Families in the UAE are to be the lucky recipients of upgraded eco-friendly villas, to be provided by the government. This move comes as a result of UAE’s strategy of sustainability. Older homes are usually not very eco-friendly and energy efficient. Buildings/homes which are built using green technology have better features which have a good impact on the environment, and the residents benefit from the better indoor air quality, as well as the reduced energy bills due to the home being much more energy efficient. Let’s take a closer look at this latest green development in the UAE:
Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme
Image Source : constructionweekonline.com
The villas would be made by the company Masdar, as an agreement was signed between the company and Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme. The Ecovillas will let families experience green living, and have access to the most sustainable and smartest villas. The villa’s design, energy consumption, and cooling features would contribute to the villas being net-zero energy buildings.
Villas would consume significantly fewer resources
Till now, five projects were approved, which included 1,051 villas which would be newly constructed in accordance with the sustainability drive. The government plans to slowly expand this kind of housing in the rest of UAE. The villas would consume much less energy than a conventional house of the same size, up to 35% less water and 72% less electricity.
The Eco Villa is the first to get a 4 Pearl rating, which is Abu Dhabi’s rating system for eco-friendly buildings, similar to LEED certification. The construction cost is almost the same as constructing a conventional home, but the running cost will be much less due to the solar power and other sustainable features. Each villa would have four bedrooms and it is projected that the electricity cost would be only 97kWh electricity per sq meter. Passive energy, water conserving design features reduces further the impact on the surroundings.
The Eco Villa is cost-effective too, busting the myth that sustainable design is more expensive.
Saint Gobain’s multi-comfort house
Image Source : saint-gobain.com
Saint Gobain too will be building a multi-comfort house in Abu Dhabi. This project would be completed by 2019. The project would be completed with the combined effort of Masdar and Saint Gobain. The multinational company developed the concept of the multi-comfort house in 2004 and has built 18 multi-comfort homes around the globe.
The home is a positive energy home, which consumes less energy and in fact, produces more energy than it requires with the help of innovative construction methods and high performing materials. The multi-comfort home will be the first to be built in the Middle East by the company and has been specially designed to suit the arid conditions of the Middle East.
Masdar had the challenge to design sustainable homes which had to be economically viable too. The company retained the knowledge to traditional methods of keeping homes cool in the UAE, and using that as a base for their design, came up with a villa design, which was people-friendly, and community-based combined with resource efficiency.
The electricity required for the villa would be produced by solar panels installed on top of the home, which would be enough to offset the energy requirements over a period of 12 months. The holistic design of the villa, including the planning, material choice, and shape, all would contribute to the sustainability feature. The structure of the villa takes into consideration the immediate surroundings, including the wind and sun direction. The architects have planned the villa in a way that it can benefit from natural cooling, due to the optimum shape of the building, best direction of windows and indirect sunlight entering the home. The walls too would be highly insulated and the compact size would enable the homes to use much less energy in cooling the home.
The new initiative by the UAE government reflects the growing concern about sustainability worldwide. Governments have started becoming proactive in laying down stricter laws governing pollution, in an effort to reduce global warming as well as to conserve natural resources.
The Eco Villas and the multi-comfort villa are the beginning of a new era in green homes in the UAE, and we can expect to see more such developments in the future.