In Dubai alone, it is estimated that 30,000 out of the 120,000 existing buildings have a high energy saving potential
The Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) had published guidelines for retrofitting existing buildings, to serve as a guide for industry professionals and building users in the UAE.
The publication, entitled ‘Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings’, covers current processes, technologies, and local and regional standards in place to retrofit buildings in the country and make them more energy-efficient and environment-friendly. The guidelines have been compiled by EmiratesGBC and written by volunteer industry experts.
“The UAE has a great potential for shifting towards a greener future,” said Saeed Al Abbar, EmiratesGBC chairman, at a launch event for the publication.
“In Dubai alone, it is estimated that 30,000 out of the 120,000 existing buildings have a high energy saving potential. The Technical Guidelines for Retrofitting Existing Buildings have been compiled to leverage this by reaching out to all stakeholders across the industry and guiding them through the process of making existing buildings more sustainable.”
Energy consumption of buildings is significantly higher in the UAE than the global average, according to industry data. Most of this energy (60-70%) is used to cool indoor spaces. Additionally, the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water estimates that at current rates of water consumption, the demand for potable water will double to 8.8 billion cubic metres by 2030.
To cope with this, the retrofit guidelines provide solutions to achieve long-term reductions in energy and water use, as well as improvements in indoor air quality, efficient waste management, and subsequent lowering of utility and labour costs for building owners.