November 26, 2017 - Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), the world's largest district cooling services provider, urged the construction sector to be aware of its efforts to integrate sustainable practices to help create a more sustainable built environment as the Big 5, the largest construction event in the Middle East, takes place from November 26 to 29, 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Ahmad bin Shafar, CEO of Empower, underscored that implementing district cooling could help companies achieve energy efficiency and contribute to the region's efforts to reduce carbon emissions from energy. It also promotes the United Nations' drive of the energy efficiency as district cooling is highlighted as one of the top accelerators of energy efficiency by the UN.
In an increasingly heating world, the UAE and the entire Middle East face the biggest challenge of cooling buildings – a process which takes up 60 to 70 per cent of energy consumption in facilities. Massive use of energy from conventional sources contributes to the rise of global carbon emissions in the atmosphere, and researchers highlight that emissions could further rise by 2 per cent in 2017.
The district cooling company noted that international organizations and governments have been actively working to regulate the processes and use of materials in the global construction industry to reduce its impact on the environment.
Bin Shafar said: “The new growth path that cities in the region take needs to be carefully examined to reflect a more sustainable approach consistent with global efforts in achieving sustainable development. The call for more sustainable practices and technologies in the built environment sector grows even stronger with the launch of new ambitions to create smart cities. The green revolution in the construction sector can only take off through concerted efforts, commitment and constant conversation within the industry regarding ways to integrate energy-efficient technologies.”
Bin Shafar, who was appointed as special advisor on district cooling by the United Nations Environment Programme's ‘Sustainable Energy for All' initiative, further explained that the UAE is one of the countries in the region which has a strong mandate to institutionalize energy efficiency and implement smarter resource management practices to support its vision to create a green economy under the UAE Vision 2021.
District cooling, which has been included in the UN's top energy efficiency accelerators, has been successfully implemented in many of the major developments in the country – highlighting how progress in the sector is underway. It offers numerous advantages over conventional cooling particularly in densely populated areas with huge demands for air-conditioning, with less impact on the environment as it efficiently manages cooling resources on the district level.
“With the continuing urbanization across the region, it is inevitable for cities to invest heavily in infrastructure development. However, it is important that the sector constantly addresses these concerns especially in venues where there is a wider reach such as the Big 5. We are positive that a greener future is possible through cooperation among various stakeholders,” Bin Shafar concluded.
Empower provides environmentally responsible district cooling services to large-scale real estate developments such as Jumeirah Group, Business Bay, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Ibn Battuta Mall, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai World Trade Centre Residences, and Dubai Design District, among others.