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Last Word

Green and Innovative Technology in Construction

Ujjwal Goel, managing director of Teraciel Engineering and Contracting (TEC), outlines the need to go green

While Dubai has always been associated with a penchant for luxury, the growing popularity of ecologically sustainable and integrated built environments reflects a shift in both consumers’ and the industry’s perception of the new age of design in the city. In recent years, sustainable efforts have seen a dramatic rise and with this, green and innovative technologies have been increasing throughout the construction and engineering industries, especially when it comes to the latest in structural design. Ongoing innovation in green materials and resources has seen the development of more sustainable infrastructures, such as homes and offices, as well as green

lifestyle alternatives including solar power, biodegradable materials and smart appliances, each serving to combat the devastating environmental impacts of overpopulation and pollution. Today, architects and interior designers in the region are also increasingly opting for recycled materials in their cutting-edge designs, with woven vinyl flooring, reconstituted stone and consciously sourced upholstery taking centre stage. In recent years the Middle East has become a cornerstone globally for its attention to green and innovative technology, specifically in the sustainable homes and infrastructure sector. The UAE is the flag-bearer of building sustainability within the region, with

some of the highest rates of accredited green buildings in the world. It was a sign of the times when in 2013, a two-storey Dubai store selling eco-friendly products was ranked by the US Green Building Council as the most sustainable building in the world. Last year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, further inspired us when he announced the launch of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, a plan to increase renewable energy in Dubai by 40% over the next 30 years. Dubai’s civic body has also announced its mission to become one of the world’s ten most sustainable cities by the launch of Expo 2020 – mainly through implementing green

building regulations. Further, the UAE has pledged 24% clean energy by 2021. There are also communities such as Sustainable City (Dubai), which boasts a 113-acre development planning to reduce CO2 emissions, with residents and visitors required to use public transportation or smart driverless cars within it, solar panel roofs on all homes and a park with 2,500 trees. Other such projects paving the way in green innovation include Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park (Dubai) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Jeddah). The engineering and construction industries need to continue their work towards creating

new and innovative technologies and further develop durable and quality materials that are cost-effective and positively impact the environment, while improving energy resources, health, the preservation of water, and reductions in pollution and waste. The Middle East has taken strong steps towards laying the way for the future of the region and ensuring that green and innovative technologies are at the forefront of construction and engineering. By examining the relationship of a project with the environment, together the Middle East and the construction and engineering industries can continue to avoid making undue impacts.

“Today, architects and interior designers in the region are also increasingly opting for recycled materials in their cutting-edge designs”

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