Dubai Sustainable City claims first net zero carbon building

By Dominic Ellis
The 50,000 sq ft building - billed as the world's first net zero carbon building - will be home to SEE Institute in Dubai

The Sustainable City in Dubai is developing what it claims will be the world’s first net zero carbon building.

The 50,000 sq ft building will be home to SEE Institute, the sustainability research, development, and professional training arm of Diamond Developers. The state-of-the-art building is unveiled at WETEX & Dubai Solar Show, the annual trade exhibition organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) in Expo 2020, which recently opened and is running until next March.

The building will be offsetting all its embodied carbon emissions from construction & interiors prior to operations, based on "a credible offset scheme".

The building will also produce its operational energy requirements through renewable sources including solar panels and a biogas plant handling organic waste from TSC. From this, 100% will cover the operational energy and 150% will offset emissions from commuting employees, water desalination, and consumable products that operate the Institute. The remaining 50% will enable the building to become carbon positive.

By exporting this surplus of energy to surrounding buildings and facilities, The Sustainable City will be setting a new precedent in transforming buildings from being pollutant, energy consumers into environmentally friendly, energy generators.

Faris Saeed, CEO of Diamond Developers said: “The Institute’s purpose is to accelerate climate action through education, R&D, business incubation, events and conferences. Through targeted collaborations with partners, academic and government entities, we aim to inspire others by sharing knowledge and expertise to ensure a better tomorrow for generations to come."

The new building will be dedicated to the advancement of sustainability knowledge, technology and innovations through research, training, events and incubation of tech start-ups working on solutions promoting social, environmental and economic sustainability. Completion is expected in the next few months.

More net zero developments are taking shape, such as this major 21,000-home project in California, and many net-zero retrofit projects underway, such as this one in Glasgow, while NetZero Buildings is developing 'carbon positive' schools and energy-efficient off-site manufactured buildings.

Sustainability is one of the key themes of EXPO 2020 and The Malaysia Pavilion, based on the concept of a rainforest canopy, is billed as a 'net zero carbon initiative'.

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