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GCC region set to lead global innovation in sustainable building technologies

With the upcoming COP 28 taking place in the United Arab Emirates and as the region intensifies its focus on its net-zero emissions goals, sustainability-focused building technologies are poised to play a crucial role.

According to the latest research from Middle East Strategypart of the PwC network, and construction technologies focused on planning, design, management and consulting (DAR) sustainability, could help the MENA region’s $2 trillion construction surge reduce cycle emissions of life between 50% and 60%.

The report suggests the region has the potential to become a global leader in the use of innovative, sustainability-focused construction technologies, investing up to $2 trillion in new “built environments” by 2035. Citing megaprojects such as the futuristic NEOM city in Saudi Arabia and the planned Lusail entertainment city in Qatar, the report also suggests that sustainable technologies could take the region halfway to achieving its net-zero emissions goals.

The “built environment” refers to man-made environments that provide the environment for human activity, including buildings, neighborhoods and cities, along with their supporting infrastructure systems, such as water supplies and energy networks. The processes involved in the development of new built environments include urban planning, real estate, construction and operational assets, all of which could use innovative and sustainability-focused methods and technologies.

The report also estimates that the scale of the construction boom across the region could generate a substantial economic impact, accounting for just over 10% of the region’s GDP annually, as well as creating 4.3 million jobs per year, if implemented. comply with the recommendations described in the report. are implemented.

“The scale of investments planned for the GCC region uniquely positions it to pioneer a range of sustainable technologies and processes. Overall, the built environment is responsible for a high emissions footprint of around 37 percent of energy use, 39 percent of CO2 emissions and 40 percent of materials use globally, said Dr Yahya Anouti, partner at Strategy Middle East and leader of the sustainability platform at PwC Middle East. “Our estimates show that a reduction in these emissions for urban development could put the region more than halfway toward achieving its net-zero emissions goals.”

he added.

The good news for planners and developers is that some of the technologies and innovations needed to rethink the built environment already exist and can be implemented in the near term, such as solar photovoltaics, greener building materials, and artificial intelligence-enabled systems ( IA) in buildings. . However, the report indicates that other innovations are nascent and require additional investment and time to develop, test and integrate.

“If GCC stakeholders – including policymakers, innovators and developers – adopt a truly innovative and sustainable approach to urban development, they face a golden opportunity to set a new global standard. From urban planning to architecture, civil engineering, mechanical systems and building materials, sustainable development can deliver a widespread improved quality of life, incremental economic growth and develop local skills and jobs.”

saying Balsam Nehme, Director of Sustainability, Dar Al-Handasah.

He Strategy and Giving The report notes that the vast scope of changes needed to fully realize the $2 trillion opportunity has significant implications for stakeholders in the built environment. Regulators would need to play a role in stimulating demand for the technologies, including through their inclusion in sustainable building codes. Developers would need to adopt sustainable building techniques and may wish to set specific targets, such as emissions reduction targets. Sovereign wealth funds and other financiers are essential in driving and driving the transition, potentially setting net zero aspirations for the developments they are funding. Collaboration between all stakeholders is required, and its success depends on sharing lessons learned from pilots and trials to drive the adoption of sustainable practices and innovations.

“Our research examines more than 50 innovations that can shift the paradigm toward sustainable built environments, substantially reducing both embodied and operational carbon emissions. “These innovations span a range of passive measures, including building design, as well as active measures, such as more efficient electrical and mechanical systems.”

saying Sarah Al Feghali, innovation and lunar projects leader at Strategy’s Ideation Center.

“In addition, several measures can be implemented to support policymakers in their planning decisions, while helping developers address the opportunities associated with built environmental aspirations in the region.”

she added.

The report of Strategy and Giving provides 17 high-potential, actionable applications in multiple areas to reduce emissions. These include areas such as mobility, managed landscapes, development density, mechanical systems and construction processes.

News source: Emirates News Agency

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