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Project to help Dubai private schools save energy

Sarwat Nasir/Dubai
Filed on June 6, 2018
Project to help Dubai private schools save energy

(File photo)

Emirates Green Building Council launches Building Efficiency Accelerator Benchmarking project

Dubai private schools are being encouraged to take part in a project that will assess how green they are, in terms of their water and energy usage.

The Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) Benchmarking project is by the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) and will help schools cut back on water and energy usage, also enabling them to save on operational costs.

The project will establish the first industry energy and water benchmark for schools in the country.

The EGBC had released White Papers earlier this year, which revealed the state of schools in terms of being green. Khaleej Times had reported that only 75 schools are registered as eco-schools, out of the 1,316 school buildings in the UAE.

"Benchmarking is an important step for schools to evaluate their energy and water usage. It enables the sector to make decisions backed by solid data on how to improve their consumption rates and track their progress. Energy and water management are inherently embedded into the core of green schools, and today, a very limited number of schools fulfil the requirements to be sustainable," Saeed Al Abbar, chairman of EmiratesGBC, said.

"Educational institutions are a priority sector and we therefore encourage all schools in Dubai to participate in the BEA benchmarking project and become leaders, and advocates, in the drive to sustainable development in the UAE."

He added that there are about 165 private schools in Dubai, which can play a "pivotal role" in supporting the government's target of reducing energy and water usage by 30 per cent by 2030, as per Dubai's Demand Side Management Strategy.

Aref Abouzahr, executive director of TAQATI Dubai Energy Efficiency Programme and member of the Emirates Coalition for Green Schools, said: "With overall trends indicating the need to make our schools greener, it is of utmost importance to focus on energy efficiency alongside environmental aspects. To build and sustain the momentum of green transformation, schools should invest in energy efficient solutions and technologies such as retrofitting and transitioning towards renewable energy sources, particularly distributed solar. Green schools would greatly support the UAE's sustainability vision and energy efficiency goals set forth by our leadership,"

Participating in the BEA project is free and involves schools filling out a questionnaire about the general characteristics of the school, its facilities, and its annual energy and water consumption. Each participating school will be provided a tailored scorecard at the end of the project to compare its energy performance against other participants.

"These young people are our future and it is important that we inculcate environmental awareness among them, which in turn will benefit not only the school environment but also the community and nation, at large. With several notable works done by the educational authorities to promote environmental sustainability in schools, we have a platform to build this dialogue further. Through collective action and strong public private partnership, we can achieve the Coalition's vision of 'ensuring that every child in the UAE has the opportunity to learn in a green school within this generation," Al Abbar added.

To participate, schools can email the BEA team on bea@emiratesgbc.org.

The deadline for submissions is June 15.

sarwat@khaleejtimes.com


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