Compared to other green industry segments, eco-friendly buildings had seen a slow take off due to lack of legislation, the absence of any discernible financial incentive, subsidised energy, water and waste disposal costs as well as limited awareness of environmental issues. But things are changing fast.
Regional governments and private sector stakeholders are increasingly embracing the challenge of green buildings, aiming to curb the excesses of the past and move forward to a more sustainable future.
Green buildings now use less water, optimise energy efficiency, conserve natural resources, generate less waste and provide healthier spaces for occupants.
FACTS AND FIGURES THAT DRIVE THE MARKET
In Dubai, landlords have been asked to retrofit existing older buildings to make them more sustainable and cost effective
On an average building owners spend 22 per cent of their operating costs on energy and water while corporate facilities spend slightly more on utilities
The UAE accounts for more than two-thirds of the 1,236 Leed-rated projects in the GCC. Qatar has 190, Saudi Arabia 158 and Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman have 51 Leed-rated projects between them
The green market in the region earned revenues amounting to US$17.91 billion in 2012 and is projected to reach US$22.97 billion by 2016
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar have established green building councils to address sustainability issues