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A commitment to sustainability and responsible eco-conscious development involves good environmental practices in the architecture, landscaping and infrastructure. Buildings should take advantage of natural light and shade and be grouped to minimise the impact of infrastructure on the land. Homes of the future need to be energy-efficient with residents encouraged to recycle through an underground, odourless waste system.
Integrating LED and low-wattage lamps with motion sensor-activated lights reduces power wastage, and the electrical lighting load can be drastically by maximising natural light in the architectural design. For sustainable landscaping, use recycled green waste through composting, which is beneficial as a soil conditioner and organic fertiliser.
Al Barari, for example, is 80 per cent natural greenery and waterways, which cools the ambient atmosphere by water evaporation. This has resulted in the creation of Al Barari’s own microclimate, which is 3-5 degrees cooler than surrounding areas. High-density planting also keeps the ground cooler, which therefore requires less water. It is recommended to use recycled water to maintain gardens. Identifying plants that provide year-round garden appeal is also key. The plants have to endure both the winter and summer seasons. Select flora that can tolerate high levels of humidity, high temperatures (up to 48 degrees) and saline soil, which is the norm in the UAE. Examples of plants that save water include tecomella undulate, aloe vera, vitex rotundifolia, salvadora persica, carpobrotus edulis and hymenocallis littoralis.
Mulching can be used to reduce the amount of water lost through evaporation, which also helps reduce soil temperature. Sub-surface irrigation systems and larger water droplet sizes on irrigation sprinklers also reduce the amount of water lost through evaporation.
Make your home green
1. Consider the layout so it maximises natural light. For example, consider using floor-to-ceiling windows.
2. Trees help maintain a cooler home.
3. Innovative home automation systems can help make your home more energy efficient.
4. Allow air to circulate throughout the home.
5. Consider provisions for recycling, including at-source recycling.
Source: Martyn Crook Special to Property Weekly
The Author is CEO of Asset Management at Al Barari.