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Issue 28 | NOVEMBER 2012

Innovation in sustainability The key driver for a greener future lies in research and development, according to experts


| sustainability and facilities management

| sun-powered desert camp | the future of the esco | Publication licensed by IMPZ



Publisher Dominic De Sousa

Faith and climate change

I Praseeda Nair Editor

n 2008, the world’s first green Bible was published by HarperCollins, printed on recycled paper using soybased ink. The holy text contains more than a thousand references to sustainable consumption and man’s role in nurturing the Earth. Similarly, the belief in the value of “trihita karana” in Hinduism calls attention to our role in appreciating and cultivating nature. The holistic nature of the major faiths of the world all stem from the age-old belief in respecting the soil that sustains mankind. Leaders from the Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto, Sikh and Tao faiths assembled to draft an action plan to address climate change, as reflected by their respective religions back in 2009. The religious advisors came to an agreement over the two-day conference to: increase awareness through educational programmes at places of worship; reach out to children; encouraging a less materialistic, sustainable lifestyle; print holy texts on recycled or recyclable paper; and engage communities through sustainable celebrations of major holidays and events, including the concept of a green hajj in Islam. The last point actually encouraged UK-based associations to team up to produce “The Green Guide to Hajj” in late 2011, outlining the role of sustainability in the various tenets of Islam. In this issue, our green spy explores this guide and the potential it has in spreading eco-awareness in our region. We also look at the world’s first solar-powered desert camp, how it works, why it’s green and what this means for ecotourism in our sand-swept region. All this and more should tide us over till the next big holiday...!

COO Nadeem Hood Founder Liam Williams +971 4 375 1511 Editorial Praseeda Nair Business Development Junaid Rafique +971 4 375 1504 Harry Norman +971 4 375 1502 Marketing & Administration Leila El Madalla +971 4 375 1506 Design & Photography Marlou Delaben Web Development Troy Maagma Maher Waseem Shahzad Production and Circulation James P. Tharian Rajeesh M Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC Published by

Head Office PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 375 1500 Fax: +971 4 365 9986 Web: __________ © Copyright 2012 CPI. All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

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November 2012




CONTENTS November 2012



21 Academically speaking Dr Mutasim Nour highlights the major concerns facing the region in terms of renewable energy

CONSTRUCTION 32 Grand designs A look at the recently designed Masdar and IRENA headquarters


34 A tale of energy and buildings Carboun’s visual guide to energy use in buildings in the Arab world

BGreen looks at some of the key drivers in going green - from R&D to establishing the right framework - in a roundtable ahead of the first EmiratesGBC Annual Congress

News 10 UAE 12 WORLD


14 SPOTLIGHT BGreen speaks to Morris Reid 17 REALLY?! Sailing robots — Truth can be stranger than fiction

COMMENT 27 Michael Krämer on Dubai’s solar path 29 Alan Millin on sustainability and FM 36 Saeed Alabbar on a four-step approach in green buildings 54 Stephanie Forsblom on intelligent water management

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SPECIAL FEATURE 40 Innovation in sustainability A BGreen-EmiratesGBC roundtable

GREEN TECHNOLOGY 48 Energy efficient data centres A visual guide to green data centres 52 SAP on cloud computing

ECO-LEISURE 56 Sun-powered campsite BGreen visits the world’s first solar powered desert camp along the DubaiSharjah border

GREEN BUSINESS 59 The future of energy management financing Khaled Bushnaq speaks to BGreen


OIL & GAS 64 Fujairah onshore UAE’s Habshan-Fujairah pipeline is set to be fully operational by the end of the year

SOCIETY 68 PERSONALITY - Edward Pollock 17-year-old ecopreneur takes the (Aqua) initiative 71 Green Spy Faith in future - green hajj 73 Diary dates Notable events, conferences and exhibitions in the region 74 Sustainable past Volcanic wonderland - Iranian cave dwellings

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Expert Panel

His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi

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

JosE Alberich PARTNER AT Kearney

Saeed Alabbar

Thomas Bohlen

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

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

Dr Michael Krämer

DR Mutasim Nour


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

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

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

Charles Blaschke IV

Roderick Wiles

stephanie forsblom

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

Sustainability manager Nokia

MEP BIM Manager iTech Holding

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

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

Goktug Gur COUNTRY PRESIDENT UAE and Oman Schneider Electric

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

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



Nuclear desal ideal for UAE


uclear desalination has been identified as the best step forward for the UAE, according to Dr Youssef Shatilla, Dean of Academic Programs, and Professor – Mechanical Engineering, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. The UAE’s water and energy security will receive a major boost if the desalination plants can be linked to nuclear power. Nuclear desalination is a well-known technology and the number of plants currently operating across the world strongly indicates the advantage, says Dr Shatilla. The remarks followed the announcement by the editorial board of the prestigious international journal Desalination, naming Dr Shatilla and Dr Ibrahim Khamis, Nuclear Power Technology Development Section, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as co-Guest Editors for a special issue dedicated to ‘Nuclear Desalination’. Dr. Nidal Hilal, Editor-in-Chief of Desalination, has announced that both luminaries have accepted the offer for the special edition that will be published in March 2014. This special issue will be open by the journal on 1 November 2012. Dr Shatilla said: “Since the creation of modern UAE, most of the water needs have been met through seawater desalination.

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The UAE is no stranger to the world of desalination as some of the largest desalination plants in the world are right here in our own backyard. Nuclear desalination is basically the same as conventional desalination, except for the source of energy, which comes from a nuclear power plant. Nuclear desalination plants have been deployed in various parts of the world ranging from developed to developing countries with commanding success. This gives confidence that such an undertaking, if implemented, will definitely be a huge addition to UAE’s water and energy security.” Dr Hilal, who is also Professor in Nano-membranology and Water Technologies at Masdar Institute, said: “Energy plays important role in both thermal and RO desalination technologies and looking into the future for providing alternative energies to provide sustainable clean water to places where it is needed. Therefore Desalination journal will publish a special issue on nuclear desalination in 2014 and has chosen Dr. Khamis from the Department of Nuclear Energy at the IAEA and Dr Shatilla from Masdar Institute, who has a doctorate of Science in Nuclear Engineering from MIT and well known in this field. “The editorial board of Desalination is always looking into disseminating state-of-theart research findings in very important water and desalination technologies to scientists and engineers around the world. The journal has recently completed a number of special issues, to be published early 2013, including, New Directions in Desalination, Membrane Distillation, Forward Osmosis, Radioactive Decontamination, Boron Removal and Nano-filtration.”

New manual for mall waste

Dubai Municipality launched a new manual to guide source segregation of waste in shopping centres at the Dubai Chamber ‘Be responsible- rethink waste’ conference. Source segregation of waste in malls, shopping centres and commercial establishments is a strategic initiative to capture the recyclable waste being generated in commercial centres. The manual was developed by the waste management department to assist the shopping centre managements to start up their individual programmes. “Commercial centres should start implementing the programme now that the manual is launched and we will be working closely with them to ensure that the initiative is carried out efficiently”, commented Ali Mohammed Al Hammadi, Head of Technical Support and Studies Section, Waste Management Department, Dubai Municipality. The launch of the new manual comes as a conclusion to the ‘Be ResponsibleRethink Waste Campaign’ launched by the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network. This initiative was a call on businesses and the public for action to reduce, reuse, and recycle. This campaign was been created by the sustainability network members in partnership with Dubai Municipality.



Under fire for human rights violations

Finance needed for renewable in Africa Africa needs ambitious financing for renewable energy projects of all sizes in order to stimulate investment, maintain rapid economic growth and provide universal energy access around the continent, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Frank Wouters, IRENA’s Deputy Director-General, said Africa could achieve widespread prosperity by concentrating on renewable energy projects for rapid expansion of electrical services. “In order to meet its rapidly growing energy needs within the next two decades, Africa requires vast investments in new energy projects, from large investments to feed national power systems, to innovative, localised off-grid solutions to bring power to people and areas that are currently not served,“ he said. “Renewables offer great business opportunities to meet these energy needs.” Wouters made the comments at a panel session on energy and water finance for Africa during the World Energy Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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IRENA will start receiving applications in November for renewable energy financing through a new US$350 million facility for the Abu Dhabi Development Fund (ADFD). Each project proposal must be government-backed. The funding consists of US$50 million per year for seven years. The ADFD-IRENA facility was created as part of the UAE’s bid in 2009 to host the new inter-governmental agency, which promotes the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy worldwide. The World Energy Forum – held for the first time outside United Nations Headquarters in New York – is part of a series of highlevel international energy and environmental events in the UAE and the Gulf Region in the months ahead. Qatar will host the UN Climate Change Conference in November-December. The third session of the Assembly of IRENA on 13 to 14 January coincides with the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in the UAE capital.

A dam construction project located in Sarawak on the Malaysian part of Borneo Island is set to displace around 1,500 people from the ethnic groups of the Western Penan and the Kenyah. In order to prevent construction works, roughly three hundred natives have been blocking the construction works at the Murum mega-dam for the past 3 weeks. By blocking the access road and the supply of materials for the 944 megawatt dam, the residents of the rainforest have expressed their dissatisfaction with the terms of their resettlement. Recently leaked information suggests that the compensation will impoverish them, and their new farmland is already occupied by palm oil plantations. This will prevent them from continuing to pursue their traditional livelihoods. One of the main international collaborators in the construction of the Murum dam is an Australian company: Hydro Tasmania. An international coalition of NGOs from Australia, Europe, USA and Japan is now approaching the Australian foreign minister and the Tasmanian Premier. They are demanding an investigation into the role of Hydro Tasmania and the suspension of Hydro Tasmania’s operations in Sarawak.

Region’s largest geothermal system up and running MENA Geothermal has completed the largest geothermal heating and cooling system at the American University of Madaba (AUM) in Jordan, with a total cooling load of 1680 kW and a heating load of 1350 kW, enough energy to power both faculties on campus. The system has the capacity to reduce carbon emissions by roughly 220,000 kg per year, which translates to nearly half of the business-as-usual scenario. Since geothermal systems eliminate the burning of fossil fuels, the College of Science and College of Business buildings will generate zero carbon dioxide emissions making them “green” buildings by definition. In comparison to a similarly sized conventional system, the geothermal system at AUM is expected to save 300 tonnes of CO2 annually.



Green grassroots Leading Washington consultant and former official in the Clinton administration, Morris Reid, speaks to BGreen about how sustainability can be integrated in the fabric of any society, if you start at the grassroots

BGreen: How did the concept of sustainability become so ingrained in the lifestyle choices of the general American public? Morris Reid: I think that the concept of sustainability has become a cause celebre in a lot of ways. When you have celebrities involved, awareness tends to increase. You also have the power of marketing these concepts to the younger generation. I’ll give you an example of seatbelts in America. The concept of “buckling up” caught on because car companies would target their message to kids, who would then remind their parents to do so every time they’re behind the wheel. Children are the key in pushing this grassroots approach rather than a top-down campaign. This works in terms of pushing anti-littering campaigns, recycling initiatives, and even buying responsibly.

then sustainability will always be challenged. If you look at what President Obama perhaps he and his team got a little too far out when it comes to preaching the virtues of some of these things, when it should have been left purely to market dynamics. If you look at one of the major hangovers in this coming election is this whole situation where he gave a large federal loan to a company that went bankrupt. I think that it is safe to say that maybe they had more access and were given favourable treatment than some of the other players that were involved. If they were to look at a purely market driven situation, they would have known that they shouldn’t have hung their hat on a venture of this magnitude when a majority of those ventures fail. And this is because the marketplace is not mature or sustainable right now. It just won’t work in America right now. And that’s some of the challenges with solar and wind energy.

BGreen: What about the government’s investment in renewable energy?

