sun. And if you look at so many projects today they are designed as if there is no sun. If we design a lighting scheme based on a building’s activity and architecture, you save a lot in energy, you stimulate the building’s inhabitants and in the end you save a lot in cost. BGreen: You keep talking about LED. Does that mean that in the world of sustainable lighting, LED is king? Group: No!
ECO + In 2010, Zumtobel introduced the eco+ label at the Light + Building trade fair. The eco+ criteria relating to energy efficiency, environmental relevance and application quality were very strictly defined and apply in each case for an individual product, not to an entire product line. This ensures that the label really is found only on the best products. The eco+ evaluation process takes place in three stages. First of all, the energy efficiency of the luminaire is assessed in terms of the operational efficiency of the luminaire, light sources and control gear.
Martin: I used to be a lighting designer and when it comes to the question of how do you combine sustainable lighting and energy efficiency, the answer is that natural light and artificial light should not be separate. I did historic building in the past and they never had artificial lighting in the day. They were designed so all the rooms were around the outside with windows. People have stepped away from that and they keep thinking about lux levels and arguing about 15 here and there when they have anything up to 200 000 lux available from sunlight and even 2-3000 lux on an overcast day. And people are ignoring this! That’s how things can be improved: by asking how can you harness
The luminaire also receives plus and minus points depending on how well it meets specific criteria such as lighting pattern and dimmability. At the time of introduction of eco+, the Zumtobel brand estimated that eco+ products accounted for approximately 10-15% of its portfolio. One of the TOP sustainability goals is to raise the proportion of “eco+ products” to 20% of total revenues by 2011/12.
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ENERGY AND WATER
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are semi conductors so they are infinitely controllable and they are also available in different colour temperatures to compliment specific interior design. They provide a lot of colour rendering solutions for both indoor and outdoor and the choices will just get better and better. Martin: LEDs are more flexible, high quality versions they can do anything. There’s not really a down side to LEDs then except for cost. So, once that barrier came down a bit,
that was the turning point. With quality LEDs, you can do anything you can think and it won’t cost the world now. Vic: Now, there is even an ongoing development where transmissions of communication signals will be encompassed in the use of LEDs because you have a much broader band of the spectrum you can use it with. It’s really an outstanding 21st century technology. Martin: That’s why you also have to put caps on what you to with LEDs as with any light source because you can go over the top and become energy inefficient in the process. BGreen: With options available such as LEDs, some people argue compact fluorescents should be banned just because of the mercury. What do you think? Martin: There is a whole host of nothings that are not being said about compact fluorescents such as the various phosphors and dangerous chemicals. There is a mixture of things that are nasty in there!
And we can all agree that sustainable lighting today is no longer an option. It is an obligation!” lamp for certain things but there are better options at times. So, it’s a compromise situation. I’ve got kids and obviously I care about the future of our planet. It’s what we leave them. So obviously fluorescents concern me. We need to educate the general public about how to handle and dispose of old/used fluorescent lamps. This is imperative. Martin: There’s also the issue of proper waste disposal. Very few people will dispose of them effectively. Vic: Because no one has educated people. That’s why education is so crucial. For instance, there’s a mercury vapour lamp that people are still selling that is basically a time bomb. It’s not very efficient but it’s cheap and lasts a long time. So, people keep using it without taking into consideration the dangers because they are not aware of them. That’s our challenge today, to educate people to choose better options.
Andrew: Education is key and always will be.
Vic: It’s more about the handling aspect. Politicians are like electricity and follow the path of least resistance; hence they’ve instituted the use of CFL lamp without telling the general public the whole story. They contain a LOT of MERCURY and mercury is hazardous to the environment. It’s a great
Gabriel: And we can all agree that sustainable lighting today is no longer an option. It is an obligation! Martin: Lighting is young craft and there are no clear qualifications for being a light
designer. That’s why it’s important that people keep learning and updating their craft. Vic: Again it’s about education! And the best way to do that is from different independent sources. Anything a manufacturer tell you about their application of LED of other technology can be independently corroborated, so ask for or get this information before making any decisions in respect to your lighting systems. Go out there learn, explore and compare. Seek your own answers.
Ruud Lighting’s BetaLED five tips for a fair LED comparison 1. Compare Performance at the Application Level 2. Request Certified Photometric Data 3. Validate Lumen Depreciation 4. Apply the Appropriate Light Loss Factors 5. Evaluate Lifetime Luminaire Value
ENERGY AND WATER
A visible spectrum
BGreen brings you an energy-efficient lighting case study from the fashion industry
hen Al Futtaim designed the new Mark&Spencer store concept for the Deira City Centre outlet, the guidelines were set by Mark & Spencer’s international team. As such, the store had unique lighting requirements, especially pertaining to Mark&Spencer’s new concept for changing rooms. To achieve their goals, the retailer used energy-efficient Phillips light fixtures in conjunctions with Dynalire controls. The use of these energy efficient and LED fixtures in the sales area, changing rooms and back of the house, resulted in a store equipped with crisp bright light and electricity usage savings of 20% in comparison with stores using conventional light sources. The new lighting system also allowed the true colours of the merchandise to be displayed at their best. Additionally, the changing rooms had to be equipped with lighting controls that would create interactivity with customers. Phillips’ central design team joined forces with the local liaise team and used LED luminaires with lighting controls to meet Mark&Spencer’s guidelines. This also resulted in savings on the connected load and on the maintenance schedule. Micheal Haasboek, Mark&Spencer general manager store development, said: “The store looks crisper and brighter creating a more enticing shopping environment for our customers and adding to bottom line sales.”
Client: Al Futtaim Retail Division Project: Mark&Spencer Store Location: Deira City Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Luminaires and controls: Phillips Fugato, Phillips Magneos Phillips Stylid & Dynalite Controls Lamps: CDMT c Elite 70 W
(City of Lyon, France)
luminaires including CosmoPolis lamps and gear, the city of Lyon saved more than 50% energy and reduced their CO2 emissions. So, choosing responsible lighting has never been easier. It’s a simple switch.
By simply refurbishing the Guillotière’s bridge with Philips CitySoul
ENERGY AND WATER
“Help your city save costs and the environment.”
ENERGY AND WATER
A Global Perspective This month sustainability expert Jordan Younis discusses investments in the renewable energy infrastructure sector
s you may have noticed, the past month has taken us on wild adventure in the financial markets of the world. We witnessed a large amount of volatility in the equities markets and have seen a risk-on/risk-off attitude to investing, with a recent strong bias towards less risky investments. One of the investment classes which is seen to have a low level of risk, with stable long-term cash flows, is that of the renewable energy infrastructure sector. Last month, private equity giant, Blackstone, announced the largest deal in the renewable energy sector with a US $3.5 billion investment into the construction of Germany’s biggest ever off-shore wind farm. The first phase of the windfarm project, named “Meerwind” is set to produce enough power to service 400,000 households and is due to come online in 2013. The project was made
possible (less risky) by the German government’s decision to jointly establish an aggressive feed-in tariff of $160/Mwh and to phase out nuclear power by 2022. The actions of which ensure a steady flow of income to the private equity group and also an increased demand in alternative forms of energy. The Blackstone investment follows on the heels of a $1.1 billion investment in a wind power farm by two of Denmark’s largest pension funds in early April 2011. Why may this be of interest to you? As a market sector, investments in renewable wind energy infrastructure projects have been growing at 25-35%/annum and are forecast to continue growing in the medium term at a conservative rate of 15-20%/annum. Current annual investment in wind infrastructure is approximately $15 billion and is expected to reach a total cumulative investment of $390 billion by 2030. With the guarantee of generous feedin tariffs as set by the host state (a set revenue rate for the sale of energy produced by the wind farms), investors are assured a stable return on their investment for a fixed duration often in the range of 5-15%/annum; this is favorable when compared to the current rate of less than 2%/annum for 10 year US treasuries. Large pension and investment funds with long-term investment horizons are often mandated to seek out stable investments and due to the yield premiums offered, wind energy projects are being actively sought after for investment. In addition to the renewable energy projects, several other sustainable investments are being made in the spirit of Public Private Partnerships (PPP). The PPP projects with long-term concessions Jordan Younis
develop enable cash strapped public treasuries to finance the projects which their citizens are demanding. Many of these projects which deliver public service benefits such as transportation (roads/rail), water (supply/treatment/distribution) and waste (collection/storage/recycling). For the private investor looking to take part in this growing and stable opportunity, several funds have recently been set up by institutions such as Macquarie Bank, KfW bankengruppe and Rabobank. Given stable global population/consumption vectors, if governments continue to guarantee levels of concession rates which offer investors reasonable rates of return, yields on low-risk government bonds stay depressed and demand for electricity from consumers stays strong, the demand for sustainable infrastructure investments is expected to continue to be robust for the foreseeable future. Until next month, feel free to contact me directly or to drop me a question regarding the trajectory of the sustainable development movement, cleantech or sustainability education. Aproperty@gmail.com
Jourdan Younis is the Technical Director for Oger International Abu Dhabi, an instructor for LEED at American University of Sharjah and an instructor for Estidama at the Urban Planning Council – Abu Dhabi. His background spans London Business School, California Polytechnic University, and several international sustainability consulting operations including Sowwah Square in Abu Dhabi and the Energy Foundation in San Francisco.
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On July 7, the 508 metre Taipei 101 became the first supertall in the world to achieve LEED certification, setting three new world records and delivering ROI before the certification was even announced. Melanie Mingas visited Taiwan to find out how two construction mega trends could change the world
or six years the Taipei 101 was the world’s tallest building. One of the first in a new generation of supertalls, it is still known as one of the seven wonders of engineering. It may have lost its title as world’s tallest in 2010 – following the opening of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – but on July 28 2011 it was officially announced that Taiwan’s landmark tower would become a record breaker once again, following a retrofit project that has seen it gain platinum certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM). Now in the top 5% of the top 5% of green buildings in the world, the Taipei 101 holds records for the tallest, largest and also highest occupancy green building in existence.
