Heriot-Watt University’s Dubai campus at Dubai Knowledge Park has been awarded Gold status by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED, the most widely used green building rating system in the world, which is the second-highest level of LEED certification. It is the highest possible certification achieved on the retrofit of an existing building. The campus is designed to serve nearly 4,000 students and occupies 218,000 square feet distributed over seven floors, with eight different types of teaching spaces.
Commenting on the achievement, Lynda Johnstone, global director for estates and facilities at Heriot-Watt University said: “Our vision for the Dubai campus was to create a workplace that is safe and healthy and promotes improved health and productivity. Several studies have found that there is a clear link between the design of the building and employee health."
Johnstone further added: "At Dubai campus, we have done our best to undertake a holistic approach towards efficient use of resources, good indoor environmental air quality, the use of non-toxic, sustainable, and ethical materials and more, which supports health and wellbeing. We spend most of our waking hours at our workplaces, and we strongly believe that every single human being has the right to a workplace that has a positive effect on the occupants.”
Ross Trivett, general manager at Khansaheb, extended his heartfelt wishes and said: “We are delighted that HWU has achieved LEED Gold. This project exemplifies what is possible when all stakeholders collaborate towards achieving sustainability goals and is a testament to our commitment to creating places that balance our environmental obligations within the community and economy.’’
Paul Ludlam, director and head of Fit-Out UAE at JLL Project and Development Services further added: “We are thrilled to have been part of this successful project and lead all phases from project inception through to project completion and occupation including LEED services. Receiving the certificate was the culmination of the efforts of the teams involved, which further demonstrated Heriot-Watt’s commitment to providing healthy and sustainable spaces for its students and employees. As the world emerges from the pandemic, it is important to prioritise the health and plan for a green and sustainable future for everyone.”
LEED uses a points system, and projects pursuing certification earn points for green building strategies across several categories. Based on the number of points achieved, a project can achieve one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.
Several factors helped Heriot-Watt University’s Dubai campus qualify for gold. The key metrics that were achieved are:
· 46 per cent reduction in water use compared to LEED's baseline water consumption
· 94 per cent of all equipment and appliances in the new campus are Energy Star compliant to optimise energy performance
· 34 per cent reduction in lighting power consumption compared to ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1–2010’s baseline rates to optimise energy performance
· 98 per cent of the lighting load is of occupancy sensors and 63 per cent of the lighting load is connected to daylight sensors to optimise energy performance
With sustainability being one of the main pillars for the design and implementation of the project, the campus includes facilities such as bicycle parking racks, water-efficient fixtures, demand-controlled ventilation for HVAC equipment, use of environmentally friendly construction materials and more. The campus is also in the process of implementing a green cleaning policy, that will ensure that levels of chemical, biological, and particulate contaminants that can compromise air quality, human health and the environment are reduced.
Heriot-Watt University’s Dubai campus is the only campus in the UAE to have achieved gold certification. Additionally, it is also the only one of Heriot-Watt University’s five global campuses to have achieved this.
LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. It is virtually available for all building types and phases, which provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. The certification is a globally recognised symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.