GCC Needs Low-energy Architecture

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GCC Needs Low-energy Architecture
By: Construction Week
29 July 2016

GCC need to focus on low-energy architecture

The pressure on the UAE and the rest of the GCC countries to focus on new low-energy architecture will increase over the next eight years as billions of dollars are ploughed into infrastructure development across the region, a new research shows.

According to a regional market study, spending on building exteriors will increase from $8bn in 2016 to $12bn in 2024.

Accounting for 41.8% of the overall facades market last year, Saudi Arabia alone is estimated to grow to $5.5bn by 2024, up from $3bn this year.

Architects and developers need to prioritise lower heating and air conditioning costs to achieve energy efficiency, says the report which was commissioned by dmg events Middle East, Asia and Africa, organisers of the Windows, Doors and Façades trade exhibition launching in Dubai in September.

The study says significant growth in the GCC façades market will stem from a big rise in the number of construction, refurbishment and renovation projects driven by tourism and major events like the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Expo 2020 Dubai and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Issued by US-based market research and consulting specialists Grand View Research, the study estimates increased spending on facades in the other Gulf countries between this year and 2024 as follows: UAE – $2bn to $3bn; Qatar – $1bn to $2bn; Kuwait – $603m to $825m; Oman – $434m to $535m; and Bahrain – $226m to $305m.

“The key factor expected to drive the façades industry is the need to lower heating and air conditioning cost and achieve greater energy-efficiency,” said Muhammed Kazi, exhibition director of Windows, Doors & Façades. “Façades give buildings a superior look which is a big priority for corporate headquarters. But these impressive glass fronted buildings consume the highest energy and regulating their temperature is a big task.

“With massive development scheduled in the region, despite the decline in oil prices, there is now a big opportunity for architects and other design professionals in the GCC countries. This is especially the case in the UAE which is the region’s largest user of energy on a per capita basis, with 70 per cent of primary energy usage through buildings, mainly due to air-conditioning and lighting.”

The Windows, Doors & Façades exhibition will showcase a wide range of products for optimising energy retention and management, which vary from embedding the use of plants into the design of buildings, using minimal sliding doors, automated layered glazed panels as well as digital, interactive façades, already popular in major cities around the world.

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