Emirates Green Building Council honours the winners of ‘EGBC Awards 2014’ for best practices in sustainable development

Press release
Published June 12th, 2014 - 09:21 GMT

At a glittering award ceremony, Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, honoured the winners of the EGBC Awards 2014. The awards were presented in six categories in addition to a student award for best practices in built environment sustainable development projects, products and research. 

Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman and Jeffrey Willis, Vice Chairman of EmiratesGBC, presented the awards to the winners. 

The Change Initiative, ‘the premier sustainable living destination in the Middle East,’ won two awards for the ‘Green Building of the Year’ and ‘Training Initiative of the Year.’ Emaar Community Management won the award for ‘Green Facility Management Organisation of the Year’ while Johnson Controls Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Inc won the ‘Green Building Material/Product of the Year’ for its York YVAA air-cooled variable speed screw chiller. The award for ‘Green Building System of the Year’ was clinched by Royal City Contracting for a villa project in Al Warqa. 

The British University in Dubai won the award for ‘Green Building Research of Year’ for its work on ‘Refurbishment of Federal Public Housing Villas in the UAE – Energy Savings and Economic Analysis.’ The Dr Owainati Award for Students, sponsored by EmiratesGBC co-founder Dr Sadek Owainati, awarded to a university student for exceptional research work on a subject related to green buildings in the Middle East, was won by Omair Awadh, a student of British University in Dubai, for his work on ‘the impact of external shading and windows glazing and frame on thermal performance of residential buildings in Abu Dhabi.’ 

Announcing the awards, Saeed Al Abbar, said: “The quality of entries for the EGBC Awards 2014 underlines the significant investment and research undertaken by various organisations and individuals in the Middle East region on sustainable development. The panel of judges who evaluated the entries has expressed their high appreciation for the innovative approaches adopted by the industry stakeholders in the region. We thank all our partners and participants for their support to EGBC Awards 2014.”

“We hope that the recognition will serve as an inspiration and the ideas presented will set a roadmap in our journey to achieve the ‘green economy for sustainable development’ vision announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The current dynamism and enthusiasm in creating and sustaining green building solutions will position the UAE and the MENA region at the forefront of the global initiatives to promote sustainable built environments for our future generations,” he added.

The panel of judges included: Dr. Ghalib Y. Kahwaji, Professor and Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT); Dr. Michael Schmidt, Board Member of EmiratesGBC and Head of Development, Construction Chemicals Division, ORA: Middle East, West Asia, CIS & Africa, BASF; Mohammad T. Asfour, Chairman of JordanGBC and Member of the Board of Directors of WorldGBC; Dr. Rob Cooke, Board Member of EmiratesGBC and Associate Sustainability Consultant, Buro Happold; and Sarfraz Dairkee, Secretary of EmiratesGBC Board of Directors and General Manager Corporate Dev. & Engineering, M.A.H.Y. Khoory & Co. LLC. 

Dr Ghalib Y. Kahwaji said: “The effect of the built environment on the food production chain, water and air pollution is undeniable. This EmiratesGBC award is one more of the great initiatives of the UAE that will increase the awareness of the people and the industry about the importance of sustainable development in preserving resources for future generations.” 

Mohammad Asfour added: “Being on the jury provided me a better idea of current market trends, and helped better understand why some companies are going green. Such awards are important as they help us celebrate success stories in a way that will help create more demand for ‘green’ products and services in the Emirates and throughout the region.” 

The EmiratesGBC Award Taskforce included: Jeff Willis, Associate Director, ARUP; Lora Shrake, Operations Manager, EmiratesGBC; and Marie-Hélène Westholm-Knebel, Technical Officer, EmiratesGBC. 

Honouring Excellence 

The Green Building of the Year was awarded to The Change Initiative for its LEED Platinum Building, the organisation’s flagship showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road. The LEED Platinum certification was awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in May 2013 having achieved 107 points out of a maximum of 110 on the LEED green building sustainability guidelines.

The Green Facility Management Organisation of the Year, awarded to Emaar Community Management, recognises the pioneering steps made by the company in promoting community management best practices and its commitment to sustainable development. During 2013-2014, Emaar implemented multiple sustainability initiatives that ranged from replacing invasive Damas trees and engaging younger residents to depict ways to save the environment with recycled art. Emaar has deployed initiatives that help conserve water, control lighting, scheduled irrigation, utilising renewable energy and methods for recycling and waste management.

The Green Building Material/Product of the Year awarded to Johnson Controls Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Inc for its YORK YVAA air-cooled variable-speed screw chiller (150 to 350 TR capacity) is in recognition of its efficiency, reduced sound, and sustainability. The chiller offers flexible energy consumption with efficiencies up to 11.6 EER and an option to configure an integrated part load value up to 19.8 EER. The chiller has raised the bar for energy efficiency in its category in the HVACR industry.

Royal City Contracting won the Green Building System of the Year for a villa in Al Warqa’a that is highly insulated and made airtight using the company’s Eco Green ICF Construction System. This helped reduce air-conditioning by 60 per cent. The villa is built on LEED Standards to earn 38 LEED points without extra investment into project value.

The British University in Dubai won the award for Green Building Research for its study that aimed at assessing the technical and economic benefits of refurbishing existing residential buildings in the UAE. Four representative federal public housing villas built by the Ministry of Public Works between the 1980s-2010s were used in the study. IES-VE computer energy modeling was used to estimate the energy savings potential of different refurbishment configurations as they are applied to the four villas. The results of the energy savings were used to assess the economic feasibility of the different refurbishment strategies using simple payback period analysis.

The Change Initiative won the Training Initiative of the Year award for its Community Education Programme, which has a core focus on green building design. The programme welcomes corporates, universities, high and elementary schools alike to learn about a range of sustainability education topics, from green building design to minimising food waste. Throughout 2013, more than 2,900 participants have gained valuable insights through the programme.

Omair Awadh won the Dr. Owainati Special Award for Students for his study that determined effective green design strategies in dealing with solar radiation and heat gain through windows system, to improve energy consumption and occupants comfort in houses. 

Al Abbar Group, Caparol Paints, Emrill Energy Services, Jotun Paints and Leviton were the sponsors of the award ceremony. 

EmiratesGBC regularly hosts and participates in multinational events, conferences and forums. EmiratesGBC has also developed a suite of activities, inclusive of networking events, technical workshops, focus days and facilitated training based around specific issues related to the built-environment that meet the needs of its members, of the UAE community, and the wider Middle East.

Background Information

Emirates Green Building Council

The Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC) was formed in 2006, with the goal of advancing green building principles for protecting the environment and ensuring sustainability in the United Arab Emirates.

Since the inception of the Emirates GBC in 2006, there has been significant change in the attitudes and demands related to the sustainable built environment. It has been encouraged by the implementation of green building policies and regulations, by the adoption of consistent rating systems, and by the increase in the overall knowledge sharing and information available on built environments and communities.

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