What is the current estimate of LEED projects in the region?
There are close to 1,500 LEED projects including registered projects in the GCC based on data released by the USGBC in 2015. The countries with most projects are UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. There are currently over 30 projects registered in Kuwait.
What are the common pitfalls on LEED projects in the GCC? How can they be addressed?
For existing LEED buildings, the biggest pitfall lies in the assessment of the existing status or “as-is”. Some of the eligibility requirements for existing buildings (prerequisites) are strongly related to the building’s existing status and improving or upgrading them to meet minimum LEED requirements can be cost and time prohibitive. Therefore, it is imperative the prerequisites are assessed rigorously and compliance financial and time implications rigorously assessed prior to starting a LEED project.
For new construction projects, one of the biggest challenges is “late start” or making the decision to go for LEED certification late in the design process. This can seriously increase the difficulty and the cost of attaining certification. This can be addressed via planning and mitigated by appropriate credit selection and assessment of the design measures already in place. Other pitfalls include pursuit of credits whose attainment is heavily dependent on local infrastructure, for instance manufacturing industries and recycling facilities, without due diligence in assessing and understanding which facilities are readily and locally available. My session at The Big 5 will discuss this in detail.
What are the technology trends that affect sustainable building design today?
Some of the technology trends include modular construction – a trend which has grown in significance lately due to its effectiveness as a source reduction for construction waste management. Others include the use of electrochromic glass, which simultaneously improves both energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality, and solar-grid parity - narrowing the gap in many parts of the world especially China, Europe and North America, between the costs of buying energy off the grid (from fossil fuels) and renewable energy. Declining costs for the most widely available renewable energy technologies (solar and wind) are making it more economically feasible to utlilise renewable energy on projects.
How do you plan to engage with your audience?
Storytelling, examples from live projects and asking questions/ show of hands where relevant and Q&A session at end, but mostly by addressing issues that are relevant to them and their interests. I will be giving examples from a number of different LEED projects I had worked on in Kuwait and Dubai including projects owned by major oil companies, office buildings, schools and others.
Who will benefit the most by attending your Talk?
Engineers, architects, facilities managers or owners currently working on or planning to work on LEED projects.
THEATRE: Sustainability Talks
DATE: Day 1 - 26 November 2017
TIME: 12:30 - 13:30
LOCATION: Rashid Hall
For more information on the full agenda, click here