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Issue 27 | OCTOBER 2012

Sustaina-built AS the primary driver of a knowledge-based workforce, education in sustainable disciplines are on the rise in the gcc



| Shark trade exposed | saudi’s first utility-scale solar power plant | Publication Publication licensed licensed byby IMPZ IMPZ



October 2012



Don’t fear the fin

Publisher Dominic De Sousa


Praseeda Nair Editor

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s a regional pioneer in green business, we look at the driving forces that allow the private and public sector to transform into pillars of a low-carbon economy. While biodiversity and animal rights are innately tied to the principles of sustainability, sometimes these issues get sidelined in the global pursuit of resource efficiency. A hot-button issue dominating the eco-sphere is the insidious shark trade that continues to thrive in our port city. Reeling from the statistics of shark slaughter in comparison to the number of shark attacks, our green spy raises a few suggestions on ways of incentivising the fishing community in the Arabian Gulf to protect and perhaps even document threatened shark species they might find in their daily catch. As it stands, the number of annual deaths caused by shark attacks is less than five on average, while more than 11,000 sharks are killed every hour. Only 10% of the shark population of 1992 remains in our oceans now, and in nature, mosquitoes have a staggering track record of causing 2 million human deaths in comparison. Even the herbivorous hippopotamus has a worse record than sharks, causing 2,900 deaths yearly, yet sharks get the bad end of the stick. Where’s the justice in this? It all boils down to dollars and cents. The shark trade is lucrative for fishermen who make minimum wage—if that—on their good days. Shark cartilage is highly sought-after for the infamous Chinese delicacy, shark fin soup. While countries with the most demand for it (Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan) have started enforcing bans against shark fishing and import, the trade still continues, with the UAE topping the list as a middleman for the inhumane trade. The ethics behind fishing are not up for dissection: what is truly appalling about the shark trade is the repugnant practice of shark finning. Sharks, once caught, are viciously maimed. Their fins and tails are hacked off and the rest of their mangled bodies are tossed back into the ocean where they take up to 48 hours to drown, in what we can only imagine to be incomparable agony. Despite the UAE’s strong stance against the practice of finning and the trade as a whole, the ocean’s toothiest creatures are available for consumption at AED60 per bowl at certain unethical restaurants. Decades of demonising “Jaws” has led to public apathy towards sharks and their plight. The fishing community remains myopic: sharks are worth more alive than dead! Whale shark tourism has generated over US$47.5 million worldwide, while the value of a single reef shark caught and killed stands at $108. The lack of public awareness might drive these kings of the marine food chain to extinction, which does not bode well for the global fishing industry as a whole. Animal rights and back alley deals aside, this issue also presents an in-depth study of the UAE’s power mix—how the country has surpassed its energy demands, and what this means for the future of the region. We also examine the role of green building legislation in developing a sustainable skyline; peek into the frightfully creative mind of designer extraordinaire Philippe Starck; and dive headfirst into Qatar’s biodiversity protection campaign for whale sharks.

Issue 27 | OCTOBeR 2012

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COO Nadeem Hood Founder of BGreen Liam Williams +971 4 375 1511 Editorial Praseeda Nair Tahira Mehmood 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.

Sustaina-built AS the primAry driver of A knowledge-bASed workforce, educAtion in SuStAinAble diSciplineS Are on the riSe in the gcc



| ShARk TRAdE ExPoSEd | SAudI’S fIRST uTIlITY-SCAlE SolAR PowER PlANT | Publication Publication licensed licensed byby IMPZ IMPZ

October 2012







21 Turning the tide Protecting concrete from sea water corrosion 26 Case study - Concrete protection Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Morocco Mall, Casablanca

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

News 10 UAE


14 WORLD 15 REALLY?! Concrete canvas — Truth can be stranger than fiction

COMMENT 28 Michael Krämer on solar power plants 42 Petteri Alinikula on eco-innovation

ENERGY AND WATER 16 Capacity and consumption UAE’s potential position in the region as a net exporter of energy examined

October 2012





GREEN TECHNOLOGY 39 Chasing clouds While cloud technology is widely recognised as revolutionary, can it be considered synonymous with green IT?

SPECIAL FEATURE 31 Sustaina-built Green building codes in Dubai examined two years on

ECO-LEISURE 45 The Starck difference BGreen travels to Berlin for the launch of Hansgrohe’s Axor Starck Organic collection

GREEN BUSINESS 50 Under the Saudi sun The holy city of Mecca could be the first in the region to host a utility-scale power plant

OIL & GAS 52 Protecting whale sharks Maersk Oil and Qatar Ministry of Environment place the spotlight on biodiversity monitoring in the GCC

SOCIETY 54 PERSONALITY - Forest-first furniture design American designer, Maria Yee, under the spotlight 56 Green Spy Shark watch 57 Diary dates Notable events, conferences and exhibitions in the region 58 Sustainable past The secrets of the Levant - a look at Jordan’s natural insulation

October 2012


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

Wissam Yassine


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

UAE National Coordinator The Carboun Initiative

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence

Charles Blaschke IV

Roderick Wiles

Petteri Alinikula

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

Director of Sustainability Nokia

MEP BIM Manager iTech Holding

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

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

Goktug Gur COUNTRY PRESIDENT UAE and Oman Schneider Electric

October 2012

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



Green demand in pool and spa industry


E Pool and Spa 2012, a three-day event which saw the introduction of the region’s first Green Pools Conference, shed light on sustainable pools and spa facilities that use advanced, environment-friendly techniques and solutions in water treatment, maintenance and cleaning, in addition to highlighting innovative technologies in this sector.

Tarek Ali, Exhibition Director, said, “This edition of the ME Pool and Spa exhibition was an overwhelming success, and the regional and international exhibitors and visitors have appreciated the excellent platform presented by this event to showcase the most advanced pool and spa technologies, products and designs. The particular emphasis on green technologies in this year’s edition was highly commended given the current industry trends and demand.” ME Pool and Spa 2012 also provided an informative platform to the regional and international visitors through the Project Village, to learn from Ventures Middle East, the construction intelligence partner of ME Pool and Spa 2012, about the present and future projects that will affect the demand for pools and water features in the region.

EmiratesGBC announces inaugural congress Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) has announced its first Annual Congress to be held on 27 and 28 November at the Grand Hyatt Dubai. The independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, hopes that 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. The reigning theme for the interactive discussions at the congress will be on ‘innovations in sustainability,’ where experts from local and regional organisations

October 2012

will discuss the latest in the construction sector. 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. Adnan Sharafi, EmiratesGBC Chairman, said, “The Annual Emirates Green Building Council Congress is a landmark initiative to foster industry dialogue and multiple stakeholder engagement in promoting sustainable building development. The latest insights from the supply chain sector, to be shared by the foremost thinkers in the field from around the world, will further support our objective of developing and promoting best practices in sustainable development in the region.”

Environment performance card to be issued The Ministry of Environment and Water requested companies in the country to apply for Environmental Performance Card by the end of November as means of encouraging green production. The Ministry started conducting visits to the industrial sites of the companies that have applied for the environmental performance card, to assess the authenticity of the facilities which have met the minimum requirements to obtain the card. Engineer Otaiba Al Qayidi, Director of Chemicals and Hazardous Waste Department at the ministry has indicated that industrial enterprises are evaluated according to their commitment to environmental laws and regulations, requirements of Federal Law 24(1999) and its regulations on environmental protection and development, and application of safe environmental management. The assessment also examines how the company handles chemicals, industrial waste and air pollutants resulting from the facility, and whether the organisation follows a system of health, safety and environment procedure, and usage of green production technology. The assessment is conducted by many working groups of technical specialists at the ministry. According to Al Qayidi, the environmental performance card initiative is one of the many initiatives at the Ministry that would support the achievement of the motto “Towards a Green Production 2021”. Economically, this initiative can reduce the cost of waste disposal operations, and will reduce production costs in terms of providing energy and raw materials. In terms of the environment, it will reduce the quality and quantity of pollutants, reduce risks and industrial accidents,. The official said the ministry encourages the industrial enterprises and companies to obtain the environmental performance card, noting that the registration would still be open until the end of November through the Ministry’s website.



Environment forum announced in Beirut

Qatar launches green hotel interest group The adoption of environmental practices in the hospitality sector is being recommended by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) for the approaching United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties Nº18 (CoP 18), by launching its Green Hotel Interest Group (GHIG). Taking place in Doha from November 26, the conference is set to attract thousands of global delegates. Director of Qatar Green Building Council, Engineer Meshal Al-Shamiri, said, “The establishment and launch of the Green Hotel Interest Group is timely amidst the flurry of activity following last year’s announcement that Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the forthcoming CoP18. All eyes are really on Qatar right now.” He also underlined the importance of sustainable development as a vital theme of the Qatar vision 2030. GHIG is said to join forces with hospitality partners across

October 2012

Qatar and aim at offsetting CO2 emissions generated by the hospitality sector. 800 buildings, including hotels, are planned within Doha’s City Centre, as well as a large figure of housing developments. The figure is expected to rise over the next few years in other parts of Doha. Assistant general manager, Wyndham Grand Regency, Ghada Sadek stated, “We are hopeful that the Green Hotel Interest Group will bring together like-minded organisations in Qatar to feel inspired and conjure up fresh ideas to start making a difference. Working with hotels, future initiatives could include collectively composting leftover food to reduce waste.” Special guest speakers will discuss a range of topics, including the importance of initiating a GHIG in Qatar, and low energy lighting for hotels, to the possibility of establishing an Annual ‘Green Hotels Award.’

