Berner releases Architectural Contour Air Curtain Series
NEW CASTLE, Pennsylvania, 15 June 2022: Air curtain manufacturer, Berner International said it has added the Architectural Contour Air Curtain Series to its Architectural Collection, giving specifiers a technologically advanced design for protecting commercial building main entrances when the door is open.
Making the announcement through a Press release, Berner claimed the Architectural Contour 8 and 10 models feature the HVAC industry’s quietest operation from a high-performance air curtain. The design targets healthcare, hotels, retail, restaurants and other applications, where thermal comfort, front entrance doorway aesthetics and energy savings are critical, the company said.
Berner said the Series’ patented, unprecedented aesthetic is the company’s second departure from the industry’s decades-old rectangular box shapes after recently introducing the Architectural Elite.
Featuring a sleek, discreetly contoured cabinet constructed of anodized aluminum, the Architectural Contour complements 21st Century anodized aluminum doorways and metal architecture, the company said.
The Architectural Contour 8 and 10 feature low profiles of 8-1/4 H x 20-inch D (20.9 x 50.8-cm) and 12-3/4 H x 25-3/4 D (30.3 x 60.4-cm) without sacrificing performance for protecting up to eight- and 10-foot-high (2.4- and 3.0-meter) doorway heights, respectively, the company said. Both models – including heating options – are certified under AMCA-220, which qualifies them for the new construction cost-saving vestibule exception, now included in building and energy codes, ASHRAE 90.1-2019; the IECC -2015; and the IgCC, the company added.
According to the company, the Architectural Contour equals the aesthetics of the Architectural Collection’s full-featured, Golden Ratio-inspired Architectural Elite air curtain, but offers an economical alternative. Specifiers can add the Elite’s standard features as à la carte options to the Contour, such as electronically commutated (EC) motors or the Berner AIR smart controller and app, the company said. When combined with the Collection’s entry level Architectural Low Profile 8 and High Performance 10 models, the Contour and Elite offer building owners a diverse “good, better, best” selection, respectively, the company claimed.
According to Berner, all air curtains in the Architectural Collection use the company’s factory-installed Intelliswitch digital controller platform, which features pre-set programs, a time clock, time delay, built-in thermostat, 10-speed fan control, and other integrated, end-user-customizable features. The optional Berner AIR smart controller and app, the company said, can be added to the platform, allowing operation and monitoring from a smartphone. The Berner AIR, it added, includes true BACnet integration and a proactive adaptive setting based on the weather.
According to the company, the Contour and Elite models are the industry’s quietest high-performance air curtains. These patented designs combine out-of-sight top intake panels; Berner’s patented high-efficiency, low-noise, articulating Pro-V Nozzle; and quiet-running 1/5th-HP AC or EC motor choices, the company said. Depending on the selected motor and speed, the company added, typical operating noise is 49 to 55-dB, which is similar to a coffee percolator or quieter than normal conversation.
Poppy introduces IT-based IAQ solution at EXPO 2020 seminar
DUBAI, UAE, 21 March 2022: Canada-headquartered Poppy, which calls itself the world’s first biosafety intelligence company, introduced its IT-based IAQ devices to the MENA region during a seminar at the Canada Pavilion, at the World Expo in Dubai.
Opening the seminar, Nader Arafat, Strategic Advisor, MENA Region, Poppy, spoke of the pandemic ushering in a mindset shift towards Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Speaking after him, Mohammed Bin Dasmal, Managing Director, Bin Dasmal Group, called Poppy’s devices as focusing on IAQ as well as on energy savings.
Sam Molyneux, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Poppy, elaborated on Bin Dasmal’s pithy description during his presentation. Saying that the world needs to protect itself from future pandemics, he said it is important to understand indoor safety and the cost of enhancing safety. Making clean air in a cost-effective way is a global priority, he added.
Referring to the high-profile Guangzhou restaurant, the site of the precipitous outbreak of COVID-19, in the period starting from January 26 to February 10, 2020, Molyneux highlighted how a small air conditioning system was able to propagate the virus and raised ventilation concerns. In view of that, he said, in some senses, ventilation is the last stand against COVID-19. Poppy systems, he said, help in making ventilation decisions, including demand-control ventilation, as a means to achieving IAQ goals without compromising on energy efficiency targets.
