x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Dubai plans to go greener with 20% reduction in energy consumption

The efficiency programme, called the green building project, was started as an initiative in 2008 by the Supreme Council of Energy in collaboration with the Dubai Municipality and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Dubai aims to cut energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020, as it enforces an energy-efficient building project, a government executive said yesterday.

“Buildings use 70 per cent of the energy that we produce,” said Abdulla Mohammed Rafia, the assistant director general for engineering and planning at Dubai Municipality.

“To get the city green, you might as well go to the biggest consumer – the buildings, whether residential or commercial.”

The efficiency programme, called the green building project, was started as an initiative in 2008 by the Supreme Council of Energy in collaboration with the Dubai Municipality and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. In 2011, it became mandatory for all government buildings to adhere to the programme. However, this year it was extended, requiring all new buildings to be energy-efficient.

“On cost increase it’s only 5 per cent [to have a green building],” said Mr Rafia, adding that in addition to energy savings, 15 per cent could be cut from water consumption and 20 per cent from carbon dioxide output.

To get a green building certified in Dubai, it has to meet 79 energy-saving standards. The criteria include measures such as using thermal insulation, using energy-efficient equipment for air conditioning for instance, and using solar water heaters.

Separately, Mr Rafia said the numbers of green buildings accredited annually in Dubai during the past five years had fluctuated as the volatile international economic situation affected the emirate’s property sector.

However, Dubai Municipality forecasts the volume and number of green projects will increase in the future.

“Our forecast shows that in 2016 the permitted area [for green buildings] could reach to 90 million square feet,” he said.

Last year, about 54 million sq ft was earmarked for green buildings.

selgazzar@thenational.ae