Built environment has “several great opportunities” to reduce GHG emissions says ALEC Sustainability Committee

In an exclusive conversation with Middle East Construction News (MECN), the Sustainability Committee at contractor ALEC said there are “several great opportunities” for the built environment to tackle GHG emissions. The committee pointed to improving the energy performance of built stock, reducing whole-life cost, prioritising retrofit support, and reducing embodied carbon as key opportunities.

MECN caught up with the committee on the back of an announcement by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), which said there is a 50:50 chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5C above pre-industrial levels for at least one of the next five years.

Reacting to this, the committee stated, “It is well known that the construction industry contributes significantly to global carbon emissions, and thus we have a huge responsibility to ensure that sustainability and the reduction of our overall carbon footprint are among our industry’s highest priorities.”

It added, “Achieving sustainability in the sector requires commitment and collaboration across the entire ecosystem, with all stakeholders – from designers and contractors, to building owners and operators – playing their part.” These sentiments were shared by KEO’s Ioannis Spanos in an exclusive discussion with MECN recently.

Recognising the need for a more sustainable approach to development, in 2021 the contractor established a Sustainability Policy that is linked with its Sustainability Framework – the latter is said to be laying the foundations for the company’s route towards Net Zero.

Discussing how it is reducing energy consumption on jobsites, the Sustainability Committee explained, “We’ve begun utilising renewable energy generation sources where applicable, such as employing mobile Solar PV panels to power on-site offices. What’s more, we have begun a transition to energy-efficient, electric/battery powered construction equipment, including battery powered equipment, when exhausted equipment has reached the end of its life. This will directly reduce our on-site diesel consumption and utilise the onsite Solar PV panels.”

The committee added, “In addition to our own efforts, we also see the clients we work with demonstrating a firm commitment to more sustainable operation of their built assets.”

ALEC is firmly committed to helping its clients achieve even their most ambitious sustainability goals, the committee remarked. It also highlighted its work on the Saudi Arabia Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai, which the firm notes was the first pavilion at the mega event to receive LEED Platinum accreditation.

It concluded, “At the new Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) headquarters, ALEC Energy, a subsidiary of the ALEC Group, is working on a solar photovoltaic solution which will generate 4.8MW of power, helping to ensure the new headquarters will reach its Net Zero targets. This impressive building has been designed with sustainability as a focus from the onset as it will look to seek the LEED Platinum rating.”

Read more about the region’s journey to Net Zero development with insights from four regional experts here. Sustainable development will also be discussed at the forthcoming Future of Architecture Summit on 7 June, and at the Energy & Sustainability Summit on 21 June. Both events will take place in Dubai and are free to attend.

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