The project was delivered through a dynamic partnership between Asian interior designers Steven Leach Associates; EcoTech International, one of the leading experts in the international, high-performance, ‘green’ building movement; and Siemens, the world’s largest provider of environmental technologies. The successful completion of the project also marks a milestone for Siemens; project consultants and suppliers of the HVAC, fire safety, security, low voltage power distribution and electrical installation and monitoring technology used in the project – the provision of which addressed two of the seven LEED categories (see table). Now taking more than one-third of its total revenue from green products and solutions, Siemens has a dedicated building technologies division based in
Our next step is to set an example to other building owners to also go for LEED and also go for green”
Switzerland, and headed by Dr Hubert Keiber. Citing the century’s most influential trends as population growth, urbanisation, environmental protection and resource management, Dr Keiber, put the achievement into context. He revealed that contrary to the emphasis on aviation, industry and other known major polluters, the most effective way to tackle all these issues is through construction; namely architecture, efficiency and automation. “Buildings account for 40% of the world’s energy consumption and 21% of the global CO2 emissions,” he says, reasoning that because the majority of new build projects take place in established economies, there is an urgency to “face up to what needs to be done to existing buildings”. “Currently energy costs through the lifecycle of a city are greater than the cost of construction yet 50% of this could be saved by installing modern equipment through upgrades and retrofit,” he continued, adding that the Taipei 101 now stood as a “lighthouse project” for the rest of the world to follow. His sentiments were echoed by chairman of the US Green Building Council (USGBC), Mark MacCracken, who announced the tower as the world’ tallest and largest LEED certified building. “New buildings get a lot of attention
especially in this part of the world where 40 billion square feet is being added over the next 20 years. But retrofit will have to happen to the old buildings make a dent in the greening of this planet,” he said.
consumption is from buildings
Buildings are currently registered with LEED
m2 Total floor space of
5996 101’s total carbon reduction in tons
$2 million million total cost of project. The entire construction of the tower cost $8 bn
89 buildings over 300m tall currently under construction. 44 already exist.
Points LEED Categories AWarded
Energy and atmosphere:
Materials and resources:
Indoor environmental quality (IEQ):
Innovation in operations:
Regional priority credits :
Green on Part of an initiative tower executives branded “Green On”, the accreditation was achieved via a 56 step process; which began with an energy management control system (EMCS) and developed over 21 months to include the modification of a number of systems, all while eliminating disruption to the tower’s 10,000 commercial tenants. According to tower officials, the entire project cost US $2million, and has already delivered on ROI. “We thought it was a good idea to have an inspection of our system, our management and to see if we are being environmentally responsible, so LEED was a tool to help us to help us check this out,” says tower chairman and president Harace Hong-Min Lin. Initially aiming to be awarded enough points for gold certification (see box), Lin realised that once the project was underway platinum accreditation could be achieved with minimal extra effort. Just as the world followed in 101’s footsteps to break the world’s tallest record, surpassing its 508 metre stature time again, management now throw the challenge down the gauntlet for other supertalls to become super green.
“People usually wonder when going for LEED, if they need to invest a lot of money into the retrofit in order to achieve the points, but actually there are savings from doing all this and our next step is to set an example to other building owners to also go for LEED and also go for green,” Lin added. Elements of green design were incorporated in the initial construction to secure cost efficiency and health benefits for tenants; comprising a double low-E glass curtain wall and grey water system. Preparing for retrofit the EMCS enabled the integration of power monitoring, generator management, chiller control, lighting control, zone pump variable speed drive security management, fire alarm systems and car parking management. Addressing the dual consumption of electricity and water; 101 now has the largest water-distribution system in Asia, with internal temperature and climate controlled by 3400 terminal box controllers throughout the building. Off peak power is used to produce ice, which is stored to reduce cooling loads during the day and tenants control their own air temperature via individual control systems; a measure management cited as “critical” given that an average 40% of a building’s energy consumption can be traced back to HVAC systems. Additionally, time controls were placed on extractor fans that previously ran continuously. Water conservation measures saw flush
40%World’s total energy
When you combine regulatory push with market pull, that by far is the most effective way to promote change”
valves installed in all toilets and urinals; aerators fitted to taps and an alter irrigation system installed to utilise rain water. Lighting and HVAC became automated, with motion sensors installed to trigger lights between 7pm and 7am, when almost all the building is vacant. A full review was conducted of all the public lighting with halogen tubes replaced by T5 in a number of locations. Further, a comprehensive waste recycling system was installed; chilled water distribution was adjusted meet demand rather than run constantly; door frames were re-fixed to add an air curtain, and AHU valves are now regularly cleansed. Addressing the final category, 101 adopted a nearby park to fulfill the quota for a sustainable site. The result is 10% saving in electricity usage
Cathy Yang, Vice president, Taipei Financial Centre Corp. Aka “nanny of the big baby” “Our slogan at the beginning was to bring Taipei to the World; we had the world’s tallest building in Taipei and people all over the world knew about it. “But we also found a meaning for Taipei; technology, art, innovation, people, environment, identity. So even at a very early stage of our development we already put environment as one of our characteristics and the design and construction kept this in mind.”
in the initial design make buildings more expensive to run. “The principle reason green buildings cost more is that they design a brown branch and hang green ornaments on it, so naturally it’s going to cost more to run. “Designing a green branch does not cost any more than designing a brown branch but you have to start at the beginning with green in mind. Spending on technology is often overcoming bad design decisions,” he says. Future proof With almost all the world’s land already covered by or earmarked for construction, the future of green building will lie in retrofit. The Big Project reported last year that if the world is to meet the 80% carbon reduction target laid out at Cop2010, every building built between now and then will have to be carbon neutral; a target we all know to be impossible. “This building creates a strong example of what other tall buildings could do in terms of sustainability with this achievement,” says Dr Sang Dae Kim, chairmen of the board of trustees on the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats (CTBUH). “There are many tall buildings and supertalls of more than 100 storeys. So far across the world we are only focusing on economy, but soon they will be focused on sustainability and the main target now is on how we can reduce energy,” he concludes.
Feb – Oct 2010
Nov – Jan 2011
LEED points breakdown - Platinum 80-110 - Gold 60-79 - Silver 50-59 - Certified 40-49
The retrofit Rainwater harvesting to reduce usage of clean water in addition to a pantry with drinking water/ boiler Restriction of public area lighting from 7.30am -7.30pm with motion sensors and installation of new lighting tubes Garbage chute inlets on each floor to minimise use of lifts Window blinds enhance performance of the building envelope and door frames modified Monitoring of the tower’s ventilation air control, lighting, fire management, generators and tenant power consumption. Greenhouse gas emission audit Tenant education Waste programme with a garbage recycling and sorting station VAC savings
The records The world’s tallest green building The world’s largest green building The world’s highest occupancy green building
“The bottom line of green is black” Despite the example set by 101, the bigger picture isn’t quite that simple. Particularly in the Middle East, the bottom line of any project is price, more so now than ever. With buildings handed over to tenants, rather than managed by the developer, there is little incentive to invest in new technologies, regardless of how little that extra investment could be. Tenants too bare part of the blame, with a chronically low market demand for nonincentivised green buildings. “When you combine regulatory push with market pull, that by far is the most effective way to promote change,” says Rob Watson, chairman, CEO and chief scientist of EcoTech International – AKA the “father of LEED”, who was also present at the official announcement. “You can probably get three times the impact with coordination between public and private sector efforts than either purely raising prices in market response or forcing people through regulations to go farther. “The synergy between the two is very important,” he continues, adding that most geographical markets do one or the other “reasonably well”. Explaining RIO influences decisions as much as outright cost, in précis of the situation, he says “the bottom line of green is black” – and explains fundamental mistakes
– equating to14.4 million kilowatt-hours – and an overall higher efficiency contribution of 30% for energy consumption in comparison to that of an average building; saving US $700,000 annually. A further 10% has been saved on both water consumption and waste the indoor air now has one of the lowest recorded measurements for carbon; a measure also aided by the enforcement of a tower-wide smoking ban.
