smart building

The United Arab Emirates is reported to be leading GCC initiatives in smart building solutions, says a study by multinational technology firm Honeywell International.[quote] The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. [UAE and Saudi Arabia taking smart seriously]

The UAE currently leads with more than two-thirds of the 1,236 Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (Leed)-certified projects, and has a smart building score of 48 out of 100.

The study noted that, “[The UAE] is also the frontrunner in the region in implementing unified building codes for new buildings. Since 2014, the Abu Dhabi International Building Code (ADIBC) standards have become compulsory for all projects in the emirate.”

The international smart building market is projected to be worth $36.3 billion by 2020 from $7.26 billion in 2015.

The city of Dubai, has recently launched the green building rating system called Al Safat, under which it classifies facilities under the Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze categories. “Every building constructed in the emirate after 2014 has to adhere to the minimum Bronze requirement to receive a permit,” says Emirates 24/7.

Building management systems

Imdaad, a provider of integrated facilities, environment and energy management solutions in the GCC noted that building owners in the GCC are not leveraging that full potential of building management systems (BMS). The company says that 80% of building managememt systems still operate manually. [DEWA signs MoU with SAP on smart city technology]

Jamal Abdullah Lootah, CEO of Imdaad, said: "Initially, building owners were not aware of the numerous benefits of smart building technologies such as energy efficiency, building longevity, and enhanced living experiences for residents.

"Moreover, due to a lack of incentives and the cost involved, even facilities management (FM) companies were not enthusiastic about adopting energy saving solutions. However, the implementation of the new codes in the UAE have brought about a definite change in the mind-set of people, including our clients who have started requesting green building solutions."

The study suggested that the Middle East’s average smart building score is 48 out of 100 with Doha, Qatar, leading with 70 points, followed by Dubai at 65 and Abu Dhabi at 48. The survey also said that airports in the region have a score of 80 while hotels are second at 57, followed by hospitals at 56 and retail at 52. Those with the lowest average scores are private offices at 46, high-rise residential buildings at 45 and educational facilities at 41.