Dubai Chamber aims for Gold LEED status in 2013
$12m retrofit of head office nearing end after four years of work
The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry building, said to be the first LEED building in the Arab world in 2009, is on course to achieve a higher level of accreditation early this year.
The Dubai Creek waterfront head office has been undergoing a AED45m ($12m) retrofit since February 2009.
Designed by consultants Bluehaus and an in-house team, the project is being done in three phases over four years while the building remains in use. Work to the 11th and 12th floors, namely the Executive floors, is all that remains outstanding.
After almost 15 years in constant use it was deemed that the building was in need of an upgrade to bring it up to the latest standards in security, technology, health and safety, corporate social responsibility manager Annelies Hodge told CW.
“As the organisation had already benefitted from green building initiatives saving $1.93m between 1998 and 2008 by reducing water and energy consumption by 77% and 47% respectively, which helped to achieve LEED accreditation,” she said.
“It was also paramount that this retrofit be done to the highest environmental standards too. Therefore it has been based on LEED guidelines so the building has the least possible impact on the environment.”
From the project pitch to delivery, Dubai Chamber insisted that the strictest green building standards be followed covering everything from the toxicity of paints and finishes, through to the waste and recycling system, use of light and movement sensors, the most efficient LEDs, segregated printing areas with separated ventilation and more.
“The result is a much more efficient workspace and significant resource savings. It also has significantly enhanced the office environment with much improved air quality, security and communication,” said Hodge.
“On the floors where the upgrade is complete, employees show significantly improved satisfaction with it up from 59% to 89%. Much energy has been saved from the lighting, and use of intelligent sensors and a new chiller system, which has led to 26% energy savings. Water saving features, like 4.5 litre flush valves and using grey water for toilet flushing, are saving thousands of litres of water and dirhams each day too.
“Currently Dubai Chamber is in the process of recertifying LEED Existing Building Operation and Maintenance to take its accreditation to a higher Gold level and is on target to complete this by early 2013.”
Dubai Chamber is an 18 storey building with 20,000m2 of office space including a 700-seater auditorium, a 200-seater conference hall, banquet halls and 14 other meeting spaces. The triangular shaped building was designed by the Japanese architecture firm Nikken Seikkei.