Business as Usual Is Not an Option Richard Reynolds, Manager – Supply Chain Consultancy at Masdar City, explains why businesses can either go green voluntarily now or be forced to do it later
often hear that going green is too expensive, that sustainability is hindering competitiveness or that their sector’s environmental impact is insignificant. Let’s face it, the world is going green. If businesses do not shift voluntarily, eventually they will be forcibly shoved in this direction by governments, pressure groups, customers and the general public. Taking a reactive, compliance-based attitude is a very expensive way of doing business and incremental environmental improvements will only give relief for a short period of time before the bar is raised again. Ever tightening legislation, the threat of prosecution, potential humiliation, rising costs, depreciating assets and losing out to the competition are risks that need to be considered. Let me say it again, reactive and incremental steps toward sustainability tend to be more expensive and will increasingly leave companies at a competitive disadvantage. On the other hand, companies that take a proactive and holistic, company-wide approach to their sustainability are preparing themselves for the inevitability of sustainability requirements and building a position of competitive advantage. At the heart of these efforts is putting product
Let’s face it, the world is going green” development and sustainable supply chain development at the heart of an organisation’s ethos. Green products need to move from being a niche within an organisation to being its mainstream activities. And rightly so, for in order to achieve the kind of global transformation needed, all products in the future need to be aligned to sustainability principles, not just a token few green exemplars. Resources are already being developed to help companies achieve this. For companies looking to green their built environment and operations, The Future Build, the recently launched green building materials portal from Masdar City, is one place where regional architects, engineers and contractors can find green materials and products. The site also provides consulting on how companies can green their buildings and manufacturing plants. I’ve seen many organisations, particularly in the manufacturing sector, put together an environmental management system (EMS), accredited to a recognised EMS standard such as ISO 14001, but the problem is that in most cases, “environment” is seen as the environment manager’s job and not anybody else’s job. As
such, the business’s products, services and processes rarely change significantly. The best examples I’ve seen are when top management realises that, to do “green” properly, sustainability has to be integrated into the core functions and processes of the business with total (or near total) buy-in from all staff and other stakeholders – where green business becomes the norm rather than the exception. This lesson has precedent in the Total Quality Management (TQM) movement that flourished in Japan. It triggered a transformation in the way Japanese products were viewed -- from being associated with cheap low quality to some of the highestquality manufacturing in the world. What TQM did was to drag “quality” out of the quality manager’s office and embed it into the fabric of the whole organisation. It became everyone’s responsibility and a core value of the company rather than a subsidiary issue. Likewise, we can take “sustainability” out of the sustainability manager’s office and embed it throughout the organisation. Let me be clear, I’m not suggesting that companies need to transform overnight or address sustainability issues across all areas of their operations at one time – of course that would be prohibitively expensive and disruptive to their core operations. What I am suggesting is that companies approach the “greening” of their operations from a holistic point of view and with an understanding that ultimately it will touch all parts of their business – from the first link in their supply chain to the final recyclability of their products. Business as usual is not an option, and organisations that think they are standing still on this agenda will find themselves falling behind. The Future Build is a trusted tool for professionals in the construction industry looking to identify and source independently assessed green building products that they can use in achieving their projects’ environmental objectives. For further information visit: www.thefuturebuild.com
BGreen Product Review
When trying to find environmentally friendly products, it’s a jungle out there! BGreen brings you our monthly green review courtesy of MASDAR’s The Future Build
This month’s product: Jotashield Extreme What is it? Jotashield Extreme is a 100% pure acrylic formulation designed for durability in extremely harsh tropical climate. Jotashield Extreme’s unique 2x UV Protected Colours and 2x Heat Reflective features offer superior colours with outstanding protection against the destructive effects of UV rays and heat from Infrared rays present in sunlight. These result in longer lasting colours and extended durability of the paint as well as cooler interiors. Jotashield Extreme has low dirt pick-up and excellent resistance to alkali, algae and fungus. It is a lowVOC environmentally-green product which contributes to reducing energy consumption in cooling interiors and reducing urban heat island effect. Where can it be used? Most suitable for use on exterior concrete and masonry surfaces.
Why is it green? VOC - 5 gms/litre in Silk Finish (theoretical) when measured as per US EPA Method 24. It is water based. Jotashield Extreme’s unique 2x UV Protected Colours and 2x Heat Reflective features offer superior colours with outstanding protection against the destructive effects of UV rays and heat from Infrared rays present in sunlight. Its long lasting and reduces maintenance. Final verdict? BGreen approves!
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BGreen New & Improved BGreen brings you the latest inventions that are redefining sustainability
Introducing BASF’s green terrazzo Ian Smith, BASF’s Regional Business Segment Manager Performance Flooring, explains the many environmental benefits of the company’s latest eco-friendly product Mastertop DTZ. BGreen approves! In recent years the construction industry has begun to focus on the environmental impact of many construction materials. The evolution of products in the ‘’green movement’’ encompasses many elements which must be weighed on a scale of relative importance. These elements include the longevity of the material, the composition, maintenance, re-cycled content, embodied energy and the ’’cradle to grave’’ environmental impact.
Durability Sustainable construction is at the core of green construction. Terrazzo floors have an outstanding record of durability and performance dating back over a thousand years. The floors will typically last the life of the structure. In many older buildings the floors can be restored to their original lustre at a fraction of the cost of replacing the finish.
Low maintenance Thin-set epoxy terrazzo floors have extremely low maintenance costs. Annual stripping and re-sealing can utilize environmentally friendly water-based products. Routine maintenance includes wet and dry mopping, with occasional spray buffing. In comparison carpets requires energy intensive daily vacuuming and periodic steam cleaning. Composition & Embodied Energy Terrazzo is composed of naturally occurring aggregates, recycled glass and epoxy binder. The epoxy binder constitutes approximately 25-30% of the volume of the terrazzo floors. The remainder of the floors is composed of aggregate, pigment and fillers. Initial life-cycle assessment of embodied energy appears extremely favourable due to the longevity and low energy usage for
maintenance. Terrazzo floors can utilize postconsumer re-cycled glass from the market place, and aluminium and zinc divider strips may also incorporate re-cycled metal. VOC Off-Gassing & In-door Air Quality Thin set epoxy terrazzo systems are composed of zero VOC materials. Terrazzo exhibits little or no off-gassing over the life of the cured floor. The non-porous cleanable terrazzo finish does not support microbial growth, nor allow moisture to accumulate helping maintain a mold free environment with improved air quality. Local Sourcing Terrazzo is assembled on-site minimising post consumer waste and transportation costs. By comparison much of the marble and ceramic floor tiles used in the Region are manufactured overseas.
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Why our landfills can be gold mines BGreen explores the many solutions waste management can offer the GCC both environmentally and financially and brings you the region’s first large-scale composting system.
he region has some serious wastage woes! The GCC’s annual waste generation is alarmingly high and even worse, the high amount of inadequate recycling of waste is costing our countries some serious money. BGreen talks dollars and trash with Jeremy Byatt – vice president, Environment for Bee’ah, the UAE’s leading waste management company, to discover some nifty solutions for the region’s scrap problems. A recent study revealed that the GCC produces 80 million tonnes of waste yearly. How much of that do you believe can be avoided through proper waste management? At Bee’ah, we estimate that around 60% of waste can be recycled – making up 30% of dry recyclables while 30% is organic material which can be turned to compost. Through proper waste management and recovery systems, much of the waste that is produced from our community can be recovered for recycling, this includes paper, plastic bottles and aluminium and steel cans. Most of the waste generated contains valuable recyclables which could be processed and re-used into our economy. Our main priority is to increase source segregation so less waste, ends up in the UAE’s landfills. Thus, it is important that our community is well-informed about the method and benefits of separating their waste, so most of it can be recycled at Bee’ah’s Material Recovery Facility
waste management and recycling is all about closing the loop. If you can turn garbage into new raw material it’s a much more efficient economy. The UAE lacks natural resources (apart from petroleum) so the process of building the infrastructure, awareness and introducing regulations is very important. Recycling used plastic products utilizes 20% to 40% less energy than manufacturing new ones. Given that the UAE is one of the highest consumers of bottled water with approximately between 350 to 450 bottles of water that go to waste by each person every year, that translates to the bottled water manufacturing industry saving millions by using recycled raw materials to produce plastic bottles. As the international community has demonstrated to us, recycling can save our economy millions in resources and energy.
(MRF.), the largest waste-sorting plant in the Middle East and third in the world. It was developed using state-of-the-art technology, best practices and trained staff matching international standards, and has a capacity of up to 500,000 tonnes of recyclable waste annually. According to the Centre of Waste Management (CWM), Abu Dhabi, the UAE economy is losing AED 1.5 billion every year due to inadequate recycling of waste. What savings do you estimate the country could see if improved waste management was implemented? Proper
What are some steps that can be taken to improve the country’s waste management systems? Recycling is easy. The key step is that the economy needs people to rinse off any food waste and empty out any liquids; the last point about emptying is critical. Contaminated plastics make it harder to recycle and result in a poorer quality of raw materials in the end product imagine producing a drinking water bottle out of dirty recycled plastics! You can’t, but you
may be able to use that high quality plastic resource to make things such as agricultural irrigation pipes which would require lower grades of plastic materials. There would be much less resources and energy consumed, if plastics were disposed of in a clean way – by rinsing the plastic juice bottle or container from any liquids or food, and depositing it in the plastics compartment of the recycling bins. The purer recyclables are, the easier they are to re-use as inputs for other industries.
Tell us about paper and cardboard and aluminium recycling in the region. Aluminum and paper recycling is increasing in our region, the former is especially very high in demand by recycling firms, as it reduces cost, energy and virgin raw material by producing new paper from
recycled material. We are observing a situation of high levels of waste scavenging activity, where violators are collecting volumes of recyclable paper and cardboard from municipal waste collection bins located around Sharjah, and sell them directly to scrapers. This is a health concern to them and the general population, as they could be potential
pathways to transmit various diseases due to unsafe handling of waste materials and lack of protective equipment. We are currently addressing this issue with the Sharjah City Municipality and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs of Sharjah to introduce guidelines and laws to prevent waste scavenging. You recently recovered 3,342 tonnes of plastic and reported that the full quantity discarded is probably six times that. Your studies found that only a third of Sharjah residents recycle their plastic waste. Why do you think that number is so low and what can be done to en-
courage more recycling? It’s a journey and the journey had just begun. Being only 4 years old, Bee’ah has managed to implement the required infrastructure, facilities and awareness to encourage recycling in Sharjah. There has been an increasing level of awareness and more plastic bottles have arrived at Bee’ah’s facilities for recycling over the past year. This number shows a rise in the volume of plastics recovered and recycled by Bee’ah, not necessarily an increase in plastic waste generated. However there’s still more that can be done, given that there is still a lot of plastic that is being diverted out of the waste stream through scavenging and improper disposal in the UAE. Our experience to date has been that whenever we provide recycling facilities, people use them. Having said that, the list below are education and recycling initiatives: • Bee’ah has been implementing residential recycling initiatives in some residential towers across Sharjah, and will be rolling it out in residential areas of Sharjah over the next year. • Bee’ah has just concluded the first academic year of the Bee’ah School of Environment initiative where we successfully educated 85,000 students in 102 schools, and are just finalizing the programmes for the next school year in the aim of reaching out to even more students and teachers. We are extremely confident that by providing the right tools and infrastructure, Bee’ah will help our community lead an environmental change for the many years to come.