BGreen: In the context of the UAE, there are economic incentives that come from market forces, but the majority of the change that manifests in society comes from government action. How then can we strike a balance between free market forces and government goals and targets when it comes to green technologies?

Morris Reid: If any government can create a competitive market on purely economic standards,

Morris Reid: What the Middle East has in its favour is the chance to get it right the first time. Let me

November 2012

give you an example of the auto industry. The American auto industry lost out to the Japanese auto industry because the Japanese auto industry benefitted in the post-war period by learning from the mistakes of their American counterparts. Toyota, for example, recognised the need for a long-term point of view. They invested

in green technologies back when American companies hadn’t even considered it. They were looking at the compact car way before American companies fully understood its potential. They really focused on where the marketplace was going. When you dominate a certain marketplace, it makes sense to invest in R&D. What we should be looking at is what is the next resource once oil runs out. This part of the world, in my opinion, should be a leader in alternative energy because they already dominate the market where the current appetite for oil is. This part of the world should be the leader in solar. Period. End of story. They still have a chance to take that stewardship role. With economies dominated by the government, they can perfect the model here and be an example around the world. Morris Reid is the managing director of BGR Group, a Washington, DC-based government affairs, public relations and investment group. He was a senior staff aide to former American Vice President Al Gore, former Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo.


Sailing robots save the day Straight out of science fiction, ecopreneur Cesar Harad’s unmanned sailing robot prototype could revolutionise clean-up operations


n 2010, the largest accidental oil spills in modern history led to 205 million gallons of crude oil to flow into the Gulf of Mexico, affecting local fishermen and unhinging the natural structure of marine life. Only about 3% of this toxic crude oil containing carcinogenic particulates was ever recovered, as the absorbent booms were never designed to handle an oil spill of such a massive scale in open water. Out of this massive eco-disaster, Cesar Harada formed a new concept infusing sailing technology and modern robotics, launching with the help of a bank loan and a budding team of enthusiastic engineers. Releasing the designs under an OpenSource Hardware (OSHW) license which allows others to learn, modify and share solutions for free, Harada went public. The idea was simple. Oil spills move downwind, so by dragging the absorbent booms upwind, the robots would capture

oil efficiently. A sailboat could use wind power to tack upwind in a way that is ideal for cleaning oil, but traditional sailboats don’t steer well when dragging a large object. Harada overcame this by moving the rudder forward, while the rest of the team experimented with an articulated boat which steered by bending like a fish. One team found that this might make it possible for the boat to sail directly upwind without tacking. Harada also theorised that such flexibility might make it move more efficiently through waves and eliminate two sources of turbulence as the keel and rudder are no longer separate from the hull. The idea of sailing robots can be used for more than just oil recovery; they could be used to clean up plastic waste, or monitor radioactivity in the seas. The technology hinges on the work of an entire community of scientists and engineers, making it cost-effective to implement for various uses.

November 2012


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At the World Energy Forum 2012 held in Dubai at the end of last month, Dubai made strong commitments towards energy efficiency, providing access to energy, diversifying the energy mix and more. BGreen shares an excerpt


e, the heads of states and ministers of the United Nations member states, together with the representatives of international organisations, civil societies, academies and leaders from the private sector gathered at World Energy Forum 2012 during October 22 to 24. We commend the host country the United Arab Emirates for its Vision 2021 for a green economy, its emergence as a global champion for sustainable energy, responsible development and the efficient use of hydrocarbon resources and

Dubai as a role model for its vision, innovations, and achievements in energy efficiency. In recognition of the critical role that energy plays in human, economic, and social development: We hereby reaffirm our united commitment to the goal of delivering safe, accessible, and sustainable energy to all nations and peoples.  We recognise the need for national energy polices which reflect a harmonious global perspective so as to promote international collaboration between developed and developing nations.  We seek to promote policies that will implement structures and mechanisms by which developed nations may make and fulfill financial and technological commitments to alleviate energy poverty in developing nations.  We support the mobilisation of expertise across borders in order to nurture the development of human capacity in a true spirit of pursuit of the common good of humanity.  We recognise the need for continuing role of responsible use of fossil fuels, while seeking the acceleration of an affordable transition to renewable energy, which we believe is critical for the support of economic growth and the mitigation of climate change.  We recognise that improving energy efficiency is an environmentally sound and cost effective approach towards energy sustainability, and  we support policies that address the issue of increasing efficiency by widening the implementation of energy

efficient transportation networks, industrial processes, buildings, power grids and to broaden the incorporation of energy efficiency and sustainability measures in urban and regional planning. We recognise the need to adapt existing, and in some cases create new international market structures, regulations, and policies in order to promote increased investments in sustainable energy by private and public capital with the use of public private partnerships to stimulate and enable actions and the need to maintain attractive and non-discriminatory legislative environments for investors in the energy sector. Therefore, we declare our support for the World Energy Day October 22 to be commemorated worldwide annually to raise grassroots awareness and inspire creativity and imaginative thinking. We declare our support for energy access as a fundamental Human Right of every person. We declare our support for worldwide Smart Energy Movement (SEM) with the participation by all to build a new energy paradigm that can advance global economic and social development towards a New Energy Civilisation of Accessible and Sustainable Resources for All. We declare our support for annual World Energy Forum to review actions undertaken for the implementation of Dubai Declaration and to chart future progress.

November 2012



Academically speaking Dr Mutasim Nour highlights the major concerns facing the region in terms of renewable energy


he UAE has 7 % of global proved oil reserves, about 100 billion barrels ranking it 6th in the world and has the 7th top global proved natural gas reserves, above 6 trillion cubic metres. Today, the UAE is the hub of the biggest energy summits and conferences and has demonstrated successful examples of its green initiatives. Despite having huge reserves, the country does realise that the natural resources will not last forever and that they need to come up with an alternative that is not just sustainable but environmentally friendly as well. The UAE is one of the first countries in the Middle East to take robust and tangible steps in taking a trajectory towards renewable energy. It has invested

billions of dollars in energy projects both locally and internationally. The leading role of the country in the energy sector goes beyond conventional energy resource. It has taken major steps towards carving a niche for itself in the harnessing of alternative and renewable sources of energy. Clean energy represents the ideal future energy option. It is ready to utilize inexhaustible natural resources—such as solar, wind and hydrogen power, as well as nuclear power. So, there is a global competition among advanced countries to develop this sector in order to boost energy security and diversify energy sources while preserving the environment. Also, given the increased awareness about the devastating effects of environmental degradation,

global demand for clean energy is expected to rise in the long run. However, progress in the field of alternative sources of energy faces two key challenges — creation of a highly advanced research and technological environment, and minimising the cost of alternative sources of energy to make it economically competitive. The UAE has been recycling oil revenue into solar energy and sustainability research. This has been a smart and successful way for the country as it is investing current wealth to return sustainable economic stability and energy security in the future. The UAE has planned to increase renewable energy to 7% of its energy used in the next eight years and reduce carbon emissions by 30% within 18 years.

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Energy has always been critical for economic growth and social development”

The UAE’s commitment, both nationally and internationally, to renewable energy is a bold new vision of the future. With its natural resources, capital and expertise, the UAE has become an effective player in the international agenda on renewable energy. Investment in alternative energy fulfils the objectives of building a knowledgebased society, development of human resources and the creation of a network of institutions that use modern technologies and outstanding skills to generate wealth through intellectual achievements. Certainly, this will contribute to the creation of a society capable of dealing with new developments and challenges and would direct the country into a new era of accomplishments. Though fossil fuel reserves are in abundance, its extraction and use has been proven to have environmental detriments. There is a major shift in worldwide thinking and it suggests from moving away from fossil fuel based economies. All major oil companies are rebranding themselves as energy companies and are adding green to their logos as well as portfolios. Once that shift takes speed, the market capitalisation of fossil based economy shall spiral downwards.

High expat population It is interesting to note that the core population of the UAE is minimal, while the expat population is higher. This in effect is creating a situation for the UAE that suggests that calculated

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carbon emissions per capita of the country are among the world’s highest. To address this anomaly, the UAE has to move to renewable energy. Another option would be to increase its core population base by regularising expat population from within. Since the first option is easier than the second, my opinion is therefore that there should be more emphasis on renewable energy. This is then directly related to the carbon tax - intra countries. As research and technology on renewable energy is progressing, the cost per kW of renewable energy spirals downwards. The time when this cost pares along or falls below that of fossil energy, there will be a paradigm shift from investors’ actions on Energy Investments. The timing of this is solely controlled for the moment by political alliances between traditional energy companies, its manufacturers and its governments and not by available cost effective renewable energy or its motivation to use. That time seems to be approaching fast and is almost upon us.

The problem with staying conventional I had once read that if you don’t know for sure what will happen,

but you know the odds, that’s risk and if you don’t even know the odds, that’s uncertainty. We know that energy demand is predicted to double between 2000 and 2050 as a result of increase in global population and in the growth of global Gross Domestic Product. Energy has always been critical for economic growth and social development. As economies develop, energy consumption grows more or less in parallel. An adequate and affordable energy supply is needed to meet the demands of the industry, commerce and domestic users and to enable the movement of people and goods. We are currently facing a time of huge uncertainty where our population is increasing day by day and so is our consumption for fossil fuels. Nearly all the industries, including transport, textiles, power etc are dependent on oil, gas or coal. Fossil fuels are used in so many facets of manufacturing - from carpets and plastics, to clothing and toiletries, construction, food production, and everything in between. Most importantly, they are used to produce electricity in power plants and grow and distribute food in more developed countries. Everything we do on a daily basis is tied to or in some way depends


Renewable energy accounted for approximately half of the estimated 194 GW of new electric capacity added globally during the year”

on, the use of fossil fuels. The question of when each one will actually run out, however, is a tricky one. There have been many predictions about the run out of each one of these fossil fuels. There are many different opinions and calculations and none really agree on the exact timing. Many different factors need to be considered including how much of each deposit is left in the Earth, how fast we are using each fossil fuel at the moment, and how this is likely to change in the future. People have been expecting oil to run out within the next few years since at least the 1990s. No doubt it is currently getting scarcer, and as a result more expensive, but current estimates suggest we will not actually run out until between 2025 and 2070. Coal is the fossil fuel with the greatest reserves spread all over the Earth. It is very labour intensive to recover, as it lies deep below the surface, usually around 300 feet below land level and deposits can only be a few centimetres thick. Most of the coal deposits have not been tapped yet and the decline of the coal mining industry in the UK means that the coal seams still there are currently lying undisturbed. If we carry on using coal at the same rate as we

do today, we could have enough coal to last well over a thousand years. However, as other fossil fuels run out, particularly oil, the use of coal may increase, reducing that time span considerably. Coal can be converted to oil in the FischerTropsch process, securing even oil for the next decade, but the investments are higher. We still have enough resources to fuel the world for the next 100200 years but the main question is what happens next. Still many countries and billions of people are deprived with access to electricity. This is not mainly because we are running out of our natural resources, but the distribution of energy around the world is improper. These 100-200 years before the actual panic starts gives us the time frame to start investing in renewable energy. A lot of countries like Scotland have already invested billions in renewable energy and have prepared themselves for the worse. In fact they have aimed to supply 80% of their energy needs purely from renewable energy by 2050. Currently, all of our basic necessities are based on fossil fuels. The consequences of shortage of these are already being faced and can be observed in today’s world. Inflation, high oil prices, famine drought, wars and food shortages are some of the catastrophes’ that we are currently facing. Countries who are even bothered about the shortage of oil and other natural resources are the only ones who can afford to invest in renewable energy. If they stop investing in renewable sources, they already have the required

infrastructure to maintain their energy supplies.

Consequences Countries that do not start obtaining energy from renewable sources might therefore lose out on economic energy use and energy technology, face carbon tax on GDP. Predicted environmental degradation may accelerate and result in global catastrophic climate changes. This largely depends on the number of countries (by capacity of CO2 emissions) defaulting in shifting to renewable energy.

