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Dubai's model for energy sustainability

Taher Diab, Supreme Council of Energy director, explains the strategy

Dubai Supreme Council of Energy director Taher Diab
Dubai Supreme Council of Energy director Taher Diab

Dubai Supreme Council of Energy director Taher Diab is the keynote speaker at our Building Sustainability event on November 13. He speaks to Yamurai Zendera about its efforts to bring in private sector investment.

Taher Diab states that the unprecedented growth of energy demand during Dubai’s infrastructure boom has raised the need for the development of smarter strategies towards the security of energy supply and the diversification of fuel sources.

Therefore, a unique governance platform to drive the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 (DIES 2030) has been created in a bid to set a model for sustainability in the region.

“Crucial programs and projects driven by the visionary leadership have been deployed to achieve security of energy and maintain sustainable growth for the emirate,” Diab tells Construction Week.

A structured approach was taken to the development of DIES 2030, with targets set for rationalisation and building capacity, among other things. Areas looked at included energy efficiency and demand reduction, governance and policies, energy security and sustainable cost of gas; and financial mechanism and capacity-building.

On governance and policies, Diab says Dubai is promoting the principles of public-private participation (PPP) and introduced laws to boost market dynamics for partnership on a number of projects – beginning with solar and clean coal power generation.

He mentions that the emirate’s first photovoltaic solar power plant, the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park at Seih Al Dahal, has just come online with a capacity of 13 megawatts(MW). The next 200MW of solar power will be delivered through PPP, he adds.

“We were thorough in our assessment for seeking solar technology. We’ve taken our time. During that process we have benefited from the improved technology and also the cost has come down dramatically in the last four-five years,” says Diab.

“DSCE has set a strategy of fuel source diversification through solar and other alternative sources of power. The launch of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park demonstrates Dubai’s commitment to harness renewable energy and improve environmental quality for our future generations.”

With regards to Dubai’s first clean coal power plant, a consultancy tender for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) is likely to be floated next year. The facility will have an initial capacity of 1,800MW beginning from 2020.

As gas will remain the dominant fuel in the energy mix, another alternative fuel source being looked at is waste-to-energy through recovery of biofuels from organic waste, with a pilot by Dubai Municipality already under way, says Diab.

“Technology and economic feasibilities are being assessed for increased power generation from renewable resources and to minimize waste-to-landfill.”

He adds that the regulatory framework for district cooling and energy service companies (ESCO) is underway to shore up implementation where efficiency of buildings can be attained. Through Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the supreme council has set up a super-ESCO – Al Etihad Energy Services.

“This particular company is going to be looking at the retrofitting of existing buildings,” says Diab. “When we look at energy efficiency, buildings constitute the highest consumption element. The super ESCO will target initially 50 to 60 government buildings. We’re starting off with government buildings to lead by example. Performance–based-contracting will be employed supported by certification and auditing framework currently being developed.”

He adds: “On the penetration of renewable power, the supreme council and the RSB (Regulatory & Supervisory Bureau) has developed the ‘Feed-in-Tariffs’ and Technical Codes for independent power generators.”

Approval from Dubai Government is planned by end of the year.

DSCE recently approved a demand-side management (DSM) strategy to work on specific programs and technical levers for energy efficiency and demand reduction, says Diab. Achieved saving has already been demonstrated as a result of introducing ‘cost-reflective-tariffs’ in Dubai from 2011 and encouraging trends of consumption reduction have reflected raised community awareness towards conservation.

The Dubai green building codes were introduced in 2010 but the biggest chunk will be implemented from the start of next year. “The building permit process will require submission of specific design requirements which have to comply with the Green Building Regulations managed by the Dubai Municipality,” says Diab.

“Dubai Supreme Council of Energy understands that our sustainability model is needed to integrate energy as an essential element of our planning and economic development. This means positioning energy at the heart of our economies while addressing environmental and social concerns,” he adds.

Special delivery
Dubai Supreme Council of Energy director Taher Diab is the keynote speaker at our Building Sustainability event on November 13. He speaks to Yamurai Zendera about its efforts to bring in private sector investment.

Could integrated project delivery really offer a transparent way for an entire project team to collaborate on sustainable projects for clients? Ted Garrison, CEO of New Construction Strategies and chair of Construction Week’s Building Sustainability conference thinks so.

At a past Building Sustainability conference, Jody Andrews, the director of the Capital District development in Abu Dhabi, said: “If it isn’t cheaper, it’s not sustainable.”

Others expressed the need for a collaborative approach in order to achieve the best results from sustainability initiatives. Owners want to achieve sustainable goals while ensuring projects are on budget, on time, and of a high quality with no contractor-generated change orders in a totally transparent process.

To achieve this, they need a delivery method that’s built around planning, collaboration, efficiency, and innovation. The Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach not only delivers on these, but it’s the most transparent delivery method available. IPD is similar to design-build, but in addition it incentivises lower costs and is totally transparent, with open books.

Having an entire team at the table from the beginning allows them to collaborate and identify the client’s highest priorities so the project is designed to meet those requirements.

Since there are usually numerous ways to achieve the desired design intent, the design-bid-build delivery method is at a disadvantage because the designer doesn’t know the most cost-effective approach for the contractor that will be doing the work. This increases project cost.

It’s impossible for a designer to select the most efficient approach for a contractor without specific input from the contractor.

Another benefit of the totally collaborative process is the ability to explore various sustainable initiatives to see if they are worth pursuing. We all know of projects that spent money on sustainable initiatives only to learn too late that the investment wasn’t justified by the savings. In the collaborative approach, costs of a particular initiative can be determined before time and money is wasted.