Municipalities are responsible for waste management in the GCC countries. Most of the municipalities have general regulations and rules for management and disposal of solid waste along with programmes to reduce the amount of the solid waste generated. Do you think stricter regulations would solve the region’s waste management problems? What about financial incentives or fines? We need regulations but they need to happen with awareness, cultural change and physical capacity. Putting that into perspective, a 3-legged stool cannot stand up without all four legs being present. Right now in the UAE, you can see the infrastructure being built, growing of public awareness and businesses rising. In support of the Sharjah Municipality, Bee’ah is investigating the possibility of applying a commercial tipping fee plan for private companies which deposit their waste at the Sharjah landfill – which is managed by Bee’ah at the Waste Management Complex in Al Saj’ah. This should be strictly for corporations as applying a fee for residents to pay for recycling is not a good idea, it will discourage them from recycling, will slow down the system and make it more expensive and cumbersome.
Most of the waste generated contains valuable recyclables which could be processed and re-used into our economy ”
You did, however, report a 34% drop in waste delivered to landfill in Q1 of 2011. Is waste management improving in the UAE? With the collective efforts of each division at Bee’ah, its stakeholders and the successful implementation of various www.buildgreen.ae
naturally degrade if it ends up in our landfills). Bee’ah is doing a lot to spread this awareness through education and awareness programmes throughout the Emirate of Sharjah amongst its residents, to encourage recycling and lead an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.
community awareness programmes across the emirate, we are looking at exceeding this number. These efforts include the sophisticated infrastructure and facilities at Al Saj’ah for systematic segregation and waste processing, implementation of widespread clean-up operations across Sharjah by Tandeef, installation of additional 3-stream pedestrian recyclers and the launch of the residential recycling programme to encourage Sharjah residents to incorporate the 3Rs (reduce, re-use and recycle) into their lifestyle. Additionally, the Bee’ah School of Environment, an initiative supported by the Sharjah Education Zone, has been an astounding success and aims to educate children about being environmentally conscious from a very early age.
What are your future goals in terms of waste management? Bee’ah’s future goals are quite ambitious and realistic. In partnership with the Sharjah Municipality, the company aims to increase source segregation and enhance the reach of recycling programmes within Sharjah. After launched residential recycling within towers, Bee’ah will be launching residential recycling across all sectors within the city. At the end of 2011, Bee’ah will officially launch the Bee’ah Environmental Research Centre (BERC), in association with the American University of Sharjah (AUS) and George Washington University (GWU). It aims to give students the opportunity to learn and explore new technologies and concepts that could aid environmental sustainability, while also researching alternative environmental waste management practices. It will be an online network that aims to connect people all over the world; and an environmental laboratory which serves both Sharjah and Bee’ah. Bee’ah is also looking into investing in other waste management technologies such as waste-to-energy facilities, to create power from waste and service the industry of Sharjah. This will not only save the emirate on cost of generating electricity, but also help in diverting waste from our growing landfills. Not only are we approaching the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of
Environment and Water to take the Bee’ah School of Environment – an environmental education by Bee’ah to provide lesson plans and activities to students in schools – nationwide, but are also working with the latter to implement waste management services and programmes to the Northern Emirates. What are the advantages of recycling plastic and what are some of the biggest negative effects that come from not recycling plastic? The whole aim of recycling is to turn what is now waste into valuable raw materials for industry to use here. This both creates jobs in the UAE and reduces the need for imported materials. Did you know that reducing 500 tonnes of plastic is equal to the same amount of resources and energy saved as taking 205 cars off the road every year? We are all trained to look at recycling from an environmental and not an economic viewpoint. The environmental benefits are obvious; a good recycling programme in the UAE would save hundreds of millions of tonnes of resources every year. By recycling, we are also capturing valuable resources and feeding it back into the economy of the UAE. Over the years, more people have become aware of the benefits of recycling plastic, especially the fact on how harmful it is to our environment (it takes almost 400 years for a plastic bottle to
Before even recycling, how important do you think it is that people manage their resources better to consume and waste less? Our philosophy is simple: Live better... Use less. It is important for residents to reduce the amount of waste generated by implementing the 3R’s: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. This not only decreases the size of our landfills but also ensures an environmentally sustainable and clean Sharjah. At Bee’ah we are implementing awareness campaigns within our community to encourage more schools, community groups and business institutions to take part in the environmental movement to green our beloved city. Last October, through our relationship with the Sharjah Education Zone, we setup and launched the Bee’ah School of Environment (BSOE) to educate school students (from grades 1-12) through teacher training programmes on various environmental issues. We are currently reaching over 100,000 students and teachers in more than 145 schools through this initiative. We aim to launch the second phase of the BSOE in the new education year in September 2011. Bee’ah also established links with the American University of Sharjah (AUS), the Sharjah University and the Higher Colleges of Technology creating a collaboration platform to introduce opportunities for research and development, recruitment and internships, sponsorship and lectures, recycling programmes, as well as events and functions. In August last year Bee’ah and the AUS entered a partnership on the Bio-filter Development and Testing for Removal of Air Pollutants from Waste Treatment and Industrial Facilities project.
and sent for recycling abroad. In addition, Bee’ah is working with the Sharjah Municipality and managing their composting plant at the Waste Management Complex in Al Saj’ah. Together, they are working on
What role do electronic waste and composting play currently in the region? How much of the region’s waste comes from these sources? Are you looking into moving in these areas? E-waste and composting are indeed becoming a very popular means for waste management, but are problematic in our region and other areas of the world. Despite this, Bee’ah does not shy away from taking action. Bee’ah has already established a range of alliances with companies and is moving forward in this area. Through our partners, we are currently managing certain streams of E-Waste with commercial entities including: Computers /LCD screens, printer cartridges and mobile phones, both working and non-working. Working phones are refurbished and resold into the market. Non-working are dismantled
experiments on how to mix waste from the Material Recovery Plant and green waste from farms to make higher grade of compost material.
he Al Qasr hotel has begun the UAE’s first large-scale composting initiative to recycle the world’s least recycled material food. BGreen talks to Marco Rupp, the director of engineering at Madinat Jumeirah, who started the project. Tell us about the Bokashi Compost Programme. Bokashi offers a simple, yet effective composting system whereby you are able to recycle all your food waste (raw and cooked) using an anaerobic process, in order to make organic compost. Particular enzymes are used to break down the food off cuts and this starts a sustainable cycle which can regenerate soil making it fertile for gardens. It requires considerably less work and is 10 times faster than other forms of composting. Before we introduced Bokashi we initially started looking into ‘Vermiculture’ to process our cold food waste. This is a practice of using earthworms to produce organic compost and has been widely adopted in South Africa. It was while trying to import the worm farms into the UAE that we came across the
We have several plans to continue raising awareness through the myBee’ah initiative among individuals, communities, businesses and cities, enabling them to lead positive sustainable growth by providing the infrastructure, tools and support that they require to achieve their environmental goals.
Bokashi product. Initially, we set up a trial with domestic bins where we evaluated the suitability and efficiency of the process and its ability to be implemented at the resort. After a couple of months of testing the system began to show positive results and was rolled out to the Al Qasr Hotel. How does a large scale composting programme differ from the small scale ones used in individual residences? Is it more or less effective? I operate a domestic Bokashi unit at home and I believe that the large scale process are slightly more effective than domestic units as one tends to use more of the Enzymes in the Home environment than what one does on a larger scale. What results has it provided so far? We are very happy with Bokashi, the system is simple and straight forward. Anyone can adopt it. With this programme we are able to start a sustainable cycle regenerating soil making it fertile for our gardens. Another positive aspect is it does not attract or produce any foul odours making it perfect for commercial and home use. We process around 70 KG of food waste daily, which equates to around 2.1 tonnes each month. This waste helps to restore the healthy balance of bacteria in the soil which could potentially result in improved crop performance and moisture retention of the soil – something which is vital particularly at this time of the year. We are also using the liquid produced during this process to keep drains clear. This could be particularly useful for any industry where drains are often become blocked. By how much would you say the hotel’s waste has been reduced since implementing the program? There has been a noticeable difference on the volume food waste going to Landfill. Do you have plans to implement the program in other Jumeirah hotels? I believe that a programme like this one may be adopted by our other properties. One does however need access to space for the fermenting process as well as a garden for the composting process.
There’s one great form of waste management you can do right at home that is not only great for the environment it’s great for your garden. BGreen brings you our favourite composting bins so you can turn the world’s least recycled material, food, into your garden’s best ally
The NatureMill, a small indoor composter made of recycled and recyclable polypropylene, converts food waste into fertilizer for houseplants and gardens with no worms, bugs, or trash odours. Just cut food waste into little pieces and deposit up to 55kg per month. Items remain in the upper chamber under optimal composting conditions: mixing, air flow, heat, and moisture. Best of all, the energy released destroys odours, pathogens, and seed germination. Items are later transferred through a trap door to the lower cure tray, where they continue to compost while you add fresh items to the upper chamber. A fan draws air into the machine, providing oxygen to the cultures and a powerful carbon filter removes any lingering odours. It comes in a variety of colours too. It seems the people at NatureMill thought of everything! www.naturemill.com
Designed with the home cook in mind and attractive enough to leave on the countertop, the Good Grips Compost Bin stores food scraps until they can be transferred to an outdoor composter. The flip-up lid can be opened and closed with one hand. Smooth interior walls prevent food and liquids from building up and make clean up simple. The sturdy handle makes it easy to carry the filled bin outside while the contoured bottom and removable lid keep emptying simple. www.oxo.com www.11zero.com Authorised distributor in the GCC: www.itglobals.com
Glazed inside and out and complete with a carrying handle, the Greenfingers Jumbo Compost Crock features an odour-eating filter in the lid preventing the release of any unwanted smells into the kitchen as your food waste breaks down. Its activated carbon filter allows air to circulate preventing rotting while absorbing. Each carbon filter lasts approximately six months. It’s easy to clean, dishwasher safe and will not stain or absorb odours.