In the next five to ten years Changes in renewable energy markets, investments, industries, and policies have been so rapid in recent years that perceptions of the status of renewable energy can lag years behind the reality. Renewable energy, which experienced no downturn in 2009, continued to grow strongly in all end-use sectors – power, heat and transport and supplied an estimated 16% of global final energy consumption. Renewable energy accounted for approximately half of the estimated 194 GW of new electric capacity added globally during the year. Renewables delivered close to 20% of global electricity supply in 2010, and by early 2011 they comprised one quarter of global power capacity from all sources. Major countries including USA, China, UK, Spain, Germany etc are already generating an average of 10% of their primary energy needs. Trends reflect strong growth

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and investment across all market sectors. During the period from the end of 2005 through 2010, total global capacity of many renewable energy technologies – including Solar PV, wind power, concentrating solar thermal power (CSP), solar water heating systems, and biofuels – grew at average rates ranging from around 15% to nearly 50% annually. Biomass and geothermal for power generation and heat, also grew strongly. Wind power added the most new capacity, followed by hydropower and Solar PV. By early 2011, at least 118 countries had some type of policy target or renewable support policy at the national level, up from 55 countries in early 2005. There is also a large diversity of policies in place at state/provincial and local levels. Developing countries, which now represent more than half of all countries with policy targets and half of all countries with renewable support policies, are playing an increasingly important role in advancing renewable energy. Total investment in renewable energy reached $211 billion in 2010; up from $160 billion in 2009, continuing the steady annual increase seen since tracking first began in 2004. Including the unreported $15 billion (estimated) invested

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in solar hot water collectors; total investment exceeded $226 billion. An additional $40–45 billion was invested in large hydropower. There is no question that the world will either make an orderly transition to the use of renewable energy resources in the next few decades, or that essentially some economies will collapse. The question is how much time is there, how realistic is such and how long must it be coddled through financial and other incentives before it takes off on its own market momentum. There are also the considerable costs associated with developing and implementing renewables. Ironically, the developed world will eventually, though not by 2017, make this clean, high tech transition while people in the developing world are still cooking on dried animal dung, but that is a different bet. If countries increasingly shift to renewable energy, following are my predictions for next 10 years: 1. Energy will become cheap and global energy use will rebound and increase drastically from current levels going from now until 10 years and beyond 2. Power production in general will rise and security of supply for energy will be in a better position 3. Efficiency for systems will rise due to fierce competition in the market 4. High paying jobs in the oil energy sector shall disappear from the next five years onwards and reappear in the research and manufacturing fields of renewable energy industries 5. Demand for researchers on renewable energy equipments, components, etc. in general such as PV cells, etc. shall ascend seven


years from now and peak after 10 years. Global GDP shall initially contract during the shift and start rising (approx 8th year onwards) going well beyond multiples of 10 years from now to peak.

Energy based on fossil fuels and, increasingly, renewables is an essential component of our existence. The cost, availability and efficient utilisation of energy are increasingly strong focal points in the strategies of governments world-wide, as they realise that the raw material for most of the energy used today has a finite life. Of even greater concern is the probability that the products of the inefficient or profligate use of fossil fuels could make the earth uninhabitable in the longer term, and create havoc in parts of our balanced ecosystem in the medium term. The implications of the above have both national and international significance. The latter point is recognised by the Kyoto Agreement on CO2 emissions and similar actions. Dr Mutasim Nour holds a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He is currently working in Heriot Watt University, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, and holds the position Director of MSc Energy programme in Dubai Campus. Prior to joining Heriot Watt University, Dr Nour was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. He is currently involved in several research activities, which include: PV inverter system and PV solar tracker, energy demand management, renewable energy storage systems and applications of artificial intelligence to power systems.


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COMMENT | krÄmer

Dubai going Solar - Perspectives Dr. Michael Krämer, senior associate and energy specialist at international law firm Taylor Wessing, Dubai, describes opportunities that may arise with Dubai going solar in the future.


Dr Michael Krämer

aeed Al Tayer, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) recently announced that DEWA has “identified that distributed rooftop solar power sources can make a practical contribution to Dubai’s power needs in the order of 20% or around 2,500 megawatt by 2030”. This is in addition to the 1,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity that are supposed to be installed in the Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. All in all, Dubai is determined to make use of its abundant solar resources, which is good news indeed. What does this mean for the normal citizen? First of all, a considerably less polluted environment since energy is generated by converting sunlight into electricity instead of burning fossil resources. Apart from such rather altruistic causes, however,

going solar is likely to be a worthwhile financial investment for citizens. How does this work? To be clear, at present, generating electricity from solar sources is more expensive than what Dubai residents are used to pay to DEWA. Hence, even if DEWA would allow home owners to install solar rooftops and connect such installations to the grid, it would not make much financial sense to actually do so. The money home owners would have to spend for their solar installations would not pay off for a very long period of time, if ever. Solar system costs have decreased substantially in the recent past and will continue to decline, but for now investing in solar makes financial sense only if a so called “incentive scheme” is being put in place that makes solar investments worthwhile. DEWA is currently working on such incentive scheme, although

no details of the scheme have been announced yet. No matter how the incentive scheme will look like in the end, however, the main purpose of any such incentive scheme is to make investments into solar rooftops viable. Hence, solar investors will be able to generate a profit from their investment. In many countries, solar investors are being paid a tariff for all electricity they generate with their solar installations. Hence, solar investors are being paid an amount X for every kilowatt hour (kWh) their solar installation produces. This safe and steady income (the sun is shining every day and has done so for the past billions of years) will pay off the home owner’s investment into his or her solar installation. In addition, once the system cost has been recouped, the solar investor will generate a profit with every kWh of solar electricity s/he produces. All this makes for a very clean and safe investment for the greater benefit of all. Without knowing the details of DEWA’s proposed incentive scheme, it is not possible to predict how beneficial solar investments will ultimately turn out to be for private investors/home owners, of course. Investors are well advised to watch this space, however. It does not happen very often that investment opportunities become available that allow for an extremely safe investment that serves a greater purpose for the benefit of all. Dubai is going solar? Here we come! Dr Michael Krämer is a Senior Associate at Taylor Wessing (Middle East) LLP, and Legal Counsel to the Emirates Solar Industry Association’s first Executive Committee. Contact him at

November 2012


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Articmaster: The Articmaster is a condenser controller; the chief function of Articmaster is to increase the capacity of the condenser. The increased capacity enhances the condensers ability to reject heat, which in turn reduces the compressors load and lowers amperage draw and energy consumption. The Articmaster can be applied to both new and replacement HVAC/ Refrigerant equipment’s does not need any water or electricity to operate and with no moving parts and maintenance, it is simply a product without competition to date.

Articmaster and few advantages: The Articmaster is a refrigeration optimization product that saves energy between 20-30% and reduces the electrical cost • It reduces the power drawn from the electrical supply • Helps in reduction of head pressure • Reduction in compressor cycle • Does not void HVAC warranty

Ultra: ULTRA is an patent Power saver technology from South Korea that works very well in industrial loads; the technology is based on Molecular Science. ULTRA is a passive device connected in parallel with the AC (Alternating Current) inductive loads to give an assured minimum of min 7% power saving against an ROI ranges from 15 - 24 months depending on the load duty cycle.

Ultra and few advantages: • ULTRA is the Energy Saver using the latest technology . It save energy between 5-15% & reduces the electrical cost • The World’s First Current Optimization power saving System • Its Reduce Electric Consumption without Dropping Voltage • For the Resistance Load Ultra causes to Increasing the Illumination Intensity of lights • Its suitable for all Industrial & Residential electrical loads ( Inductive, resistive & complex loads) • Installation is simple and it does not void any electrical appliances warranty

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Sustainable FM According to Alan Millin, there is no doubt that green buildings are a step on the road to sustainability. That step is however a relatively small one that may be reaching a plateau of its potential impact


e have green building rating systems such the United States Green Building Council’s wellknown Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. There are many other green building rating systems in use too. A common theme with these systems is that most tend to give credence to the notion that the main purpose of designing and building a facility is to conserve energy rather than to house people. From a facilities management perspective, this remark has great significance. Project teams routinely discuss alternatives and make decisions based on energy

demand or consumption yet many overlook the impact of people on a facility’s operational lifecycle and the facility’s impact on people and their operations. Water consumption design decisions may be based on the flow rates of fixtures and fittings that comply with green building rating systems. Waste recycling points may be provided to earn credit under a green building rating system. These are noble ideas but can they be improved? In the case of water consumption, is there more that we can do to conserve water than simply installing low flow fittings? Of course there is; some facilities have installed controls

to shut off water flow quickly and efficiently for instance. On waste recycling, it does little good to have a recycling point that earns rating system credit if that recycling point is not convenient to the end users. We have to make it easy for people to separate waste streams and use the recycling points. If we don’t the waste often ends up down the main garbage chute for disposal. It is the facility managers that have to operate facilities and maintain and improve efficiencies in terms of systems, people and operations. Many green building (GB) rating systems fall short on this point.

November 2012




Several GB rating systems have a system for existing building operations and maintenance (O&M) but there is often no requirement to achieve certification under this system. These O&M rating systems also tend to fall short when it comes to how a facility actually works, focusing more on the resources the facility consumes as a result of its operations than on how the facility supports its occupants. There is a risk therefore that a green building may be built with sustainability in mind but it may not achieve its sustainability goals due to operational considerations. Buildings designed to house processes rather than people present similar issues. Consider a LEED certified district cooling plant building. In itself this is a good step forward but the greater lifecycle environmental impact will be in the operational phase of the process. In effect, an operational process that is less than 100% efficient can be housed in a green, energy efficient building. Only the building’s green credentials are touted, not the overall environmental impact of the systems and processes housed within. There is still a mindset within the leadership teams of certain organisations that facilities management (FM) is a downstream service. These organisations do not see the value of FM before a facility transitions to operations, whereas some organisations recognise that FM input is an essential part of a development project from its conception. The organisations that

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don’t realise the necessity of FM pass on the effects of its limited vision to operators and end users. Facility managers are left trying to operate a building that may be functionally operative but less than optimally efficient. Because facility managers seek to deliver the highest value to owners they often identify shortcomings in a facility and its systems and, where necessary and approved, initiate corrective action. Someone has to pay for this work. Uninformed design decisions therefore come back to burden the end user in the form of increased service charges. For jointly owned properties this of course means that the unit owner pays once to buy the property and again to correct design deficiencies that may not have occurred if FM had been involved early in the project. Facility managers are therefore tasked with the delivery of facility sustainability in all its forms. We all stand to benefit if we shift our focus from green buildings to sustainable buildings. Perhaps the time has come to rebrand green building organisations to reflect the real requirement of sustainability. We also need to change mindsets about facilities management. It is far from being only a downstream activity. At the earliest stages of a project, where changes can be made with minimum cost and inconvenience, FM can have a

significant impact. FM consultants also perform design reviews from a facility management and sustainability viewpoint. While designers often look at technical and functional specifications of systems, FM consultants will assess the function of the building as a whole, and by component, with regard lifecycle implications. FM professionals also work to make sure that people can use a facility efficiently. This is the area that has significant life cycle operational cost influence. When the design focus is on energy and resource efficient green buildings, rather than sustainable facilities, design teams often overlook this critical element. Facilities management integrates people, processes, facilities and technology to produce the most sustainable outcome for clients. To relegate FM to the post-transition phase is to miss out on opportunities for greater sustainability. Over the last few years several regional organisations have embraced FM and realised the benefits. Many others have still to reap these benefits, to the detriment of the environment and to the cost of their clients. A willingness to open minds and consider wider alternatives is required if we are to progress towards sustainable development. Green buildings represent a move towards sustainability but sustainable buildings would move us much further forward. We do not need green building rating systems to design and build sustainable facilities; we just need a willingness to do so. Facilities management will be an essential part of the process if we wish to realise our goals. Alan Millin is a Chartered Engineer, LEED AP and Certified Member of the British Institute of Facilities Management. He is currently a consultant and trainer for Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA)

Building the Future Knauf is one of the world’s leading production and construction material company with over 220 facilities and 22,000 employees present in over 60 countries. Knauf is a family-owned business, headquartered in Iphofen-Bavaria, Germany. The 80-year-old company specializing in gypsum products has an astonishing range of over 30,000 products, and that tally is growing all the time. The company’s Dubai headquarter services the entire region, and represents its first foray into the Middle East. In addition, it has a manufacturing facility in Ras Al Khaimah, and with a production capacity of 30 million square meters of gypsum board a year. This production is exported throughout the GCC, East Africa and India, which constitute Knauf’s main growth markets at present.

