No business case for green buildings in Gulf
Developers and contractors should be compelled to build green
Developers and contractors should be compelled to build green by increased government legislation and incentives, according to Khaled Awad, founder of Grenea.
Awad told Construction Week’s Sustainability Conference in Abu Dhabi that unless new laws are introduced to force compliance with sustainable standards, developers will be unlikely to build green.
He told around 100 architects, consultants, developers and contractors that the carbon savings of existing green buildings in the Middle East was ‘negligible’ and that the region could not wait for legislation, but should push for it.
Awad also said that while the Gulf has a number of LEED-rated buildings, the cost per square metre of building sustainable buildings made them impossible for all but a small minority of developers.
“No legislation and no incentives means no business case, and no business case means that green building will be slow,” Awad said.
“There are major barriers to investors and it’s only through government incentives that will drive investment in the region. There’s currently no value for developers to reduce CO2, they want to sell and get out quickly.”
In his speech, Awad also said that the Middle East should take an intergrated approach to green design, considering not just the buildings, but transport links, waste and the life cycle of the site. He argued that developers and architect should not only settle for LEED or BREEAM rankings.
“I’m not against LEED or other ranking systems but these are things that make us less bad. I’m not a proponent of these if we can find a better solution. If we can look in an intergrated way at how a building can be designed and maintained to save energy,” he said.
The Construction Week Sustainability Conference is taking place at the Fairmont Hotel in Abu Dhabi today.