IPD allows owners to make decisions based on total life-cycle analysis instead of just basing their decision on construction costs. In addition, since IPD delivers significant upfront cost savings, more sustainable opportunities become viable.

IPD provides better solutions because it allows the team to seek out the most experienced people in all critical areas to ensure the best ideas and solutions are explored. This approach also protects the owner from the risk of project costs exceeding budgets and unanticipated change orders by contractors at the end of a project.

Since the IPD team has provided the solution or approach they are in fact stating they know how to do it. This means they can’t come back to the owner at a later date and ask for a change order. Once the IPD team says they can do it, they own it. In other words, the IPD team is totally accountable for the results.

THE AGENDA

09.00 WELCOME REMARKS FROM CONFERENCE CHAIR
Ted Garrison, Principal, New Construction Strategies

09.10 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: GOVERNMENT ROLE IN PIONEERING SUSTAINABILITY
The presentation will address the key elements required to drive momentum in the community and achieve sustainability. It also sheds light on Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy and initiatives taken to maintain sustainable development and growth.
Taher Diab, Strategy & Planning Director, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy

09.30 CASE STUDY: RETROFITTING BUILDINGS AND THE EMERGENCE OF ENERGY SERVICE COMPANIES (ESCO)
The market for retrofitting buildings to reduce water and energy consumption is anticipated to grow rapidly. This presentation will give an insight into the work of performance-based contracting, which will allow companies to get paid for their services according to the energy savings they achieve for a client.
Ben Churchill, Managing Director, Emrill Services

09.50 CASE STUDY: RETHINKING THE APPROACH WHEN PLANNING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTS
This session will give an update on progress at Masdar City, offering new insights on how the sustainability KPIs for the project are set and assessed, how long-term economic viability of sustainability initiatives are achieved and stressing the importance of meeting overall environmental sustainability targets.
Steve Severance, Head of Program Management and Investments, Masdar City

10.10 PANEL DISCUSSION: REGENERATIVE URBAN DESIGN AND PLANNING
With the rapid growth of existing communities and new developments being built, urban design and making use of modern technology needs to take culture and social understanding into account. This session will discuss the approach of regenerative design and how it differs from the concept of sustainable design. It will also examine how passive design can be used to save costs and enhance intangible aspects of liveability while also maximising practical benefits of new solutions.
Moderator: Nicholas Lander, CH2MHILL
Panelists:
Antonio Ceci, Snr. Architect, RW Armstrong
Eng Jaber, Architect, Dewan
Nadine Bitar, Founder, PLACEmaking
Rudayna Abdo, Otak International

10.40 Morning Break and Refreshments

11.10 CASE STUDY: THE iHOUSE- A ZERO-ENERGY RESIDENTIAL CONCEPT FOR THE GCC MARKET
A look at a new concept of full-scale villas of 300m2 in size that are manufactured to the highest industrial standards. The idea is to apply car-manufacturing methodology to houses.
Tobias Lindemann, CEO, White Sky Group UAE

11.30 CASE STUDY: FROM CONCEPT TO DELIVERY OF THE WORLD’S HIGHEST SCORING LEED PLATINUM CERTIFICATION
The 4,000m2 Change Initiative building broke the world record as the highest-rated LEED Platinum building in the world, scoring 107 out of 110 points. This presentation gives a behind the scenes look at how this was achieved.
Gundeep Singh, CEO and Founder, The Change Initiative

11.50 PANEL DISCUSSION: SOURCING SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS
Meeting sustainability ratings criteria can be separate from having the most suited products for performance in the environmental conditions of the Middle East. Bridging this gap is what this session will discuss. What are the real critical considerations in terms of materials and products that achieve energy efficiency? What will give a real return on investment in terms of saving money and what investments are best avoided?
Panelists:
Thom Bohlen, MECS
Eva Ramos, Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi
Aniket Erande, Viessmann

12.20 Lunch and Networking
14.00 BREAKOUT SESSIONS - SELECT THE FROM STREAM A OR B

STREAM A: MEETING REQUIREMENTS FOR GREEN BUILDING REGULATIONS AND SPECIFICATIONS
The new Dubai Green Building Regulations mandates commissioning of new buildings and the re-commissioning of existing buildings every five years. The introduction of this law will require significant efforts for property owners and FM companies alike to achieve compliance. This session will bring together stakeholders to discuss what is in store.

Moderated By: Kirk Rosenbaum, Senior Commissioning Manager, KEO
Featuring an update on Estidama
The Estidama Pearl Rating System has been expanded to include operational efficiency of buildings. This session looks at how Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council will montior the energy use and performance of new buildings.
Edwin Young, Program Manager, Estidama

Case Study: Enforcement of Estidama Ratings on Communities
A look at how Estidama design and construction ratings have been achieved on projects, including Al Bateen Park Community Development, ADEC Future Schools and the Premier Inn Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

STREAM B: VALUE-BASED CONTRACTING
Value-based contracting is a misunderstood concept. Many people think that it isn’t concerned with price, but any value proposition must include price as a factor.
It includes an analysis of past performance, a detailed risk analysis, and project leadership to minimize client risks with regard to price, on-time delivery, and quality. It does this in a transparent method that minimizes surprises. This program explains how clients can best use value based contracting to maximize projects results.

Moderated by: Ted Garrison, Principal, New Construction Strategies

15.00 END OF CONFERENCE

 

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