UAE: Dubai to Retrofit 100,000 Buildings to Green Standards

dubai tower

Dubai will start work later this year on a public-private sector plan to retrofit 100,000 buildings to meet green building standards, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) said.

During the first phase of the project, 30,000 buildings will be retrofitted with green technologies at a cost of 2 billion dirhams ($544.5 million), to be funded in partnership with the private sector.

All steps of the retrofitting process are to be completed by 2030, the council said.

“The retrofitting plans, which aim to keep step with the plans for sustainable development and green economy, include mechanisms toreduce electricity and water consumption in those buildings,” said DSCE secretary-general Ahmed al-Muherbi.

“Building owners who participate in retrofitting their old buildings identified in the council’s plans or on a voluntary basis will reap economic benefits in the form of lower electricity bills and building maintenance costs once they are retrofitted with green technologies,” he said.

The initiative will contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions through the use of solar energy for lighting, central air conditioning or eco-friendly paints, said Waleed Salman, who chairs the Dubai Green Economy Partnership initiative and the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence.

The retrofitting will be done in partnership between government agencies, including the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and the private sector, he told Al-Shorfa.

“The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) have begun taking steps to retrofit buildings owned by DEWA and have invited the private sector to submit tenders for retrofitting residential and commercial buildings,” he said.

Studies show that 30,000 of the 100,000 buildings designated as being in need of retrofitting were in most urgent need and that “retrofitting them would yield larger environmental and economic benefits”, Salman said.

The council has put forward three options for the retrofitting, he added.

The first allows building owners to finance the process, with a consulting company providing a complete estimate of future reduction in consumption and the accompanying financial savings.

“The second option hinges on attracting local or international private companies that work in the sector to take charge of the retrofitting and bear its full cost, and profit from operating the consumption monitoring systems, tracking the reduction and retaining the financial differential,” he said.

The third option entails establishing partnerships with local banks to finance the process in full and profit in the same manner used in the second option, Salman said.

The council has launched a “Green Financing Fund” initiative, under which these funds will be collected in stages and infused into the retrofitting operations.

Positive impact

“The project of retrofitting buildings in Dubai to green standards and technologies will have positive reverberations for the UAE’s green development strategy,” said Ayesha Abdullah al-Abdouli, deputy undersecretary for environmental affairs at the Ministry of Environment and Water.

“The project will contribute to the achievement of green and sustainable development by reducing emissions from these buildings,” she said.

The project also is expected to create new jobs, al-Abdouli said.

“The implementation of green development policies and sustainability programmes is expected to add 160,000 green job opportunities in the sector countrywide by 2030, which demonstrates the useful economic aspects of those projects,” she said.

Source: The New Indian Express

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