PROJECTS: Ras Al Khaimah to add 180 projects into building retrofit pipeline

The retrofit programme aims to improve the energy efficiency of 3,000 existing buildings by 2040

Ras al Khaimah emirate cityscape skyline rising over the mangroves and the creek in the United Arab Emirates at sunset.

Ras al Khaimah emirate cityscape skyline rising over the mangroves and the creek in the United Arab Emirates at sunset.

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Ras Al Khaimah expects to tender 180 new building retrofit projects in the coming years as part of its 2040 energy efficiency and renewable energy strategy.
"In the upcoming years, around 180 buildings are expected to be tendered in the market, in addition to the 250 buildings that are already in different stages of the tendering and contracting process," the Ras Al Khaimah Municipality said in its latest report on the 2040 strategy.
The strategy targets comprehensive energy efficiency improvement for 3,000 existing buildings by 2040, starting with large government and commercial buildings with high energy consumption.
Last year, a large contract was signed with Ras Al Khaimah Department of Finance to retrofit 37 buildings (extendable to 50 buildings) from 16 government entities, to be implemented in three phases.
"The first phase comprised 12 buildings from three government entities, with implementation completed in 2020,” the report said, adding that the second phase of 25 buildings also expected to start in 2021.
New retrofit projects tendered in 2020 included RAK Ports (for 10 buildings across RAK Port and Al Jazeera Port) and American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK, for 24 buildings across two campuses).
"These tenders will be followed by detailed feasibility studies in 2021, which will subsequently lead to new retrofit contracts," the report said.
Key retrofit projects in the completion stage include The RAK Academy, RAK Bank, Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi Desert Resort and Waldorf Astoria, it added.
Reem, the energy efficiency and renewable energy office of the municipality, is studying passive retrofits involving the building envelope, such as wall and roof insulation to supplement the existing retrofits that focus on improvement of active systems such as air-conditioners and lighting.
"In 2020, Reem initiated a number of studies on purely passive retrofits on a reference building of Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, to serve as a demonstrator of the potential savings generated by such retrofits. Different technical solutions are being evaluated, including complete wall and roof insulation, heat reflective coatings and building air tightness, among others,” the report noted.
It said each technical solution is undergoing a feasibility study, including a complete business case showing the return on investment.
Ras Al Khaimah is also offering incentives for ESCOs and Energy Auditing Companies (EACOs) to set up in the emirate to develop the retrofit market.
“Until now, this program has led to the setup of nine companies in Ras Al Khaimah. This number is expected to grow in coming years with several ongoing discussions for the establishment of new companies under this programme,” the report said.
Meanwhile, 21 ESCOs had been accredited by Reem at the end of 2020.
(Writing by Anoop Menon; Editing by Seban Scaria)

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