Call for greater use of renewable energy in UAE skyscrapers


Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) has called for a greater emphasis on outcome-based energy requirements for high-rise buildings in the UAE.

Attendees at EmiratesGBC’s ‘Renewable Energy Technologies for High-Rise Buildings’ seminar, which took place at the World Future Energy Summit 2016, said that energy targets must focus on output in addition to performance.

Participants discussed the opportunities and challenges associated with the installation of renewable energy systems in high-rise buildings, with a concerted focus on the design and retrofit methods used to overcome related obstacles.


Commenting on the need for reduced consumption and increased efficiency amongst the UAE’s high-rise structures, Saeed Al Abbar, chairman of EmiratesGBC, said: “According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the UAE hosts over 66% of the total current number of skyscrapers in the Middle East region, so it is important that we pay special attention to this type of construction.

“If we want to promote energy efficiency in urban environments, we need to understand the challenges associated with retrofitting the facades and MEP [mechanical, electrical, and plumbing] systems of existing buildings to make them more sustainable, as well as incorporating renewable energy technologies into the building,” he continued.

Workshop attendees identified awareness, siting issues, codes, and financial schemes as key points that must be addressed if the widespread use of renewable energy systems on high-rise buildings is to be achieved.

Discussions at the event showed that renewable energy requirements must not only be performance-based, but also outcome-based, according to EmiratesGBC. This, said the council, will “ensure the reduction of energy consumption and adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency measures”.

“As an independent forum promoting sustainability, [EmiratesGBC] always seeking ways to connect with all industry stakeholders to provide benchmarks and guidelines to facilitate sustainable development,” added Al Abbar.

“The World Future Energy Summit provided the perfect platform for us to share our expertise in the building sector and discuss with our peers how to implement key sustainability and renewable technologies into the construction and retrofit of high-rise buildings,” he concluded.

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