City focus needed to tackle ecological crisis

Khaled Awad:'ecological crisis is more important than recession'

Speakers debate the issues at the Building Sustainability conference.
Speakers debate the issues at the Building Sustainability conference.

The GCC construction sector should apply sustainable building practices within cities to reduce the Gulf's carbon footprint, says the founder of investment firm Grenea.

Speaking at today's Building Sustainability conference in Abu Dhabi, hosted by Construction Week, Khaled Awad said that minimising carbon emissions within cities was critical in order to tackle the ecological crisis that would be upon the GCC in two-three years.

He also made clear that sustainable construction in urban areas was the easiest and least expensive way of reducing the region's carbon footprint.

"The ecological crisis that is waiting for us in the next two to three years is much bigger than the current economic crisis," he said, referring to ongoing population growth, increased global warming and depleting natural resources as some of the main triggers of such a crisis.

"Cities produce the most carbon emissions. If we address cities we can achieve major savings. Unless we do something now we are going to face a major issue."

In order to implement sustainable construction in urban areas effectively however, Awad suggested that all stakeholders needed to see some value in building eco-developments.

He also advised that developers and contractors work less towards achieving LEED ratings and work more towards improving the efficiency of existing systems.

"Collecting LEED points is not the solution we are trying to achieve.

"It is important to do eco-developments in an affordable way.

"You don't need to go after LEED certification, you can just use existing technologies."

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Construction Week - Issue 767
Sep 01, 2020