The Arab Forum for Environment and Development ‘AFED’ announced that its Annual Conference will convene at Phoenicia Intercontinental hotel in Beirut on 29 and 30 November 2012. The conference will debate a groundbreaking report on Ecological Footprint and Survival Options in the Arab Countries. The report was prepared by a large team of experts, researchers and policy makers, in order to develop the conclusions and recommendations that can secure the best chances of development and sustainability for Arab countries, and in some cases even provide the chance for survival itself. The team’s work was coordinated by Najib Saab, AFED Secretary General, whereas the higher committee included Dr. Mostafa Kamal Tolba, former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme ‘UNEP’, Dr. Mohamed El-Ashry, former head of the Global Environment Facility ‘GEF’, Dr. Adnan Badran, President of Petra University and former Jordanian Prime Minister, Dr. Abdelrahman Al-Awadi, Executive Secretary of the Regional Organization for the Protection of Marine Environment ‘ROPME’ and former Kuwaiti Minister of Health, Dr. Ibrahim Abdel Gelil, Director of the Environment Management Programme at Arabian Gulf University and Dr. Abdul-Karim Sadik, senior economic consultant at the Kuwait Fund for Development. AFED Secretary General, Najib Saab, disclosed that, “during the conference, and for the first time, the Ecological Footprint Atlas which explores resource constraint in the Arab countries will be unveiled.” The renowned Global Footprint Network ‘GFN’ was commissioned by AFED to produce this Atlas, under the supervision of its President and founder Mathis Wackernagel. The study aims to provide an ecological bank statement for the Arab region. It is hoped that the 2012 AFED report will help promote the concept of ecological accounts and move towards their integration in decision making.

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Global food security starts with Africa

Carbon economy killing 5 million a year According to the 2012 Climate Vulnerability Monitor, climate change has cost close to 5 million lives each year, lowering global output by around US$1.2 trillion annually. Climate change caused 400,000 deaths in 2010 from hunger and communicable diseases, including diarrhoea and malaria, hitting children in developing countries the hardest. Carbonintensive energy use was responsible for over 4.5 million deaths, most due to indoor smoke from dirty stoves and air pollution, the study adds. Climate impacts - including floods, droughts, sea-level rise and reduced labour productivity - are estimated to have cut the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) by a net 0.8% in 2010. And the harmful effects such as oil spills and damage to biodiversity, fisheries and forests totaled 0.7% of lost GDP, the report adds. “The explosive increase in heat expected over the coming decades will only lead to a corresponding escalation in these costs, increasingly holding back growth as emissions go unabated and efforts to support the worst-affected communities fail to meet the challenges at hand.” The report also warns rapid losses, reaching 3.2% of GDP and 6 million deaths per year by 2030. “A combined climate-carbon crisis is estimated to claim 100 million lives between now and the end of the next decade,” it says. Commissioned by a forum of 20 nations vulnerable to the effects of climate change, the study highlights how poor countries are already suffering the most - an injustice that is set to continue. 98% of all deaths linked with climate change in 2010 occurred in developing states. Least-developed countries lost an average of 7% of GDP in that year due to climaterelated damages and lack of access to clean energy - a figure expected to rise to more than 11% by 2030. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said a 1 degree Celsius rise in the planet’s temperature since pre-industrial times is costing her country 3 to 4% of GDP annually, with a fall in grain production accounting for around half. “After 17 years of international (climate) negotiations, we are still without any meaningful agreement or action to reduce global warming. As a climate vulnerable country, every day we see and feel the ramifications of that inaction,” she said in a statement launching the report.

October 2012

Kofi Annan, Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), points out that achieving food security globally may hinge on a sustainable green revolution across the African continent. Annan sees the fact that 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land is in Africa as key that Africa’s agricultural sector can influence the global food system. “Ours – the African Green Revolution – must be a revolution that draws on the lessons from past efforts of this kind in Asia and Latin America. We need a “climate smart” agriculture in Africa that increases the productivity of land, labour, and capital invested in farming, and strengthens the resilience of farmers to climate change”, he said. He adds that there should be no room for complacency in investments in agriculture and charged developed countries and private sector organisations to keep promises of increased support for Africa’s agriculture, especially with the most recent New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. “In turn, African leaders must uphold their end of the bargain by continuing to increase investment in agriculture and accelerating the implementation of their country-led plans to achieve food and nutrition security’ he added. Annan was addressing the opening of the second African Green Revolution Forum in Arusha, Tanzania, under the theme: “Scaling up Investment and Innovation for Sustainable Agricultural Growth and Food Security”. According to the former UN Secretary-General, farmers must be at the heart of the uniquely African Green Revolution. “We can’t increase food production at the speed and scale we need without mobilizing the continent’s all-toooften neglected army of small-holders. Their needs and realizing their potential must remain at heart of all our discussions”. Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who was in Arusha to address forum attendees, noted the significant progress that has been made in African agriculture over the past decade, and appealed for continued support from African leaders. “I urge Africa’s leaders to re-commit to your pledge to help farm families increase their productivity. I urge you to set an agenda for the next decade that is even more ambitious,” said Ms. Gates. “I hope you take great care that your pledges and plans are geared to help farm families achieve their goals.”



canvas Using nothing bUT air and water, concrete canvas shelters can be deployed under an hour by two people without any training


Concrete cloth has double the wear-rate of conventional concrete and uses up to 95% less concrete

nflatable concrete buildings are a reality now-- just add water. With a near-negligible carbon footprint, a new cementinfused flexible fabric technology developed by Milliken & Company and Concrete Canvas are both fire and waterproof, making them ideal for disaster relief, or even for housing workers at construction sites, owing to their semipermanent structural properties. Hard shell facades and lockable doors differentiate them from other buildings-in-a-bag. The canvas locks a dry concrete powder between two surfaces that are linked together by a three-dimensional fibre matrix. One surface is completely waterproof, while the other is porous and contains hydrophilic fibres that work with the powder to draw water into the cloth for

concrete hydration. An hour from deployment, the structure sets, and the material forms a three-layer composite with the long linked fibres being held in place by a matrix of high-strength concrete. As the fibres fix the powder in place, it can’t move even when the cloth is bent. They also reinforce the structure, prevent cracking, absorb impacts, and provide a safe “plastic” failure mode where the fibres increasingly take up the load should the concrete fail. The fabric can’t be overhydrated, so the cement ratio no longer matters. Concrete cloth has double the wear-rate of conventional concrete and uses up to 95% less concrete than in traditional applications. Designed for military use, this invention could be a boon for refugees and victims of natural disasters.

October 2012




Capacity and consumption Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are set to invest US$252 billion (AED925.62 billion) over the next five years on power production, distribution and supply grids, according to recent reports. While the UAE boasts capacity over consumption, the rest of the region may need to catch up


he careening demand and cost for the production and distribution of energy has fuelled research and development for diversifying the energy mix of most nations in the region. At the current rate of capacity growth, generation outpaces consumption, suggesting that the UAE could become a net power exporter within the GCC, once the region-wide power grid is in effect. Having grown at a compounded

October 2012

rate of 12% per annum in the last 5 years, the UAE’s current power generation capacity stands at about 30,000 MW while consumption during the same period grew at a yearly rate of 8%, according to a recent report by Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz). According to the report, “the power sector in the Emirates had been seeing a rise in tandem with the economic growth it has achieved over the last decade,”

suggesting that the nation has achieved a happy medium between input and output. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) recently reported a 7% increase in the capacity and efficiency of its electricity transmission networks from 6206 MW in 2011 to 6637 MW. “We are fully committed to maintaining and improving the capacity and efficiency of our substations and transmission


electricity to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, while exporting surplus energy to the northern emirates. ADWEC projects these exports to increase from 2,400 MW in 2012 to 5,827 MW in 2020.At this rate, by 2014, the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) can expect to halt generation.

by 2014, the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) can expect to halt generation

Sunny side up networks to continue offering world-class sustainable and environment friendly services, which will achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. Part of our strategy is to expand our transmission and distribution networks catering to Dubai’s construction business growth,” His Excellency Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of DEWA, says.