The devices, Molyneux said, available on subscription basis, detect and identify over 1,000+ pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, using genomic sequencing and molecular assays. They allow the company to collect data related to human breath, which in turn, allow understanding on how human breath moves, which he said is crucial, considering everyone is constantly breathing out particles that contain viruses.
The data, and the understanding of the data, he said, enable the company to validate how air conditioning systems are performing and, broadly speaking, provide insights and a direction for action to protect indoor spaces and occupants.
Molyneux said the company has deployed Poppy systems in 50 sites across North America and Europe, including factories, financial institutions, schools and entertainment venues. He gave the example of Poppy systems at work at the largest investment bank in Manhattan, in New York City, where the company is able to monitor the air quality in the trading floor, among other zones of the building and identify if any zones have high transmission issues that need to be looked into.
He also gave the example of the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts, in Toronto, Canada, where Poppy systems are at work monitoring and providing recommendations, so that the Center is able to run its operas again. “We are able to recommend increasing the ventilation rates in hotspots, which is a localised approach, and reducing ventilation rates globally,” Molyneux said. “So, we are able to achieve energy savings.”
AprilAire, Airthings announce IAQ-related strategic partnership at AHR Expo
LAS VEGAS, Nevada, 31 January 2022: AprilAire, which supplies Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) solutions for the home, announced a strategic partnership with Airthings, a global technology company that produces IAQ monitors for radon and other dangerous airborne contaminants that impact overall health and wellness.
Making the announcement through a joint Press release, the two companies said the partnership is rooted in addressing a common issue for homeowners everywhere: People spend more than 90% of their time indoors, but most are unaware of their home’s IAQ – and when they identify a problem, they typically do not have the knowledge and expertise to remedy the situation effectively.
The new AprilAire and Airthings partnership, the companies said, is a ground-breaking, full circle integration that combines detection, education and mitigation to offer contractors an intelligent air quality solution tailored specifically to their customer’s lifestyle and living environment.
Airthings’ monitors help people learn about their IAQ and identify problems utilizing the brand’s line of smart air quality sensors to intelligently monitor conditions in the home, the two companies said. AprilAire helps solve air quality problems with the AprilAire Healthy Air System and the complete line of whole-home healthy air solutions and nationwide network of top HVAC experts trained to install them, the companies added.
In partnership, the brands will now provide consumers with a one-stop shop, combining the best in radon and air quality monitoring with the best solutions to manage air purity, humidity, fresh air supply, radon mitigation and temperature, the two companies claimed.
“We are proud to partner with Airthings, a company whose purpose so closely aligns with our own of making homes healthy,” said Dale Philippi, President and CEO, AprilAire. “Together, we will increase awareness of the impact the air we breathe in our homes has on our health and wellbeing and the availability of effective professional solutions to deliver healthy air. Working with Airthings, our network of healthy air experts will be better able to tailor solutions to address homeowner concerns.”
Airthings will integrate its flagship air quality monitor, View Plus, as a core component of the AprilAire partnership solution, the two companies said. View Plus, launched in 2021, is a comprehensive and advanced consumer air quality monitor on the market, tracking seven air quality components, including particulate matter, CO2 and radon, the companies claimed. AprilAire recently added Radon Mitigation Systems to its healthy air solutions portfolio to control radon, the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers, the companies said.
Equipped with hub functionality, View Plus will enable HVAC professionals to remotely monitor air quality in the homes they service while also providing full air quality visibility to the homeowners themselves, the companies said. When problems arise, the professional receives automatic notifications and can take immediate mitigation actions, the companies said. The newly formed alliance between AprilAire and Airthings will help consumers access information on their air quality with more clarity, and expert consultation than ever before, enabling them to make informed decisions, the companies added.
