Benchmarking study reveals improvement opportunities to make Dubai malls more efficient
The average mall in Dubai consumes 73 percent more energy per square meter per year than a similar mall in the United States, a study by sustainability consultants in Dubai revealed.
The Middle East’s first sustainability shopping mall benchmarking project – endorsed by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) – involving seven of the largest and most popular malls in Dubai showed that the average shopping mall used 511kilowatt-hour per square meter per year, reports Gulf News.
Malls in Europe, however, use less than 50 percent of this at 192kwh per square meter per year. Swedish and Norwegian shopping malls have a usage of 391kwh.
The key findings of the study by Farnek were recently presented to a Mall Stakeholders Group consisting of facilities management and retail professionals during the RetrofitTech Dubai Summit.
Reducing demand on energy and water and making malls and existing buildings in the Dubai more efficient through retrofitting is part of the Demand Side Management Strategy of the DSCE.
Energy audits, studying water consumption and waste generation are important to determine key areas in malls where improvements can be made, officials said.
Sandrine Le Biavant, Farnek’s director of consultancy, said 15 Dubai malls were contacted to participate in the study but only seven provided data. The study looked at 2015-16 data of the malls’ common, leasable and gross floor areas; data from electricity and cooling meters, and chiller efficiency.
Le Biavant said one of the seven malls outperformed the rest because it already had a green building certification. Malls that perform well keep saving while some under-performing malls, or those above average benchmark, do not report any savings.
In terms of energy, the study said mall operators can save at least 5 percent of their energy consumption — the equivalent to providing electricity to 10 offices running with 150 people every year.
For water, achieving 8 percent savings is possible. A mall that saves an average of 5 percent of water consumption can save water equivalent to eight Olympic-size swimming pools, according to the report.
Le Biavant said results of the study were presented to the seven participating malls and many of them said they will incorporate the recommendations in their strategies to make their malls more energy and water efficient.