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Grand designs Touted to be one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the country, the recently designed Masdar and IRENA headquarters is set for construction


asdar recently announced the awarding of the design and construction contract for its new headquarters, which will also house the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The headquarters will be one of the most advanced, sustainable multi-use complexes in the UAE. Completion is set for summer of 2014. The Masdar and IRENA headquarters aims for a four-pearl certification under the Estidama Pearl Building Rating System, one of the strictest energy efficiency and sustainability standards in the world. It will be fitted with 1,000 square-metres of rooftop photovoltaic solar panels, supplying renewable electricity to its tenants. It is set to reduce water usage

November 2012

by more than 50% compared to a regular building. The headquarters will be a three building, 32,000 square-metre complex. The buildings will share a community courtyard, connecting offices to spaces to shops. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO and managing director of Masdar said: “The award of this contract marks a major milestone in the development of Masdar City. The buildings integrate cutting-edge technologies in energy efficiency, green building and water conservation.” He added: “Higher education and research are at the core of Masdar City, enabling companies to partner with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to accelerate the development of technologies. Organisations, such as Boeing,

Siemens, Global Green Growth Institute and IRENA are already working with us and capitalising on the opportunities offered by the technology hub.” IRENA, currently situated in Khalidiya in Abu Dhabi, advised on the design of its custom headquarters to meet its organisational requirements. “It’s only fitting that the headquarters of IRENA, dedicated to the sustainable use of renewable energy be located in one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. The building is a shining example of how we can meet our energy needs today while preserving the earth’s resources for tomorrow,” said Adnan Amin, director-general of IRENA. Brookfield Multiplex was awarded the design and construction contract.


“Our innovative strategies and holistic approach will significantly reduce the buildings’ potable water consumption, energy demand, waste to landfill and embodied carbon emissions from materials,” said Ashley Muldoon, CEO of Brookfield Multiplex, a 50-year-old

Adnan Amin

global company responsible for building the Emirates Towers in Dubai, London’s Wembley Stadium and the Central Park tower in Western Australia, among other projects worldwide. The headquarters adheres to updates from the 2011 redesign, which was made to meet market demand and allow for the integration of newer technologies. Construction of the complex will source materials from Abu Dhabi’s sustainable supply chain. The building uses green materials, including low-carbon cement, high-recycled-content aluminium, recycled steel and sustainably sourced timber, among others. Architectural firm Woods

Bagot designed the headquarters complex concept. Ross Donaldson, group-managing director of Woods Bagot said: “The project presented an irresistible challenge to create a highly efficient, yet aspirational workplace environment, embodying Masdar’s vision for sustainability, delivered in a commercially viable way.” The headquarters complex will be located alongside other key developments within Masdar City. Developments include the expansion of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, construction of the first commercial building and the final stages of construction of the Middle East headquarters of Siemens.

November 2012




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COMMENT | Alabbar

Going green?

Despite all the measures being taken with local and international building codes, the buildings being constructed today consume more energy per square metre of floor area than buildings constructed in the 1970s. AESG director, Saeed Alabbar, shares his four step approach to tackling the issue

November 2012

COMMENT | Alabbar

comparing the building to a theoretical baseline of ‘the same building built to code requirements’. Therefore if the fundamental design of the building is terrible the analysis


s an industry we are falling over ourselves to find the latest breakthrough’s in technology to help save energy and there have been some incredible advances made in technology. Why then are we using more energy now than 40 years ago? Isn’t engineering about progress? Unfortunately we as an industry are still not asking ourselves the fundamental question of how much energy does this building consume in real life compared to other buildings. Some fantastic work is being done at the design phase of buildings with building information modelling in order to simulate the performance of buildings before they are built. This is all fantastic work and is a great tool for designers to improve building designs but shouldn’t we then pay more attention to what the building consumes in reality after it is built? Furthermore, a lot of the analysis done at the design stage is in

that is required by the rating system will not reveal this. So what do we need to do as an industry? Here are my humble opinions:

Adopt a realistic approach We need to start talking about a building’s energy use intensity, the energy consumption per square meter, rather than comparing buildings to theoretical baselines

are very poor with enormous amounts of thermal bridging. There is really little use in specifying the top of the range insulation if heat is allowed to pass through all the exposed elements of the building. Major savings in energy can be made by addressing this rather simple issue, which would not cost that much to fix.

Set stringent quality control guidelines Quality control in the integrity of building envelopes needs major improvement. Some fantastic analysis goes into building designs to select the right glass and insulation but quite often all this good work is lost during construction as insulation and facades are installed poorly with high levels of thermal bridging and air leakage. It is not only the contractors that are at fault here. A lot of building envelope designs done by architects in the region

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COMMENT | Alabbar

Focus on the Operational Aspect We need to move the discussion of green buildings into the realm of building operation. There is a lot of talk about green design and green construction but the objectives seem to stop once the building is completed and received its rating. Buildings do not consume energy while they are being built. They only consume energy when they are occupied so this should be the most important phase of a green buildings life and we need to pay more attention to the energy efficiency of building operation and begin reporting the energy use intensity of existing buildings.

Some fantastic analysis goes into building designs to select the right glass and insulation but quite often all this good work is lost during construction as insulation and facades are installed poorly with high levels of thermal bridging and air leakage.�

Ensure Proper Utilization of New Technology Before we try to outdo ourselves with the highest technology of

November 2012

Saeed Alabbar

systems in buildings, we need to make sure that those systems will be commissioned properly. Far too often when we look at existing buildings we see the most expensive, highest spec building management system turned off because it is not working properly or the operators do not know how to use it. Bridging the interface between construction and operation, through proper commissioning, is essential, particularly now as

buildings are becoming more and more high-tech. Despite these issues, there is a lot of great change that has happened in the industry over the past few years and the government and private sector are both making great strides in the realm of sustainable buildings. However, we must not rest on our laurels and we must wake up every day and ask ourselves the fundamental questions of how we can really make our buildings better.



Innovation in sustainability Moving away from buzzwords and marketing hype, sustainability has evolved into a necessary pillar for corporate long term survival. As the public and private sector increasingly challenge the ‘business as usual’ scenario, innovation and R&D have become key in meeting global sustainability challenges. The third edition of the Sustainable Solutions roundtable series, jointly organised by BGreen and Emirates Green Building Council, touched on this topic, ahead of the EmiratesGBC Annual Congress later this month

BGreen: With technology constantly evolving, what role can research and development play in sustaining innovation?

Adnan Sharafi Emirates Green Building Council Chairman

November 2012

Adnan Sharafi: A building consists of over 2000 components right from the basic material fabric consisting of mostly earth materials to sophisticated automated climate control systems. It is how these components are manufactured and used as an integrated system in a

building that determines whether it is sustainably built and operated or not. Research plays a crucial role in developing these components and also integrating them to get the desired outcomes. Take the case for the basic fabric which is mostly made of binding material (cement) filler (aggregate) and reinforcement (Steel). In the old days, we did not use cement or steel, both of which requires a

lot of energy to produce. With research on binders, we now have cementless concretes and plasters and we have non-ferric composite materials as reinforcements that use a small fraction of energy used to make them. We have recycled aggregates and fillers of high quality costing less than virgin material. There are now phase change materials that have been developed for various climates and scenarios, Like wise, we

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we have great need to not only reduce water and energy waste but also to generate water and energy” have tremendous advancements in HVAC, lighting and shading technologies on the other side of the spectrum, with opportunities for further development to suit our environmental and geomorphological conditions. On the operation side, we have great need to not only reduce water and energy waste but also to generate water and energy. We live in a harsh environment which is not conducive to human living unless intervened with by creating a living climate conducive to human habitat, contrary to the

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Peter Blanchflower Marketing Director of Trane Middle East, African & India region

environment of the temperates and the equatorials. What we miss is a centre for applied sustainable building research where all of the latest are put together and tested for performance and where further research opportunities can be identified in reaching to a net-zero and carbon negative building with the least cost while creating the optimum habitat for living in this harsh environment.

Peter Blanchflower: In the last couple of years, our parent group set up the Centre for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (CEES). The group comprises of a small specialist team not only based in the States but with a virtual team of energy specialists around the world to stay on top of the latest technology, products and regulatory affairs. These guys get very heavily involved in

environmental affairs, such as a green portfolio pipeline. There’s also R&D going on to make products better, fill in gaps and so on. Sustainability is absolutely a core part of everything we do. A/C products obviously do consume a lot of power so energy is a big issue, and also a big opportunity for us in both new construction and existing buildings. But going back to CEES, they’ve helped us drive Life cycle assessments (LCA) into our business. A couple of years back, we started with one of Trane’s flagship products, Centrovac, a very large commercial chiller. That became the world’s first commercial chiller to get the Environmental Product Declaration, which is the standard against which all products will then be assessed and has to be floated internationally for comments. Once that’s agreed, it then gets


We obviously make sure that whatever we do is considered to be energy efficient and responsiblE— and has got to bring shareholder value”

locked down as the environmental criteria against which any other commercial chiller would then be judged if that other company wanted to get an LCA. That was probably one of the demonstrable outcomes of that. Most companies are working on products that are more environmentally responsible through R&D, which is a little different from having a particular team who do nothing but ensure that energy efficiency and sustainability is driven into our business. It’s not just to be green. We obviously make sure that whatever we do is considered to be energy efficient and responsible and has got to bring shareholder value. We are a public trading company and make sure that the number of criteria’s is met, which will benefit the product or service. We

also make sure it complies with the usual energy efficiency and sustainability standards. By conducting some of these LCAs, we did the very first one with a third party environmental consultant. Part of our brief was not just to get the product done and certified for our sales brochure; we actually extended the commission so that we can learn how to conduct an LCA, to use it as a model that can be driven into our businesses, so that all design teams across the company can use it through a process. We now have something called a green portfolio, which is a subset of our development portfolio, accessible online.

Scott Coombes Director at AESG

Scott Coombes: Do you find that innovation takes a long time to catch on here among designers and consultants? The reason I say that is because there’s a project that I’m working on at the moment, and they’ve provided a small district cooling plant for couple of the buildings there and they’ve used an air-cooled chiller. That seems mad to me because an air cooled chiller has a COP (coefficient of performance) of 2.8

or 3, whereas you can use a watercooled chiller at 4.5, 5 or 6—very good COPs. And it just seems that there’s a lot of design that’s progressing at the moment, and the consultants are just going with what they know and understand for the last 20 years as opposed to maybe taking on new, innovative technologies. Is there any way that you as a supplier of technologies can help to educate or encourage the consultants?

Peter Blanchflower: There’s a lot of truth in what you say. Without getting too esoteric, we can see that in the choices made by some consultants and contractors who are presented with traditional products and also the high efficiency model that costs 5% more. Trying to get that extra 5% out of that project is extremely difficult. They all say “that’s really nice, love to have it—I am green as well,” but they’re not going to pay that extra 5%. Then you go through the energy calculation and demonstrate that the extra 5% would have a payback period of 3 or 4 years. But often, sad to say, clients would opt for the model that has the best initial price.