The current mix 98% of plants in the UAE are natural gas, with the remaining 2% liquid fuel. In the GCC context, natural gas accounts for 49% in Saudi and 29% in Kuwait.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

“This gives UAE an advantage as gas fired plants are efficient and the fuel is cheaper as well compared to Oil. Although the country’s gas consumption has outpaced production, it imports natural gas from Qatar through the Dolphin gas pipeline,” Markaz says. “Over the next four years, we estimate consumption to grow at 8.5% annually, with much of the growth coming from Abu Dhabi. While Dubai expects consumption to grow at 3.5% over the next decade and at 2.5% from 2020-30, Abu Dhabi expects demand to grow by 11% annually till 2015.” Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company (ADWEC) supplies

The Middle East has major opportunities to capitalise on the efficient use of renewable industrial and domestic energy, but is being held back due to the initial financial commitment required to invest in such technologies, according to Johan de Villiers, President of power systems at ABB in the Gulf. The region, being blessed with an abundance of sunlight, has a lot of potential, but more needs to be done through multi-stakeholder collaboration to ensure the benefits of the free energy resource are maximised. “Despite the vast potential of renewable energy in the Middle East, we have a lot of preparatory work to do so that the true

October 2012




The market is large enough and diverse enough for several different types of technologies, including solar, wind and geothermal” economical and environmental benefits of renewable technologies can shine through,” says de Villiers. “Whilst there are financial investments required to implement such technologies, in many cases there is a lack of knowledge and acceptance, which is natural. The good news is in many countries, governments are consulting widely, initiating pilot projects and most importantly are starting work on policies and pricing frameworks that will encourage sustainable energy initiatives and projects. “It requires hard work and collaboration from all stakeholders to overcome these barriers and challenges. I think the many great pioneering examples around the region are supporting the awareness of what is possible and the potential of sustainable energy solutions.”

types of technologies, including solar, wind and geothermal. Even within the solar family, there are regions that are better suited for solar thermal applications and others which are better for solar photovoltaic systems.” Solar in particular appears to be gaining significant traction in the Middle East. According to research specialists Ventures Middle East, there are currently ten solar projects worth a combined US$6.8 billion underway in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

Energy and climate change

The current situation According to Vahid Fotuhi, President of the Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA), the Middle East is diverse enough for a number of renewable energy sources and technologies. “The potential for renewable energy is the Middle East is huge,” said Fotuhi, who added that Saudi Arabia’s Rub Al’Khali desert alone receives enough sunlight to power two earths. “The market is large enough and diverse enough for several different

October 2012

Johan de Villiers

Addressing members of the International Peace Institute, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar and UAE Envoy for energy and climate change, highlighted the benefits of renewable energy deployment in supporting economic development as well as ensuring energy security and peace. The IPI, a New York-based independent, not-for-profit think tank, looks at climate change, energy access and their impact on national and international security. The organisation has delivered innovative research and policy analysis on the subject and works closely with the United Nation to

provide a forum for dialogue for member states. The recent event took place on the side lines of the UN General Assembly. Dr Al Jaber says: “the visionary leadership of the United Arab Emirates is looking beyond hydrocarbons and is investing in new technologies and sources of power to diversify the local and global energy mix. Today, along with barrels of oil, our nation is exporting clean energy.” “Renewable energy is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and the UAE is collaborating with like-minded nations to contribute to the sector’s growth and improve global energy security,” adds Dr Al Jaber.

Alternatives in the future Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030 aims at generating 7% of its energy needs from renewable resources. Masdar Power’s 100 MW Shams 1 Concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the western region, a pilot 30 MW wind farm project and plans for constructing the world’s largest hydrogen power plant by 2015, are some of the steps the UAE is


Taking centre stage Light Middle East 2012, held from 1 to 3 October, provides the only dedicated lighting platform in the region for architects, lighting designers, specifiers and other industry professionals from across the GCC and Middle East regions to discover innovative solutions and lighting design applications. With over 200 exhibitors from 20 countries, the event will be held at the Dubai Exhibition and Convention Centre.

taking to concretise the nation’s lofty goals. Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) are in the initial phase of the nation’s first nuclear power plant project, expected to be up and running by 2017. By 2020, ENEC projects that the UAE will have 4 nuclear power plants with a gross installed capacity of 5,600 MW at an approximate capital of US$20 billion. According to the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, the government is targeting renewable energy to supply 1% of Dubai’s energy by 2020 and 5% by 2030. Dubai’s AED12 billion Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park promises a capacity to generate 1,000 MW. Speaking to local media on the cusp of the highly anticipated World Energy Forum 2012 to be held later this month, Saeed Al Tayer highlighted the UAE’s unique position and inexhaustible potential for evolving into a thought leader in green energy solutions. In addition to his role as MD and CEO of DEWA, Al Tayer is also the Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy

Vahid Fotuhi

(SCE) and Vice Chairman of the WEF 2012 Higher Organising Committee. “The energy strategy 2030 will reduce its dependence on oil and gas. 12% of its future energy could come from nuclear energy and another 12% will come from coalfired power plants, 71% will come from gas and 5% from renewable energy,” according to Al Tayer, adding that clean coal could also be expected as an energy source in the future.

DEWA on the global stage

Dr Sultan Al Jaber

In effort to reduce fuel consumption at its power plants, DEWA generated 400 MW of electricity without using additional fuel. Recently, DEWA made headlines in beating the global standard in the private sector in efficiency, availability and reliability. While top European and American companies recorded an average 4.3% network line loss, DEWA’s figure was significantly lower at 3.49%, with customer minutes lost last year clocking at 5.8 minutes, compared to the 16.4 minutes recorded overseas. DEWA’s production efficiency reached 20% from 2006.

Energy Savers UAE 2012 is a full-day event, held on 2 October at the JW Marriott Hotel, Dubai, with participation of over 300 delegates from the public and private sectors, highlighting the drivers of energy efficiency and how various stakeholders can work together and share best practices in energy management. Emirates Energy Award 2012 is held at the Grand Hyatt hotel, Dubai, on 2 October. The award recognises efforts undertaken by the private and public sectors in the field of energy efficiency and related projects, as well as programs that incentivise research and education in this field, arranged under the patronage of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy. Power + Water Middle East will be held from 8 to 10 October at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, as a forum for professionals from related industries to interact with a number of the world’s leading companies and organisations.

October 2012



Turning the tide In concrete construction it’s crucial to get things right from the bottom up, especially when protecting buildings from the corrosive effects of sea water. Although a durable and robust building material, concrete can still be severely compromised when attacked by sulphates and chlorides


ith sea water making up 70% of the earth’s surface, structures will always need to be built near to the coast or more recently in direct contact with sea water. Not surprisingly, an estimated 75% of building failures worldwide are attributed to water ingress. As a result, proven high performance waterproofing membranes have

fast become a vital specification choice in major construction projects worldwide. Without them, concrete remains vulnerable to the four root causes of structural deterioration – groundwater, climate, sulphates and chlorides. 

Causes of deterioration Concrete which is directly or indirectly exposed to sea water

will deteriorate due to combined contamination from groundwater and aggressive climatic conditions, as well as sulphate attack and chloride induced corrosion. A complex cocktail of chemicals and sea water increases concrete’s permeability to make it more susceptible to further attack while also reducing its protection from the additional sources of deterioration.

October 2012




In hotter countries, every 10° Celsius increase doubles the rate of diffusion”

Following an initial stage of deterioration, the compromised concrete will then provide further paths of contamination – in the form of cracks and fractures.  No matter how small these penetrations, contaminant ingress will be further accelerated to jeopardise the concrete’s integrity and dramatically reduce its service life.  Rebar corrosion is also an extremely common form of deterioration in reinforced concrete structures, with chloride ingress the most frequent cause.  As chloride builds up on the concrete surface, through airborne salts or below-ground chlorides and sulphates, it penetrates by diffusion.  In hotter countries, this

October 2012

Without a membrane solution concrete will never be immune from the harmful effects of corrosion

process is even quicker as every 10° Celsius increase doubles the rate of diffusion. Although the key requirement in basement waterproofing is

simply to keep water out, this can cause subsequent problems if sea water is a factor. With a dry internal environment and an external environment that remains


Concrete can only be fully protected if water infiltration is prevented entirely – with the waterproofing membrane providing a physical barrier to sea water corrosion before it can begin”

wet, capillary action increases the risk of sulphate attack. Due to groundwater sulphates refreshing the reactionary process, concrete composition and microstructure changes cause extensive cracking, expansion and loss of bond between the cement paste and aggregate, leading to an overall loss of concrete strength.  Although continuous developments and innovations in concrete production have created an improved resistance to sea water, without a membrane solution the concrete will never be immune from its harmful effects. Concrete can only be fully protected if water infiltration is prevented entirely – with the waterproofing membrane providing

a physical barrier to sea water corrosion before it can begin.

Prevention and cure A high performance HDPE waterproofing membrane will improve concrete’s long term structural performance and durability by providing constant protection from sulphate, chloride and water ingress.  The ideal waterproofing solution stops water penetration and guards against any future failure. If the specifications are exact the first time, water ingress can be prevented with one relatively simple application.

Waterproofing systems Designed with synthetic adhesive layers combined with a robust

Rebar corrosion is a extremely common form of deterioration

HDPE film, Grace Construction’s Preprufe® waterproofing system provides a permanent physical barrier to protect the concrete from the salt and sulphates found in the sea, ground and coastal environment, ensuring the structure remains unaffected by salt and sulphate attack even if concentration levels change. It also eliminates the issue of water migration – water tracking between the membrane and structure – a problem well recognised by industry experts.  Once a conventional membrane is breached, the whole structure becomes vulnerable. This is why when a leak becomes visible it is often a considerable distance from the actual source.  This makes

October 2012




A bonding agent can enable concrete to aggressively adhere to the surface” leak remediation haphazard and expensive, as the concrete will have been exposed to salt water for a considerable period of time before the leak is seen and repaired. There is a risk that membranes may be sealed to the wrong surface such as mud slabs or blinding, leading to water migration as a result of membrane discontinuity. A

October 2012

bonding agent can enable concrete to aggressively adhere to the surface, such as Grace’s patented Advanced Bond Technology™. According to Grace, “no other system on the market protects a substructure from the harmful effects of water, vapour and gas more effectively,” as it can be applied on wet concrete and

is immediately trafficable after installation without protective layers, which makes for fast and easy application. “In fact, when compared to traditional loose-laid PVC systems, Preprufe® is more than five times quicker – with approximately 500m2 laid in one day compared to 60-100m2 of PVC over the same time period.”