KYOCERA HELPS GO GREEN
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IT Carbon Management Mahindra Satyam’s Ninad Dhanorkar discusses the role IT tools can play in our century’s greatest battle: mitigating carbon emissions to fight global warming through effective carbon management systems
arbon emission management systems are one of the hottest topics these days with countries, organisations and businesses around the globe looking for effective ways to control their carbon emissions. An effective carbon management system (CMS) includes a whole gamut of activities and processes that can broadly be divided into five areas: • Assessment of carbon emissions – measuring carbon emissions accurately • Effective reporting of measurements • Flawless compliance – ensuring that there is no ambiguity in compliance • Monitoring & control of carbon emissions – continuously monitoring the emissions vis-àvis the allowances granted by the regulator. • Commercialisation of the emissions – using the emissions held as credit to be sold at attractive rates However, the proper implementation of a CMS entails a full-fledged project management approach. Apart from the most apparent aspects of a CMS, such as the information, hardware and software, there are several issues related to people, policies & procedures which need to be effectively managed to
ensure successful implementation. 1. The Program’s Objective: Before implementing a CMS program, companies need to clearly define its objectives and purpose. These will greatly influence the CMS’s implementation methodology, selection of IT infrastructure, measurement tools and reporting capabilities. 2. Scope of Gases: Usually the gases in a CMS’ scope are GHGs, also called the Kyoto gases. However in certain programs, such as in the US and several countries in the EU, it is also mandatory to report some of the other nonGHG emissions. For example under the Acid Rain Program in the US, sulphur emissions must be covered. 3. Scope of Emissions: Identifying each and every emission source is crucial to ensure accurate reporting. Here the sources of emissions are classified into three categories. i) Direct Emissions: Emissions caused by direct combustions in units, vehicles, equipment etc. ii) Indirect Emissions: Emissions calculated for the purchase of heat, electricity and steam. iii) Indirect Emissions: Emissions calculated for purchased material, product use, outsourced activities, contractor owned vehicles, waste disposal and employee travel. 4. Quantifying Emissions: This is one of the most challenging aspects of emission management that can be measured in two ways: i) Direct Measurement: This is a relatively
more accurate method but is limited to stationery units. It requires a continuous emission monitoring system and is high in cost. ii) Derived Measurement: Here the emissions are calculated based on templates provided by the regulator. This method uses the emission factor to derive the emission figures. 5. Reporting Emissions: There are three approaches to reporting emissions: i) Facility-level: Reporting at a physical unit level (more suitable for smaller oil companies) ii) Geographic-level: Reporting at a national/ regional level (takes care of different regulations of different locations) iii) Corporate-level: Suitable for multinational companies having a global span of operations where an integrated reporting is required. It is worth noting that with increasing stringent regulation, implementing a CMS solution becomes ever more important as non-compliance can lead not only to financial penalties but also legal proceedings. The Role of IT in CMS IT plays a crucial role in enabling the entire gamut of carbon management, including the cap-and-trade program. For companies implementing a CMS, IT can provide a comprehensive and unified solution to support data collection, analysis, and management of carbon in an automated, standardised, and cost-efficient way. It integrates all relevant information linked into
A basic Emission Management IT tool will have these essential features: • Web-based access and ease of data entry • Build hierarchies and create scenarios • Task management and compliance reporting • Extendable database • Integration with diverse external sources • Calculation engine • Tickets for notification • User-defined access However product vendors are offering more evolved tools which also have the enhanced ability to:
Future Perspective Notwithstanding the fact that a binding treaty on carbon emissions could not be inked during the Copenhagen summit, global climate change will certainly continue to be the biggest issue facing mankind. Carbon management is critical for the long-term sustainability of our environment. It is linked to the survival of our various fauna and flora, the protection of our water and air resources and thus has a direct bearing on human life. IT, today, has a pivotal role in helping to control carbon emissions and mitigate their effects, saving our precious planet from further damage.
IT, today, has a pivotal role in helping to control carbon emissions and mitigate their effects, saving our precious planet ”
The Role of a System Integrator An IT service provider has an important role to play in the implementation of vendor marketed products. Based on the various aspects of CMS and taking into consideration the existing IT landscape, companies choose the appropriate software tool and IT infrastructure. An IT System Integrator enables the implementation and rollout of a CMS program involving the following steps:
Benefits of an IT empowered CMS An IT empowered CMS solution will help companies gain the following benefits: • Build scenarios and analyze impacts • Create tasks and manage compliance • Reliable emission assessment and reporting • Compliance and lesser risk of penalties • Make informed forecasts and investment decisions • Design emission related KPIs • Stay current with the legislation • Commercialise carbon credits
existing systems for procurement, production, marketing, finance, controlling, quality, supply chain management, sale etc. Even today several companies leverage IT, to capture, collate and report emissions by pulling information from various legacy applications. The challenge remains in extracting the complete data from discrete sources and integrating it correctly to the enterprise/reporting level. However many IT vendors now have come out with highly integrated solutions for this niche business area. The essential and the desired features that companies look forward to while evaluating these COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) products are discussed below.
• Forecast emissions • MIS and documentation • Central libraries for reference • Track legal and environmental requirement • Industry-specific templates • Support third party auditing • Establish goal-based performance KPI • Facilitate participation in cap-&-trade program. IT product vendors like SAP, IHS, and Enviance have come out with applications specifically for this niche business area. Carbon management IT solutions are now even available in a subscription format. Here the tool is hosted and managed in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. The fundamental benefit of this solution is that there is no significant upfront capital expenditure, only an operational one reserved for subscription and usage only. There are also some open source applications such as SANGEA from API which are now used by several oil companies to manage their carbons. While currently carbon emission reporting requirements are mostly limited to the company/geographic levels, in the next phase reporting is likely to be at more granular level. Indeed, IT has the power to enable such fairly complex carbon accounting very efficiently.
• Set up an Emission Management Program along with a clear definition of stakeholders’ objectives and a plan for integration • Integration of the scope, processes, data flow and defining the solution architecture • Configuration of the tool, development of interfaces and execution of data integration • Execution of test plan and test cases; documentation on defects and remediation • Rollout of pilot; capture the lessons learnt and revising the standard practices; finalizations of global roll out schedules • A template-based global rollout, distribution of user manuals and checklists
Eco-travel now in the region BGreen meets with the founder and CEO of Wild Guanabana, the GCC’s first carbon neutral travel company, to learn more about this agency’s life-altering journeys
all with a slim build, Omar Samra, at a first glance, would not strike you as a great adventurer. Yet this intrepid mountaineer is the youngest Arab and first Egyptian to ever climb Mount Everest, amongst other renowned summits. However, it’s not his many famous climbs we are meeting to discuss today. It’s another “first” achieved by this 33-year-old; the launch of the GCC’s first carbon neutral agency. Speaking in a soft yet confident voice, Omar Samra explains: “Wild Guanabana is not an ordinary travel company. We are daring, different and green. We believe in the triple bottom line – people, planet, profit – approach to doing business. As such, our fun and ethical journeys offer travellers more than just eco-friendly travel. They offer meaningful emotional connections with the destinations’ cultures and people.” Wild Guanabana was founded by Samra in 2009 in Cairo after a series of personal travel experiences inspired him to leave behind a successful financial career and reshape his life in order to pursue his passion for adventure travel. Using information acquired on his own travel experiences, Samra created a travel concept that delivers sustainable, ethical adventures and non-traditional travel experiences for people who want to learn more about themselves and the world. Now, with his new
headquarters in Dubai, these life-altering experiences are even easier to achieve. Samra says: “Wild Guanabana specializes in creating highly personalized travel experiences around the world for individuals, students and corporate organisations. Every journey is designed with first-hand knowledge of the destination and personalized attention to each traveller’s needs. In fact, we won’t plan a trip to a destination we haven’t been to ourselves. That way we can guarantee that our adventures are authentic and our claims of sustainability are truly real.” In an industry fraught with green washing, this statement comes as a great relief. Samra insists that Wild Guanabana aims to be a responsible participant, both environmentally and socially, in all of the region’s communities as well as those of the agency’s destinations. He explains: “I have visited destinations where a porter will carry 20 kg of luggage for days just to be paid a small tip. At Wild Guanabana we would never endorse a place like that.” Committed to delivering sustainable practices in all aspects of its business, Wild Guanabana has even been certified as the Middle East and North Africa’s first CarbonZero travel company and ensures all of its journeys are carbon neutral. To achieve that, the company carbon offsets any emissions caused by air travel through a Kenyan stove project
undertaken by co2balance. The company also believes in giving back to the region’s communities by raising money for worthy causes. Wild Guanabana is helping organize an initiative called “Libya Does Kilimanjaro” from November 4 to 11, a charity expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise funds for a disability center in Libya. Wild Guanabana’s first CSR expedition, held last year, raised over US $150,000 for The Right to Live Association, a mental disability charity in Egypt.
Eco-friendly, socially conscious, inspirational and loads of fun, BGreen can’t help but wonder why no one ever thought of this agency before. Samra hopes that Wild Guanabana will serve as an inspiration to other companies. “You can be ethical and environmentally conscious and still achieve profits. I am living proof of this and I look forward to the day where all businesses are run on the same principles of respect for our planet and its inhabitants.” You can find all of Wild Guanabana’s trips till December 2012 on the agency’s website.