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BGreen: Wouldn’t some form of legislation be more effective?  How far can a framework push them?  Adnan Sharafi: Legislation is important in moving the country forward toward sustainability because it translates government policy into a framework which contains a process that cannot be crossed. For it to be effective, we need clear policies in simple language that the public can understand, we need a mechanism (process) of how this policy is implemented within the regulations and what is to be done by whom, how to deal with non-compliances and what tools are available to achieve them use the 5w&h rule. There should be standards against which buildings are measured and classified with the bar raised as we progress. Specifications in my opinion should be prescriptive to some extent for individual components but performance driven by the building system, in order to make room for innovation. Peter Blanchflower: There is some movement on the ground, through energy labelling

November 2012

programmes for example. The gulf states are getting on board, starting with appliances like kettles and washing machines, which is a good place to start, considering that there are so many of them. ESMA (Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology) is developing the energy labelling rating for the UAE and that’s already enforced. The standards are not particularly stringent for a one-star rating, but it takes time for retailers to get on board. ESMA has done a great job with that. SASO (Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation) is getting on that in Saudi, and I think QSAS (Qatar Sustainability Assessment System) is not far behind. It’s not quite a law, but it’s working its way through the fabric of the country.

BGreen: What is the priority for innovation in sustainability then? Adnan: We have to start thinking out of the box and drive innovation not only on the building system scale but on component scale as well. In fact, it is easier to start with components in the short term as some cost little but have a big effect. For example it is very easy to save water over 50% by using water saving fittings in bathrooms and toilets, both in existing buildings as well as in new ones. Just ban the water guzzling ones

from entering and being used in the country by legislation on both local and federal levels. It may be also quite financially attractive for the government to pay for replacing existing ones. The same would hold true for airconditioniong and lighting components resulting in electricity savings of over 30%. These would harvest the low hanging fruits that are obvious and easy to deal with. In the long term, we need to look at more components, use of indegineous sustainable materials, policies on imports that fuel R&D work for our environment and a centre for green building innovation. Government is good at legislating and we need to help them come up with the right policies and formulas to facilitate innovations in the marketplace and put the UAE on the green economy fast track.

Peter Blanchflower: We did a project about 15 years ago for SCECO (Saudi Consolidated Electric Company) and they were very aware of the wastage in Saudi. A lot of government buildings work from seven in the morning till two in the afternoon, yet these huge buildings would leave the air conditioning running


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It’s like an orchestra: you can have quite a lot of good players but if it’s not conducted properly it sounds terrible. It needs to be integrated and optimised to work together well”

for the rest of the day. Of course the building owners weren’t too worried, as they weren’t paying much for electricity anyway. So for Saudi, it wasn’t a money issue— in the short term, anyway. Their issue was that they couldn’t keep the power stations running hard enough, or build enough power stations to meet the demand. So they asked for this project in Riyadh. We came in and retrofitted some controls so that it wasn’t the owner that turned the chillers off, but the electricity company basically started ramping down the chillers. That really is managing the demand. If the individual owner wouldn’t do it and if their energy bill isn’t hurting or their conscience isn’t hurting regarding the environment, that is the way to go in and manage it directly. Since then, we’ve been invited back to work on some more buildings. On a big building, you can in fact ramp down the chillers since there’s so much cool energy stored in the concrete, the floor and so on, and it takes quite a while for the building to warm up. The problem is managing the humidity but that

November 2012

can be done. What we’ve seen recently is more and more interest in this particular approach. So electricity providers are starting to go back to this as they feel that some of the other measures can’t go fast enough. The issue is not just about raw power consumption, but about the peaks—between one and five in the afternoon, for example. It’s a huge amount of pull on the grid. A shift through either demandside limiting or thermal storage could help considerably. It doesn’t save you any kilowatts, but it manages power consumption quite effectively.

BGreen: How big is the concept of automation here? How would say the pace of development has been so far, has it seen a spike in recent years? Adnan Sharafi: Measurement and Control technology is getting cheaper and better as we talk. Like the saying says, what you can measure you can manage, so measurement is the basis for any management decision, including energy. There are many innovations in measuring equipment, control equipment, data transmission from these

equipment, processing and visualisation with room for more innovations in all these fields in the future. We are at the age of intelligent buildings technology and we are goings towards a nobrainer technology that can be used by anyone to control their carbon footprint. We still have much room for new more efficient technologies which will always be there. Frankly, I cannot see how future building could be operated without measurement and control technology.

Peter Blanchflower: Touching on controls, it’s probably one of the biggest areas for energy saving at the moment. The obvious one is to change an older air conditioning system for a newer high efficiency model, but that’s quite heavily capital intensive, even for a small unit for a home it costs a bit of money. Quite often in bigger buildings it’s controls where you can make the most savings. Controlling the building and the chiller plant effectively, the controls are much more robust today and easier to interface


with. There have been huge steps and advances in that aspect.

Scott Coombes: there is a kind of a responsibility of facilities managers to come in and start setting up and using these BMS systems properly. I think as that starts to become common practice, from our side, as consultants who can do an energy audit of a building from an independent point of view, we would probably look at a building and not say that you could change the controls and make it more efficient but rather say what technology do we have available to us to review where a building is, for example you could conduct an energy modelling of an existing building, and you could say well this is how the building should be performing, this is how it is actually. You might find out that it’s actually relating to very high infiltration into the building, related to the shading of the building as opposed to changing the controls. Controls sometimes can be a fairly easy option and a quick fix, but I think it’s also valuable to try and target the weakest points of the building as well. Peter Blanchflower: Scott’s absolutely right. You have to start out with an energy audit to identify the weak areas of the building, where a professional could do a quick walk through and pick out a lot of items, takes time to take data, employing energy modelling software to work out the critical areas and where the best interventions could be. Conclusions often are that managing the chiller plant and managing the building would probably give you the biggest return on investment.  Scott Coombes: One of the things we looked at recently is that for a building you can have an EUI (Energy utilisation index). This is something Masdar puts forward where you have a target energy

utilisation which is essentially the kilowatt-hour per square metre of the building GFA (gross floor area). Now this is something they are trying to develop and put together, but at the moment there isn’t sufficient data available to have a consistent baseline. That’s the sort of data that Estidama is starting to collect, as well through water and electrical data hourly, weekly, and monthly. Whether this data will be publicly available, I doubt it. But as the data wasn’t available, what they’ve done in Masdar is to take baselines from a number of commercial buildings in Abu Dhabi. They found that the EUI was around 330 kilowatt-hours per square metre, so they target approximately half of that, at 166. In some ways, it’s a great way to monitor the efficiency of buildings because it discourages architects and designers early on from designing a building which has an inefficient form. The problem is when a body like Estidama does a baseline for an energy model is that they set the u-values of the properties and set the parameters for measurement regardless of form. Whereas if

you look at the EUI, you know that this is the target you have to meet and having an efficient design can help that. For example, having a lot of surface area could cause the building to lose a lot of air conditioning, or get a lot of heat if it’s all glazed. Having efficient design is one of the 100 other parameters that can manage energy consumption.

Peter Blanchflower: At the moment a lot of specifications are written around individual products. It’s like an orchestra: you can have quite a lot of good players but if it’s not conducted properly it sounds terrible. It needs to be integrated and optimised to work together well. Good output specs can complement decent specs of individual components, meaning that it doesn’t matter what you put into a building as long as it delivers 166 kilowatt-hours per square metre per year. That’s great for the market as it doesn’t try to pick winners and losers in technology. Consultants will have a great challenge ahead to see how all these elements fit together.

November 2012



GREEN Technology




FOR DATA CENTRES Data centres are the fastest-growing energy vacuums in the IT industry in the UK, Europe, and beyond. As data centres grow larger to store the world’s data, their energy use is growing, too.







from 2005.

November 2012


100 million

100-watt lightbulbs burning 24/7, 365 days a year

9.650 Terawatt hours per person Utilising more environmentallyfriendly power sources is tremendously important for the date centre industry. Using renewable energy saves money, conserves natural resources, and contributes to keeping our planet cleaner for a longer period of time.

GREEN Technology

Industry leader, provider of man cloud-based computing and storage services, does not divulge the energy consumption of its data centres

Like many of its fellow IT powerhouses, Google does not reveal details of its data operations. Greenpeace alleges that Google has closer to 20 or 30 data centres than the seven reported.

Greenpeace reports that Facebook fails to use electricity responsibly. Furthermore, Faebook has offices in cool-rich North Carolina and Oregon.

HP and IBM get high marks from Greenpeace for disclosing their electricity footprint.


Recently, Apple relocated its data centre to North Carolina, a state known for its cheap and dirty coal-powered energy.

Resources: Using energy, water and materials as efficiently as possible and more efficiently than other buildings. Impact: Reducing the impact on people and the environment. Energy: Using alternate forms of energy, like wind or solar power.

November 2012



GREEN Technology

THEY’VE GOT THE GREEN THUMB Many companies are already practising green power usage, and it is to be hoped their exampe will be tollowed by others.

IS STANDARDISATION POSSIBLE? In 2010, the United States, Europe, and Japan worked together to develop standards for green data centres. VERNE GLOBAL

Advantage interactive’s

built a new data centre in Iceland powered only by renewable energy sources.

Energy-efficient data centre in the UK uses selective cooling to keep energy costs low.

The carbon-neutral data centre uses energy from Iceland’s renewable power grid. Iceland’s ambient tempreratures are used to cool the server rack and data cabinet units.

The more-than-1,200-square-metre building is a secure, energy-efficient facility. Advantage interactive cools its data centre by using external air during the winter months.

PEER 1 Hosting’s data centre

nterxion’s data centre iin London

the UK’s newest & greenest 5,388-squaremetre bilding with 10MW power capacity Excool air economizers in place providing a full capacity PUE* of 1.1

Is powered by 100 percent renewable energy.


November 2012

The renewable energy is sourced from wind, hydropower, and biomass. Interxion operates 28 data centres in 11 European countries. It changed to renewable energy as part of its commitnment to customers to be transparent about energy usage.



