Sustainability all over the GCC . . .

A Dubai-based developer company is looking to acquire land in Dubailand to start its sustainable and affordable residential project this summer. The project of to construct buildings with sustainable features such as solar power with 10 MW peak and water recycling.  No details on the project cost and timelines are available yet.

The first phase of the project comprised of the construction of a biodome greenhouse, a community mall, equestrian centre, as well as cycling and jogging tracks.

Meanwhile, a memorandum of understanding has been agreed between Masdar and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority for the implementation of an 800MW third phase that will be constructed based on the Independent Power Producer contract model.

This confirms the growing contribution to the development of the renewable energy industry, both domestically and internationally.

The Al Maktoum Solar Park – the largest single-site solar park in the world will produce 1000MW of power by 2020 and 5000MW by 2030 and when complete, it will reduce 6.5 million tonnes / year of carbon emissions.

Encouraged by this and Dubai’s present legislation that allows private sector partnerships in power production projects, the 800MW third phase of the Maktoum Solar Park is the first project of its kind in the region with this capacity.  It is planned to produce 5,000MW by 2030, for a total investment of $13.6bn.

At almost the same time, Energy giant Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has relocated its central Abu Dhabi headquarters to the same Masdar City.

First built in 2008, Masdar City is said to be one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments, playing host to the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, alongside a handful of multinational companies and start-ups.  It is by any measure, the only sustainable development in the whole of the GCC.

Elsewhere however, a multi-billion-dollar metropolis city of 250,000 people is being built in Kuwait, phased in 10 periods of time, all within 25 years.

The drop in oil prices, Kuwaitis are, in this operation trying to ascertain their post-oil future, investing in assets to secure their country’s future.  Also, traffic congestion and all negative aspects of urban life in Kuwait City, will make the new development fairly attractive for residence and business.  Sea City, engineered by British consultants. is also a yachting marina as well as a retail centre.

To better illustrate our point, we reproduce here the 3 most sustainable on-going developments in the GCC, curtesy of DesignMENA

  1. Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, UAE

In 2008, Masdar City broke ground and started the journey of developing the world’s most sustainable eco-city in the UAE.

A mix of educational and recreational, housing, retail, manufacturing, and office spaces give commuters and residents easy access to everything they need, reducing transport needs.

The city is designed to maximize convenience and reduce environmental impacts.

When complete, 40,000 people will live in Masdar City, with an additional 50,000 commuting every day to work and study.

  1. King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, Saudi Arabia

In June 2010, the sustainable architecture of the KAUST campus earned a Platinum rating on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scale, produced by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The university buildings have been specifically constructed to utilize natural light and ventilation. Also, the buildings support a roof capable of carrying 12,000 sqm of solar thermal and photovoltaic arrays.

High levels of recycled products can be found in the campus construction materials, and 75% of the construction material.

The physical campus and its operations will minimize the environmental footprint through efficient use of water, electricity and other resources, and through materials reuse and recycling.

  1. Msheireb Downtown Doha, Qatar

Msheireb Downtown Doha will have one of the highest concentrations of LEED certified sustainable buildings, making it the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project.

With a 32% energy reduction goal, all buildings are targeting LEED Gold certification, with some buildings targeting LEED Platinum.

Buildings are massed to shade one another and light coloured to reduce cooling requirements.

Integration with Doha’s new Metro and a safe and convenient public realm will encourage both cycling and walking.