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Dubai Chamber seminar highlights best practices for ‘Greening’ existing buildings

More awareness and guidance is needed to support companies in retrofitting buildings and workplaces, industry experts say

| | Nov 22, 2018 | 4:18 pm
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Speakers during the Green Buildings seminar

Dubai, UAE, 22 November 2018: Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network recently hosted an informative seminar, where industry experts highlighted best practices and benefits for businesses and organisations that invest in converting their existing buildings into Green Buildings, the body announced in a Press communiqué.

Participating in the seminar were Marcos Bish, Managing Director, Summertown Interiors; Fatima Al Hebshi, Sustainability Engineer, Ministry of Climate Change & Environment; Khaled Bushnaq, Vice Chairman, Emirates Green Building Council; Faisal Rashid, Director Demand Side Management; Supreme Council of Energy and Raji Hattar, Chief Sustainability & Compliance Officer, Aramex, the communiqué said.

According to Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network, during the seminar, participants shed light on several important aspects related to retrofitting buildings into Green Buildings, such as regulation governing such activities, case studies, return on investment and key challenges that should be addressed, in order to encourage more organisations in Dubai to adopt Green Building practices.

Faisal Rashid, Director Demand Side Management, Supreme Council of Energy, noted that the United Arab Emirates has built an enabling environment for Green Buildings, including required regulations and encouraging the major players of the sector to be engaged, the communiqué said. Several successful projects have now been completed, which serve as good examples for the business community, he said, highlighting the fact that the government has removed barriers that prevent companies from investing in Green Buildings and introduced regulation to support organisations in this area, the communiqué further said.

Fatima Al Hebshi, Sustainability Engineer, Ministry of Climate Change & Environment, explained that the Green Infrastructure Program coordinates and works with many buildings to reach sustainability, in terms of energy reduction, water usage reduction and waste recycling, the communiqué said.

Khaled Bushnaq, Vice Chairman, Emirates Green Building Council, revealed that the Council is working on a benchmarking project, which is a part of the Energy Efficiency Accelerator Program, pointed out that Dubai is the only city in the MENA region that is committed to it and this benchmarking covers 100 buildings in Dubai, including hotels, malls and schools, the communiqué said.

According to Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network, all participants agreed that a lack of awareness on Green Building standards and requirements remains a key challenge facing the business community that needs to be addressed, in order to encourage more companies to retrofit buildings.

The communiqué said the participants outlined several steps and tips for companies that are keen to convert their existing buildings into Green Buildings, including certification programs such as LEED, existing codes for Green Buildings in Dubai and exploring the environmental, social and financial benefits of adopting Green Building practices.


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