Oyvind Birkenes, CEO, Airthings, said: “Our new partnership with AprilAire helps consumers navigate complex decisions in a convenient way. Indoor air quality can be a real threat to our health and well-being, which is why proactive monitoring is essential. However, when problems arise, the next steps can seem daunting. By teaming up with AprilAire, our hope is that when people encounter indoor air quality issues, they’ll turn to us to evaluate the situation, diagnose the problem, and develop recommendations and solutions to mitigate the situation if necessary – providing peace of mind to people everywhere.”
Airius launches new BACnet MS/TP fan controller
LAS VEGAS, Nevada, 31 January 2022: Colorado-based Airius, focused on air movement and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), announced the release of its new BACnet MS/TP destratification fan controller during the 2022 AHR Expo. The company made the announcement through a Press release.
“With our BACnet fan control integrated into your network, you can take better control of your building’s stratification issues, save money and improve building comfort by achieving the operational excellence you desire,” said Christian Avedon, Director of Sales & Marketing, Airius. “By providing improved control and monitoring, our new fan controller empowers you to command your facilities and provide a more consistent and comfortable environment.”
According to Airius, the destratification fan controller provides individual Airius fan control and status integration over the BACnet MS/TP network. Up to 63 fans can be connected per MS/TP network, and multiple networks can be created for integration of hundreds of fans, the company said. The new controller is easy to configure and install, with no software needed, enabling building owners and facility managers to monitor their Airius fan system, reduce their energy consumption and improve the comfort of their buildings, the company added.
According to Airius, additional features of the new controller include:
On/off, fan speed control and revolutions-per-minute (RPM) monitoring
Compatibility with electronically commutated (EC) motors
UL-accepted for use in plenum, NEMA 1-enclosed housing
Easy system addressing and baud rate changes through dual inline package (DIP) switch settings
Siemens to acquire EcoDomus’ digital twin software
Switzerland, 3 December 2021: Siemens Smart Infrastructure signed an agreement to acquire digital twin software for buildings from EcoDomus, a US-based company, the company said through a Press release. The move, the company said, helps it expand its digital building portfolio, including its cloud-based building operations twin software and its flagship building management platform, Desigo CC.
The EcoDomus software creates, maintains and visualizes Building Information Modeling (BIM)-based digital building twins, making design and construction data available for building operations and maintenance, the company said.
Customers can generate digital replicas of their real buildings and assets, creating a common data environment that integrates BIM, Building Management Systems (BMS), Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Internet of Things (IoT) systems, the company said. The solution enables BIM-driven workflows and digital twin-based lifecycle management, complemented by 3D visualization, the company added.
“The way we operate buildings is fundamentally changing, thanks to the power of digitalization and digital twins,” said Henning Sandfort, CEO, Building Products, Siemens Smart Infrastructure. “By enhancing our existing offering for digitalized buildings with EcoDomus’ software, we are strengthening our leading-industry position in that dynamic market, offering our customers the full-spectrum benefits of BIM-based operations.”
According to the company, in the past, BIM data usage has mostly focused on a building’s construction phase. Today, it said, its benefits can also be leveraged in the operations and maintenance phase. This is crucial, because this is where 80% of a building’s total lifecycle costs will occur, it said.
Leveraging the acquired data creation and visualization capabilities, Siemens’ digital building software portfolio will bring substantial benefits to customers: Enhanced insights into the performance of their building, real-time issue identification and resolution, better space and energy utilization and many others, the company said.
Customers will be able to turn their buildings into more sustainable, comfortable and safe places to live and work, while at the same time streamlining processes and reducing operational costs, it said.
According to the company, EcoDomus is a privately held US company. The closing of the deal, it added, is expected in the next few months and subject to the conditions agreed by both parties.
STULZ, Mirus, ebm-papst to host webinar on harmonic mitigation in data centres
FREDERICK, Maryland, 26 September 2021: STULZ, Mirus International and ebm-papst will be conducting part 2 of a e-discussion on harmonic mitigation in data centres, STULZ said through a Press release. The webinar is on September 28, the company added.
To improve energy efficiencies in today’s modern custom air handlers, highly efficient electronically commutated (EC) fans are often incorporated for air movement, STULZ said. This is because the fan systems can improve efficiencies over conventional AC motors equipped with variable frequency drives (VFDs) by 30% or more, it said. An EC fan incorporates a brushless DC permanent magnet motor (BLDC) controlled by an integrated rectifier, inverter and smart electronics.
