Dubai snow dome in the Mall of the Emirates could be fitted with photovoltaics to reduce energy use

Dubai’s famous indoor ski resort is to get a green makeover as part of a sustainability audit of the entire building.

Ski Dubai is part of the Mall of the Emirates building, which is built and operated by developer Majid Al Futtaim (MAF). It is to undergo a LEED existing building audit to ensure that its energy footprint is kept to a minimum.

It is understood that one possible way to make the snow dome more environment-friendly is to fit it with photovoltaics.

Merlyn Roberts, MAF’s general manager of sustainable development, said: “Because the Mall of the Emirates is the flagship development of the MAF organisation, we think it’s important that it is seen to be leading in sustainability.”

MAF is working with LEED consultant Green Technologies to help improve the energy and water consumption of the entire Mall of the Emirates development.

The box is highly insulated, and it doesn’t use as much energy as you might think

Merlyn Roberts, MAF

LEED is the US standard for measuring sustainable construction.

Although the energy needed to cool the 50,000m3 interior of the building to –2ºC when it is up to 40ºC outside is considerable, Roberts said Ski Dubai was designed with sustainability in mind. He said: “The box is highly insulated, and it doesn’t use as much energy as you might think. Part of this exercise is to see what we can do to improve on it.”

The exercise, which Roberts said would take up to a year, is significant in that it is one of the first existing buildings in Dubai to audit its energy usage.

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed decreed last year that new buildings should comply to green building standards.