Adventures range from rafting in Costa Rica, to dancing the tango in Argentina to going on a wildlife safari in Tanzania and more. You can also reach out to dedicated staff members to design your own travel experience to your liking including themes such as family adventures and wild honeymoons. To read about what inspired Samra to launch Wild Guanabana in his own words turn to page 47. To book your own life-transforming journey visit www. wildguanabana.com
Chief Guanabana speaks out Famous mountaineer Omar Samra tells BGreen what inspired him to launch the region’s first carbon neutral travel agency
Zen Master Futomaki
investment banking for a couple of years and earning my MBA from London Business School, I set out to fulfill another of my childhood dreams and on the May 17 2007, I became the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to summit 8850m Mount Everest. Post Everest and until early 2009, I worked for Actis, a leading emerging markets Private Equity fund learning first hand from top CEOs what it takes to run an extraordinary service business. I have spent three years on the road, visiting over 50 countries and countless destinations. My curiosity still knows no bounds and that makes travelling something I cannot live without. I have always been passionate about sharing those experiences through my writing, photography and speaking. However, what better way to do so than facilitate the means for people to embark on fascinating, truly unique journey’s of their own. I find this a true joy and that is why Wild Guanabana was born.” Read Omar’s story and support him in becoming the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to climb all seven summits. Visit www. omarsamra.com
One does not climb to attain enlightenment; rather one climbs because he is enlightened”
to less trodden destinations where one could truly explore and discover something beyond their wildest imagination. As I grew up, that dream grew with me. After graduating with a degree in Economics from the American University in Cairo, I moved to London then Hong Kong to pursue an investment banking career with HSBC. It was interesting and challenging work but quickly I began to realize there is more to life than sitting behind a desk for 15 hours each day. Talks with a dear friend inspired me to purchase a bicycle and travel around Spanish Andalusia alone for two weeks. The experience made me realize how passionate I am about travel, exploring the world and my own personal boundaries. My life was never the same again. Adamant to repeat the experience, I began planning for a longer, more involving trip and in December of 2002 I embarked on a 370-day journey across Asia and Latin America, visiting 14 countries. It was undoubtedly the most incredible year of my life and sparked many future trips and expeditions, especially mountaineering ones which has been one of my greatest passions since the age of 16. After returning to
mar Samra is the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to climb 8850m Mount Everest and the founder and CEO of Wild Guanabana, the GCC’s first carbon neutral agency. On the way to reaching his goal of climbing the Seven-Summits, the highest mountain on every continent, with only two to go, the inspirational adventurer shares with BGreen his story and explains what inspired him to start his alternative ecofriendly travel agency. “I was born in London and raised in Cairo. Ever since I was a little boy I dreamed of travelling the world. My parents travelled a lot and took me with them yet destinations were always the same; London or Paris mostly. I remember thinking how incredible it would be to go
The 6th Annual
Sir David Attenborough CBE -
INTERNATIONAL GREENAWARDS 24th November 2011 - The Natural History Museum, London, UK
Broadcaster & Environmentalist
“The INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS are a genuine effort to promote positive attitudes towards biodiversity and sustainability.”
Great ideas, organisations and people deserve recognition. Recognition inspires change. It motivates and rewards people. It propagates and fertilises new thinking. Which is why, in a bid to recognise sustainability wherever it occurs, we comb the globe every year to find true influencers, leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators. To discover and showcase the genuine game-changers in a way that will educate and inspire others. So make a real difference to your sustainability journey. Enter the International Green Awards. Stand up and be recognised. Enter the leading international sustainability awards of 2011 and showcase your organisation. Are you a visionary organisation or individual looking for: An event to truly test your initiatives and achievements against the best organisations from around the globe ? An awards programme that is well respected and internationally recognised as the benchmark for global excellence ? An international platform to promote your sustainability success stories and receive the recognition you truly deserve ? An opportunity to share best practice with other influential companies and inspire them through your success ?
For further information and to enter this year’s INTERNATIONAL GREEN AWARDS please visit
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big picture The
Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior now Bangladeshi hospital ship After 22 years of traversing the world’s oceans in defence of the environment, the Rainbow Warrior was transferred to Friendship, a Bangladesh based NGO which will refit the Rainbow Warrior for use as a hospital ship. The transfer took place at a ceremony in Singapore on August 16 2011. The iconic protest vessel will be renamed Rongdhonu, Bangladeshi for Rainbow, and will now serve the coastal belt of Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal, delivering medical assistance to some of the most vulnerable communities of the world that have little or no access to health care.
Rainbow Warrior II Handover Ceremony Captain Mike Finken gives over the Rainbow Warrior’s life belt to symbolise the handover. 08/16/2011 © Athit Perawongmetha / Greenpeace
Rainbow Warrior III Construction The Rainbow Warrior III casco is fixed on a pontoon for transportation to the floating dock prior to launching the hull at the Maritim Shipyard in Gdansk. The hull will then be shipped to Berne, north of Germany, by tug boat. 11/12/2010 © Oliver Tjaden / Greenpeace
Rainbow Warrior III Enters the Water The Rainbow Warrior III enters the water at the Fassmer Shipyard in Berne, before the addition of masts and other essential finishing touches. 07/04/2011 © Marcus Meyer / Greenpeace
what? I am very worried. This is the worst news on emissions. It is becoming extremely challenging to remain below two degrees. The prospect is getting bleaker. That is what the numbers say. Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Association after theABOVE: organisation xxxxxxxxxxxxx revealed that greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year
To truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. US President Barack Obama It is worthwhile to on his address to the Joint remember….that securing Session of Congress, long-term economic development February 24 2009 cannot be achieved without adopting the necessary sustainable development model; as the depletion of natural resources cannot go on forever. You have to work with the Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE special auto industry, the oil companies, envoy for Energy and Climate Change you have to work to develop and chief executive officer of Masdar, renewable fuel, whether it’s solar or at the opening ceremony of the different kinds of fuel... Global Green Growth Institute Ted Danson, American actor best known for his role as central character Sam Malone in the sitcom Cheers
Energy Policy will be and should be driven by environmental policy in the future. Timothy Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation and former United States Senator
It’s time we stopped turning up our noses at the nation’s garbage dumps and started appreciating them for what they really are -- the municipal mines, forests, oil wells and energy sources of the future! Max Spendlove, pioneer in metal recycling
Investment update Blue chips to map global water risks..Clean tech investments top US $1 billion..UK environmental scheme saves tax payers £6m
Blue chips form Aqueduct Alliance to map global water risks Environmental NGO The World Resources Institute brought together some of the world’s largest companies, including Goldman Sachs, General Electric and Bloomberg, as well as a number of NGOs and academic institutions, to publicly map global water risks for the first time. Dubbed the Aqueduct Alliance, the group, plans to produce a global database of water risk information that will provide companies, governments and other institutions with the information they need to create highly detailed water risk maps. A recent survey of 150 listed companies undertaken by the Carbon Disclosure Project found that around 40% had already experienced disruption as a result of water-related issues.
Japan’s renewable energy feed-in tariff bill clears parliamentary hurdle Japan’s Lower House of Parliament passed a flagship legislation that will significantly increase the incentives available to renewable energy developers as part of the government’s plans to reduce its reliance on nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. The bill, set to come in effect from July 2012, will make the government’s internationally stated goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 25% against 1990 levels by 2020 legally binding, and instigate a feed-in tariff incentive scheme that guarantees renewable energy generators above market rates for the power they produce.
MoneyTree Report: Clean tech investments top US $1 billion
According to the latest MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, clean technology investments topped $1 billion this quarter. The clean technology sector saw a 26% increase in dollars over the fourth quarter to $1 billion. This quarter marks the fourth time in history that clean technology investing exceeded one billion dollars.
UK Environment Agency reveals its internal environmental scheme saves £6m a year The UK Environment Agency revealed it reduced its own carbon emissions by a fifth and saved taxpayers around £6 million a year. The organisation also said it reduced office waste and mains water use by 18% each, cut fleet mileage by 33%, and curbed buildings’ energy use by 15%. The agency’s chief executive, Dr Paul Leinster, encouraged other large organisations to step up their efforts to cut environmental impacts. He said: “Transport, energy and waste all contribute and need to be managed, measured and reduced. Those [businesses] that do so effectively will reduce costs and improve their reputation.”
Marketing LED BGreen talks to the experts on the hurdles of selling the world’s most popular sustainable lighting solution Tamer Elshaer regional manager, Middle East GE Lighting What are the benefits of LED lights especially compared to traditional ones? LED systems have become universally established as a low energy and low maintenance means of illumination, this is due to dramatic advances every year in the capability of LED technology, and the ever increasing need for energy efficient solutions. LED lighting can now be up to ten times more energy efficient than incandescent lights with the same light output, and this number continues to increase. Over the last five years the performance of these products has increased, as have the various applications they can be used for. List some new advantages that LED lighting provides. GE Lighting is constantly breaking new ground in LED technology. A good example of this is the Infusion LED module,
which offers outputs of up to 3000 lumens. Infusion LED modules make luminaries upgradeable and serviceable with one single clockwise twist that mates the LED module to the fixture housing for optimal thermal, electrical and mechanical connectivity. Another landmark product is the Energy Smart GLS LED lamp, which, thanks to its unique design, offers high quality light equivalent to a 40 Watt incandescent, with light distribution that replicates what consumers are used to with regular light bulbs. These new products continue an exciting trend. Last year, GE’s 4 Watt GU10 lamp became the first LED retrofit lamp to become an Energy Saving Trust Recommended certified product. GE now offers a full range of GU10 retrofits with equivalent output to all three major halogen wattages – 20W, 35W and 50W – and up to 25000 hours rated life. With so many great qualities what is the biggest obstacle to selling LED lighting? The large number of new companies entering into the lighting market, as well as established companies using LED technology for the first time. It is, regrettably, a fact that some are making questionable performance claims. Lighting designers should apply caution as when companies claim their system lasts 10 or more years, they often fail to mention that the light output may drop by 50% or more during that time. It’s hard for customers to know whom or what to believe. Fortunately, GE Lighting has championed the need to define a universal set of performance measures to put comparison claims on equal footing. GE Lighting has been actively working with NEMA, DOE/Energy Star, ANSI, Intertek and IESNA to develop measurement, efficiency and performance guidelines to add clarity, not confusion to the selection process.
