|16 January, 2020

Abu Dhabi targets retrofit of 150 govt buildings

The pilot project is the first for government/public buildings

Image used for illustrative purpose. Skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi.


Abu Dhabi aims to retrofit 150 governmental buildings starting this year following the completion of the first Energy Saving Performance Contracting (ESPC) pilot project encompassing eight retrofitted government buildings.

The Building Retrofit programme is a part of Abu Dhabi’s Demand Side Management and Energy Rationalisation Strategy 2030, which aims for a 22 per cent reduction in energy consumption and a 32 per cent reduction in water consumption over the next decade.

One of the nine key programmes of the DSM strategy, building retrofitting aims for significant cost savings, system reliability and environmental benefits, in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi and UAE’s national strategies for sustainability.

Building Retrofit aims to improve energy efficiency in the buildings while generating savings and reducing costs to building owners, tenants and the government.

As part of the programme a number of smart energy saving solutions were deployed in the buildings to improve the efficiency of cooling, lighting and water components. The project deployed several technologies such as solar rooftop PV installations, smart meters and thermostats, LED lighting, efficient chillers, new Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) controlled chilled water pumps and innovative chiller evaporative cooling membrane to meet the targeted savings

The pilot project is the first for government/public buildings, which follows the ESPC model and utilises private ESCOs to implement energy and water conservation measures. The pilot will not only improve existing building efficiency but also develop the market for ESCO. The project has shown an initial average energy saving of 38 per cent across the eight buildings, and it is expected to have far-reaching economic impact once the ESCO model is adopted across the board.

The first Super ESCO for Abu Dhabi has already been designed to lead retrofitting in 3000 government buildings. This large-scale roll-out through the Super ESCO will act as a market maker and catalyst to drive the Building Retrofit programme across the 3000 buildings in the emirate. The Super ESCO programme is led by an energy performance contracting model, whereby the Super ESCO, which is competitively selected by the facility owner, funds the efficiency improvement and recovers the costs of implementation from the savings in the utility bills.

The ESCO programme has been projected to result in a saving of 2.7 TWh electricity and 9 M cubic meter water over the next decade.

The programme will also be an economic booster for the emirate by creating new business opportunities. It will introduce new companies operating in the field which in turn will create new white-collar jobs in the emirate.

Super ESCO will boost GDP growth for the emirate and attract new players and FDI into the market. Every one million USD invested in the building energy efficiency retrofitting will create 8-11 jobs. It will also increase the value of older buildings and create new financial products as well as improve productivity and reduce healthcare costs among other benefits.

DoE has updated a list of government entities which will be a part of the framework of these policies. Each entity can establish clear and measurable energy efficiency goals across existing and new buildings.

Mohamed Bin Jarsh Alfalasi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, said: “The Building Retrofit pilot project will pave the way for Abu Dhabi’s Super ESCO, which aims for achieving unprecedented levels of efficiency in the emirate.”

“These are part of our commitment to the DSM Strategy which will impact the future of sustainability in the emirate. The Super ESCO project is an ambitious drive to achieve energy efficiency using a new business model. This project has a two-pronged approach which aims to establish energy efficiency as well as create business opportunities and new jobs in the market.

“The Energy Efficiency Policy for government buildings is a step forward in the direction towards energy efficiency goals set by the DSM Strategy. The Policy encourages government entities to lead by example by adopting habits and practices for efficient use of water and electricity. As we strive to achieve sustainability, these are some of the steps which will lead to a better future,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service

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