BLDC motors, with efficiencies greater than 90%, provide a more effective ventilation system, so that ‘free cooling’ becomes more easily achievable, which contributes to the energy savings potential, it said. Also, air distribution can be improved with multiple fan arrays allowing upstream or downstream components, such as filters or heat exchangers, to receive a more even airflow, thereby improving air filtering and heat transfer efficiency, it added.
In striving towards reliable and efficient systems, one significant factor sometimes overlooked is electrical harmonic distortion, STULZ said. One of the few things common with AC/VSD and EC fan systems is that they are both harmonic generating, non-linear loads, it said.
Without proper harmonic mitigation, non-linear loads can distort the AC power distribution and possibly expose a mission-critical facility to electrical issues, such as overheating distribution equipment and failure of sensitive equipment connected to the same electrical bus, it added.
The speakers include Dave Meadows, Director of Technology, STULZ USA; Tony Hoevenaars, President and CEO, Mirus International; and Joe Landrette, Director, VAC & Data Centers and Digital Solutions, ebm-papst. According to STULZ, the webinar, scheduled for a 2pm (Eastern Time, US and Canada) start, will be useful to electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and end-users.
Armstrong announces new features for its Pump Manager solution
TORONTO, Canada, September 15, 2021: Armstrong Fluid Technology has announced new features for calculating and tracking energy-savings that are now available with its Pump Manager asset management solution.
According to Armstrong, the new “Base Case KW” feature allows users to determine the cumulative energy savings of a Design Envelope pump since it was commissioned. The Utility Rate feature allows users to enter local utility rates for accurate calculations of the financial savings. The Local Currency feature supports the presentation of operating savings in the preferred local currency. And the use of CO2 index values supports the calculation of carbon emission reductions based on state or national figures for C02 index.
“Pump Manager subscribers can use this information to compare the performance of similar assets across a portfolio of connected Armstrong equipment, setting benchmarks for on-going performance tracking”, said Tunji Asiwaju, Global Performance Management Services Manager, Armstrong.
According to the company, the Pump Manager has been received multiple accolades since its introduction in 2019, including being named a Product of the Year by leading US and UK publications and a finalist in the 2020 AHR Expo Innovation Awards.
THE EVOLVING BUILDING-RETROFIT LANDSCAPE
The Middle East’s construction sector remains resilient despite the complexities brought on by 2020. For stakeholders, the resiliency stems from the sector’s ability to withstand difficulties even prior to COVID-19. Providing an example, Majd Fayyad, Technical Manager, Emirates Green Building Council, says that in 2018, the growing oversupply of high-end residential and commercial properties saw investment yields start to fall, way before the pandemic triggered further reductions in construction contract awards in 2020. Fayyad says that though there has been a decline in the value of new contracts in the GCC region – for instance, it went down by 40% to just over USD 4 billion in April 2020 – the outlook for 2021, according to Deloitte, is more optimistic, with the UAE’s GDP set to grow 2.5%.
For Phillipa Grant, Partner and Director of Sustainability, AESG, the construction pipeline is not as dry as people may think. “I think there has been a shift, and Dubai has become a bit more of a regional design hub for the Middle East,” she says. “There is a lot of work being done in Dubai, which covers the wider GCC region, as well as in Africa; so, for the whole MENA region, a lot of new construction is still going on, which is managing to keep the architects and engineers within Dubai busy.”
A more pressing issue affecting project pipelines is the shift in the overall energy intensity in buildings following the onset of COVID-19,with Fayyad pointing out that social distancing measures and teleworking reduced people’s use of commercial buildings, while increasing energy consumption at home. He adds that in the first half of 2020, electricity use in residential buildings in some countries grew by 20-30% while falling by around 10% per cent in commercial building*. “Further, the 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction states that CO2 emissions from the operation of buildings have increased to their highest level in 2019,” he says.
