With the region known for having one of the world’s highest per capita consumption rates of electricity, Carrier and Otis convened their Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series in the Middle East to inform participants about green building opportunities. Through events held in Kuwait City, Riyadh and the final one in Dubai, the series connected 350 industry professionals, local building owners and operators with international green building experts from Carrier, the world’s leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions, and Otis, the world’s leading manufacturer of elevators, escalators and moving walkways.
Participants who attended were provided with the opportunity to obtain LEED training, learn more about the business case for green building and gain insight into world green building trends from experts such as John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer at UTC Building & Industrial Systems, and Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
According to members of the Emirates Green Building Council, appreciation is growing for the need for more efficient buildings. The Emirate of Dubai has passed a law requiring all future buildings to be green starting in 2014, while a recent McGraw-Hill Construction study found 74% of UAE firms expect green building projects to account for the majority of their projects by 2015. Given that the UAE has more green neighborhood projects planned than any other country in the world, the series offered a timely opportunity for local professionals to gain exposure to broader green building trends.
In Saudi Arabia, where per capita energy consumption is three times the world average according to the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center, investment in green building is growing. Of the 1,300 or more green building projects currently underway in the Middle East, the Saudi Green Building Forum reports nearly 70 are based in the Kingdom.
The growth prospects for green building in Kuwait are even greater. The country has just 17 projects registered through the U.S. Green Building Council’s® Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Yet, according to the Energy Information Administration, the country already uses as much as 98.5% of its grid capacity during times of peak demand. Rapidly rising consumption rates and persistent power shortages during demand periods make sustainable buildings a priority in Kuwait.
“The Middle East has a great opportunity to establish a strong green building future, especially where we are seeing increasing demand from clients,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “Green building is a smart, long-term business decision with equal economic and environmental value. We strongly believe this week’s dialogue will have a profound, lasting impact,” he added.
Launched in the Middle East in 2011, the lecture series has reached 2,100 professionals through 20 lectures taking place globally in Brazil, China, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE.
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