region’s property developers becoming more environmentally aware, says energy management firm

Published April 10th, 2007 - 10:10 GMT

Awareness of the need to save energy and water and protect the environment is growing among Middle East businesses and property developers, a leading Dubai-based energy management company said today after experiencing a bumper year for business growth.

Energy Management Services (EMS), which first set up in 1996 with offices in Dubai and Jordan, opened new branches in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain during 2006 on the back of increasing demand across the region for innovations to improve energy efficiency.

EMS, which currently manages more than 500 energy management projects throughout the Middle East, estimates that on average it can reduce companies’ utility bills by 20 – 30 per cent by using technology to cut their consumption of electricity, water and gas.

The company will be exhibiting at FM EXPO taking place from June 3 – 5 at Dubai International Exhibition Centre and organised by Streamline Marketing Group. The event is now in its second year and is the first exhibition in the region to be dedicated to facilities management, the integrated management of all types of built environments from commercial towers, resorts and hotels to oil refineries and hospitals.

Khaled Bushnaq, CEO of EMS, said: “At the beginning of the development boom in the Gulf, the focus for property developers was on who was going to build the tallest tower or the largest shopping mall. Now we are beginning to see a move away from that to an emphasis on who is constructing the most environmentally-friendly buildings. Developers are attracted by the reductions in capital and operational costs they can make by becoming energy efficient but there is also increasing evidence of a genuine desire to act responsibly with regards to the environment.”

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He said more developers and companies in the Middle East were working towards achieving LEED certification, which is entirely voluntary and has been developed by the United States Green Building Council to identify sustainable and efficient buildings.

The services offered by EMS include conducting energy audits on existing buildings to identify appropriate energy-saving measures and analysis of new facilities at the design stage to reduce construction costs and future energy and water usage. The energy saving measures recommended by EMS can include efficient lighting, reduced air-conditioning consumption, efficient boilers, decreasing refrigeration costs, reduction of heat loss through steam and installing renewable energy sources such as solar panels and windmills.

Recent high-profile projects include working with the developers of the Green Community, Burj Dubai tower and Dubai Mall at the design stage to maximise energy efficiency. EMS is also helping Emirates Post achieve LEED certification at all of its existing and planned branches. Across these four projects, capital cost savings achieved by EMS total nearly AED 170.8 million.

EMS has recently teamed up with Dubai Municipality to encourage building owners to have special equipment installed, which reduces water consumption and cuts the burden on the city’s sewerage network. The company is also working with the developers behind Energy City Qatar, the Middle East’s first hydrocarbon industry business centre, to help it achieve LEED certification.

“Through our participation in FM EXPO we hope to continue spreading the message that by embracing energy efficiency developers can save capital costs at the construction stage, ongoing operational costs and, most importantly, help to protect the environment,” said Bushnaq. “Facilities Management and Energy Management are two disciplines that really complement one another and by working together at the inception of a project we can help companies to achieve these goals.”

FM EXPO, sponsored by FM provider MAB Property Service & Development (support sponsor),
takes place alongside the Hotel Show, Office and InRetail exhibitions and will be more than double the size of last year’s event. The highly-successful seminar programme will be returning with a focus on environmental issues, including energy efficiency, solar power and a presentation on ‘Green Buildings’ given by Mr Bushnaq.
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FACTFILE: Six Energy Saving Tips from Energy Management Services
• Keeping the lights switched on in an empty meeting room overnight can waste enough energy to make 250 cups of tea
• Switching off a photocopier at night and weekends can save enough energy to send 50 faxes
• Switching off a computer monitor at night can save as much energy as it takes to slice 20 slices of bread
• Leaving equipment on standby accounts for 10 per cent of the power consumption in an office or home
• If all employees of a company with 4,000 staff switch off their computer monitors during holidays and at weekends, it can save enough energy to cool 100 houses throughout the summer
• Activating a computer’s sleep settings can save enough energy in an hour to make four cups of tea.


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