Overall, Fayyad says there is ample opportunity in 2021 to look at the way buildings are utilised. He points out that these factors are increasing focus on implementing green building best practices in upcoming developments and driving momentum for retrofitting practices, which has already been a strong focus in recent years in the move to achieve greater energy efficiency and reduced emissions and costs. Azmi S Aboulhoda, Director, EMergy Consultancy, shares a similar opinion. “In the UAE, attention towards energy retrofitting has been increasing for several years now,” he says. “It is moving in parallel with the new construction. Recently, few steps have been taken in Saudi Arabia to govern the business and establish guidelines and regulations. With the increase in number of people working remotely, a new concern has been raised that will push the retrofit business in the region towards homes.” Aboulhoda points out that retrofitting holds strong opportunity to enhance the value of buildings and that it will need to be considered not just from an energy perspective but also in the way we use spaces.
Ronak Monga, Segment Development Manager – Commercial Building Services, Grundfos, says that the same trend can be seen in Oman and Kuwait, as well. “Many of the buildings you see in these countries have now existed for more than ten years,” he says. “These old buildings present a high energy savings potential. Business sectors that operate their buildings, such as hospitals, schools and hotels, have the highest energy savings opportunity in their existing infrastructure. Not only will retrofit ensure smooth operation and maintenance, but it will also significantly reduce operational expenditure, which then improves their bottom line.” He adds that with the pandemic situation, businesses are focusing on keeping operational expense to a minimum to survive the global economic impact brought by COVID-19.
ENERGY FOR THE PURPOSES OF ROI
To date, a lot of the retrofitting initiatives are directed towards addressing the changes in energy consumption profiles. Fayyad points out that with mass teleworking and eLearning shifting activities to the residential subsector and several major companies allowing their workforce the freedom to work from home, existing commercial and office spaces, undoubtedly, need to be adapted, retrofitted and/or repurposed to cater to occupancy profile, be it partial or full. Aboulhoda says that this is the main concern driving building and business owners towards retrofitting, as they will be paying almost the same amount of utility bills, despite the reduced occupancy.
Grant adds that these trends have a long-term effect on discussions surrounding office spaces and that this will lead to different streams of thoughts from architects and designers. “A lot of building owners are looking more at flexibility and the use of space in different and more innovative ways,” she says. “This is better than having a vacant space, which is a waste of energy, as you will still need to keep it running; and also, there is the cost impact. So, there will be focus on flexibility, looking at how spaces can be used and how we can make the most of existing stock we have with the changing environment.”
Monga adds that this drastic change in occupancy has brought into focus how buildings perform in part-load conditions – and usually, the efficiency during part load is a focus during design – but has not brought much into focus when buildings are in operation. “This drastic change in occupancy in buildings has brought into attention both during new projects and retrofits how various systems operate in part load,” he says. Fayyad says that a lot of the older building stock is not equipped to handle these challenges, as the existing control systems are outdated or, in some cases, not even present. “Building retrofits in these scenarios can allow owners and facility management to respond adequately using demand-controlled control strategies,” he says. “It not only allows them to save energy and water but also gives them the tools necessary to respond to different occupancy levels. They are also able to record the time-of-use and the energy profile throughout the operations to gather data and optimise their controls and operations.”
Fayyad says that in the UAE, there is an enormous potential in the buildings and construction sector to increase resource and material efficiencies, drive carbon emissions reductions and stimulate economic growth. “Based on the EmiratesGBC’s Building Efficiency Accelerator Project Report, the best hotel and hotel apartment performers consume 58% less energy and 65% less water per unit area than the worst performers in the category,” he says. “The best performers among schools consume 61% less energy and 84% less water per unit area compared to the worst. Among malls, the lowest consumer uses 35% less energy and 58% less water per area compared to the highest consumer.” Fayyad points out that this shows the strong potential for savings and operational efficiencies that can be achieved through remedial actions, such as audits, retrofits, energy management and the use of awareness campaigns or trainings to drive changes in behaviour.
Grant says that there has been a lot of push from a sustainability perspective. “That’s only going to increase, because there is going to be more and more pressure to reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency, reduce carbon, and hit international, regional and local targets,” she says. “So, the pressure is going to mount from a sustainability perspective, which is great, because I think it needs to happen. There needs to be that pressure, and we’re still not on track to hit targets, and there is a lot more that needs to be done across all areas.” An area that Grant says has also been gaining better awareness in retrofits is fire and life safety, especially in existing high-rises, which typically face risk from poor cladding.
