Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minister of Finance, and President of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), on Tuesday officially opened DEWA’s new Sustainable Building in Al Quoz, the first sustainable building in the UAE, in the presence of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy in Dubai, Matar Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of DEWA, members of the board, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, executive vice presidents from DEWA, and a number of senior officials and VIPs from ministries and government departments, and media representatives.
“We dedicate this achievement to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum who set a clear roadmap and integrated framework for the construction of the building. It is now the largest government building in the world with a platinum rating for green buildings from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the US Green Building Council institute, which has a set of rating criteria for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, homes and neighbourhoods in the world. The DEWA Sustainable Building achieved 98 out of 110 points,” said Al Tayer.
“The new green achievement fits in perfectly with the ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Development’ initiative under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and DEWA’s strategy to reduce energy consumption by conserving natural resources and finding energy-efficient renewable solutions.”
The opening ceremony included a media tour to showcase all the facilities in the building, which includes DEWA’s 14th customer service centre; providing a variety of services, a customer call centre, an engineering and control centre and the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) centre for water systems.
The new building accommodates 1,000 DEWA employees, and provides services such as registering new customers, bill enquiries and payments, final bill requests, change of billing addresses, clearance certificates, and sourcing suggestions and complaints and general enquiries.
“The new building, which occupies 340,000 square feet is part of our ‘Green Buildings’ initiative to achieve the highest levels of efficiency in the consumption of electricity and water. The building has been completed as per DEWA’s Green Building regulations, with recycled materials accounting for 36 per cent of the total construction materials used. The building has a laboratory to ensure that the quality of water conforms to all the environmental standards applicable to green buildings around the world. In addition, the building has a fully automated control panel to control the cooling, and air conditioning systems, and a number of ventilation units, to reduce energy consumption,” said Abullah Obaidullah, EVP of Water and Civil at DEWA.
The new project will achieve an energy performance efficiency level of over 66 per cent by providing additional insulation in its walls and roof. Special glass has been installed to reduce heat transfer into the building, while highly-efficient water-cooled chillers cut down energy consumption. The building uses low powered LED lights and automatic lighting control systems with occupancy sensors. In addition, renewable energy is available through an on-site 660 kW solar power plant, thereby reducing the building’s carbon footprint even further.
The headquarters of DEWA’s Water and Civil Engineering Division features a storm-water management plan that ensures recycling of water for irrigation. Special regulators, sensor taps, low flow fixtures and waterless urinals help reduce water consumption by as much as 48 per cent. All sewage water is treated by a grey water treatment plant and sewage treatment plant. Treated water is reused in the cooling tower, for irrigation and flushing toilets.
More than 20 per cent of the project site area features vegetated open spaces while waste reduction is aided by an easily-accessible dedicated area for the collection and storage of materials for recycling. The building exceeds the standards of design in energy and environment by 20 per cent by extracting and manufacturing 28 per cent of the materials within 800 km of the project.
Indoor air quality in the building is monitored with the help of carbon dioxide sensors with alarms in all densely-occupied areas, like meeting rooms. Also, outdoor air is treated and supplied throughout the building to provide better ventilation.
Located close to Noor Islamic Bank Metro Station on the Red Line of Dubai Metro, the building will help reduce pollution and land development impact from automobile use. It also has secure bicycle tracks for 5 per cent of the building users, in addition to preferential parking for low-emission and fuel efficient vehicles.