ECOWASH ME is a Canadian Auto Care specialist company based in Dubai. We provide our customers with a superior level of home service car wash and detailing while helping the environment and keeping our earth safe. Our highest quality products are completely eco-friendly, biodegradable and non-toxic. ECOWASH ME cleans, polishes and protects your car against UV without using a single drop of water. Traditional car washes and “bucket” washers that used recycled and unfiltered water to wash your car typically damage the paint resulting in a dull looking finished. Our protective polymer coating is guaranteed not to scratch or damage your vehicle, yet reveal a beautiful polished result that makes your car brand new look liked.

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Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi, UAE DCI® - protecting one of the world’s most prestigious structures CASE STUDIES •

In the Arabian Gulf, the climate and corrosive salt environment presented a series of project challenges during construction of the Museum of Islamic Art. Constructed on reclaimed land just 60 metres from Qatar’s Doha Corniche and with foundations resting below the water table, highly aggressive chloride and sulphate conditions would have quickly deteriorated the concrete and significantly reduced its life cycle.

What is now Africa’s largest shopping centre – the £150 (AED 889) million project, Morocco Mall on Casablanca’s world-famous waterfront – the membrane demonstrated its abilities to provide watertightness while showing no effects from ground contaminants. Occupying a 10 hectare site just 20 metres from the Atlantic Ocean, the Morocco Mall required a comprehensive waterproofing system which would protect the concrete slab from water penetration, provide protection from salt and sulphates in the ground and preserve the lifespan of the structure.

Abu Dhabi Works Department. Such a prestigious project required a long design life. Even with good cover and a low water/cement ratio, additional protection to prevent reinforcement corrosion was deemed necessary. This concern was not limited to the foundations as the superstructure would be exposed to airborne chlorides given the close proximity of the sea.

The Solution

The Site The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, as it is officially known, stands elevated in a commanding position as one drives on to Abu Dhabi Island. It is designed to accommodate more than 30,000 worshippers, making it the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the third largest in the world. Each of the four minarets rise to a height of 107m, with the main dome reaching 80m.

The Challenge Not only do summer temperatures reach 50°C, but the ground contains high levels of chlorides. This was of great concern to the designers, Tractebel Al Khaleej, and the client, The

October 2012

The project specification called for a calcium nitrite based corrosion inhibitor, with a specific requirement that the product be formulated for hot weather conditions and be tested to ASTM G109. Grace DCI S was chosen and a dosage of 11 L/m3 was selected for the foundations, with a reduced dosage for the superstructure, due to the less aggressive nature of airborne chlorides. This successful project required 1.3 million litres of DCI S between March 1998 and December 2002, added at the two on-site batching plants. The long track record of worldwide use since 1978 gave the designers the confidence that DCI S will continue to provide effective protection for the future of this presigious project.

Product Used •

DCI® S Corrosion Inhibitor

Credits Client : Abu Dhabi Works Department. Consulting Engineers : Tractebel Al Khaleej - Belgium (Designer/Initial Supervision)Halcrow International UK (Later Supervision). Project Manager : Hill International - US. Main Contractor : Impregilo/Rizzani de Eccher Joint Venture - Italy. Readymix Supplier : Readymix Beton.

Emirates Chemicals LLC Dubai, U.A.E.


COMMENT | krÄmer

Solar Power Plants – David or Goliath?

Dr. Michael Krämer, senior associate and energy specialist at international law firm Taylor Wessing, Dubai, compares small with utility scale solar plants.


Dr Michael Krämer

October 2012

he Gulf region is finally looking at solar energy production more seriously as a means to diversify its overall energy mix. This is great news and could be the start of an actual solar industry developing in the region. The preconditions in the Gulf region could hardly be more suitable: an abundance of sunshine, virtually unlimited supplies of silicon and a very favorable cost of labour. However, the establishment of such industry strongly depends on there actually being a market for such industry’s products. Saudi Arabia has recently announced that the Kingdom is planning to invest heavily in

solar technologies. A total of 41 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity is supposed to be built until 2030. Dubai’s aims are somewhat more moderate with the 1 GW of planned capacity of the Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s solar park, possibly flanked by a solar rooftop scheme that will allow home and business owners to install solar systems on their own roofs. Last but not least, Abu Dhabi aims to generate 7% (approximately 1.5 GW) of its energy needs from renewable (solar) sources by 2020. As in Dubai, the introduction of a solar rooftop scheme is being discussed. At present, the focus in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia is clearly on utility scale solar plants. Rooftop

applications are being considered, but would appear not to be considered as key. This is sufficient reason to look at both options in some more detail.

Utility scale solar plants There are many benefits of building utility scale solar plants (plants with a capacity of between 10 and 100+ megawatts (MW) of capacity). First of all, the mere fact that comparatively large amounts of capacity are being built in one place and usually by one operator drives cost down. As a result, such plants can be operated at lower cost, thus limiting the cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) of generated electricity. Certain technologies,

COMMENT | krÄmer

such as concentrated solar power (CSP) plants (such as parabolic trough and solar tower plants) require a certain minimum size in order to be economical. In addition, most CSP technologies offer the further benefit of generating steam for electricity production. Such steam can then be used to heat up tanks filled with molten salt which act as energy storage tanks, thus safeguarding energy supply even after the sun has set. Last, but not least, utility scale solar plants can fairly easily be integrated into an existing energy supply system. The downside of utility scale plants is mainly that each of such plants requires a considerable investment. A reasonably sized 50 MW solar plant using photovoltaic (PV) panels, for example, will cost several hundreds of millions of dirhams. This is an amount that most commercial investors will shy away from, unless they are lured with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) promising comparatively high rates for all electricity produced, and for a fairly long period of time. For that reason, it is usually only the utility companies themselves that are investing into such large scale plants. This, in turn, limits the amount of projects that can be realized within a certain period of time, because utility companies, of course, have budget constraints too. This means that focusing on utility scale solar plants is unlikely to create a significant amount of solar capacity fast.

Small scale solar installations At the other end of the spectrum are the small scale, usually rooftop, installations. These are solar arrays with a capacity of 1 kilowatt (kW), up until some hundreds of kW, sometimes even

At present, the focus in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia is clearly on utility scale solar plants”

more. Such installations do not have any of the above mentioned advantages of utility scale plants, but they are affordable for a much broader audience. Homeowners and operators of small and medium sized businesses may well be inclined to invest in solar electricity generation, provided, of course, a financial incentive is in place, making such investment worthwhile. One may argue that such small, sometimes tiny, installations will not make such of a difference. What is a tiny 1 kW rooftop solar installation compared to a mighty 100 MW installation, such as Abu Dhabi’s Shams 1 or Noor 1? Why bother? As people say, steady dripping fills the bucket. Rooftop systems might be small in most of cases, but (a proper incentive scheme permitting) there may well be thousands of such systems being installed. By way of comparison, in December 2011 private investors in Germany have installed a total of 3 GW of solar capacity. Hence, in just one month private investors have installed double the capacity Abu Dhabi is planning to install within the next 8 years! Needless to say that such increase of solar capacity needs to be managed properly, but there are various ways to do so, such as decreasing or

increasing the level of incentives paid, caps on permissible capacity, etc. Incentivising private solar investments is key to any substantial growth in solar capacity, however, as well as it is key to the development of any local solar industry. In summary, no decision is required between utility scale and small scale. Both options have their own distinct advantages and should be applied simultaneously. However, capacity building requires private investments into solar. Without such investments, Saudi Arabia is likely to struggle to achieve a total solar capacity of 41 GW. Even Abu Dhabi and Dubai with their much less ambitious targets are likely to find it difficult to achieve what they set out for. Harnessing the power of private investments can make a real difference, however, so I am hoping for the local authorities to pave the way for small scale solar investments.

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

October 2012



Register for an information pack at or call free on 800 GYPROC (497762). Activ’Air is a revolutionary plasterboard that actively improves indoor air quality by removing VOCs from the air and converting them in to safe, inert compounds. Once captured in the plasterboard the VOCs cannot be released back in to the environment and will continue to work for up to 75 years - giving peace of mind for generations. Activ’Air is available across the full range of Gyproc plasterboards and Gyptone perforated acoustic products. *VOCs (volatile organic compounds) - formaldehyde and other aldehydes


Sustaina-built As green design and construction continue to emerge at the forefront of Dubai’s real estate strategy, possibly even fuelling the emirate’s robust infrastructure in its renaissance, BGreen looks at Dubai’s progress in positioning itself as a hub for sustainable building


Scott Coombes Principal at AESG

pitomising the modern built environment, green design and construction has evolved into a necessity. In recent years, the UAE has demonstrated a strong dedication to green construction, from launching the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to opening the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence as well as instituting the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) sustainability and conservation programmes to supplement national environmental policies.

In 2010, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced the implementation of mandatory green building laws in the emirate. “We recognise that preserving our energy resources will be one of the greatest challenges in our drive towards sustainable development,” said His Highness. “This, however, will not materialise unless the different facets of our society adopt energy conservation principles in their core values. The

future generations will be the chief beneficiary of our achievements and the best judge of what we accomplish in this field.” Green building will also be a key topic for discussion at the approaching World Energy Forum 2012. These discussions on green building will support Dubai’s overall “strategic plan,” aligning with related legislation that will come into effect in 2014 for all of Dubai’s buildings. Covering the entirety of a real estate project from inception to completion, the legislation will

October 2012




These strict regulations will not solely apply to new buildings, but also additions, extensions, and refurbishments of existing buildings

October 2012


Local building codes now all incorporate sustainability requirements and the government has also begun introducing more rigorous codes

affect decisions related to siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal. By creating a more-sustainable urban environment, these codes will further ensure that the city’s infrastructure is able to meet the needs of future development. “Contrary to what is published in the global media, new real estate development in the UAE is still very high and a lot more focus is now being given to the quality and sustainability of building designs. Local building codes now all incorporate sustainability requirements and the government has also begun introducing more rigorous codes, such as the

Estidama Pearl rating system in Abu Dhabi and the mandating of elements of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system for certain developments within Dubai. We have also seen a large amount of interest from the existing building sector as facility owners are under more and more pressure to reduce operational expenses in the face of rising utility costs.� Scott Coombes, Principal at UAEbased sustainability consultancy, Alabbar Energy Services Group (AESG), said. AESG has reportedly more than doubled its turnover in the past year, which could be indicative of the robust nature of the property market with progressive government regulations, heightened awareness of sustainability and the operational cost savings earned

in adopting green building design and management.

