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Sat 13 Oct 2007 04:00 AM

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Greens avoid the red

Developers could incur serious financial losses if they do not recognise the importance of sustainability, according to Steve Oehme, regional director of sustainable design, Hyder Consulting.

Developers could incur serious financial losses if they do not recognise the importance of sustainability, according to Steve Oehme, regional director of sustainable design, Hyder Consulting.

"Developers are starting to realise that being left behind is potentially a very significant risk," said Oehme.

"While others are realising the terrific marketing advantage through sustainability. The developers not in touch with the risks and opportunities assoc-
iated with sustainability are going to be hit hard by the direct financial consequences."

Oehme's comments came as Hyder launched its Regional Sustainable Design Group for the Middle East.

He added that opting for sustainable construction would increase the value of a developer's assets.

"Sustainability and value management is about doing things differently and achieving the most cost-effective result. It certainly doesn't cost any extra."

Hyder's design group will provide value management, economic analysis, LEED services and other green building rating systems.

The group will carry out green building design analysis, computational modeling and analysis, energy analysis and optimisation, materials and resources assessments and land-use planning.

"Sustainability is about valuing the planet and future generations, but it is also avout valuing, in an economic sense, the health and wellbeing of a buildings' occupants," said Samuel Keehn, LEED environmental and sustainability manager.

"And, of course, there are the operations and maintenance savings attained from greater efficiency. If these values are included with the more conventional approach to development, then sustainable decisions are the only choice."

Habiba Al Marashi, one of the founders of the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC), said:

"I join property developers, architects, designers and engineers developing a green building standard for the UAE, which will cover ecofriendly designs, construction, indoor air quality, choice of materials and location. These initiatives are important to accompany the country's growing construction industry."

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