H.S. Paik president , LG Electronics Gulf FZE What are the benefits of LED lights especially compared to traditional ones? LED lights have many advantages over the traditional incandescent light bulbs. The main reasons are that they are more efficient, last longer and are more environmentally friendly. Energy savings from LED lights can range from 20% - 80%, and they can last from five to ten times longer. They are also greener, as they do not contain mercury and emit much less greenhouse gases. Over the last five years the performance of these products has increased, as have the various applications they can be used for. List some new advantages that LED lighting provides. As LED lighting technology is rapidly developing, LED lights are providing more flexibility in lighting design. One advantage of LED lights is that because they are available in different color temperatures, they can be used to create a certain ambience. Also, energy savings can be achieved when LED lighting is controlled as part of a digital system.
With so many great qualities what is the biggest obstacle to selling LED lighting? Even though LED lighting provides cost savings in the long run, the initial cost is the greatest barrier to adoption of LED lighting in commercial settings. However, in cases of new construction, the cost can be optimized through the implementation of an effective lighting design. We may also see a drop in prices as market demand increases and more companies enter the field.
How do you educate potential buyers on the advantages of LED lighting and their long-term return on investment? LG takes many approaches when educating potential buyers, and talking to publications like Build Green is one way of doing it. However, the main way we do it is by educating government entities, contractors and private companies. We invite any company to visit our LEED Gold certified building in Jebel Ali and take a guided tour. There they learn about the benefits of LED lighting via our dedicated display which best demonstrates the differences between various lighting technologies and by seeing our integrated digital control system in action. LG is so confident in its LED lighting technology that it’s been put into use in its own headquarters building in Korea. With the world’s largest LED lighting installation, the building is a model for the technology. With a cutting-edge control system including a combination of motion and daylight sensors as well as dimming controls, the LG headquarters building is able to achieve energy savings of 53% over an equivalent building using traditional lighting technology.
Vic Andrews managing director, Ruud Lighting Arabia What are the benefits of LED lights especially compared to traditional ones? Near ZERO maintenance Energy savings of up to 70% VERY VERY long life Vibration Resistant High visibility High colour rendition Higher uniformity Maximum design flexibility Instant Re-strike Dimmable/Multilevel switching Quality guaranteed performance, minimum of 5 years Eco-friendly lighting(RoHS compliance) IT SAVES YOU MONEY & helps preserve our ENVIRONMENT as well Over the last five years the performance of these products has increased, as have the various applications they can be used for. List some new advantages that LED lighting provides. This is essentially covered in the list above. What has happened exponentially is that the LED chip’s performance from an efficacy
With so many great qualities what is the biggest obstacle to selling LED lighting? The biggest obstacle is PRICE. Incandescent are extremely cheap and in comparison the LEDs are expensive. That is when you look at the short term cost but when you consider that LED will last maybe 20,000 or 30,000 hours longer than an incandescent it does make sense to switch. We are coming out of the recession but companies are still very wary of increasing spending where they don’t have to and sadly until the attitudes locally are more moralistic or environmentally astute the cheaper option will win out. Throughout the western world governments are enforcing carbon foot print reductions and purchasing responsibilities in regards to energy saving products and until that happens in the GCC through choice the cheaper version will be picked over and above quality and sustainability.
point of view has risen dramatically and from becoming smaller, its scale has now increased instead of shrinking further again which has helped gain performance at the same time as increasing life. This has meant that although costs have not dropped, performance has increased to the extent that smaller LED packages can now be used than previously to achieve the same results, this equates to a lowering of costs and increasing energy saving to users, so LED installations are becoming more economically viable and providing better returns on investment as well as all the other benefits.
created equal and enable potential users to effectively compare products and performance for their needs. One point to consider is “always look for independent collaboration for any claims made by any manufacturer about performance”. This information is readily available! How do you educate potential buyers on the advantages of LED lighting and their long-term return on investment? This is covered to a degree in the previous statement. Educate people to consider LED and not reject it out of hand due to technological issues and particularly not cost. Clients can be shown that dramatic saves can be had in the majority of applications using LED technology, particularly when compared to incumbent HID technology in new installations, which in turn can provide tremendous returns on investment. This can and should be demonstrated to any potential user. There are simple formulae available to make these calculations, examples of which can be found on the www.betaLED. com/ae website. At this point it should also be made clear that LED technology does not provide “miracles” with viability and returns being variable from application to application, so any assessment should be critically made and studied.
With so many great qualities what is the biggest obstacle to selling LED lighting? Educating people about what Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are and how they work. This is imperative. This will help address a misnomer in people’s minds in this region, where it is perceived that the hot climate for a portion of the year, makes LED an unsuitable technology for application, particularly outdoors, throughout the area. This is simply NOT the case and we must discuss this and explain why. We are now also in the position of showing clients many examples of adoption of LED technology in the Middle East region and the benefits derived from them. We must also strive to make people understand that not all luminaires that use LED technology are
How do you educate potential buyers on the advantages of LED lighting and their long-term return on investment? The best way is to work with your clients and keep them up to date with new research and development, pass on samples where possible and to encourage the shift from incandescent to LED. We also talk to our clients about what they want and need out of a particular product and it is an advantage that we are agents for Cube Lighting as they are designers and are always looking to tweak a product to make it more adaptable. In the long run a LED light will save your client money but they have to be encouraged to look at their strategy for business differently from design work to operational implementation. The advantages of LED lighting go beyond just changing a bulb but they go right down to incorporating different maintenance needs as LED have much longer life line so changes are less frequent. Now that is a big bonus in any field.
Andrew Prince managing director – RWN Trading What are the benefits of LED lights especially compared to traditional ones? • Long life – some LED can last up to 35- 40 000 hours (incandescent between 5 – 10,000) • LED lights can be dimmed to a zero position and at zero emit no energy unlike the incandescent with at their lowest point still emit some energy. • Long term savings on LED bulbs because of long life • Excellent range of colours available over the last 2 years in LED including dimmer able • Less maintenance because of long life • Less labour cost because of reduced maintenance requirements. • With correct design an LED circuit will realise approximately 80% efficiency which means that 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light energy and not wasted. (Compare this to Incandescent lamps operating at 20% efficiency and 80% loss as heat.) • LEDs do not cause heat build up so less demand on A/C units
Lighting Arabia Introducing Light Middle East, the region’s premier conference and exhibition for lighting design and technology event this month. Wilbert Heijmans, Group Exhibitions Director, at Epoc Messe Frankfurt, organiser of Light Middle East, said: “The event is a major platform for many of the latest deals and developments in the regional industry and is considered the catalyst for introducing the latest technology and methods into the local sector. It also represents the ideal platform for designers to gain inspiration from the best in the field and it spotlights innovative product development, current deisgn trends and invaluable technical know-how in the lighting design sector.” Light Middle East provides a unique environment for exhibitors to facilitate business transactions with trade partners and customers. A special conference has also been organised which includes the Green Middle East Conference (supported by BGreen), The Light Insight Arabia Conference and the Exhibitor Expert Forum. These will highlight modern trends in lighting solutions, energy-efficiency, green lighting and the potential savings in costs and resources offered by the latest designs.
The interactive forums and instructional workshops and seminars have been proving increasingly popular over the years with lighting industry professionals, designers and consultants from the Middle East. Each day’s programme has been tailored to address the problems and issues that impact the industry and is designed to benefit lighting designers and consultants, architects, government officials, engineers, developers, system solution providers and lighting suppliers. The programmes are being organised in association with Sesam Business Consultants and the Professional Lighting Designers’ Association (PLDA) and enjoy the support of RUUD Lighting Arabia, OSRAM, Zumtobel and Schreder Gulf LLC. International lighting product manufacturers, designers, architects, developers and other industry professionals utilise Light Middle East as a networking platform to access and interact with the key players, buyers and decision makers in the lighting industry that are based in the region and beyond. Visit Light Middle East at www.lightme.net
ementing its position as a prominent event for the lighting design and technology industry, building from previous years, Light Middle East 2011 is poised for a strong edition in Dubai taking place from September 12th to 14th at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. According to organiser Epoc Messe Frankfurt some of the industry’s biggest names have confirmed their participation as exhibitors including the likes of Ruud Lighting Arabia, Thorn and Zumtobel brands from the Zumtobel Group, OSRAM, Philips Lumileds, Schreder Gulf LLC and many more. Some of the latest technologies associated with more sustainable lighting solutions will be on display at Light Middle East 2011, with a major emphasis on LED technology. According to some experts, countries in the GCC stand to save around US$ 400 mn and 5.1 megatonnes of CO2 emissions annually by switching to LED lighting technology. The products and services required for such a switch will be on display at the
58 Light Middle East 2010
The Middle East‘s Premier Conference and Exhibition for Lighting Design and Technology
12 – 14 September, 2011 Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, UAE
Pre-register online at www.lightME.net/visit Enter VP Code LTAD040 when registering online What‘s unique about Light Middle East? • One of the 6 global exhibitions in the portfolio of Light+Building Exhibitions. • The only dedicated lighting platform in the region. • Attended by architects, lighting designers, specifiers and other industry professionals from across the GCC. • Over 200 exhibitors from 20 countries will be a part of the 2011 show.
Don‘t miss! 3 days of quality conferencing, including Green Middle East Conference (supported by Sesam Business Consultants) and Light Insight Arabia Conference (supported by PLDA). Register for these conferences at www.lightME.net/conf
A one-stop destination for businesses looking to build CSR campaigns that truly push organisations forward
BGreen Heart, brought to you by BASF - The Chemical Company, is the ideal tool to help your business build strong and resultoriented CSR strategies that lead to financial gains and growth. This month we bring you Energy-efficiency: Getting more for less. At BASF, we believe energy-efficiency is the most important single future source of energy. Studies have revealed that just by practicing energy efficiency, it’s possible to curb our predicted increasing global energy demand and consequently our CO2 emissions. That’s why energy-efficiency helps you get more for less. Here, we give you everything you need to help your organisation build an effective Energyefficiency campaign and explain how it can benefit your bottom line.