Legal implications The new real estate laws in Dubai imply, more specifically, that using recyclable material, relying on natural lighting and ventilation, reducing the use of adhesives that may cause harm to the environment or to residents, and installing energy and water saving systems. These strict regulations will not solely apply to new buildings, but also additions, extensions, and refurbishments of existing buildings, exempting temporary constructions and heritage sites. Most importantly, these steps aim to reduce energy consumption and resulting carbon emissions by 30% in the emirate. Decreasing carbon emission levels will perhaps be one of the most

October 2012




vital outcomes of employing green building codes – significantly limiting exposures that are hazardous to health and helping foster a cleaner and pollution-free environment. A sustainable urban infrastructure is an integral element of the UAE’s vision to build a domestic-led green economy that will subsequently attract investors. The UAE’s Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative – a longterm national strategy which was first launched in January 2012 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, lists the nation’s priorities in achieving sustainability through the greater use of alternative energy and green technology in the creation of a green economy. The initiative looks at implementing focussed policies and legislation to support these changes, while integrating cities and reaching out to the public to adopt green living as a practice.

A forum for world leaders: WEF 2012

Beyond exteriors Green building extends well beyond the exterior walls of a structure, affecting a slew of construction and engineering mechanics including ventilation, water and air quality, thermal and acoustic comfort, hazardous materials, day-lighting and visual comfort. The manufacturing and operation of green buildings also comprise environmentallyfriendly walls, roofs, floors, elevators and escalators as well as glazed elements, thermal bridging, air-conditioning design parameters, light power density and pipe and duct insulation. To ensure that the construction delivers the desired results, a central control and monitoring system will need to be installed in addition to electricity, water and air conditioning metering. Using on-site renewable energy is equally central to green design and ranges from small to mediumscale embedded generators, to the

October 2012

The UAE plans to integrate cities and reach out to the public to adopt green living as a practice

utilisation of outdoor lighting and the establishment of a solar waterheating system. Addressing the issue of water conservation and efficiency is pivotal in the development of Dubai’s sustainable buildings. As per the codes and regulations, water-conserving fixtures will be installed in all new buildings, along with adequate condensation pans and drainage pipes. The exterior landscape of the structures will be irrigated with non-potable water using either drip or subsoil water delivery systems. Another system will also be fixed for the collection and reuse of grey water produced within the building or for the use of Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE) and a rule will be implemented to ensure that potable water supplied by DEWA is not used for heatrejection purposes. Implementing these elements in the design stage can positively affect the environment, society and business. With ecological scarcities on the rise, green construction in real estate has garnered tremendous success on a global scale prompting architects, designers and engineers to come together to create innovative structures that merge ecological functionality with aesthetics.

Green building will be a key topic for discussion at the forthcoming World Energy Forum 2012 (WEF 2012), which will take place from 22 to 24 October at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the event will centre on the theme of ‘A Forum For World Leaders.’ This will be the first time that this conference is organised outside the United Nations headquarters in New York. Serving as a meeting point to bring together a host of world leaders from Member States of the United Nations as well as corporations and international organisations, WEF will examine solutions to increase sustainable energy as well as expand access to energy services across the world, all of which will improve wider global, economic and social development. The Forum will also further delineate the role that energy plays in global sustainable development and its consequent effects on topics of water, climate change, architecture laws, urban expansion, ruralisation and demand-efficiency management in buildings.

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.

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

The Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Saud Al Qasimi with Knauf’s Managing Director and Shareholders, RAK, UAE

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Reducing Environmental impact throughout the entire product lifecycle Seeking to harmoniSe environmental and economic interests in all business activities, products and service

October 2012



t Canon, we are proud of our longstanding commitment to protecting and preserving our most precious resource – the world we share. This ideal is just one part of our corporate philosophy “kyosei”, which we adopted in 1988 and which means “aspiring to a society in which all people, regardless of race, religion, or culture, harmoniously live and work together for the common good into the future.” We believe that every business has a responsibility to ensure its operations and practices are environmentally sound. We apply this standard for environmental respect to every stage of our operations, making energy reduction, resource conservation and the elimination of hazardous substances our most important goals. We are proud that Canon is recognised for producing some of the world’s most energy-efficient products. In fact, Canon considers and applies a number of sustainability factors throughout the product life cycle Produce, Use, Recycle - including: • Using materials with a lower environmental impact • Incorporating recycled materials where possible • Reducing the energy requirement of the product in use • Minimising the weight of the product • Anticipating how products and components might be recycled in the future • Reducing logistics CO2 emissions Canon has achieved worldwide certification to the international ISO 14001 standard recognising our world class environmental management system. We also started the world’s first toner cartridge recycling programme in 1990 which now spans 23 countries globally. Canon Emirates has also launched a carbon neutral toner and ink cartridges recycling programme in the UAE.

October 2012


GREEN Technology

October 2012

GREEN Technology

Chasing clouds The common assumption that green IT can only be built by cloud technology is stems from the logic that fewer physical servers translates to less consumed energy. True proponents of cloud computing assess all sides to this revolutionary advancement, as BGreen discovers


loud computing is no longer seen as an intangible futuristic solution for data storage. The eagle has landed, big time. Forrester research projects that global spending on public cloud computing services will grow from US$25.5 billion in 2011 to $160 billion in 2020, at a 22% annual growth rate. Benefits of cloud-based technology include faster scale-up/scale-down of capacity, pay-as-you-go pricing, and access to applications and services without having to buy or manage on-site infrastructure. The clarion call of sustainability hinges on minimising consumption of valuable resources, which allows cloud computing to assume a synonymic role in green IT, addressing two key requirements: energy efficiency and resource efficiency.

Resource virtualisation Virtualisation is the basis of cloud computing, where a single physical server runs multiple operating system images simultaneously. It reduces the total carbon footprint of the physical server, which is ‘green’ in essence. As less equipment is needed to run workloads, data centre space is massively reduced, leading to a small e-waste footprint. In terms of energy efficiency, less physical equipment translates to less electricity needed to power and cool the apparatus. This is the key reason why server virtualisation is the primary green IT solution employed across 90% of IT companies worldwide as of 2011.

Automation revolution Virtualisation alone cannot maximise energy and resource efficiencies. To promptly deliver and scale workloads, cloudbased technology requires automation. Automation allows the optimisation of traditional utilisation ratios, and the higher these figures are, the less physical infrastructure is needed, in turn maximising the energy and resource efficiencies from virtualisation.

October 2012



GREEN Technology

The ideal centralised cloud data centre would be powered by renewable sources, like solar, wind or hydroelectricity” Efficient life-cycle management

advantage for products and services, rather than a requirement. The price factor trumps ecodesign every time when it comes to consumer technology, and even data centre management.

The pay-as-you-go concept governing cloud technology urges users to only consume what they need, preventing waste. Self-service and life-cycle management are two elements that can further encourage accountability, as users have the option of setting expiration times to only use the resources as and when they are needed.

Economies of scale Within a public cloud, many different organisations can benefit from a common cloud-based server. A private cloud allows the same benefits to be shared within different units of business within an organisation. When patterns of demand are collated across different units and organisations, the peaks and troughs of the load even out. Add automation to the mix, and the ratio between the peak and average loads are minimised, which then reduces the need for extra infrastructure. This allows for organisations to enjoy economies of scale in energy and resources, with massive gains.

Automation, virtualisation and mutitenancy are what push cloud technologies down the green path

The other side of green IT To maximise gains in adopting cloud-based technology, the following elements of green IT can be considered • Renewable energy sources If cloud providers are serious about positioning themselves as a green service, then a sizeable investment in renewable energy sources should follow. Even the most energy-efficient data centre can have a large carbon footprint, owing to their massive energy demands. Also, most of their

October 2012

Virtualisation is the basis of cloud technologies

electricity comes from fossil fuels, depending on the energy mix of the national energy provider. The ideal centralised cloud data centre would be powered by renewable sources, like solar, wind or hydroelectricity. In the UAE, PV technology is advanced and viable enough to power the future of cloud computing. The priority for cloud providers now seems to be the design and location of their centres, taking into account the cost of land, power, and bandwidth. On-site energy generation has yet to catch on. • Design-for-environment policies 59% of consumers in 2010 demanded a green criteria in their purchase of IT equipment, up from only 25% in 2007. While the average consumer is wiser about green choices, energy efficiency remains king in the design phase, calling to attention characteristics like recyclability, longevity, light and reusable packaging and so on. Despite greater consumer awareness and concentrated efforts on the part of providers, green credentials act as a competitive

• End-of-life management Minimising e-waste is a natural side benefit of cloud technology, requiring less physical equipment. End-of-life management looks at what happens to this equipment once newer more efficient technology comes into the picture. Legislation regarding e-waste in most countries around the world remain fuzzy. The onus lies on the providers and organisations to know how to recycle the materials that go into the apparatus—from plastic to precious metals.

