Green Buildings Becoming Mandatory

Dubai is taking many steps forward into the green building future, with new laws passed to make sustainable building practices in all buildings mandatory.

The new laws start in 2014 and will effect all new buildings, whether they be private or commercial, with green building requirements currently optional in private buildings.

This will mean all buildings in Dubai will need to install items such as solar water heaters, water saving measures and other green components.

Along with this, the Building Department of Dubai Municipality launched an education and training program with the slogan Be Educated on Green Buildings.

The state will hold seminars and exhibitions, having already hosted My Green Environment in January to promote sustainable building practices and demonstrate the environment benefits these have for private dwellings.

The world’s largest LEED Platinum status government building, the Dubai Energy and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Sustainable Building, also opened in Dubai in February.

These laws are beginning to be seen in many countries across the world, as governments realise the savings to themselves, their citizens and their environment of encouraging green building and sustainable living practices.

To highlight this, a survey by McGraw Hill Constructions found more businesses across more countries were expecting their work to be more ‘green’ in coming years.

It found that companies expected green buildings to generate business value and opportunities such as the development of new environmentally friendly products.

The survey found that from 2012 to 2015, companies expecting that more than 60 percent of their work would be green triples in South Africa; doubles in Germany, Norway and Brazil; and grows between 33 and 60 percent in the United States, Singapore, Britain, the United Arab Emirates and Australia.


Australian Farm, a Shining Example of Alternative Energy

Solar energy is big business in the domestic market, but Australia has flicked the switched on its first large scale solar farm in October taking solar to new heights.
The solar farm is in Western Australia near Walkaway and is a co-operative effort between Verve Energy and General Electric.

The Greenough River Solar project could produce enough power to service 3000 homes or 10 megawatts. The farm uses more than 150,000 thin film photo voltaic modules and will displace 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year- the same as taking 4000 cars off the road.

“As the largest photovoltaic solar plant in operation in Australia, the Greenough River Solar Farm demonstrates that renewable technologies can contribute to meeting Australia’s future energy needs on a sustainable, cost-competitive basis. This is a positive first step in validating the bright future that large-scale solar represents in Australia,” Verve Energy CEO Jason Waters said.

The future plan is to expand the farm to 40 megawatts. The Western Australia Water Corporation will buy the electricity to power a nearby desalination plant. More solar farms are planned for country NSW, ACT and WA with other states also looking for alternative energy opportunities and domestic take up of solar systems has reached 858,000 homes across the country.