UAE’s existing buildings need a green retrofit


Building to latest green standards is relatively easy, but older ones need working on

The construction industry contributes around 40 per cent to worldwide carbon emissions. In the UAE, cement production alone is responsible for approximately 6-7 per cent of the carbon inventory. Green certified buildings and construction practices are therefore a necessity for a better, more sustainable future. Of late, they also make a lot more business sense.

Developers, contractors, and end consumers understand the tangible benefits of sustainable practices from low utility bills to tenants willing to pay premiums to occupy ‘green’ buildings. Leading global investors strongly agree that green strategies can drive higher occupancy rates, rent prices, and tenant retention.

Eco-friendly buildings also offer incredible energy and water savings over their lifespan, which often greatly outweigh their early investment cost. In fact, the more green a building is, the higher its savings. What makes eco-friendly buildings eco-friendly?

Many aspects of real estate can be optimised for lower carbon emissions. Modularly constructed buildings whose various parts are constructed ‘off’ site, generally have smaller carbon footprints and produce less material pollution. They also have a sturdier build.

Additionally, buildings that are fitted with solar panels and longer lasting LEDs produce electricity on-site and consume less of it. Simple measures such as upgrading HVACs by replacing pumps, fans, and motors will make the equipment more energy-efficient.

Implementing a waste management strategy is another way real estate, both existing and new, can become greener. These include banning single-use plastics, composting food waste, or incinerating it to be recycled as fuel, separating recyclable materials and paper from waste, and investing in freestanding, vertical gardens for cleaner air quality and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables. Investing in sensors and data tracking tools to help identify opportunities to further augment energy efficiency and regulating indoor temperatures through smart thermostats can enable the real estate sector to cut carbon emissions by 70 per cent.

Source: Gulf news