Green building technology: KSA offers fantastic opportunities

Green building technology: KSA offers fantastic opportunities
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Green building technology: KSA offers fantastic opportunities
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Updated 13 November 2014

Green building technology: KSA offers fantastic opportunities

Green building technology: KSA offers fantastic opportunities

Green building is gaining ground in Saudi Arabia, says Rolando Furlong, vice president, UTC Building & Industrial Systems Middle East & Turkey.
The Kingdom recently completed the world’s largest green building development, the 1.6 million square meter King Abdullah Financial District, Furlong pointed out in an exclusive interview with Arab News.
In addition, the president of Saudi Meteorology and Environment recently decreed that all companies must meet new air, water and noise pollution standards in five years.
To help meet this goal, the country is making 90,000 mosques more energy efficient, said Furlong who assumed his present position at UTC in November 2013.
He referred to a special report from MEED, which said Saudi Arabia is home to the largest project segments in the Middle East with $ 1.154 billion worth of projects planned and under way.
As such, it offers unparalleled opportunities in sectors associated with green building or green building technology.
It also continues to invest in training for its engineers across the Kingdom.
UTC Building & Industrial Systems is the world’s largest provider of building technologies.
Its elevator, escalator, fire safety, security, building automation, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems and services promote integrated, high performance buildings that are safer, smarter and sustainable.
Starting with Carrier in 1995 as a leadership associate, he worked in a number of finance and business development roles based in the US and France.
In 2011, he served as director strategy and business partnerships for Carrier Europe, Middle East and Africa.
From 2005 until 2010, Rolando served successively as finance director, Carrier Iberica; finance director, Carrier Building Systems & Services EMEA; and finance director for Carrier’s heating and air conditioning activities across EMEA.
Rolando holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business in the United States.
 
These are highlights the interview:

Q: UTC provides a broad range of high-technology products and services to the global aerospace and building systems industries. Can you detail the products and services offered by UTC in the Kingdom?

A: UTC Building & Industrial Systems is the world’s largest provider of building technologies.
Its elevator, escalator, fire-safety, security, building automation, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems and services promote integrated, high-performance buildings that are safer, smarter and sustainable. UTC Building & Industrial Systems is a unit of United Technologies Corporation, a major provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide.
In Saudi Arabia, we have six offices in Riyadh Jeddah and Dammam, with an additional eight  locations around the rest of the country that represent some of our industry-leading brands, such as Carrier, Otis, Edwards, Marioff, Automated Logic and Autronica.
We also have four factories in the Middle East & Turkey region, including one in Saudi Arabia.
Our company and brands also have a longstanding presence in the region, and we also have a strong and long standing partnership with the Juffali Group (E.A. Juffali & Bros).
We are extremely proud of this partnership.
 
Q: What is UTC’s investment in Saudi Arabia to maintain its leadership?

A: UTC Building & Industrial Systems through its industry-leading brands is fully committed to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East region.
As part of our company culture, we strive to be great corporate citizens and support the development of the communities where we do business. Not only do we support by offering the latest products, we also provide full support from a service and training standpoint.
Energy efficiency improvement and sustainability are extremely important to the Kingdom.
We have been fully supportive of the efforts of the Saudi Energy Efficiency Program (SEEP) under the patronage of Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.
We were directly involved in an awareness campaign in partnership with the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center to spread awareness about the importance of energy efficiency conservation and improvement.
Our HVAC manufacturing operation in Jeddah has grown tremendously to support not only the Kingdom, but also the Middle East region.
We are investing in new products and technology that will improve energy efficiency by 25 to 40 percent.
This will result not only in substantial energy savings but will indirectly contribute to greenhouse gas reduction.
In addition, we have made a major investment in this plant, in partnership with the Juffali Group, to have a full offering of products with environmentally sound non-ozone depleting refrigerants to complement the higher performance.
 
Q: In what way can UTC help in the Kingdom’s commitment to advancing sustainable development plans?