Going for gold Sven Denecken, Vice President Strategy and Head of Co-Innovation Cloud Solutions at SAP, explains how the market leader in enterprise application software helps fuel Olympic gold today with the platform technology of tomorrow


ne of the inspiring aspects of the Olympics is the drive for innovation. Athletes, in their passion for performance, extend the art of the possible. Take the British rowing team as an example. They deploy miniature sensors to better connect with their paddles. The sensor system, innovated by McLaren, provides feed back to the rowers showing them how

November 2012

their muscles impact the shape of the blade. What does this have to do with SAP? The Formula One team deploys SAP’s new database technology known as HANA. HANA’s In-memory processing ensures that terabytes of sensor data are converted into real realtime information to help athletes boost their performance. HANA isn’t just about faster historical processes but rather

powering new processes that hitherto were unthinkable. In the rowing example, data regarding muscular movement has to be converted into information and feed it back to the athlete in real time (microseconds) otherwise confusion would ensue rather than learning results. There are comparable examples in the business world. When optimising traffic in Japan based upon the


flow of a representative sample of vehicles (taxis), lag time could do more damage than good. In other words, processing lag time could lead to traffic being rerouted in a different time frame to that of the obstruction (say a stalled car). Initially, there would be no relief for the main route. Later, the alternate route would be overburdened while the main route remained underutilised. The processing power of HANA virtually eliminates lag time thereby making the optimisation of traffic flow feasible. Enabling totally new processes, thanks to HANA’s quantum leap in performance, is just the beginning of the SAP NetWeaver Cloud story. SAP’s cloud platform incorporates a series of innovations geared toward the democratisation of information technology. In other words, the platform supports faster, better and cheaper processes. Each process step can be performed by the ideal actor at the ideal location in the ideal timeframe. Mobile computing via smart phones and tablets has already begun to eclipse notebooks and desktops as the computing platform of the future. Following is a discussion of how SAP NetWeaver Cloud

underpins this trend with the technology necessary to marry the data and process integrity of the past with the ubiquitous service consumption of the future. Let’s begin with the issue of integration. In the past, companies could afford to make one-off integrations between the backbone ERP and the new wave of cloud services like Sales Force Automation (SFA). As the quantity and strategic importance of cloud services increases, however, so to do the demands on integration. Increasingly, companies recognise the value of an integration platform that enables the bi-directional flow of data—in real time—between not only the hub (ERP) and spokes (SFA) but also along the rim i.e. between two or more cloud services. Many companies have already invested in an integration platform such as Dell Boomi or IBM Cast Iron. SAP NetWeaver Cloud protects this investment through an open architecture. What is unique about the SAP N+1 offering is that it provides standard out-ofthe-box integration between SAP products. Ultimately, this adds velocity and saves costs. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of SAP NetWeaver Cloud is the bridge it provides between the past and the future. Stable processes that continue to meet the needs of the business, such as the SAP Business Suite, are carried forward into this next generation IT infrastructure at minimal cost and effort. Future investment decisions can be based upon incremental improvements supported by compelling business cases. Take the order to cash process as an example. A company can surgically

enhance the productivity of the SFA component without breaking links in the end-to-end process. On the contrary, when the SFA tool is integrated via the NetWeaver Cloud platform, sales reps can see the information they need from the back-end system such as the status of customer orders. Furthermore, information they capture, such as placing an order, is transferred to the back office. Consider the following analogy: if you want to upgrade from paper maps to satellite guidance, you shouldn’t have to buy a new car, or attach an after market device to your windshield via a suction cup and cigarettelighter cable. Ideally you would deploy an OEM certified navigation system that stylishly integrates into the dashboard and seamlessly interfaces with vehicle systems such as the radio, mobile phone and onboard sensors. This is SAP’s vision. We call it timeless software. NetWeaver Cloud is how we make it happen. So when is the future? When will SAP NetWeaver Cloud power next generation IT solutions? The answer is now! Customers and partners like Phoqus are already accessing the SAP NetWeaver Cloud Development Center as a first step toward enabling next generation processes. At SAP, we share the Olympic passion for innovation. In the words of Nadia Comaneci, the first Olympic gymnast in modern times to score a perfect 10: “Nothing is impossible… all it takes is an imagination.” Sven Denecken is Vice President Strategy and Head of Co-Innovation Cloud Solutions at SAP. In this role, Sven Denecken is responsible for assessing customer and market requirements converting it into execution and representing the OnDemand category in the market. His key expertise areas are ERP, CRM and HR as Cloud offering - as well as key aspects of platform and infrastructure as a service.

November 2012



COMMENT | Forsblom

Water and green ethics Stephanie Forsblom, Sustainability Manager at Nokia Global, explains how intelligent water management can contribute towards a sustainable and ethical global supply chain in the electronics industry


oday, nearly one billion people – about one in eight – lack access to clean water. Topics covering water scarcity, water use, water related risk, water withdrawal, water pollution and wastewater treatment have risen on the global agenda during the last decade and tools to estimate the water footprint of products are now more common

November 2012

than ever before. For instance, we know that the production of a typical T-shirt requires around 2000 litres of water whereas an average cup of coffee requires around 140 litres of water. However, what do we know about the electronics industry and how significant are the water related risks? In 2010, Nokia began working towards a water vision and

though the operations are not considered as water intensive, water has strategic importance in the supply chain and it is a necessity for the surrounding communities. Naturally, water is a critical and valuable resource, and its availability, as well as ease of access is essential. Just as climate change is a global challenge, water scarcity is

COMMENT | Forsblom

Raising awareness of water consumption across the supply chain and working with both suppliers and external experts is of paramount importance�

a global and a local issue. Using water efficiently throughout a complex supply chain requires a good understanding of the impact of operations, the quantities of materials and supplier locations, which necessitate collaboration on a local level. By carrying out water risk assessments, Nokia has been able to identify the industry level water-risk of different materials and components used in its products. The assessment results show typical water issues which are specific to the industry and they can usually be reduced through efficiency improvements at the factories. Water risk assessments have also helped the company to identify the potential impact to the water basin at our supplier locations. This is particularly important when factories are located near to water stress areas, where external management issues are of concern. Here, companies typically need to work with other stakeholders in order to improve the state of the river basin. Nokia has also carried out an internal water footprint analysis

using a product life cycle assessment approach, identifying component types and parts which are potentially more water intensive than others. Suppliers report water use and water recycling rates on an annual basis and Nokia has been following up on the water reduction targets of the suppliers since 2007. Raising awareness of water consumption across the supply chain and working with both suppliers and external experts is of paramount importance. In January 2012, Nokia held its first workshop dedicated to water risks, at the Beijing Xingwang business park. Situated in the high-risk Hai He water basin, Nokia and some of its partners have factories situated in the region. After the workshop, it was clear that awareness and attention had been raised, best practices had been shared and a local water action plan had been put in place. Other local activities are planned across the globe, particularly where water scarcity or water basin risk is an issue. Mobile technology can also play a crucial role in regards to

sustainable development and water management. In July 2010, Nokia Data Gathering was lunched under an open source license. By replacing traditional data gathering methods, such as paper questionnaires, with mobile phones and offering the service affordably on a larger scale, Nokia Data Gathering has proven successful results while saving time and money. This open source software has been adopted by governmental, non-governmental and corporate clients. In terms of sustainable water management, Nokia Data Gathering has for instance been used by UN FAO in Kenya to map water points for access to clean drinking water and irrigation. Energy and resource use are some of the biggest challenges facing the world today. From natural disasters to lack of access to clean water, to food security or rising sea levels, they all impact economies, communities and the environment. For Nokia, this means integrating environmental sustainability into everything the company does. For example, reducing the emissions of our own facilities and those of our suppliers; increasing energy efficiency throughout our operations and using green energy where possible; saving resources through simple initiatives such as cutting down on packaging; and using sustainable, ethically sourced materials in our products. So a sustainable supply chain is not only about optimising processes and using water efficiently during production. It also means improving the livelihoods of the people and communities in the vicinity of the company operations.

November 2012




Sun-powered campsite Tour operator Destination4Dubai (D4D) teamed up with Buildgreen Tec to explore the potential of sustainable desert camps—powered by cutting-edge solar technology. BGreen visits the site, speaking to the brains behind the green operations


Abdul Razak Malik

November 2012

s our freshly cleaned white Pajero recklessly crashes through one of the many sand dunes lining the horizon between Sharjah and Dubai, Waseem Ashraf, Director of Buildgreen Tec’s eco-renewable energy division, explains how the company got involved in the world’s first sustainably-powered desert camp. “The camp we’re about to visit completely runs on solar energy. This could revolutionise the way people handle eco tourism,” he added, as we stepped out of the car, bracing ourselves for the scorching midday sun. “That’s where the old diesel generator was placed,” Ashraf explained, pointing at a crude shack off the beaten path. “Of course now, diesel reliance is near-zero on-site,” he added,

leading us to the solar cabin where their patent-pending technology is stored.

Beyond the basics Before leaving for the site, we spoke to Abdul Razak Malik, the Managing Director of the company. “In recent years, there has been a revolution in solar technology. Efficiency has increased, while prices came down, making the technology accessible to anyone who is willing to invest in it. What we have done with years of R&D is extending the capacity and capability of the systems with very special technologies, so that the systems cost even less than the prices available in the market while delivering more.” He noted the way desert camps currently run in the region: on

diesel generators that are notorious for their emissions. “For most of these tour companies who own desert camps, diesel generators are feasible. But the system we are offering is both economically and environmentally feasible. The ROI is between one and two years, which no other company can offer. Our technology allows the same output with fewer solar panels, along with our patent-pending battery—MICC (monitored inverter converter and charger),” he explains. Currently, rudimentary solar photovoltaic technology works with solar panels, charge controllers, an inverter, and batteries for storage. Buildgreen Tec’s MICC system has integrated all these components into a single standalone unit which streamlines the process, while optimising energy storage for non-


owner. That’s where we come in with our medium-scale system that is affordable for the middle class.”

A training gap

peak hours after the sun sets. Ashraf explained the technical side of the system: “The unit uses complete software-based logic control that we have developed internally to monitor and moderate the energy input and output efficiently.” One of the major barriers to entry for solar technology is the cost of storing energy during non-peak hours. Batteries conventionally store a limited amount of energy and are space consuming and unsightly for sites where aesthetics play an important role. Most base towers and data centres that rely on solar power are situated way out in the desert where space is available in abundance, and the issue of bulky, unattractive batteries blocking views cannot arise. What Buildgreen Tec has done is extend the potential of the batteries in their units so that they remain sleek and compact, addressing the major issues investors face when opting for solar. “The batteries we are using are specially developed to store much higher energies than the conventional batteries in the market. Less panels and batteries are installed, and that makes it viable for the customer,” Ashraf added.

The site uses only a fraction of the PV panels usually required (left), owing to Buildgreen Tec’s patent-pending MICC technology (right)

Rising with the sun

Guarantees “The rate of returns is easily measurable,” Malik said. “If you are asking for a 10kW system, we calculate the price of a diesel generator, its cost, the cost of its average consumption, and other expenses it may incur. Comparing that to the price of purchasing and installing our system, it’s easy to see the savings from day one.”

The company has held a few “soft launches” in order to verify the systems before further expansion. “When we say soft launch, we mean that we decided to perfect a few sites as case studies first. Now that we have successfully installed and are monitoring our first five to ten systems across different sites, we can think about going further.” Malik explained the need for the company to identify different sectors and sites. “It depends on where there are optimum conditions and a strong demand. The tourism sector here can benefit from this technology, and apart from that, we are sending our systems to Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. We’re also in talks with Malaysia.” Locally, he pointed out how Ajman has the potential as a big market for solar technologies. “We are negotiating with a building owner in Ajman to install a 100 panels on the rooftop of a building to supply the entire building with energy.”

Waseem Ashraf

According to Malik, what differentiates their solar technology, above and beyond their expansion of capacity, is that they offer a “medium power system” for even small and medium enterprises to adopt. “Normally, you can see that the solar market either has small systems—like solar lamps, phone chargers and son on that offer 100 to 200 MW—or massive systems to power district cooling and other industrial actions. The market needs a player who can offer 10, 20 or 40 kW systems, ideal for a home user or small business

Malik and Ashraf cited their first project as an example. “We are also a contracting company and were working on a villa where we were to install this solar system using construction machinery powered by solar technology. We noticed that the system was abused then because when you hand specific systems to the work crew, they need to have the proper training to use it. We received calls from the team asking if they can use a drill machine or jackhammer on devices that shouldn’t be manhandled,” Ashraf said. “We managed to finish the project successfully despite this setback. We have learned a lot of things in that as well. By the time we used the technology on the Destination4Dubai (D4D) site, it took around a week’s time to start using the generator power source there, as the staff were welltrained,” according to Malik.

The system Entering a small plywood cabin cooled by an energy-efficient air conditioner, Ashraf pointed to a compact oblong case. “Our system is a very small cabinet. It can run a full electric load like A/C units, a microwave oven, washing machines and so on. It runs 24 hours a day, storing and managing energy collected by the solar panels on the roof. On most conventional systems, if you ask for 10 kW to operate your appliances, you get exactly the 10 kW you ask for. But this system can give you that amount per hour. That is the revolution this techinology can bring: greater capacity at a size that is significantly smaller. For 10 kW system off-grid, you need 260 panels and 300 batteries. Ours uses 70% less than that.”