Reduce costs Consolidation means fewer servers, which in turn means lower cooling and space requirements, and lower energy costs.

Carbon control More efficient (hence loweremitting) resources allow cloud customers to reduce their carbon emissions and be better-positioned to meet regulatory standards.

Resiliency Consolidation and improved utilisation makes room for more space, more power, and more cooling capacity within the same facility.

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COMMENT | Alinikula

eco-Innovation Petteri Alinikula, Director of Sustainability at Nokia, explains how innovation lies at the core of green technology


mobile phone is a small product with a relatively small environmental footprint. Nevetherless, the overall production volumes in the industry, approximately 1.6 billion phones in 2011, are so high that mobile phone manufacturers have initiated efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their products. During the last decade efforts have been mainly driven a desire to mitigate climate change. Lately, resource efficiency has become the driver for environmental impact reduction. In future improvements, innovations will play a crucial role.


Petteri Alinikula

October 2012

Life cycle analysis (LCA) is a methodology that can be used to identify the areas with the highest potential for eco improvements. While LCA methodology has its limitations, the accuracy is good enough for

such comparisons. Figure 1 breaks down the environmental impact of a typical mobile phone. The areas of environmental impact are raw materials, component manufacturing and energy usage. At Nokia, the eco improvements in these areas have been successful: the environmental impact of comparable mobile phones have reduced by roughly 50% in a decade [1]. For material improvements there are two distinct targets. Firstly, mobile phone manufacturers have phased out materials of concern from their products. These efforts have been driven by strong legislation, especially in Europe. Nokia has been the pioneer in this area, phasing out several additional substances from its products ahead of the legislation coming into force [2]. Secondly, mobile phone manufacturers have started to replace mechanical parts with environmentally

friendly materials: recycled plastic and metal, and bioplastic and paints. The target is to provide sustainable alternatives, reducing the dependency of non-renewable fossil fuels and virgin metals. In packaging, the direction has been towards smaller package sizes and environmentally friendly materials, mostly recycled paper. With packaging it is possible to simultaneously achieve significant environmental benefits and cost savings. Between 2006 and 2010 Nokia systematically reduced the package sizes of its mobile phones. As a result, Nokia saved an estimated 250,000 tonnes of paper and reduced the equivalent of 23,000 trucks from the streets. [1] The second area of emphasis has been energy efficiency. As the functionality of smartphones has increased, battery duration has become an integral part of the user experience. Accordingly, today mobile phones include power-

COMMENT | Alinikula

saving modes and the wasted stand-by power of wall chargers has significantly decreased During the last decade, the standby power has been reduced from approximately a half watt to below 30mW [1].

FUTURE DIRECTION IN DECREASING ECO FOOTPRINT What, then, is the direction for the future? The big, easy wins for improving the environmental performance of a mobile phone have been made, but there are still opportunities to go further. Nokia phones are built to last, which supports the aspect that offers the largest new opportunities in future – a lifetime extension (as shown in Figure 2.). Extending the lifetime of the product poses many important questions. The vital one that is left unanswered here is the business model: how do you motivate companies to manufacture and market their products in a way that customers do not need to buy a new one every other year? We already have a toolbox for lifetime extension: durability, energy harvesting, modular architectures, nanotechnology and repurposing. The key feature of durability is that the the main use cases of a mobile phone are already known: phone calls, messaging, Internet browsing, photography and music. To keep the phone looking modern for the years ahead requires durable mechanics and contemporary design. Energy consumption becomes the dominant element regarding environmental impact. Hence, energy harvesting is an attractive opportunity to explore in the future. While a device that never needs to charge is still a distant dream, energy harvesting can reduce the need for charging. Solar charging

is already in the market with some commercial external solar chargers. In summer 2011, Nokia conducted a special research project to test the use of a solar panel on the back of a phone as shown in Figure 3. To fulfill the needs of the future, we are likely to need both software and hardware updates for devices. Software updates are available already today, but there are very limited opportunities for hardware upgrades, for example changing to a better camera. For a Modular Phone, industry initiatives for modular architectures and interface standards are needed. Furthermore, the mobile phone is very much a design object that reflects its owner´s preferences and style. For a long-lasting device, industrial design needs to be adjustable for the latest trends and styles. This is only possible on a very limited scale today in the form of exchangeable device covers and decorations. However, nanotechnology holds the promise that the Adjustable Phone can be implemented in the future. Possible capabilities could include changing the device’s shape and making its color adaptable. In 2008, Nokia Research Center together with Cambridge University produced a video called Morph [5], which envisioned the capabilities of nanotechnology. Although very visionary, these technologies are already being tested in laboratories. Visionary illustrations of nanotechnology-enabled devices are shown in Figure 3. Finally, it’s important to remember that when the use of a mobile phone as a phone ends, it still holds functionalities for other purposes. If the repurposed phone replaces the need to buy a separate device, then there is significant environmental benefit. Example usage cases include alarm clock, surveillance camera and FM radio.

Figure 1. Breakdown of environmental impact of a mobile phone. GHG as the impact category [1].

Figure 2. Environmental impact reduction by incremental efforts and by lifetime extension.


Figure 3. Nanotechnology-enabled mobile devices [5].

October 2012


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The Starck difference BGreen travelled to Berlin for the highly anticipated launch of Hansgrohe’s Axor Starck Organic collection, catching up with the legendary Philippe Starck, the man behind the inspiring design


Otto Johannes, better known as Hans Grohe in 1871

n 1901, Berlin was a completely different place from the eclectic modern-day metropolis it is today. Hans Grohe, an innovator with a background in weaving and metal pressing, moved on to focus on the aesthetics of the bathroom—a revolutionary move at a time when private baths were only just catching on. 111 years on, Hansgrohe remains a family business, elevating the toilette to a kind of sanctuary through

innovative eco-design that has captured a sizeable market share in the hospitality sector.

Sustainability at its core From 1988, Hansgrohe has adopted water conservation and energy efficiency at the core of its design principles. In 1992, the company introduced a completely new concept in water conservation— the EcoStop button—that works as a thermostat, which can

limit water flow by 50% unless consciously overridden by the user. 20 years from this product launch, Hansgrohe’s Axor Starck Organic collection presents resource efficiency as a basic requirement, in design and principle.

Axor Starck A collaborative venture between Hansgrohe’s luxury bathroom line Axor and inimitable designer Philippe Starck, the Organic

October 2012




What sets this mixer apart is its ergonomic and intuitive handles that are sustainably manufactured, using 30% less material than used two years ago”

Above: Axor Starck Organic collection and launch Left: Philippe Starck Below: Philippe Grohe

collection takes the lines and contours from nature. “In our very first discussions about this new project, it was already clear to us, that we were aiming for a new way to use water responsibly. The principle of the design prioritises minimising water use, with low flow rates of 3.5 litres per minute,” explained Philippe Grohe at the press launch in late September. What sets this mixer apart is its ergonomic and intuitive handles that are sustainably manufactured, using 30% less material than used two years

October 2012

ago. “For added economy, the thin walls of the casting also means less energy has been used in manufacturing,” he added. The mixer comes with preferred settings at the top of the unit that regulates temperature while the on/off switch is located at the end of the spout, cutting washing time down to the essential. The collection includes forty products related to the various elements of the

bathroom, such as faucet heights, wall-mounted units and concealed shower and bathtub fixtures that use thermostatic energy.

The man with the Midas touch “I am pressure-proof,” the eccentric designer, Philippe Starck, announced at the launch event. “From June to mid-September, I work 8 to 10 hours a day. Most of the work is done during this period of intensity. This is how we stay fresh and innovative. “ A self-confessed workaholic, Starck professed his “addiction” to the creative process. “Beauty to me has no real meaning. It’s just a convenient sticker we can place on things that overwhelm our senses. Understanding the balance of the parameters in design to achieve harmony— that’s what’s pleasing and wholesome in nature. That’s what I strive for.” Yet Starck remains constantly in conflict with his unbridled talent and


desire for perfection “I do not have a happy DNA. That is to say, I am never happy, but I try to be. For me, going to hotels and restaurants means having to face a mirror of all my mistakes and weaknesses. This is also why I continue to design and create—my mistakes drive me.“

Berlin as it stands today

The future of design Starck almost controversially pushed the notion that design as it is defined now lacks utility. “Given the current challenge to save the world, its violence, its urgency, perhaps design is not the right tool. Nowadays, there are two kinds of approaches: what is useful - in the sense that can save lives - and what is not. Design does not save lives, and that should be a focus for young designers in the future.”

Hansgrohe in the hospitality industry At the beginning of the year, Hansgrohe opened a unique initiative, the EcoSmart check package, following a study conducted by the company

Elmar Bollin

highlighting the staggering amount of water and energy hotels around the world can save through smarter decisions. The study was a joint project between Hansgrohe AG, the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg and Europa-Park, Germany’s largest theme park in Rust near Freiburg. During this study, the mixers and showers of the 4-star superior Santa Isabel themed hotel in Europa-Park were replaced with Hansgrohe EcoSmart products. The water and energy consumption were then compared with two other hotels in the Europa-Park resort. The results showed that EcoSmart products reduced the total water consumption per overnight stay by 32%. The hotel also saves on the energy used to heat water. “On average, a cubic metre of hot water in Germany is around three times as expensive

Understanding the balance of the parameters in design to achieve harmony—that’s what’s pleasing and wholesome in nature. That’s what I strive for” as cold water”, explained Professor Elmar Bollin from the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg. “There are therefore additional cost savings here in addition to the positive effect on the environment thanks to reduced energy consumption.” The check package is a concept that evolved from the results of

October 2012




the study, allowing the hospitality industry to determine the water consumption and possible savings potential. The package comes with a measuring cup, two Hansgrohe jet formers, the Crometta 85 Green hand shower and a comprehensive information brochure. The results can also be fed into Hansgrohe’s online savings calculator to provide an overview for the entire hotel. The calculator takes into account specific factors such as room occupancy to figure out the ideal behavioural choices needed to curb energy and water usage.

