(MENAFN Press) Dubai, UAE: Healthcare facilities are large consumers of energy and have high associated carbon emissions that are contributing to climate change. Many countries and region across the globe are looking at how to tackle this global issue, with some adopting voluntary methods to encourage awareness, and others looking at legislation to guide behavior relate to emission performance.
Energy efficiency in the design and operation of future healthcare projects in the Middle East was discussed at the 5th Hospital Build & Infrastructure Middle East Exhibition & Congress, which continues tomorrow 5th June 2013 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Carl Mackenzie, Director, Building Engineering Healthcare, AECOM spoke today at the Architect's Congress at Hospital Build & Infrastructure Middle East about the international environmental assessment tools, such as Estidama and QSAS, that have been adopted by the UAE government, and other GCC countries over the last few years.
According to Mackenzie, "The healthcare expenditure across the MENA zone is rising and predicted to continue to rise for the next 5 years by circa 6% (IMF), so the issue is applicable to the region. One significant driver to enable the implementation of energy efficiency design is the financial case; in many parts of the world energy is relatively expensive. Therefore, saving energy equates to saving outgoing revenue; however in a number of GCC countries energy costs are subsidized, so the financial incentive to adopt energy efficiency does not always exist as a return of investment."
The ways to improve energy utilisation and consumption effectiveness, whilst mitigating climatic impact, is a topical study with interest in this subject on an international scale, with major bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO 2009) establishing aims at reductions in carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions, and the development of more 'climate friendly' hospitals. This development can take the form of encouraging passive green building fabric design, enhancing energy efficiency, and utilising alternative or renewable energy.
"We are currently working on regional healthcare projects that are striving for international standard of design in relation to care and performance," says Mackenzie. "This overlaps with environmental performance, standards and assessment tools. Most clients want to have an assessment tool that considers the regional influencing factors. We have had dialogue with a few government entities, and the challenge is to incentivise healthcare project sponsors to want to go down the energy efficiency path. In some regions such as in Abu Dhabi, the planning process has a mandatory requirement for new projects to follow an assessment path (Estidama)," highlighted Mackenzie.
Hospital Build & Infrastructure Middle East is organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibition and brings together investors, commissioners, backers and managers of major healthcare building projects together with planning, design, building, operations, and management and refurbishment suppliers.
Running alongside the exhibition is multi-disciplinary congresses consisting of five leading conferences that focus on delivering up-to-date information which will address all the disciplines involved with the hospital build process in the Middle East. New for this year is the Hospital of the Future Conference which focuses on new opportunities in improving diagnostic treatment, reducing recovery time and minimising medical errors.
For more information about Hospital Build & Infrastructure Middle East, please call 971 4 408 2813 or visit www.hospitalbuild-me.com.
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