November 2012


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The future of energy management financing Under Khaled Bushnaq’s leadership, Energy Management Services (EMS) has delivered sustainable solutions to major players in the region, from EMAAR Properties to Aramex. BGreen speaks with the president and CEO of the UAE’s first energy services company on breaking into the market more than 20 years ago, to future challenges

food to pharmaceuticals. It’s a wide range because that’s how universal energy management can be.

BGreen: How different is the market now from when you started out back in 1991?


Khaled Bushnaq

n 1991, the closest thing to a central business district in Dubai were scattered buildings dotting the creek. The Dubai World Trade Centre stood proud, overlooking the rest of the sparsely populated city. Khaled Bushnaq, founded the region’s first energy management solutions company, EMS, that year, capitalising on financial return as an incentive for companies to embrace energy efficiency. Khaled Bushnaq: Back in 1991, we managed financing projects against 100% collaterals. Energy efficiency is the most feasible and most profitable business across

the world for suppliers, clients, contractors, governments, banks, you name it. It’s based on fact; one plus one equals two, not one and a half or three. If I have a lamp that’s taking 100 watts, replacing it with a lamp that consumes 20 watts will lead to a saving of 80. Nobody can argue with this. This is the beauty about energy efficiency; you are talking about something that is so real. The only problem is that people are not aware of this. We have worked on 37 hotels, developments, shopping centres like Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, Deira City Centre, banks, hospitals, industries ranging from

Khaled Bushnaq: There was not a lot of energy efficiency back then. We speak about the entire sustainability spectrum now. We address projects from the design stage where we manage LEED certification, reconditioning, energy value engineering for projects from the design stage, whereby we achieve capital savings. Things are different now; there’s a platform for dialogue now. It was just a matter of time before the concept caught on, and now more people are listening. We have done many projects in that field. Burj Khalifa is one of our projects, Dubai Mall and most of EMAAR projects, all of Union property projects and dozens of other projects are on our clientele list. We were the company that certified the first LEED interior in Abu Dhabi, allowed for the first certification in Qatar, and the first certification in Jordan, so we have impressive track record in providing an all-rounded approach to building and site management, including energy modelling and building simulations.

November 2012


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BGreen: What were some of the obstacles that stood in your way back then, as opposed to now? Khaled Bushnaq: In 1991, we didn’t do all the things we do now. These services for the projects in the design stage were introduced to us in 2004 and 2005. When we felt that there would be a construction boom, we have diversified our services to cater to that. However, when we were established, we were dealing with energy efficiency in existing buildings. We used to go to large facilities such as hotels, hospitals, shopping malls, offices, double residential properties, and industries. All our engineers are certified energy auditors and managers, so we can go in and do an energy audit. We did hundreds

of energy audits until the end stages, when we realised that not all our clients were implementing our recommendations. There are so many barriers that prevent people from implementing energy efficient solutions. They don’t have dedicated personnel to look after their projects., so they don’t know what makes sense and what doesn’t, or how to go about with the implementation. Energy is not their core business. But the most important barriers were when they say ‘OK, fantastic. We are going to do it but you are telling us that you are going to save a million if we invest 2 million. So what guarantees do we have?’ Economically it sounds good to them because in two years, they’ll get back their capital investment, but they want

guarantees. It is a legitimate concern. Others would say “we believe in it, we know that energy efficiency saves money. However, we have a budget. We cannot give you that 2 million— or how much



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ever—to implement. So it was that vicious circle. We used to go and knock on their doors and try to tell them. We used to educate the clients and tell them that’s good money you are throwing out of the window. We can recover it for you. So it was done by knocking on doors trying to convince them to do it. Of course, this instigated clients. Having identified the main barriers, we decided to introduce a concept that’s been implemented in the US for years. We offered to finance the implementation of our recommendations. It was off the balance sheet, so it overcame the problem of budget and there is no risk because if we don’t save, they don’t pay. And that’s how they can get out of the vicious circle, while building a business case for ESCO financing.

BGreen: How did you expand EMS’s services portfolio after that period? Khaled Bushnaq: After the recent economic crisis, we were trying to see how we can expand our services with the market. A major part of the consumption is in existing buildings. We approached all clients who have high energy

EMS expanded its services expecting a boom in construction back in 2004

bills, telling them that this is the situation: what you are doing now, is inefficient. Your revenues, as a result of the economic crisis, are reduced by 30 to 50% because of the reduction in rents and utility permit prices. They can’t afford to be wasteful with energy, as keeping costs down is essential in that economic climate. This changed the market. They stopped contacting us on the grounds that they cannot afford it anymore. They want to reduce their operational expenses, and utility expenses are the second largest regional cost. If any organisation is looking to reduce their operational cost and to improve their profit, the first thing they think of is cutting staff. What’s next? Utilities. Not many people know that you can save energy without adversely affecting working condition. The concept of energy efficiency is not the same as energy conservation. People are used to energy conservation, meaning using less energy and cutting back, which is always associated with discomfort. We don’t use energy conservation; we use energy efficiency, which means carrying on doing the same thing without adversely affecting working conditions, while consuming less. This is the biggest

challenge in energy efficiency. And that can only happen by conducting the energy audit in a proper way. The purpose of the energy audit is to identify where energy is consumed and then delivering a solution and service. Using our equipment, we find when, why and where energy is consumed. Then we try to identify where energy is consumed and not delivering the service. This is the part that we recover, and that comes in the range of 10 to 35%. It’s massive! Now, what EMS is doing is we are inviting all high consumer facilities and we are offering them that we can improve the energy bill at zero cost. We will take care of all their financial and technical concerns. and they will be receiving money in return because the saving generated will go back to them from day one. We will get our fees from that, so if we save AED 100, 30% will go to the cost of equipment. 30% will come to us and 30% will go to them. So we will be “partners” in a way.

BGreen: Speaking of partners and partnerships, how is your recent tie-up with Etisalat progressing? Khaled Bushnaq: Our agreement with Etisalat is to address all their buildings to reduce their energy consumption. We will establish a baseline study, conduct an energy audit and go in to retrofit or upgrade high-consuming technologies with more efficient alternatives, including lighting, motors and so on. So essentially, we’ll handle the financing, the installation and the monitoring verification. And the savings go to them. This is the beauty of energy efficiency projects. Energy efficiency is good for the consumer, the ESCO, the product suppliers, the contractors, and the government.

BGreen: But what about efficiently designed, efficiently managed buildings? What if a client is already following a

November 2012

greeN business

consistently efficient consumption pattern? How can EMS take on the project and make it even more efficient? Khaled Bushnaq: That is a question that we ask ourselves. We started with existing buildings that needed to be kept up-to-date. We asked ourselves, what if our last recommendations were the best? Would we be shooting ourselves in the foot by making every building efficient, and essentially removing ourselves from being in demand? The fact is that the evolution of energy efficiency technology is so fast that if we perform installations on a building now, after a couple of years, even that technology would be less efficient as newer ones. We are overwhelmed with how fast things can happen. There’s constantly ways of becoming more and more efficient. Let’s talk about a building that was built last year. It took them one year to design, and two years to build it. In those three years, they were using technologies that were already at least two years old, long enough to be viable and reliable in the market. So the building that was built yesterday is using a five to six-year-old technology. Today’s technology is even better, understandably. So then, the next step would be to address these efficiencies in the occupancy phase, that will take another 2 years because you need to see the benchmark, how the performance is for a baseline, and so on. After all this, the building is eight years old and the technology, near obsolete.

BGreen: How do you keep abreast of all the latest developments and technologies? Khaled Bushnaq: Because of our track record, we have established strong relations with major suppliers of energy efficiency, such as General Electric and Siemens. We have an agreement with these companies whereby we do

After the recent economic crisis, we were trying to see how we can expand our services with the market. A major part of the consumption is in existing buildings” periodic coordination, exchanging experiences. Every time they get a new product or improve an existing product, they exchange knowledge with us, while we may exchange our latest findings in the market with them. We go back to them and say there is a need for this kind of thing; this technology is required and they start searching for it. In essence, the equipment suppliers are our partners, the facilities managers are our partners, the landlords are our partners.

BGreen: Is it a challenge working with building projects in Abu Dhabi where energy bills are heavily subsidised? Is the ‘financial returns’ argument still valid there? Khaled Bushnaq: It is a big challenge, but the challenge is in the payback period. The demand for energy efficiency solutions holds everywhere. But because the (energy) tariff is low in Abu Dhabi, the payback period we get in Dubai

in two years is extended to four years in Abu Dhabi. So it includes the part where it is attractive for economic reasons. For Etisalat, its portfolio with us covers Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, so the overall payback was attractive. When we started in Dubai, the energy tariff was 15 fils here, and it was still feasible. It’s just a matter of a longer payback period. It’s still feasible because of the overall savings in the energy bill.

BGreen: How does the monitoring phase work if a site needs upgrades years after the initial installations? Khaled Bushnaq: We are always available. As their partners in financing, installing and monitoring, we are part of their team. According to the agreement we are responsible for maintaining and placing all the energy efficiency equipment. It’s not that they just get the savings enjoyed over time; they get free service and the value of the equipment over the lifetime of the term of the payment. We are with the client even after the payback of the installation.

BGreen: What about legislation? Do you think that at the current way it functions, the framework for business or building owners to seek ESCO services is in place? Khaled Bushnaq: The legislations and framework are there. Unfortunately, I don’t see energy efficiency getting the attention that it deserves in the media. I think there needs to be a bigger emphasis on energy efficiency in existing buildings, because that’s what affects the profitability of the country. Once more people are educated, and they know that they can reduce their energy bills without adversely affecting the working conditions, while recuperating all their costs, real progress can be made.

November 2012




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

Fujairah onshore

The country’s key Habshan-Fujairah pipeline bypassing the Strait of Hormuz is set to be fully operational by the end of the year, and will transport most of Abu Dhabi’s oil exports, according to the UAE Minister of Energy


Rostam Qasemi

November 2012

he UAE opened its pipeline to pump up to 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) and shipped its first export cargo in July. “Hopefully by the end of the year it should be fully operational,” Mohammed bin Dha’en Al Hamili, the UAE Minister of Energy, told reporters on the sidelines of

the World Energy Forum in late October. “We also want to test the tolerance of the pipeline. If we have to export extra we push it through to see how much is sustainable,” Hamili said. “Our refineries also take crude from onshore so we have to cater for our two refineries and then

what’s available will be exported through Fujairah,” he added. At a press conference in Dubai, Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi expressed his opposition towards the restrictions on Iran. “The lack of Iranian oil in the market would drastically add to the price.” Iran will suspend all oil exports, causing

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November 2012

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Projections show that 30% of UAE oil exports will be through this pipeline, which is estimated to be 600 to 700 thousand bpd”

a sharp increase in global crude prices, if the US tightens sanctions further on the nation’s economy. “If you continue to add to the sanctions, we will stop our oil exports to the world,” he said.

Projected increase

The Habshan-Fujairah pipeline Abu Dhabi started exporting Murban blend, a form of crude oil, through the Habshan-Fujairah pipeline to bypass the contentious Strait of Hormuz. The Habshan-Fujairah pipeline, owned by the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), an investment arm of the government of Abu Dhabi, secures

November 2012

the transportation of crude oil from Abu Dhabi to the world, as a precaution incase the Strait of Hormuz is shut off. The360-kilometre pipeline with a single 48-inch diameter that reduces shipping costs for the UAE’s oil exports, as the added charge for insuring oil passing through high-risk territory of the Arabian Gulf are avoided. Designed in 2006 by Worley Parsons, construction started in March 2008 by ILF Consulting Engineers and China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation.” The pipeline’s construction cost is estimated at AED10 billion to connect Habshan to Fujairah.

