UAE : Solar impact on green building certification

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Standing on the top of the list of green building rankings with 823 of an overall 1,281 green premises in the Gulf Nation, UAE has the largest share of highly ranked buildings with Silver, Gold or Platinum LEED certification followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman far behind. Having said that, these countries in the Gulf region have partaken in mandatory green building certifications instead of solar building obligations.

According to Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council, the green building guidelines and best practices are being adopted across the UAE, adding that sustainably built environment is being integrated as an essential part of the development policy framework. Each of the seven emirates has their own implementation guidelines to promote sustainable buildings.

Saeed Al Abbar also commented that the promotion of renewable energy is one of the aspects of sustainable building while exploring options for environmentally friendly solar heating and cooling technologies may gradually gain momentum in the UAE. With that said, the remaining question is whether these green building rating systems will increase the adoption of solar heating and cooling technology in the UAE. Bare in mind on-site production of solar heat is just one of more that 60 criteria within the LEED certification process, and therefore only highly ranked buildings will include a solar heating or cooling system.

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