Published On: 07/04/2021

Dubai, UAE –Dubai Chamber‘s Task Force on Green Buildings recently organised a webinar, which examined the impact of Covid-19 on green bulding practices, and highlighted key benefits and improvements related to retrofitting commercial buildings.

Case studies shared by members of the task force demonstrated how companies can implement innovative solutions within their offices to improve the health and wellbeing of employees. Presentations also looked at the future of the retrofitting market in Dubai.

Faisal Rashid, Senior Director Demand Side Management (DSM) at Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, noted that the House of DSM brings together various programmes and entities that implement the government goal to achieve 30% of electricity and water savings by 2030. Retrofitting of buildings is an investment that helps in achieving more efficient buildings that consume less resources, Rashid said, adding that there are policies in place that regulate energy demand.

Vibhor Bhatnagar, Senior Engineer Energy Sustainability and Technical Services at Serco Middle East, shed the light on several global examples that emphasise the importance of proper social distancing and ventilation in order to eliminate the possibility of virus transmission in buildings.

In a presentation conducted along with Iterum and Intertek, Tim Sephton, Managing Partner at Iterum, Michael Horne, Principal Microbiologist and John Downey, Regional Manager Building Sciences at Intertek, discussed research findings that underlined the importance of maintaining surface hygiene and adequate air quality to make sure Covid-19 transmissions do not occur inside a building.

Utpal Joshi, Regional Consulting Sales Manager at Daikin Middle East, explained the various indoor air quality solutions available to maintain proper ventilation and eliminate transmission of COVID-19 in closed spaces. Utpal focused on the importance of maintained air conditioners in all venues to avoid virus transmission. He also discussed the several general and technical measures implemented at Daikin Middle East offices to ensure the health and wellbeing of employees are kept a priority at all times.

Biyas Baby, Senior Energy Consultant at Farnek, discussed the worker accommodation building, Farnek Village, that was recently established amidst the pandemic and the various challenges faced such as health & safety, shortage of workforce, and delay of shipment. Solutions include performing periodic PCR tests, utilisation of in-house workforce and resources, as well as local sourcing of goods. The building includes several crucial sustainability and health and wellbeing measures such as indoor air quality and ventilation, energy and water-saving technologies, condensate water recovery, sanitisation of the facilities, as well as condensate water recovery.

Established by the Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business, the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network serves as the focal point for the business community to share and exchange best practices in implementing CSR. The network provides an opportunity for local companies to network, learn, share experiences and constitute CSR leadership.

Founded in 2004, the Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) is the first institution of its kind in the UAE that plays a leading role in promoting corporate social responsibility. The Centre encourages member companies of the Chamber to adopt responsible business practices, which ultimately enhance their performance and competitiveness.