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Can retrofits cut construction's 40% share in global carbon emissions?

Chairman of the UAE's Emirates GBC, Saeed Al Abbar, thinks the answer is yes – but are builders listening?

Construction contributes 40% of global carbon emissions.
Construction contributes 40% of global carbon emissions.

Retrofitting could help the UAE cut carbon emissions across under-construction, newly constructed, and existing buildings, according to chairman of Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC), Saeed Al Abbar. 

In line with the Gulf nation’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050, new buildings in the UAE should meet be net-zero carbon structures by 2030, and existing buildings should reach that level by 2050.

While the construction industry is responsible for 40% of global carbon emissions, retrofitting could help improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings, the UAE's state news agency, Wam, reported. 

Al Abbar said Emirates GBC’s Building Retrofit Training Programme could support this transition by facilitating “the process for industry professionals to begin implementing their own retrofit programmes".

EGBC’s programme offers one- and two-day workshops for participants, giving them insights on ideal retrofitting specifications for the Gulf region.

“Retrofitting can be cost-efficient, ensure a longer life-span for the building, and have a better return on investment," Al Abbar added. 

He emphasised that under construction and upcoming buildings could be made sustainable through new regulations and innovations in sustainable technologies. 

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Construction Week - Issue 745
Jun 30, 2019