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Inefficient buildings wasting $3.6 billion in GCC

Loss attributed to inefficient energy management solutions.

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Jamal Abdalla Lootah.
Jamal Abdalla Lootah.

As a precursor to this year’s edition of FM Expo starting on Monday, research into energy control within the built environment has revealed that $3.6bn per annum is being lost due to inefficient energy management solutions inside professionally managed buildings in the GCC.

According to a report by the Middle East Facilities Management Association (MEFMA) in collaboration with Credo Business Consulting, there are huge financial returns to be realised from retrofitting old buildings with energy-saving measures—75% of the $3.6bn could be paid back within two years following capital expenditure.

This would, in turn, result in up to 65% savings in power, cooling and water costs.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Jamal Lootah, president, MEFMA and CEO, Imdaad, said: “The report highlights not only the cost implications of inefficient utilities but the startling waste of power and energy that buildings in the GCC are emitting.”

“The world’s building industry accounts for almost 40% of global greenhouse gases and the facilities management industry is in the best position to help reduce that figure,” Lootah explained. “But it needs local governments to regulate the industry with green codes and incentives for building owners to invest in energy efficient technologies.”

“Together with our partners, Credo and MEED Insight, we now have the data that supports our argument,” Lootah said. “Energy management solutions are a critical cost-saving component towards sustainable buildings in the GCC.”

Alistair Stranack, partner, Credo, said: “Despite the scale of potential savings the market has been slow to develop with only a few FM players actively pursuing the opportunity. This is partially as a consequence of subsidized energy prices, and is why regulation and incentives are critical to a more sustainable market.”

Currently in the UAE, investment into new energy management systems in 2013 is estimated at a little less than $30mn annually. For the GCC as a whole, this estimate stands at $63mn.

The reports will be presented at the conference organized alongside FM Expo 2014, taking place from 19-21 May at Dubai International Conference and Exhibition Centre, and will highlight the barriers hindering widespread adoption of energy management solutions.

Jaafar Shubber, senior project manager, FM Expo 2014, said: “The industry is hungry for knowledge and insight. These reports provide an excellent opportunity for participants and visitors to FM Expo to get exclusive access to the very latest findings on some of the most pressing industry topics.”

FM Expo will take place this year alongside two brand new events, Middle East Waste & Recycling and Commercial Cleaning and Hygiene, bringing three intrinsically linked sectors together under one roof.

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