Energy Efficiency can save consumers and businesses money.
No matter how ‘green’ the energy supply is — it is not as ‘green’ as conservation.
Turning the lights ‘Off” or lowering the demand on the air conditioning unit, always results in real savings.
Newer buildings have dramatically lower energy costs per square metre than do older, less-insulated buildings.
Investing in high ‘R’ value insulation in roofs, walls, windows and doors, lowers energy bills and pays off handsomely over relatively short time spans.
All over the world, there is an increasing focus on energy savings and efficiency. In the UK, tougher measures in energy standards are expected in April 2014 which will put the thermal efficiency of buildings to the test. This global movement is also reflected in the strategic plan for Dubai and the UAE, in line with UAE Vision 2021 and the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which aim to make the UAE one of the global leaders in sustainability. In support of this, the UAE government is aiming to reduce energy demand by 30 percent by 2030.
In the challenging climates of the Middle East, thermal efficiency (or lack of it) is one of the biggest contributors to energy waste. In order to reduce this, high levels of insulation including the latest materials and technology, need to be incorporated into all new building designs, combined with widespread education for UAE residents regarding energy efficiency. This year’s launch of the annual World Energy Day in the UAE on the 22nd October was the first such step in this process.
The thermal efficiency of doors and windows will play a key part in reaching these objectives, and the choice of external fittings can greatly impact the level of energy efficiency. In the UK, glass bi-folding doors must have a minimum UV value for glazing, which limits the maximum amount of heat that can pass through the glass and framework of doors and windows.
Whilst similar measures are yet to be implemented in other parts of the world, there is an increasing awareness of the options available to homeowners and property developers who are looking to have flexibility in building design, while at the same time keeping energy consumption low and buildings ‘green’.
The main contributor to low UV values of folding, sliding doors is the thermal break — this resists thermal transfer from the outside face of the doors through to the living area inside. The break acts as a thermal barrier, reducing the flow of thermal energy through the aluminium. Thermal glass can also be installed to maximise the efficiency of doors and windows, the level of which can vary, so it is best to always specify the most thermally efficient glass possible.
The ambitious goals set by the UAE government for energy efficiency can only be achieved if the local community works together. Everyone has a part to play, from the businesses operating in the Emirate, to the residents and developers, and with a little education and awareness we can make it happen!
(Guy Dawson is the general manager of Origin, the Middle East’s leading supplier of bespoke aluminium bi-folding doors)