The word “sustainable” can have many meanings. The dictionary states; “Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level” and in an environmental context reflected in this document “conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.”
“Sustainability is not just about ticking boxes and talking about new technologies, it’s embedding a responsibility and mindset in our staff and collaborators that we must reduce our power and water consumptions, thereby helping to control emissions and pollution levels”
Our approach to low energy buildings encompassed all aspects of sites, building and developments from the orientation through to occupancy control.
Having a low carbon footprint must be captured across the board and is in our DNA. Making small steps in making the right choices and implantation makes a huge difference to our environment.
WME has delivered many projects with sustainable benchmarking such as the UAE Pavilion & SRG Tower in Dubai which are LEED platinum project, All of our projects in Abu Dhabi are Estidama rated, including Saadiyat beach villas which are Pearl 2.
Swiss International School – Dubai, UAE
Swiss School was the first Middle Eastern project to receive a Minergie certification. This is a low energy operation certification which benchmarks given to projects that achieve energy consumption under 38kwh/m2/annum, which originated in cold climate regions Our school project reached 36kwh/m2/year which is one of the lowest energy usage buildings in the region, the project is audited every year to keep the certification which shows that we are serious about rolling out low energy initiatives.
How did we reach the low energy targets?
The process was very collaborative working with all the stakeholders being fully committed to the implementation of a low energy building. We looked at how the building was set out, size and type of windows to reduce solar gain but increase natural lighting.
We worked with the end-users on occupancy profiles to allow for usage of high activity rooms in peak times wherein more north-facing areas. The client’s investment in local building materials with a better U-value brought huge rewards to the output of the energy model.
Selection of plant with modularization allowing for more precise energy usage and power throughout paired with energy-efficient/ low energy plant eliminate over providing of cooling and power. Building occupancy control sensors allowed for summer usage to be kept to a minimum in summer peak conditions, this meant our simultaneous peak loads were in May rather than July.
Renewable energy in the form of solar water collectors, energy recovery wheels, photovoltaics, water recycling and harvesting all reduced the overall energy requirements to allow for very low energy and water usage building that we are proud to have delivered.
“WME have led the KPIs set to the team to achieve low energy; Minergie building which has been delivered on budget and on time, adhering to the high level of functional requirements set out. We are happy to recommend them for future work and the future phases of our school” – Omar Danial, SISD