Dubai Chamber green building
After achieving the basic level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) as the 1st existing building in the region in 2009, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has reinforced its position as a leader in green building by receiving LEED Platinum – the highest possible rating and another 1st in the Arab world.
Earlier, the Chamber was certified to LEED pre-renovation to demonstrate that existing buildings can be greened without major investments. But soon after its renovation, which was necessary to upgrade the building’s systems and fittings after 15 years of operation, Dubai Chamber achieved LEED platinum, the highest level of the U.S. Green Building Council’s globally recognised standard.
Dubai Chamber succeeded in reducing energy and potable water consumption per person by 63% and 92% respectively, accumulating an estimated USD 5.8 million of savings between 1998 and 2013. While the majority of these gains came from simple low cost initiatives, such as turning off the AC and lighting after hours, a number of innovative practices with attractive payback periods were also applied. These included using recycled water for landscaping and washroom flushing, using the outdoor fountain as a heat exchanger to cool the server room, and capturing condensate for the fountain and washroom systems.
Such initiatives led the Chamber to receive an energy star rating of 91%, meaning it is more energy efficient than 91% of comparable buildings in the US.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, stated that this global honour came after many years of hard work. “This achievement reaffirms the Chamber’s commitment towards sustainability and being a role model for the business community,” he said.
It is also in line with the strategic vision of the Dubai government which emphasises the adoption of sustainable practices through green buildings and other measures. In fact, Dubai is targeting a 30% improvement in the efficiency of energy use by 2030 by upgrading 30,000 existing buildings and applying green building regulations to new constructions, added H.E. Buamim.
Mr Buamim further stated that Dubai Chamber’s success in this field demonstrates the strong business case for greening existing buildings in our region. “Not only did we benefit from significant financial savings but our employees’ satisfaction with our premises rose by 30%. Further, such successes demonstrate that Dubai is an international business hub where global best practices are applied,” he added.