Sustainability key to Gulf real estate success

The Gulf real estate sector must address sustainability issues to enable delivery of the developments planned for the region according to Masdar CEO Dr Sultan Al Jaber.

The Gulf real estate sector must address sustainability issues to enable delivery of the developments planned for the region according to Masdar CEO Dr Sultan Al Jaber.

Around US $500 billion (AED1,835 billion) of developments are planned for the next seven years alone. However, without steps to address the sector's energy and water consumption, plus waste and carbon generation levels, the region's infrastructure will not be able to match growth projections predicted Al Jaber.

Speaking at the recent Cityscape Dubai exhibition, Al Jaber stated: "These planned developments will require an additional two million m3 of water per day and 75 million additional MWh of energy per year, all while producing an additional 3.5 million tonnes of solid waste and 300 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year. This level of growth is not sustainable."

The figures represent an increase of around 100% from current levels. "Unless we change the current energy, water and waste consumption rates of developments, we will undoubtedly bottleneck the existing infrastructure, choke the planned capacities of utilities and create damage to the environment," Al Jaber added.

The Masdar CEO cited the need for integrating energy infrastructures such as photovoltaics into developments and reducing the overall power and water demands by adopting energy efficiency principles.
 

  •  Masdar is currently developing what it plans to be the world's first zero carbon and zero waste city, a six km2 integrated green zone in Abu Dhabi that will implement cutting-edge technologies and design to ensure its sustainability.

Scheduled to open in late 2009, Masdar was named "Sustainable City of the Year" in the Euromoney and Ernst & Young Global Renewable Energy Awards 2007 at the 9th Annual Global Renewable Energy and Finance Forum (REFF) in London, UK during October. This is the second award to be presented to Masdar in recent months; in June it was singled out for the first World Clean Energy Award by the Swiss-based Transatlantic21 Association.

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