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Spotlight on nearly zero-energy buildings

LEAD copys


DUBAI / Emirates Business

Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, puts the spotlight on Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEBs) at a Focus Day organised in partnership with the Dubai Chamber
of Commerce & Industry
(Dubai Chamber) and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.
Discussing the definitions and innovations of Zero-Energy Buildings, the Focus Day is part of the ongoing series of industry events organised by
EmiratesGBC to strengthen awareness and promote tangible action on built environment sustainability.
The Focus Day on nZEBs assume importance globally with the European Council and Parliament recasting the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, mandating all EU member nations to submit national plans to achieve nearly zero-energy buildings. nZEBs have a wider importance for the UAE, in line with the ‘green vision’
announced by the government and the focus of the UAE
Vision 2021 on sustainable
Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, said that the discussion on nZEBs sets the platform for concrete action to achieving the sustainable development goals of the nation. “The Focus Day lends momentum to the discussion on nZEBs by bringing together stakeholders from across the industry and government to share
insights and identify actionable solutions to develop buildings that consume nearly zero
“From defining the concept of ‘zero energy’ to identifying an action plan on how best we can work together to achieve nZEBs, the event will help industry stakeholders to work together, innovate and co-create ‘greener’ solutions.
The UAE can set benchmarks globally in nZEBs through collaborative action by the industry and the greater participation of the public in energy management.”
Essa Al Zaabi, Senior Vice-President, Institutional Support Sector at Dubai Chamber, said that in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler
of Dubai, the emirate aims to be amongst the top ten most
sustainable cities in the world by 2020.
“At Dubai Chamber, we have been following best practices in energy savings for the last 15 years by instating a number of energy-saving initiatives as we managed to reduce energy and potable water consumption per person by approximately 63% and 91% respectively.
We have also strengthened our leadership in green buildings and corporate social responsibility by securing the first LEED Platinum Certificate for Existing Buildings in the Arab world. This demonstrates that older buildings can become environmentally-friendly with minimal costs and efforts.”
Experts at the event pointed out the importance of nZEBs, which consume low amounts of energy that can be covered from renewable energy source.
Applying energy efficiency measures to improve the performance of the buildings
beyond the mandatory building codes is a key step in achieving nZEBs.
The level of renewables used or generated on site determines the status of the buildings as Nearly Zero-Energy, Net Zero-Energy or Energy Plus.

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