Arup member of the Emirates Green Building Council claims that the Middle East buildings will need to outperform US green standard

A member of the new Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) called for buildings in the region to outperform the LEED standard, which is currently being used in the area.

Jeffrey Willis from Arup, who is head of the technical committee of EGBC, said there was an urgent need for a broader perspective on sustainability in the region given that the UAE is currently at the top of the league of carbon footprints per person.

“We need to improve the spaces between the buildings. We should be going beyond LEED in urban design and looking beyond buildings,” he said.

Willis revealed that as yet there were only five LEED buildings of any note so far in Dubai, including technology company Pacific Contols, whose HQ building is the first LEED platinum building. Willis said there were ambitious plans for new LEED buildings, including the requirement that all buildings on the planned Dubai Waterfront will have to be LEED gold.

Willis said there was an urgent need for behavioural change amongst the population. “The behaviour here is pretty bad in terms of energy and water consumption.” He said there needed better education and controls on building systems such as air conditioning and for feedback for residents to measure how much water and electricity they are using.