x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Green code could cut energy bills by 70pc

New buildings erected in the emirate by next year must meet minimum energy-efficiency standards that could save residents 70 per cent of their annual energy costs.

ABU DHABI // New buildings put up in the emirate next year will have to meet energy-efficiency standards that could cut residents' annual power bills by 70 per cent, developers were told yesterday. Once the emirate enforces its Energy Conservation Code early next year, the benefits will be reflected in bills as well as comfort levels, said Eric Makela, who has helped to develop standards for the International Code Council, which promotes building safety.

"Buildings will probably be more comfortable because you are going to have less heat coming out due to better insulation, and you'll see cooling systems become smaller," he said. "You're going to see windows that are going to reduce the solar gain [heat from the sun] and lighting systems in commercial buildings with a lower wattage, while the light will stay the same." He was speaking at a workshop hosted by the Department of Municipal Affairs to introduce the new code to private companies.

Meanwhile, at the Cityscape property convention in Dubai, a campaigner accused construction of lagging behind other industries in promoting green technology. "We should not be clapping because one building in 8,000 is 'green' - this should be the norm," said Habiba Al Marashi, chairwoman of the Emirates Environmental Group. mkwong@thenational.ae