FOCUS ON HEALTH AND WELLNESS
In addition to energy-related and fire-and-safety-related building performance, retrofits have placed greater emphasis on occupant health. Aboulhoda says that nowadays, the energy-retrofitting projects are being combined with indoor environmental quality (IEQ) measures through projects that can be categorised as retro-commissioning, where energy is not the only or main concern. “This will attract investors looking forward to overcome the financial crisis of the current and any future pandemics,” he says. This move, Fayyad says, is especially evident in the retail and hospitality sectors. “Consumer confidence and spending were influenced, as employers took steps to manage the impact of COVID-19 by reducing salaries and cutting jobs,” he says. “In light of the ease of restrictions, lockdowns and the availability of vaccines, the tourism and retail sectors are slowly picking up.
These sectors are looking to increase customer confidence and, as a result, are following not only social distancing protocols but also the overall efficient operations of their facilities.” Fayyad points to ASHRAE and REHVA, which have released guidance for safe HVAC operations for the prevention of transmission of COVID-19 indoors, and these practices stem from proper IAQ and IEQ practices. “Increased outdoor-to-indoor ventilation and filtration, however, does increase energy consumption, and the only way to mitigate this is through efficient operations and/or retrofits,” he says. “This is not only limited to retail or hospitality but other sectors, as well, such as schools and commercial buildings. In critical times such as this, owners are increasingly aware that their buildings’ operations should not only have minimal costs but also be safe.”
Fayyad adds that the guidance developed by ASHRAE and REHVA rely on the core principles of sustainable and green buildings. “Research has shown that health and wellbeing features have a positive effect on employee retention and mental health as well reduced operational costs. This is a win-win situation for building owners and tenants, as owners do not have to spend as much capital on maintenance and operations,” he says. “Tenants, in turn, enjoy the benefits of a healthier indoor environment and do not have to pay as much on their utilities. Several businesses, especially in hospitality and retail, are now obliged to ensure health and safety in buildings as a top priority. Their business revenue is now more than ever related to how seriously they take actions to ensure the safety of their guests, visitors and occupants.”
AboulHoda echoes this, saying that IEQ has become crucial for a successful retrofit. “COVID-19 has increased the awareness among building and business owners,” he says. “Further, COVID-19 has added another dimension of retrofit measures, such as economisers, which will more efficiently introduce outside air in buildings, and personalised systems, which will avoid running full systems when partial occupancies take place. The measures taken by building and business owners are more focused into concentrated hygiene practices that can be observed by occupants and visitors and can result in some kind of assurance. However, system-wise measures are yet to evolve, since they encounter high capital investments.”
For Grant, there was already a definite shift in mindset toward health and wellness being considered as part of sustainability even before the pandemic. “Buildings are expanding to have that social health and welfare aspect from a design perspective, which is really great to see,” she says. “This was already happening, pre-COVID, and of course, COVID shone a light on health on a global scale to make sure people have healthy and safe spaces to live and work. I would expect additional drivers to that growing area and field. It will shift the way residential design is considered.”
Monga is in agreement, adding that pre-COVID, there was a lot of talk about improvement of employee productivity in relation to IAQ and IEQ “But the safety and health aspect of it has increased even more during the pandemic,” he says. “COVID-19 has also increased the focus on water disinfection – controlling the growth of any micro-organisms, like Legionella, in the water that we use on a day-to-day basis is equally important to stop the spread of communicable diseases.” Grant believes while there has been positive movement, more needs to be done. “I would still say, we are not seeing as much activity in retrofit as we would like to,” she says. “It would be great from a sustainability perspective to see that part of the market incentivised more to promote improvements in the existing buildings stock. I know there are regulations and government incentives coming into play. I should say that would hopefully stimulate more retrofit activities. We are hoping to still see more happen.”