Mohammed bin Dha’en Al Hamili

Projections show that 30% of UAE oil exports will be through this pipeline, which is estimated to be 600 to 700 thousand bpd. However, as of 1 July this year, the figure will increase by 50% to roughly 1 million bpd, allowing for Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) to export approximately half of their total production. In the near future, plans for a crude oil reservoir will be in place in Fujairah to set the stage for a refinery in the Emirate by the IPIC later on.

Al Hameli said earlier that the four-foot-wide pipeline is finished and is being tested. “The pipeline can transport up to 1.4 million barrels of oil a day and this number might be increased to 1.8 million bpd, which means that about 70% of the UAE’s oil production can be exported via Fujairah,” he stated. IPIC is also planning a AED 11 billion (US$3 billion), 200,000 bpd refinery at Fujairah. In March, Mubadala Development Company and IPIC announced their intention to develop a terminal at Fujairah to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) for domestic use.

LNG Although contentious, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a fossil fuel, yet is seen as an environmentally friendly fuel that has the potential to be made competitive through the placement of a favourable framework and infrastructure. Before LNG can be considered “green,” huge efforts on the part of legislation and the private sector players are necessary to solve some of the challenges— such as the development of LNG filling stations.

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Edward Pollock: Taking the (Aqua) Initiative 17-year-old self-starter, Edward Pollock, founded The Aqua Initiative in dubai to raise funds and awareness on the global shortage of drinking water


t the age of 14, Edward Pollock organised a major assembly for his school to educate them on the harsh realities facing the developing world without access to drinking water. He started holding simple bake sales and dress down days, raising a few thousand dirhams which he donated to WaterAid. However, it somehow didn’t feel enough. “I am still young and haven’t reached my full potential yet. But I see how lucky I am to be living in this luxurious part of the world and not suffering like so many other people,” he says. Working with a couple of students the following year, Pollock and his friends did what no other student in their school history had ever done— organising a large-scale carnival for World Water Day, with rides, games and attractions for the whole school to enjoy. With that, they managed to raise around AED 15,000. Meanwhile, they were able to make an even bigger difference: donating to both small and large charities, focusing on well projects on the India-Bangladesh border. Pollock did his research well to know exactly where the money was going, “We are most likely to donate our raised funds to small charities like The Women’s Hinterland Foundation, which is based in India and Bangladesh.”

November 2012

Above: The Aqua Initiative in Kenya, Rwanda and Afghanistan; Edward Pollock poses with the prestigious Diana Award

The other members of the team left that year to focus on their education. However, Pollock was determined to make a change. While juggling his roles in two important positions at school; one as president of the student council and the other in the school’s Model United Nations team, his academic life turned out to be quite a challenge. Soon, Pollock’s life took a swerve and in January 2011, his mother passed away. Coping with major family issues and balancing academics with extracurricular activities, Pollock did

it again! Just after a few months, he still managed to organise two presentations, two bake sales, and a much bigger carnival, which made around AED 25,000. What started out as a simple project was beginning to escalate. Driven by his success in 2011, Pollock’s organisation managed to contribute to a dying well project in the Nyabisindu region of Rwanda, as well as many other projects helping several thousand people gain access to clean water. The Aqua Initiative became more recognised in


It is certainly a different world and poverty is everywhere. Even those who do have access to clean water have to carry it for miles in heavy jerry cans” Dubai, gaining major sponsors and corporate deals. Over the years, the organisation has made around AED 100,000 which has all been donated to charity. Pollock was awarded the Bold Talks Open Heart Award 2012 for his work as well as several school awards. In 2012, he organised the biggest event his school had seen, raising over £10,000 for charity. Thousands attended the event with all the proceeds going to various charities. The day saw assemblies, bake sales, rides, games, Subway, raffle, fairground rides, and even a concert. Highly motivated, Pollock lists a string of on-going projects. He has helped introduced a personalise water filtration system, LifeStraw, to those in need, allowing up to 1000 litres of water to be purified, which is the average person’s yearly demand. Lifestraw removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of parasites. The LifeStraw Family, a larger unit designed for family use, also filters out 99.99% of viruses. “Right now, 400 LifeStraws and 100 LifeStraw Families are being distributed to needy villages in Sudan. We are also fully funding a well for a school in Kenya and two wells in Afghanistan which are in the development and planning stages right now.” After graduating high school, Pollock decided to visit Ethiopia. He worked with local NGOs and WaterAid to arrange visits to villages around the country. “It is certainly a different world and poverty is everywhere. Even those who do have access to clean water have to carry it for miles in heavy jerry cans.” Pollock was awed by children climbing up over mountains with big heavy jerry cans of water. He

Pollock organised the largest World Water Day carnival his school had ever seen

“Right now, 400 LifeStraws and 100 LifeStraw families are being distributed to needy villages in Sudan. We are also fully funding a well for a school in Kenya and two wells in Afghanistan which are in the development and planning stages right now.”

saw families climbing down wet, muddy hills to a dirty, unprotected brown natural spring that is the water source for one of the districts in Ethiopia. In Kokosa, Pollock observed that majority of the illnesses were water borne and was surprised to see that there were many projects such as pumps and wells in place, but in vain. They are either broken or damaged and the authorities could not afford to fix them. Pollock said, “It was heartbreaking to imagine having to live such a troubled life.” He visited during the rainy season and witnessed major flooding. “Without draining, the roads were covered in a foot of dark muddy water. The worst part was the straw and mud houses of the farmers in the country were being destroyed by this. Families stood out in the rain as their houses flooded and crumbled, desperately trying to divert water. It was a hard, and at the same time, interesting trip that has given me a changed

perspective on the whole situation.” Pollock spent the past five years studying for an international high school diploma in Dubai International Academy, and has returned to his native Scotland for tertiary education. Just recently, he was recognised for his work by the prestigious International Princess Diana Award for young people. “It was unbelievable and a great honour to win this, especially considering it’s been given to charities likes the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, which won last year. To be placed at a level alongside all these great organisations is a huge thing for us. It also means people will now be able to recognise the hard work that we do.” Pollock hopes to register the Aqua Initiative in Scotland as a charity and working with various schools and individuals to raise awareness and funds. “Using the media attention I collected from Ethiopia, and my experiences there, I am making efforts to continue my work on a much larger scale.” Additional reporting by Tahira Mehmood

November 2012


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Faith in future This month, our green spy looks at the Muslim holy pilgrimage and its eco-friendly roots


very year, millions of Muslims from all over the world fly in to Saudi Arabia to fulfill one of the core pillars of Islam: the pilgrimage to Mecca. These flights must make up a sizeable portion of the overall carbon emitted during hajj season, which strikes a chord among a growing number of Eco-conscious Muslims who see a the protection of our environment as an earthbound duty encouraged in the Qur’an. The Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), Global One 2015 and EcoMuslim issued The Green Guide for Hajj last year, as a means for pilgrims to behave in an

environmentally responsible manner while on Hajj. The book quotes, “The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said: ‘The earth is green and beautiful and Allah has appointed you, his stewards, over it,’” espousing green values by linking them to the teaching of the Prophet, coupled with verses from the Qur’an. Concepts of accountability for human actions are lifted from the religious text in order to encourage “faith-consistent purchasing” and responsible habits. The major points highlighted in the guide urge the readers to purchase environmentally sustainable products and services; reduce waste and consumption; and to sustain their eco-conscious ways after Hajj. In 2010, two pilgrims from South Africa—Natheem Cairncross and Imtiyaz Haron –decided to join their faith with their eco-beliefs by embarking on an epic nine-month journey from Cape Town to Mecca by bicycle, covering almost 6,800

LEFT: Senad Hadzic RIGHT: Natheem Caimcross and Imtiyaz Haron

miles. This year, Senad Hadzic took the concept of a sustainable pilgrimage to another level, walking for 314 days across six countries to get to Mecca from his village in Bosnia. For Hadzic, walking was the only option as he had only €200 to his name at the time, and clearly couldn’t afford air travel. Seeking shelter at mosques and schools along the way, all Hadzic had in the form of guidance was a map of the six countries he had to cross, and his weathered copy of the Bible and Qur’an. In a YouTube video, Hadzic said, “Some people asked me whether I was scared when passing through wild places, and I told them ‘why should I (be)? God is with me.’” His inspiring tale has swept across cyberspace, perhaps heralding a green revolution, backed by faith, regardless of religion. Till next month, go green and prosper. If you’d like to have a look at The Green Guide for Hajj, it’s available for download at

November 2012



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

Emirates Solar Industry Association Solar Awards 14 November, Meydan Hotel, Dubai In association with the Solar Industry Summit Middle East, the event will bring together top dignitaries from the UAE’s solar power sector, including government officials from Dubai Supreme Energy Council, DEWA, ADWEA, and the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Big 5 5-8 November, Dubai World Trade Centre The city’s premier trade event for construction and related sectors, is scheduled to include the Green Build Conference, FM Expo, Middle East Concrete 2012, and PMV Live.

Middle east water leakage summit 2012 21-22 November, The Address Dubai Marina The second edition of the summit aims to bring together stakeholders from the region’s water sector

FM Expo Exhibition 5-8 November, Dubai World Trade Centre The event is the most direct route to sourcing integrated facilities management, maintenance, security, health & safety, cleaning, air control, landscaping, waste management and software products and services. The Future by Airbus 4 November, Armani Hotel Burj Khalifa, Dubai By invitation only, the event showcases Airbus’ vision of sustainable aviation in 2050 and beyond through a special screening of‘Smarter Skies’ 30 minutes movie. Through the launch of the Airbus Concept Plane and Cabin, The Future by Airbus has focused on ‘what’we may fly in the future and this next chapter looks to build a picture of ‘how’ we may fly in 2050 and beyond. Looking at a number

of smarter flight and ground operation concepts, the event aims to help the aviation industry grow sustainably and deliver significant emissions and travel time reductions. Christopher Emerson, Senior Vice President, Future Programmes and Market Strategy, will present a market forecast and talk about these new concepts, relevant innovations and talent.

Emirates GBC Annual Congress 2012 27-28 November, Grand Hyatt Dubai The two-day event will focus on sustainable practices and innovations in the Middle East. On the first day, representatives from several government bodies and thought leaders from all over the world will address the Congress on the region’s critical sustainability topics and relate them to the global green building movement. On the second day, EmiratesGBC will host its Annual General Meeting, which is open exclusively for members and will be followed by a series of afternoon workshops for delegates.

November 2012




Volcanic Wonderland


ucked in the midst of the arid region of Mount Sahand in Kandovan, Iran, the historical cone shaped caves have long experienced the atrocities of nature. Yet they stand tall, keeping the interiors cool in scorching summers and warm in the tempestuous winters. It is definitely not part of everyday conversation to hear about a magnificent 700 year old village that is made up of such unusual architectural compositions. The formations of these caves have believed to be a result of a volcanic eruption of the Mount Sahand several thousand years ago. Gradually the sediments settled and remoulded into the present cone-like structures. This method of insulation eliminates the cooling in summers, making the caves surprisingly energy efficient. Although the caves may require a little extra heating during the winters, when the temperatures dip little below freezing point, to keep the inhabitants warm and cosy. Reshaped by volcanic sedimentary deposits, pollutants and other elements of weathering, these caves flock together back-to-back and resemble the notion of termite colonies strutting along in large groups. With a scarce population, the majestically old structures usually stand 2-4 storeys high and consist of several living rooms, paved porches, modern doors, walls, fine staircases and carved shelves. These cave houses are available for sale and rent. Also surrounding the area are various restaurants and cafes and also flowing water that apparently holds miraculous healing properties. This is a place one should be sure to visit and witness the ambience of nature’s designs.

By Tahira Mehmood

November 2012

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BGreen Magazine November 2012  

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