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What makes a property eco-friendly? First and foremost, it should not have a significant impact on the environment, says architect Tarek Abdel Salam. In a recent Housing and Building National Research Centre report, Salam says the property’s design should focus on energy efficiency, daylight strategy, indoor air quality, water systems and sustainable building materials and techniques.
“These principles are classified under two themes,” says Salam. “The first is the use of renewable energy sources [in producing the required energy as part of an] active design.” He says using photovoltaic systems, wind turbines, micro-power generation, waste recycling, grey water systems and glass technology can help achieve this.
“The second is the reduction of energy consumption through the building’s form and elements, which is called passive design,” says Salam. [This includes having a] compact layout to reduce heat gain and loss, passive ventilation and thermal performance.”
Here are new developments in Dubai incorporating both active and passive design elements.
The residences at the project are designed “in tune with the movement of the sun”, explains Chris Jones, Partner at 10 Design Europe and Middle East who is behind the design elements. He says Ashjar 2 features two home layouts: Introvert and Extrovert. “The Extrovert model utilises balconies, pergolas and fly beams to create dynamic shading, while the Introvert model features operable screens for a responsive façade.”
Mohammed Bin Zaal, CEO of Al Barari, tells PW that Al Barari was the first developer to bring the green concept to the UAE. “While other developers were focusing on creating buildings with as many apartments as possible to maximise profit, we sought to create a low-density community nestled in lush greenery that focuses on quality of life,” he says.
Jones says glazing and external walls have been strategically placed to promote thermal massing, which moderates temperatures throughout the day.
“The floor plans allow great cross-ventilation throughout the residences, and all rooms have views to the outside to create an intimate connection with nature,” he adds.
Dubai Sustainable City
Scheduled to open in the third quarter this year in Dubailand, the 5-million-sq-ft Dubai Sustainable City is the first neighbourhood in the UAE to feature car-free zones. Describing its external features, Faris Saeed, CEO of Diamond Developers, which is spearheading the development, explains: “Ecologically advanced facilities include natural biodome greenhouses, an organic farm and individual garden farms for local food production.
“The community will generate much of its own electric power through on-site photovoltaic generation. Wastewater will be recycled and reused for the landscape and urban farming.”
Saeed claims the project’s smart villas can deliver up to 50 per cent reduction in electricity consumption through demand management strategies and solar energy production. “These components are directly associated with a decrease in the frequency of heating, ventilating and air conditioning use, resulting in lower utility bills for owners and tenants,” he says.
Set for completion next year, the Dh1.1-billion Silicon Park in Dubai Silicon Oasis will be the UAE’s first integrated smart city, according to Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority. It will incorporate various sustainable elements and implement various green solutions, including solar panels and double-glazed windows to reduce heat absorption.
Buildings will optimise renewable energy resources, such as smart lighting systems with motion sensors that respond to traffic and individuals. Street light poles will also be equipped with digital signboards that can be remotely controlled.
Source: Rachel McArthur, Special to Property Weekly