Tips and Ideas Concrete well-researched and welldocument steps to building your Energyefficiency campaign.
Find a catchy name for your campaign that resonates with your business’ external image and internal corporate cultural. Then, determine what message you want to communicate about the
importance of energyefficiency and use strong statistics to back it up. Links to information sources are included in our Resources and Contacts sections. Do a quick evaluation of your work settings, determine what energy-efficient tips would best suit your company type and find a simple practical way to communicate them. The basics for all companies constitute of the following steps: shutting off lights, electronics and air conditioning during non-work hours, and using LED light bulbs. Create awareness posters which demonstrate in witty eye-grabbing ways the energy-efficient measures your company implements in its practices
while giving tips to your employees about how they can reduce their energy use both in the office and at home. Use your company’s logo and colour scheme on all communications. Create a company-branded online
• Make sure senior management is involved and is equally passionate and vocal about your campaign’s message. • Create an idea competition where employees and
Harald Kroll, Managing Director BASF FZE, says: “An effective Energy-efficiency campaign will not only see your company gain financial returns from your employees practices in saving energy, it will also send the message to your customers that you are a socially responsible ethical organisation that cares about the planet and its inhabitant. For a corporate organisation, the need to be seen as a moral and decent entity, concerned with the environment as well as profits, is very important these days.” Resources and contacts All the resources your business needs to turn to for further help on conducting your Energy-efficiency CSR campaign.
customers can submit ideas on how your business could improve its energy-efficiency. You would be surprised how useful these can be.
Expert’s comment BASF’s CSR expert explains how an effective Energy-efficiency campaign can benefit your business in terms of image, internal relations and potential financial returns.
Statistics from the International Energy Agency: http://www.iea.org/stats/index.asp The United Nations Energy Statistics Division: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/energy/default.htm Energy saving tips from the US Department of Energy http://www.energysavers.gov/tips/ The UK’s and Scotland’s energy saving trust: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/ BASF’s energy-saving campaign consisted of building energy-efficient homes with all our BASF solutions. Take a look at it at: http://www.energyefficiency.basf.com/
energy efficiency portal which constitutes a central source for all energy saving related information serving as the central landing page for the campaign. Link it to your main webpage.
Extra fun ideas: An energy-efficiency online game can be a fun and educational way to raise awareness since even adults love to play! Also, creating an internal Energy Efficiency day is a great way to bring attention to the issue and allow employees to bond over a worthy cause.
DEWA’s save power Peak Load campaign has plenty of tips specific to the UAE’s particular climate: http://www.dewa.gov.ae/community/ conservation/ydc/savepower.aspx
Ecomaid now Ecoclean Dubai’s first eco-friendly cleaning service rebrands and shows off its new headquarters
coclean Middle East, formerly Ecomaid Middle East, Dubai’s first completely eco-friendly cleaning service, threw a cosy gettogether to celebrate the rebranding of its name and the opening of its new offices. The lucky attendees got to go home with great jute gift bags filled with green goodies including nifty Ecoclean cleaning products. The launch was also a great opportunity to announce Ecoclean’s new partnership with green new-comer business Hang on. Check them out at “Going green in the UAE” p.12. www.ecocleanuae.com
Hang on and Ecoclean!
Ecoclean’s super products!
Tolga Soytekin, Ecoclean managing director.
A group picture! Can you spot our editor?
Tolga with Hang on managing director Asim Amin.
We love our goody bags! Far right: Kamelia Zaal, creative landscape director for Al Barari.
The green spy
BGreen’s secret friend takes on the construction industry
uildings in the Gulf have to deal with one of the harshest outdoor environments anywhere on earth. ASHRAE, one of the leading mechanical, electrical and plumbing design guidelines and international code organizations has something called Heating Degree Days (HDDs). This is a way to measure how extreme a location’s climate is. The Gulf Region has an HDD index of 10,000 (this is based on a calculation using the average temperature and humidity levels per day throughout the year relative to a standard temperature, requiring heating and/or cooling). The most extreme category is called Zone 1A, which is any location that has an HDD index of 5,000 or higher. The high temperatures, humidity and dust content mean that the envelope, or building exterior, including walls, roof, windows, doors and all the joints between each of these components must work harder here than in many other locations. Buildings in the Gulf do some aspects of building envelopment design, construction and maintenance pretty well. There is unfortunately one aspect that is lacking and this can negate much of the good work done. Infiltration is the process where outside air enters the building in ways that were not designed and planned for. Air leaks. Some buildings, mostly houses around the world use infiltration as a means for supplying fresh air into the house because they do not have or are not always running a central fan or some other mechanical system to bring in that outside air. And we need fresh air in our buildings. This only works in mild climates and research is proving that even in mild climates, an air tight building, with mechanical ventilation uses less energy than a building using infiltration as its source of fresh air. In a climate like the Gulf however, there is no debate. Infiltration is a bad thing. In the definition above, infiltration means air entering the building in a way that was not designed for and not accounted for in the air conditioning requirements. So why is it there? Quality of construction. Making a building air tight is directly related to the quality of construction of that building. Taking care that walls and windows are built true and smooth, edges are maintained well so that adhesives and other building materials attach correctly and tightly and final finishing is installed in a uniform and careful manner all require high quality craftsmanship. All too often, the construction industry in this region does not give sufficient priority to this procedure. This issue is particularly of interest to me at the moment because my apartment, in an EMAAR building that is less than two years old in what is considered one of their prized developments is suffering from the consequences of infiltration (separate from the wasted energy and higher energy bills that are also associated with this poor construction practice). I have water leaking out of ceiling mounted light sockets!!! When I call the maintenance staff they come and look at it, saying, “it’s not problem, just some humidity.” While I agree with them on the cause, I do not share their casual attitude about water mixing with electricity, not to mention a near constant drip of water in my living room and dining room. My educated guess is that, since I cannot do an air tightness test on a 30 floor building, is that there is sufficient air infiltration coming into the building above my ceiling and below the floor above me. The air, with its high water content (humidity) interacts with the cool ceiling of my air conditioned apartment and the water vapor condense to liquid water, entering my apartment through the holes cut in the ceiling at the light fixtures. There is also a minor mold problem in the cavities surrounding the wardrobes. Again, after discussing with maintenance (first the cleaners, then the engineers, then the building managers, then the engineers again) I am advised that there is nothing they can do. The solution is to ensure that air does not get into the building. This is only possible after the building has been build, by going over every square centimeter of the exterior of the building and sealing any gaps, cracks, holes, missing pieces, etc. This is something that the building management company will not do unless paid to do and something the owner will not address. This is one of the prices we pay for the cheap construction costs prevalent in the market and the reason many buildings here will not last nearly as long as they should. Until next time...
The Green Spy
B4E Business for the Environment – Climate Summit 2011 September 12
London United Kingdom
Solar Arabia Summit September 27-28
Power + Water Middle East 2011 October 16-18
Riyadh Saudi Arabia
Abu Dhabi UAE
Green Middle East October 17-19
SEPTEMBER 12-14 Light Middle East
Jointly organised by the Dubai Municipality,
and the Environmental Center for Arab
Light Middle East is the Middle East‘s
Towns; Future Cities will be the premier
Premier Conference and Exhibition for
forum uniting public and private sector
Lighting Design and Technology, providing
stakeholders in active discussion to tackle
the only dedicated lighting platform in
the tremendous challenges urban leaders
the region for architects, developers,
face in implementing and maintaining
consultancies, designers, lighting design
sustainable urban growth in challenging
specialists and government officials to
economic times. Future Cities will provide
source new products and innovations from
the necessary platform to source solutions
lighting manufacturers, distributors and
and long term strategies for ensuring
lighting design firms.
social, economic and environmental development of tomorrow’s global cities.
National Conference on Green Engineering and Technologies September 23-24
Karur, Tamilnadu, India
Find out what environmental events are happening where throughout the coming months
2011 International Conference on Environment and BioScience October 21-23
The Gaia Awards has grown into the industry’s most respected awards honouring those construction products that have truly integrated the concept of green. Supported by BGreen, this year’s
Power + Water Middle East 2011 October 16-18
Gaia panel is developing the awards
Abu Dhabi UAE
but also non-exhibitors whose products
further opening them to not only exhibitors are distributed within the Middle East.
2011 International Conference on 6th International Green Awards November 24
STORMWATER 2012 October 15-19
World Green Tourism December 5-7
Abu Dhabi UAE
Environment and BioScience October 21-23
A look at our sustainable heritage
efore clocks became common features on almost all electronic device, telling time was a much more complicated affair. Some of the first attempts to tell time were made by Egyptians. This ancient civilisation began using a T-shaped “time stick” consisting of one vertical stick and one crossbar. The names of five hours were written on the stick in hieroglyphics. In the morning the stick was placed so that it faced east. The shadow of the crossbar would then fall across the stick and move toward the crossbar until noon. In the afternoon the stick was turned to face west. This was a great example of using the sun to tell time that continued into the Middle Ages where
peasants in northern Europe started using portable sundials carved into the bottom of their wooden clogs. To tell the time, the peasants would take off their shoes and hold them up to face the sun. Throughout history, sundials changed from flat plates to more detailed forms in a quest to use the shifting position of the Earth during the year for better accuracy. During the Renaissance period sundials changed rapidly and many various designs were created. In addition to having hour and minute marks for telling time, other features were also sometimes added. Some sundials had markings to indicate seasons, calendar dates, times of sunrise and sunset, and even Zodiac signs.
The Global Centre of Future Energy
Masdar City is an emerging clean technology hub in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Organisations and institutions from around the world are coming here to pioneer solutions to the global energy challenge. With access to key international markets, funding and investment, and a skilled, specialist talent pool, Masdar City creates an environment where innovation and entrepreneurialism flourish. To learn how partnering with us can transform your business and change the world, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at www.masdarcity.ae