Santa Isabel EcoSmart versions of the Croma

Jürgen Mack

100 Vario hand shower were installed in 62 rooms in the Santa Isabel. These reduce the water flow to around nine litres per minute. Also fitted were 110 basin mixers with new jet formers that limit the water flow to five litres per minute. (In comparison, a conventional mixer without this jet former has a flow of around 13 litres per minute.) “We were extremely impressed by the result”, commented Jürgen Mack, Managing Associate of Europa-Park. “The cost benefit is clear. We never imagined that it would prove to be cost-effective so soon. It’s only natural that



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we are now also thinking of retrofitting the other hotels with EcoSmart products.” In response to the findings of the study, Richard Grohe, Deputy Chairman of Hansgrohe AG, stated: “Efficient use of resources is particularly important when water and energy are used in large quantities. The potential savings rapidly multiply in the hotel and hospitality industry. Our pilot project in Europa-Park shows that significant reductions are possible with the help of innovative technologies. The costs pay for themselves several times over – reducing the burden on the environment and your wallet.”

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Under the Saudi sun The holy city of Mecca could be the first in the sun-drenched Kingdom of Saudia Arabia to host a utility-scale solar power plant as a way of diversifying energy investment


Mecca is one of the most populous of Saudi’s 13 regions

October 2012

n order to meet Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning energy demand, the mayor of Mecca, Osama al-Bar, announced that bids for building local power plants in the holy city will be accepted in January 2013. The bidders will compete for contracts to supply 385 gigawatt-hours a year, including 100 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity.

“No city in Saudi Arabia owns power-generation assets, and we want to be first city that owns power plants and hopefully the first in the Muslim world,” says al-Bar, stressing the city’s vision of prioritising solar power in its diversified energy mix of fossil fuels, wind and biomass energy. The construction phase is projected to begin in June 2013,

expected to span five years for completion.

An example for the Muslim world Mecca’s solar inclination may serve as a model for other Middle Eastern cities, according to Adnan Amin, director general of the Abu Dhabi-headquartered International Renewable Energy Agency

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saudi is reportedly aiming for US$109 billion in investments to build a solar industry that can supply a third of its electricity by 2032

(IRENA), who sees this as an exemplary move for renewables in the sunshine-rich region. “The project is very visionary as Mecca has special significance around the world,” says Amin. “The case is very simple. In 25 years, they [Saudi Arabia] could become net importers of energy. That makes renewables comparatively cheaper.” As the cornerstone of Islam, Mecca, sees over 6 million visitors every year, on top of the 2 million residents, leading Saudi Arabia’s energy advisor to recommend the country add up to 41 GW of solar power, 17 GW of nuclear energy, and 4 GW of geothermal and waste-to-energy capacity over the next 20 years. To put this demand in perspective, the world’s current leader in solar generation, Germany, recently touched 30 GW in capacity. Saudi is reportedly aiming for US$109 billion in investments to build a solar industry that can supply a third of Saudi Arabia’s electricity by 2032. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in 2011, the investment in solar development globally reached a total of $136 bn, making Saudi’s target the largest projected figure internationally. The kingdom depends on oil for 86% of its annual, and less than 1% of its energy came from renewables last year, according to data from BP Plc.

Sunshine in abundance The nation gets more than twice the sunshine of anywhere in Europe. Research at the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals estimates that the solar irridation in Saudi lies between 4.5

to 7 kilowatts per square metre a day. According to an estimate by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, Mediterranean countries like Greece receive an average of 1.7 kilowatts a day in comparison. The solar programme in Saudi is being researched and managed by the government-supported King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy. In Mecca, Saudi Binladin Group and ACWA Power international are the leading companies vying for the project.

The fuel mix The electricity from the solarheavy project will be used for public lighting and across 35 tunnels, countering the yearly cost of SAR100 million (US$26.6 million) the city incurs from urban electricity use. “We are open to all options, but solar must be there and then other renewable sources can go into the mix,” the mayor

Osama al-Bar Mayor of Mecca

says. Mecca produces 4,000 metric tonnes of garbage a day that also can be fed into power plants.” Keeping up with the nation’s 3.2% annual population increase, Saudi Arabia’s electricity demand has been steadily growing by 8% a year to match the demand. Mecca has already witnessed 5.8 million pilgrims from January to September this year, and expects an additional 1.8 million people by the year end. The kingdom aims to generate as much energy from PV as it does from crude oil, according to Saudi Oil Minister, Ali Al-Naimi, adding that Saudi has the potential to meet four times the global electricity demand through solar power alone. Despite fertile conditions for solar energy, Saudi Arabia has only managed to erect 3 MW of solar infrastructure in place, falling well behind other Middle East leaders like Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and the UAE.

October 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.

Protecting biodiversity

Maersk Oil and Qatar Ministry of Environment are set to place the spotlight on biodiversity monitoring in the GCC oil and gas sector at the eighth edition of the HSE Forum in Energy, starting with the deep blue’s elusive and endangered whale sharks

Whale sharks are identified by spot patterns that are unique for each individual. 107 of the world’s largest fish were studied during 2 weeks in June 2012 off the Al Shaheen oil field.

October 2012


he Al Shaheen offshore oil field in Qatar, located approximately 150 kilometres north of Doha, has become the site of a ground breaking research project dedicated to studying whale sharks in the Arabian Gulf.

The Qatar Whale Shark Research Project is a joint collaboration between the Qatar Ministry of Environment and Maersk Oil Research and Technology Centre (MO-RTC), with the objective of establishing a long-term monitoring programme that can provide

pioneering information about the population and ecology of the world’s largest fish. Operated by Maersk Oil on behalf of Qatar Petroleum, the Al Shaheen oil field hosts one of world’s largest congregations of whale sharks during the summer


months. A two-week survey was completed in June this year, which observed more than 100 of the majestic fish. The survey was documented by the BBC Natural History Group for the upcoming TV series ‘Wild Arabia’, and the findings will be presented by Mohammed Al-Jaidah, Environmental Expert at the Qatar Ministry of Environment during the eighth Annual HSE Forum in Energy, taking place from 8 to 10 October at the Doha Grand Hyatt Hotel. Al-Jaidah said that the mass migration of whale sharks are drawn to the Gulf waters during summer to feed, adding that the Al Shaheen oil field structures and the surrounding protected waters attract a variety of marine life and fish that come to the area to spawn. “The whale sharks are definitely here to feed on fish eggs, with several fish species spawning in this area during May to September,” says Al-Jaidah. “This could be due to the structures that attract fish, currents that concentrate eggs in certain locations, and favourable sea temperatures. “The sharks seem to prefer deeper areas – depths of 50 metres or more – and are seen to occupy very specific areas for weeks. They are identified by the spot pattern on their backs that is unique for each individual, and thirteen of the 107 identified sharks were also observed last year, indicating that individuals return to this area annually. This year we have fitted several of the whale sharks with transmitters in order to follow their movements in the Arabian Gulf and beyond.” Steffen Bach, Environmental Team Lead at Maersk Oil Research Technology Centre, who will deliver the presentation at the HSE Forum in Energy alongside Al-Jaidah, says that the Qatar Whale Shark

It is essential that projects such as the Qatar Whale Shark Research Project have a long-term goal”

The Qatar Whale Shark Research Project is a joint collaboration between the Qatar Ministry of Environment and Maersk Oil Research and Technology Centre. A whale shark feeds off the Al Shaheen oil field, 150 kilometres north of Doha, Qatar.

A transmitter is attached to track the whale shark’s movements in the Arabian Gulf and beyond

Research Project is part of a long-term collaboration between Maersk Oil and the Qatar Ministry of Environment in their joint effort to boost marine biodiversity in Qatar, bringing together energy regulators, industry operators and researchers. “Being an environmentally responsible oil and gas operator requires that we understand the offshore environment we work in,” says Bach, a marine biologist. “The marine ecosystem has therefore been identified as one of the main research topics of the Maersk Oil Research and Technology Centre in Doha. It is essential that projects such as the Qatar Whale Shark Research Project have a longterm goal and are done in close partnership with local researchers and authorities.” Held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy & Industry and Chairman of Qatar Petroleum, the eighth Annual HSE Forum in Energy will host more than 45 regional and international HSE experts to discuss HSE best practice and operational excellence. The dedicated industry conference and exhibition will put a spotlight on the latest developments and technological

solutions essential to ensuring the effective health and safety management and sustainable environmental practices in the energy sector. “Being able to address our key stakeholders at the HSE Forum in Energy is a great opportunity for us to share our experience and findings with everybody related to the oil and gas business,” adds Bach. “If we can reach a common understanding on what is good for the industry, the environment, and the future of Qatar, then we have really achieved something.” The two-day conference in Doha will feature 30 presentations, two panel discussions and five hours of networking sessions, before culminating with four half-day post conference workshops on the final day. Headline speakers include Saif Al Naimi, Director of HSE Regulations & Enforcement Directorate at Qatar Petroleum, Dr. Wells Grogan, Vice President of HSSEQ at Maersk Oil, Jean-Philippe Bérillon, Senior VP of Security & Safety at GDF SUEZ Global Gas & LNG, Richard Pollock, President Elect at ASSE, and Richard Birrer, Executive Director of Saudi Aramco Medical Services Organisation (SAMSO).