Fayyad agrees. “While the efforts taken by the UAE government in this direction are commendable, we must continue to push the building and construction sector towards greater efficiencies and to lower the carbon emissions,” he says. “We only have a few years to meet the Paris Agreement targets, and now is the right time to start looking at deep retrofits as a key step in this journey.” Fayyad recommends achieving deep buildings retrofits, targeting 50% energy reduction by decreasing energy demand and implementing energy efficiency measures before adding on-site renewables. “In fact, 50% energy reduction is a realistic target for poor performing buildings, as our Deep Retrofit Study identified,” he says. Elaborating more on this study, Fayyad says that all respondents showed a positive position, with a majority agreeing that deep retrofits are achievable in the UAE with an acceptable payback period using the current technologies available in the market. “While most in the private sector agree that retrofits should be mandated, the developers prefer that building rating schemes should be made compulsory, instead, or retrofits made voluntary with more financial incentives developed,” he says. “Developers also agreed that an annual reduction target of 11-20% (in kWh) is adequate, should retrofits be mandated.”
Monga says that possibly having an incentive-based model, where higher commercial value is given to energy-efficient buildings, would be a “dream come true”. “Denmark has a similar concept – where a home or a building that is rated higher in energy efficiency can demand higher rent and selling price,” he says. “Therefore, incentivising the building developers also incentivises the potential tenants or buyers, as it helps them save on energy and heating costs in the long run.” In the region, Fayyad adds that the top three challenges to deep retrofits identified by the respondents were lack of landlord interest, lack of financial incentives and low tariff rates. “The results also showed there is greater need of market awareness of both retrofit projects and the expertise of the retrofit market,” he says. “EmiratesGBC recommends that ESCOs should report their project savings transparently and consistently to build confidence and repertoire within the industry to encourage the public to pursue more retrofits.” Fayyad adds that with the support of regulations and incentives, a decarbonisation roadmap can be realised.
RAK Municipality signs MoU with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL)
RAS AL KHAIMAH, UAE, 17 February 2021: Ras Al Khaimah Municipality signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) – a joint venture of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Ministry of Power, Government of India – for a strategic collaboration for energy efficiency and clean energy projects. Making the announcement through a Press release, the Municipality added that H.E. Munther Mohammed bin Shekar, its Director General, and Saurabh Kumar, Executive Vice Chairperson, EESL Group, were the signatories.
According to the Municipality, the MoU establishes a framework for collaboration across various energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in support of the Ras Al Khaimah Energy Efficiency & Renewables Strategy 2040 (EE&R Strategy).
Commenting on the objectives of the MoU, H.E. bin Shekar said, “The Government of Ras Al Khaimah is committed to the successful implementation of Ras Al Khaimah Energy Efficiency and Renewables Strategy 2040. We welcome the collaboration with EESL, as their unique and vast expertise in energy efficiency can be relevant for us in developing effective projects across many sectors of energy efficiency and renewable energy in Ras Al Khaimah.” Sharing his views on the collaboration, Kumar said: “We are always exploring new avenues for implementing energy efficiency initiatives that are sector- and geography-agnostic. This partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Municipality is a big step towards tapping the immense potential for energy efficiency in the Emirate. Our expertise in handling the world’s largest energy efficiency portfolio and Ras Al Khaimah Municipality’s local experience and technical skills will synergise perfectly to create lasting positive impact in the region.”
Under this MoU, EESL, through its presence in the UAE, will support Ras Al Khaimah Municipality in implementing clean energy and energy efficiency projects under its Integrated Energy Efficiency Service (IEES) model, the Municipality said. This model includes integration of EESL’s various programmes, including the consumer-based Efficient Appliances Programme, Industrial Energy Efficiency Programme, Building Energy Efficiency Programme, Utility-scale Solar Programme, Trigeneration, National Motor Replacement Programme and the National E-mobility Programme, the Municipality added.
The Municipality said it will jointly develop and implement the programme framework with EESL. It said that EESL will make investments and develop customised project models relevant to Ras Al Khaimah. The collaboration is expected to develop and drive energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, as part of the Ras Al Khaimah Energy Efficiency and Renewables Strategy 2040, it added. The Strategy, established under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, targets 30% energy savings, 20% water savings, and 20% contribution of electricity from renewable sources by 2040.