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Posted On: 16 October 2013 01:30 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

Strong demand for ‘green’ buildings

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Rental and value premiums are projected to increase for sustainable buildings across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, with a focus on saving energy costs as electricity prices rise, according to a recent report from global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. A recently-released software that predicts how a building’s sun control can provide owners with significant energy savings is expected to see strong demand across the region, the report said. “It is our view that a more significant rental and value premium for sustainable buildings is likely in the Middle East over the next five years. In the office sector, the preference of global occupiers for long-term green leases in more sustainable buildings will drive this premium, while demonstrable savings in energy costs (and therefore service charges) will be a major driver in the commercial and residential sectors, the report noted. Providing an innovative solution for the region is the Light & Energy Tool by Hunter Douglas. The free software provides architects with a 3D model to show how different forms of sun control affect shadows in a room during different climates and seasons. Sander Teunissen, Product Manager, New Products, Hunter Douglas, said: “The tool is a practical instrument for architects who want to show what a building’s interior will look like with different types of sun control. “It also shows how much energy can be saved on air conditioning, as exterior sun control can block out heat from the sun, cutting back on the need for indoor cooling.” Of the Middle East’s 1,200 LEED-certified projects, the UAE hosts 65 percent, followed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. In Grade A office buildings in the UAE, electricity and cooling account for 40 percent of total operating costs, the report said. Investing two percent of a building’s cost in green design equals a 20 percent life-cycle savings, and the UAE government’s goal is to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2015, according to the report. On the tool users can easily enter information such as room dimensions, building envelope material, window size, glass types, and building position. Four different scenarios are produced based on different kinds of sun control, calculating comfort, energy capacity, and indoor temperatures.