October 2012




Forest-first furniture design

With sustainability at the forefront of her designs, American designer Maria Yee started small. Now she owns her own furniture factory, with her work gracing high-end stores the world over. Tahira Mehmood catches up with BGreen’s Personality of the Month


aria Yee followed her instincts to make museum quality Chinese Ming Dynasty furniture using plantation hardwood that is responsibly grown and Maria Yee Inc. selectively harvested. Yee’s design philosophy received 100% Forest centres on her belief Stewardship Council that artistic creations made with natural certification (FSC) on select materials are innately hardwood products. To receive satisfying. After “FSC Pure” status, all the intense research for raw material hardwood used in a product to create a range of must come from an FSCsustainable furniture, Yee discovered that certified forest. timber was exactly what she was looking for. Yee’s patented BambooTimbre™ is

October 2012

rapidly renewable. Even the solid hardwood used is responsibly grown and harvested. Artisans remodel these materials into beautiful works of art using BreathingJoinery™, where no nails or screws are used to join and fix the furniture. She now owns a furniture factory in Guangzhou, her birth place in China. Yee also works with the local bamboo farmers there to utilise the entire bamboo culm – in an effort to minimise waste and help enhance her country’s economy. Yee claims that the manufacturing stage is energy efficient and is done in ways as eco friendly as possible. Sawdust is recycled to run low-emission

boilers, utilising waste and using it to generate heat for more than 35 acres and one million feet of production space. Furthermore, whole wood is used to minimise waste and cardboard and other materials are recycled, which are used in the packaging of furniture. Maria Yee Design Group uses biodegradable products like bamboo, which is one of the fastest growing renewable resources on the planet. Unlike hardwood, which takes decades to mature, Moso bamboo can be harvested within five years. According to the US Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, it is qualified as a “rapidly renewable resource”. In addition it helps reduce carbon dioxide


Sawdust is recycled to run low-emission boilers, utilising waste and using it to generate heat for more than 35 acres and one million feet of production space” gases, a cause of global warming, by absorbing up to 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare, and prevents soil erosion with its extensive root system. Yee’s creation of BambooTimbre™ as a natural alternative to solid hardwood acts as an alternative to offset the effects of deforestation. BambooTimbre™ claims to exceed steel in tensile strength and is harder than red oak, which makes it water resistant and very durable. Also, Yee’s BreathingJoinery™ ensures the furniture will last for generations. She wants to create designs for the younger generation and help them furnish their home with eco friendly décor. In addition, she talks about new interpretations and reaching for EcoLuxury™ furnishings. Maria Yee’s introduction of RidgeBamboo™ complies with the company’s goal of consistently providing new, unique options in EcoLuxury™ home furnishings.

Yee’s patented BambooTimbre™ is renewable. The hardwood used is responsibly grown and harvested. Their leather originates from fine U.S. or European hides. Artisans remodel these materials into works of eco friendly art using BreathingJoinery™, where no nails or screws are used to join and fix the furniture.

in a product must come from an FSC-certified forest. The FSC label assures consumers that the materials come from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations. In 2009, Maria Yee started using a water-based coating, consisting of eco-friendly material. It contains polyurethane and it has several ecological benefits like being low in Volatile Organic Compounds and no added formaldehyde. The leather is aniline-dyed and is certified with the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification. Maria Yee Design Group declares that its manufacturing services take into account the international recommendations of caring for the ecology and follow strict environmental practices to

assure the same. In 2010, the Yee’s factories received the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification. ISO 14001 requires annual re-certification as well. Having lived in California for 23 years, Yee incorporated the central Californian style into her contemporary designs. Maria Yee Design Group features their designs at Crate & Barrel in the region.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY In 2007, Yee inaugurated a new 350,000 square-foot factory - the first industrial building in China to wholly employ hydronic heating, an energy efficient heating source according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The campus also has 14 large skylights, each one measuring more than 420 feet long, which eliminate the need for electrical lighting during the day and cut energy consumption by nearly half. At night, energyefficient light bulbs are used. In 2008, Yee’s factories were awarded the ISO 9001 Quality Management System certification. Also, Maria Yee Inc. received 100% Forest Stewardship Council certification on select hardwood products. In order to receive “FSC Pure” status, all the hardwood used

October 2012




Shark watch This month, our green spy speaks out about the UAE’s underexposed shark trade


ith their beady eyes and rows of conveyor belt teeth, I’ll admit that it’s hard to think of sharks as cuddly and cute, Still, the predators of the sea have been at the wrong end of the prod for decades, and it’s high time we see a palpable change in the mindset of the masses. Over 140 sharks were found on sale at the Deira fish market, including rare species like smooth hammerheads and bigeye threshers who have made the International Union for Conservation of Nature list. Despite an international treaty banning the trade of whale shark fins, dried specimens were on sale in Dubai. Sure, sharks are predators. They rule the top of the ocean food chain. Removing them from the marine ecosystem would mean overpopulation of their natural prey, which could wipe out smaller fish that are under threat of overfishing as it is. Sharks are a necessary cornerstone of the marine hierarchy because of their very nature as predators. Yet considering them as a danger to humanity is completely unfounded, providing fodder for the shark fishing industry in their justification of unethical fishing practices. The US$1.2 billion industry thrives on trading shark fin, which is dried and used to make soup in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Taiwan. In Deira, you can get these dried fins in 4 kg packages at AED 600 on average, with the

October 2012

price depending on the species and availability. While most of the fins are exported, you can get the soup in restaurants in Dubai for around AED 50 per serving. Obviously, government authorities in the UAE have condemned the industry. The trade itself is illegal, and shark finning, the barbaric practice of ripping out the fins of sharks and tossing the rest of the animal overboard, is banned by the Ministry of Environment and Water. Yet, the proof of its thriving status lies plainly in public view in mangled rows at the fish market. The UAE is the fifth-largest exporter in the world for shark fins, and in most cases, acts as a middleman for the regionally caught species. The next step for eradicating the practice is for the authorities to start enforcing the ban by regulating import and export, and controlling fishing practices. Apart from a top-down hardhanded approach, stamping out the trade will require educating fishermen of the different types of sharks in regional waters and their status. Learning more

about this murky trade would be beneficial for the authorities as well in counter incentivising fishermen to release threatened species. Are local fishermen aware of the unimaginable cruelty of shark finning? Is there a price hierarchy for different types of sharks? Are fishermen given the adequate infrastructural support to protect their livelihood without the need for shark blood money to line their pockets? As it currently stands, the poor misunderstood beasts of the ocean have very little voice in the shadowy depths of the Arabian Sea. Till next time, grow green and prosper.


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

influential gathering for the global real estate community, Cityscape Global will provide key insights and the latest developments on the world’s foremost real estate markets. Power + Water Middle East 8-10 October, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre A forum for professionals from related industries to interact with a number of the world’s leading companies and organisations

Light Middle East 2012 1-3 October, Dubai Exhibition and Convention Centre With over 200 exhibitors from 20 countries, the event provides the only dedicated lighting platform in the region for architects, lighting designers, specifiers and other industry professionals from across the GCC and Middle East regions to discover innovative solutions and lighting design applications. Energy Savers UAE 2012 2 October, JW Marriott Hotel, Dubai Over 300 delegates from the public and private sectors are expected to attend this event, highlighting the drivers of energy efficiency and how various stakeholders can work together and share best practices in energy management. Emirates Energy Award 2012 2 October, Grand Hyatt hotel, Dubai The award recognises efforts undertaken by the private and public sectors in the field of energy efficiency and related projects, as well as programs that incentivise research and education in this field, arranged under the patronage of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

Intermat Middle East 2012 8-10 October, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre A leading exhibition for machinery, materials, and equipment, the event is targeted at the main decision-makers in the construction sector and is expecting more than 7000 buyers and opinion leaders.

Emirates Green Building Council Networking Session: Cool roof coatings 2 October, The Address Dubai Mall Featuring a keynote speech by Joseph Rokowski from the Research & Development of Dow Construction Chemicals in North America, the event will look at reducing energy consumption through green roofing. Cityscape Global 2012 2-4 October, Dubai International Exhibition Centre Regarded as the region’s most

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. 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.

October 2012




The secrets of the levant October 2012


evantine art and architecture have moulded and inspired a considerable fraction of the modern Arab oeuvre. Northern Jordan UNESCO heritage site, the village of Umm el-Jimal, is exemplary of the region’s unique architecture. Approximately 17 kilometers east of Mafraq, the village houses the ruins of a Byzantine and early Islamic town, built over and around the older Roman village known as al Herri. The site has an abundance of igneous rock basalt, which was used as the main building material. Considering Jordan’s extreme summer heat and chilling desert winter, basalt’s properties of insulation were highly utilised. In winter, the basalt blocks would trap the heat from the sun and would then radiate that heat throughout the structure, acting as a natural heating source. In summer, it would serve as a cooling unit as the dense nature of the blocks trapped the cool air within the structure.

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BGreen Magazine October 2012  

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

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