About the author: Muhammad BinGhatti (pictured above) is the CEO and head of architecture, Binghatti Developers, a leading urban design-led property development company based in the UAE.
Binghatti Developers has recently taken the spotlight at the 2018 MENA Green Building Awards by winning the Developer of the Year award category. This recognition highlights the company’s innovative and sustainable building practices and designs which suit the regional harsh climate. As leaders of the green building movement in the MENA region, we believe that the sustainability movement will keep gaining more ground in the UAE.
The UAE appears to be well aware of the challenges constituted by the regional climate that is unlike anywhere else in the world. The extreme temperatures and high humidity, together with the sand and corrosive atmosphere, make it more difficult for the reduction of energy needed to cool living spaces.
The main challenges in the UAE consist in ensuring a broad understanding of the need for sustainable built environments and facilitating an environment that helps accomplish it. Through awareness, education, capacity building, and promoting public-private partnerships, we can further drive the development of sustainable buildings in the region.
Given the unprecedented urban development in the UAE as well as an exponential population growth, there is an urgent need to follow more sustainable methods in the construction sector. In fact, there is still much more that needs to be done to further improve the sustainability of buildings across the UAE.
For instance, the green building practices by different stakeholders such as developers, contractors, and product specialists within the built environment must be recognised and rewarded. Additionally, research and development are key in creating a market for sustainable alternatives in energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality.
In addition to green building best practices being applied right from design to construction stage, the region is also witnessing significant interest in retrofitting buildings – not just residential but also commercial – with the goal of improving the efficiency of existing buildings and reducing the carbon footprint of built environment. We see this keen interest in building efficiency as a game-changing trend for the UAE’s green building movement.