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Collaboration paves the way for more efficient buildings, says Enova

Company official underscores value of integrated approach and importance of retrofit projects

| | Jan 28, 2019 | 10:20 am
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Francisco Ramalheira, Director – Business Development and Marketing, Enova

Dubai, UAE, 28 January 2019: Collaboration will pave the way for more energy-efficient buildings, said Francisco Ramalheira, Director – Business Development and Marketing, Enova, highlighting that the disconnect between stakeholders within a construction project is a common problem, not just in the region but around the world. “In a vast majority of cases,” he said, “you end up with a building that has been re-engineered, value engineered and not suitable or adequate to the purpose. Everyone should sit at the round table at the beginning of the project, to ensure all requirements, concerns and challenges are addressed concurrently.”

Ramalheira was speaking from his own experiences, gleaning from successful projects in the company’s portfolio, which he attributes to the company being able to have a voice early on, such as with Mall of the Emirates for Majid Al Futtaim. “Right from the design stage, we gave advice not only in terms of access areas and waste management, but also in terms of energy efficiency and the selection of equipment,” he said. “Our view has been built in redesigning the concept design to ensure that it is constructed thinking about the handover to operation. We were also involved during the last stages of construction to ensure commissioning was done in a way that we felt comfortable with what was being handed over to us.”

Ramalheira said that there has been positive movement towards collaboration of late and that the growing popularity of LEED and BREEAM certification, as well as initiatives under the sustainability agenda, enable a more collaborative approach between designers, operators and owners. Ramalheira said that economics is another factor paving the way for greater collaboration. “The cost of utilities is not the same as it was 10 years ago,” he said. “Today, building owners look at the operating cost in a different way. This can be an enabler for a whole process of thinking, to ensure it’s not going to be an impact later on, in terms of the operating cost.”

Ramalheira said that while there has been better practice associated in the construction of newer buildings, the fact is that there is an existing building stock “that has been built fast and built without purpose”. He said: “There is a lot to be done, not with the new buildings, but with the existing building stock. We have got to revisit all these buildings and understand the gap that exists between an optimum or an adequate scenario and the exact position that they are in and try to bridge that gap.” In this context, he added, energy performance contracts in retrofits “makes perfect sense”.


Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com


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