'Unified green building code could benefit UAE'

A unified green building code across the UAE could aid a more sustained energy efficient programme for the country, an expert argued

A unified building code was supported at the MEP Conference UAE 2015.
A unified building code was supported at the MEP Conference UAE 2015.

A unified green building code across the UAE could aid a more sustained energy efficient programme for the country, it has been argued.

Thomas Bohlen, chief technical officer, of the Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development, told delegates at the inaugural MEP Conference UAE in Dubai this month that such a move would simplify the process of meeting green building requirements.

Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 (DIES) was developed in 2010 and deployed in 2011 to set the strategic direction of Dubai towards securing sustainable supply of energy and enhancing demand efficiency.

“I have been in the sustainability business in the UAE for the last seven years and I see a definite need for consolidation of the green building codes that are out there,” Bohlen said.

“I think this will be a much more efficient way of greening a country in terms of having this kind of programme that would be unified. It would also have much more clout and a bigger budget." 

He said that his organisation had certified 52 buildings this year but added that much more needs to be done given that there’s “probably 160,000 villas in Dubai alone” and a lot of the older buildings need retrofitting.

Bohlen argued that energy meters should be fitted into buildings to bring about a change in occupier/tenant behaviour.

“Even if you do all of the good things in an existing building and make it more efficient, if it’s not operated properly you have lost,” he said.

“If we submeter these buildings where every tenant can read their own energy and water use then you start to get the occupier behaviour in line with the building owner, especially in buildings where you have multiple owner-occupiers.”
 

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