The latest in a series of lectures on sustainable energy in building design came to the Middle East with lectures in Dubai, Riyadh and Kuwait City.
The events were staged by heating and air conditioning experts Carrier and elevator company Otis as part of the firms’ joint Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series.
They connected 350 industry professionals, local building owners and operators with international green building expert.
Participants were provided with the opportunity to obtain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) training, learn more about the business case for green building and gain insight into world green building trends from experts such as John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer at energy company UTC Building & Industrial Systems and Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
According to members of the Emirates Green Building Council, appreciation is growing for the need for more efficient buildings.
Dubai has passed a law requiring all future buildings to have sustainability in their design starting in 2014, while a recent study among contractors found 74% of UAE firms expect green building projects to account for the majority of their projects by 2015.
The seven emirates have more green neighborhood projects planned than any other country in the world at present.
“The Middle East has a great opportunity to establish a strong green building future, especially where we are seeing increasing demand from clients,” said Mandyck
“Green building is a smart, long-term business decision with equal economic and environmental value. We strongly believe this week’s dialogue will have a profound, lasting impact.”
In Saudi Arabia, where per capita energy consumption is three times the world average according to the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center, investment in green building is also growing.
Kuwait, however, has just 17 projects registered through the LEED programme. According to the Energy Information Administration, the country already uses up to 98.5% of its grid capacity during times of peak demand. Rapidly rising consumption rates and persistent power shortages during demand periods make sustainable buildings a priority in Kuwait, the conferences heard.
Launched in the Middle East in 2011, the lecture series has reached 2,100 professionals through 20 lectures taking place globally in Brazil, China, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE.