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DEWA’s Buildings Support Carbon Neutrality In Dubai

A file photo of HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD&CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA

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The green buildings of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) support Dubai’s ambitious plan for the next 30 years to achieve carbon neutrality. This includes programmes and mechanisms for the energy and water sectors, as well as the transport, industry, buildings, and waste management sectors. The plan also includes enablers, systems, research, and development. DEWA is one of the first organisations in Dubai to adopt the concept of green buildings. In 2019, DEWA achieved a first with getting the platinum rating by LEED from the US Green Buildings Council (USGBC), becoming the first city in the Arab world and the Middle East and North Africa to get this prestigious certificate.


“We support the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai a smart and sustainable city and the best city to live in the world. DEWA’s world-leading projects in clean and renewable energy, most notably the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world, and the Green Hydrogen project, which all support to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Emissions Strategy 2050 to provide 100% of the energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. We are working to achieve the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan through a wide range of global projects, programmes and competitions that contribute to accelerating the shift towards zero-energy buildings, and establishing a sustainable energy-saving model that supports economic growth without harming the environment and its resources. DEWA is cooperating with the Emirates Green Building Council and various government and private entities to support its pivotal role in helping Dubai reduce carbon emissions significantly. Net carbon emissions in Dubai decreased by 22% during the year of 2019 and 33% during the year 2020, exceeding the target percentage in the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy to reduce to reduce emissions by 16% of emissions by 2021,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

DEWA currently has seven green buildings with LEED ratings. These include the Sustainable Building in Al Quoz, the first sustainable government building in the UAE and the largest government building in the world to receive the Platinum Rating for green buildings by the USGBC; the Innovation Centre and the R&D Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park; the Smart Grid Station; Data Hub Integrated Solutions (Moro); the Distribution Power Division Complex in Al Ruwayyah; and Al Rayyan Mosque in Hatta.

DEWA’s Sustainable Building

DEWA’s Sustainable Building in Al Quoz, Dubai is the first sustainable government building in the UAE and the largest government building in the world in 2013 to receive a Platinum Rating for green buildings from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Recycled materials made up 36% of its construction materials. The building uses 66% less energy due to the additional insulation in its walls and roof, and special glass to reduce heat transfer into the building, which helps reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment. Highly efficient water-cooled chillers cut down energy use. The building uses low powered LED lights and automatic lighting control systems with occupancy sensors. In addition, renewable energy is available from an onsite 660 kilowatt (kW) solar power plant. The Sustainable Building’s systems reduce water consumption by 48%. All sewage water is treated by a greywater treatment and sewage treatment plant. Furthermore, to reduce the Heat Island Effect, the building has a green roof that ensures the reuse of treated wastewater.

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Sustainable Building Parking

DEWA’s Sustainable Building Parking structure received the Parksmart certificate from the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). It is the first building in the Middle East and North Africa to receive Pioneer certification, the highest class within this certificate. The Parksmart certification is awarded following the evaluation of a parking facility in certain areas including design, operation, innovation in the use of technologies, energy efficiency, reducing environmental impact, operational efficiency, and programme quality. The Sustainable Building’s parking received 102 points, to qualify for pioneer category certification which requires achieving a minimum of 90 points.

Al-Shera’a Building

DEWA’s new headquarters, called Al-Shera’a (Arabic for sail), will be the tallest, largest, and smartest government Zero Energy building in the world. Total energy used in the building during a year will be equal to or less than the energy produced on-site during that year. DEWA’s new headquarters is designed to receive a platinum rating by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and a gold rating from the WELL Building Standard.

Al-Sheraa’s built-up area is over 2 million square feet. It will have 15 floors, a basement and 4 floors of car parking. The building can house more than 5,000 people. Facilities will include a 500-seat auditorium, training halls, a creativity centre, an exhibition hall, a nursery, and a gym, among others. The building will have 20,000 square metres of photovoltaic solar panels rated to over 4,000 kilowatts. There will be 1,000 square metres of Building Integrated Photovoltaics. The building will generate about 6,500-megawatt hours (MWh) a year of renewable energy. It is intended to use 50% less water than regular buildings. DEWA’s new headquarters will be directly linked to the Jadaf metro station. This will encourage the use of public transport, to reduce traffic and the carbon footprint. It will use the latest technologies including IoT, Big Data and Open Data, AI, and the latest smart building management technologies.

Distribution Power Division Complex

DEWA’s Distribution Power Division Complex in Al Ruwayyah has received the Platinum Rating for green buildings from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED v4) awarded by the USGBC, achieving 86 points. The Distribution Power Division Complex saves nearly 30% of energy, 51.46% of indoor water, and 60% of outdoor water compared to conventional buildings. 41% of the building materials have an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and 26% of the building material have Cradle-to-Cradle or Health-Product Declaration certificates. The Complex features a 663KW solar photovoltaic system. The building provides a healthy work environment to enhance the happiness of employees through several features. These include maintaining the highest indoor air quality through a high-efficiency air filtering system, and periodic CO2 measurement and monitoring. The building achieves significant savings on the long-term in electricity and water consumption compared to conventional buildings. 

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Innovation Centre

The Innovation Centre has achieved LEED platinum, scoring 101 out of 110 points in the first quarter of 2020. The building achieved this distinction with high green marks in the areas of water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, energy efficiency and innovation and design. The building also harvests rainwater and treats greywater on site. Specifically, it reduces energy use by around 24%, without the integration of renewable energy. Inside, 100% of the building annual energy consumption covered by on-site renewable energy production systems, namely BIPV, PV Solar Plant and Solar Hot Water System. The building saves 50% of its water in all fixtures, with 24% of its building materials manufactured locally.

R&D Centre

DEWA’s R&D Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the only centre in the UAE that focuses on renewable energy, smart grid technologies and energy efficiency. The R&D Centre received a Platinum Rating for green buildings from LEED by the US Green Building Council in 2019. The Centre has photovoltaic panels installed on its roof and car parking as well as Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) in its walls. The building reduces energy usage by 25% and saves about 50% in water. Over 30% of construction materials used to build it were recycled.

Smart Grid Station

DEWA is exploring the concept of SGS, which connect smart buildings to each other to share information, to help improve energy and water efficiency and make optimal use of renewable energy within a smart city. The SGS highlights the Smart City model through three concepts or systems: the smart office, smart building, and smart factory. The SGS comprises a 200-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic solar power production system; a 9-kilowatt (kW) wind turbine; and a 500-kilowatt hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery energy storage system, which stores energy for later use. The SGS also has a smart chiller system integrated with a building management system, and a 100-tonne thermal energy storage system.

DEWA Green Garage Workshops at Al Ruwayyah, SGS, decided to make the buildings an example of green ultra-modern industrial facility built to LEED Gold specifications. The project consists of 10 buildings that achieved LEED 2009 NC using LEED Campus Certification.  The purpose of the project is to provide a place for DEWA’s fleet vehicles, repair and maintenance workshops and other associated facilities necessary to carry out complete repair and maintenance activities. It has resulted in over 34% energy savings, 48% indoor water use reduction, reduced potable water use by 52.09% and effectively reduced AC and grey water drain for cooling purposes.

Al Rayyan Mosque in Hatta

DEWA has enabked the world’s first mosque to receive the platinum rating for green buildings by LEED v4 from the USGBC with 83 points. The mosque in Hatta can accommodate more than 600 worshippers on an area of 1,050 square metres according to the highest environmental sustainability standards. The mosque comprises a 25-metre-high minaret, car and motor bicycle parking, facilities for People of Determination, and a green charger station. The mosque conserves 25.6% of energy and 55% of water. DEWA followed the highest international standards to ensure air quality by using a highly efficient device for air purification to provide a sustainable and healthy environment inside the mosque, with recycled materials used for construction. Solar photovoltaic panels are currently being installed and a water treatment unit to reuse the water for irrigation and cleaning.

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MORO at Jebel Ali

Moro Hub (Data Hub Integrated Solutions LLC) is the 1st LEED Platinum certified data centre in the region. MORO Hub provides state-of-the-art solutions and innovative business services. MORO has a rating of Tier3+ Uptime Institute design and facility and is an accredited STARS level 3 design. The ultimate objective of MORO Hub is associated with sustainability, as it has adopted the appropriate measures as well as minimised the environmental impact of Dubai’s harsh climate. The hub reduced 46% of its water use in all its fixtures, optimised energy performance with 37.76% energy cost savings, and used locally and regionally sourced and recycled materials in its construction.


Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, DEWA has successfully hosted two of Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME), for the first time in the MEA region with total prizes of more than AED 20 million. This is part of a partnership between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and the US Department of Energy. It is the largest and most competitive competition for universities worldwide. SDME encourages the university teams to design, build, and operate sustainable models of cost-effective and energy-efficient solar-powered homes, with a focus on protecting the environment, taking into consideration the climate of the region. The first and second competitions brought together over 1,000 students and academics from local, regional, and international universities. SDME promotes DEWA’s role to accelerate the transition to zero energy buildings in Dubai and establish a sustainable model for energy and economic growth without harming the environment and its resources.

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