Commercial and residential buildings in Dubai have district cooling and the demand is set to grow substantially, and district cooling is an integral part in the future of smart cities, according to Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), the world’s largest district cooling services provider.
“Once a building has been commissioned, there is a need to maintain its operating efficiency. District cooling represents a paradigm shift in the fundamental thinking behind the provision of comfortable indoor environments. These community-cooling solutions offer significant new opportunities for energy-efficiency, paving way for major environmental benefits,” said Bin Shafar.
As cooling demand surges worldwide, district cooling is increasingly recognised as a climate-resilient, resource-efficient, low-carbon and affordable solution. It has significant economic and environmental benefits and is the perfect solution for real estate advancements. With smart technology shaping up the real estate and construction industry in the UAE, most developers have realised the importance of district cooling.The cutting-edge technology not only significantly reduces the use of ozone-depleting refrigerants, but also lowers potable water usage, and uses energy more efficiently. It also improves energy security and community resiliency and offers reliability of service.
A report by US-based Global Market Insights indicates that the district cooling market in the Middle East will exceed US$12bn by 2024. The increasing infrastructure development in the GCC countries and rising demand for cost-effective cooling systems are the main drivers for the growth of district cooling market.Hotels, supermarkets, shops, offices and hospitals will be the key areas for installation, said the report. Increasing private investments towards the development of energy efficient commercial building structures to facilitate the daily needs of growing urban population will further fuel the growth of the district cooling industry.
With modern technology shaping the real estate industry, developers are fully convinced about the potential of the district cooling solutions. While district cooling is environment-friendly and less energy consuming, it also ensures high quality of air conditioning for the end user.In recent years, district cooling has been used in residential and commercial units and hotels in the region. The energy-efficient cooling solution offers full advantage of economy of scale, diversity in cooling demand for different buildings, and high standard of plant operation and maintenance. While district cooling solutions generates cost savings for real estate developments, it also helps to reduce fossil fuel consumption for power generation. Consequently, greenhouse gas emission such as carbon dioxide which causes the global warming is also reduced through use of district cooling solutions.
“District cooling is the way forward for architects and builders. Removing the roof top chiller plant allows architects to have greater flexibility in designing the building. Since there is no need to accommodate the chiller, building roof can be designed with more artistic elements such as recreational facilities and sky gardens. This eventually helps to improve the city outlook and can generate room space when compared with conventional cooling plants,” said Bin Shafar.
“Additionally district cooling not only helps in less energy consumption and great savings for the real estate industry, but also offers lower maintenance costs, greater reliability and less initial capital investment,” added Bin Shafar.
Reports indicate that district cooling plants can reduce electric consumption by 40 to 50 per cent. “There aremany advantages of district cooling, which can benefit builders, developers, end-users and all other stakeholders of the real estate and construction industry. With Cityscape Global set to begin in a few days, I take this opportunity to encourage the industry professionals to adopt district cooling technology as a catalyst for their future needs,” concluded Bin Shafar.
Cityscape Global is the world's largest networking exhibition and conference on property development and real estate and will open its doors to the public from September 11 to 13 this year at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Empower currently operates more than 1.250 Million RT, providing environmentally responsible district cooling services to large-scale real estate developments such as Jumeirah Group, Business Bay, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Ibn Battuta Mall, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai World trade Centre Residences, Dubai Design District, among others.