A: At UTC Building & Industrial Systems, we believe that green building will accelerate with education and global dialogue. That’s part of why we’re proud to convene forums like the Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series Event in Jeddah, which took place in September.
Our hope is that our discussions will help further drive advancements and shape the decisions made for years to come.
In addition to connecting local green building professionals with international sustainability thought leaders, UTC Building & Industrial Systems also provides important training to the region, such as the LEED training we offered to local professionals during the Jeddah event.
Since 2011, we have trained more than 500 professionals in the region and as certified US Green Building Council LEED trainers, will continue to do so throughout the Middle East.
While the cost of energy is low in the region, a significant amount of headway can also be made with awareness and training at the consumer level.
We have participated in awareness campaigns with governmental bodies and local authorities, as well as working directly with customers.
More and more customers here are seeing the long-term value in sustainable products.
They make good environmental sense and they make good business sense, and a growing portion of the region understands this.
There’s also a growing awareness of energy conservation in the region both within government and in business.
 
Q: What is UTC’s assessment of investment in green building projects in the Kingdom?

A: Green building is gaining ground in Saudi Arabia. 
The country recently completed the world’s largest green building development, the 1.6 million square meter King Abdullah Financial District.
In addition, the president of Saudi Meteorology and Environment recently decreed that all companies must meet new air, water and noise pollution standards in five years.
To help meet this goal, the country is making 90,000 mosques more energy efficient.
The Saudi Green Building Forum believes this will reduce electricity consumption in mosques by roughly 40 percent and decrease their water use and carbon emissions by between 30 and 40 percent.
According to a special report from MEED, Saudi Arabia is home to the largest projects segments in the Middle East with $1.154 billion worth of projects planned and under way.
As such, it offers unparalleled opportunities in sectors associated with green building or green building technology.
It also continues to invest in training for its engineers across the Kingdom.
 
Q: How UTC’s Building & Industrial Systems work?

The formation of UTC Building & Industrial Systems allows us to unlock the opportunities and synergies associated with the combined capabilities, talent and leadership of our industry-leading brands, which include Carrier, Otis, Edwards, Marioff, Lenel, Kidde, Automated Logic and more.
The new organization enhances our ability to deliver customized solutions to our customers across various industries more efficiently and accelerate innovation in smart building technologies and sustainable design, creating better value to our customers.
 
Q: Do you think Saudi Arabia can adopt the green building movement?
 
A: We see a lot of indications that suggest this has already begun.
I mentioned before the King Abdullah Financial District, the Saudi Meteorology and Environment decree, and the $ 1.154 billion in projects planned and under way.
In addition, at the fourth annual Saudi Green Building Forum (Nov. 2013), Alaa Nassif, executive president of the Royal Commission at Yanbu, said that Yanbu Industrial City aims for 10 percent energy savings by 2020 despite the expectation that the city will double in population.
Of that, 7 percentage points would come through energy efficiency and 3 percent from renewables. 
New planning and architectural standards will support a long-term green economic plan to 2030. 
At the same forum, Ahmed Al-Essa, assistant vice president for licensing at the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA), said that the commission had launched a program to promote green hotels on a national basis.
Key customers in the region are modifying their product requirements to target sustainable solutions, requiring products using non-ozone depleting refrigerants in advance of local regulations.
For larger commercial segments, green products are an important consideration.
It’s important to note that Carrier introduced the first commercial and residential air-conditioning systems using non-CFC ozone depleting refrigerants in 1994, two years ahead of the US’ requirements and 16 years before mandates in developing countries. 
The Carrier chillers we bring into the Middle East region use non-ozone depleting refrigerant, including Puron.
 
Q: UTC was included among the world’s 100 most innovative companies by Thomson Reuters in 2013.  Do you believe innovation is the key to UTC’s success? 
 
A: Our company is built on a proud and long-standing tradition of innovation and sustainability that has enabled us to become an industry leader.
A unique aspect of UTC is integrated research and development.
Our research center is a stand-alone division that develops new technologies for our products.
With about 4,000 engineers working on the next level of system integration, we are innovating every day to pioneer the next generation of building controls and management systems.
Between 2009 and 2013, we increased our worldwide R&D investment by 67 percent.
This focus on innovation is part of UTC’s DNA.
UTC Building & Industrial Systems is a company of inventors and innovators, with many of our founders creating not just industry-leading brands, but entire industries.
Elisha Otis invented the elevator safety brake in 1852, which allowed buildings to rise higher.
Fifty years later, in 1902, Willis Carrier developed and patented the first modern air conditioner, launching an industry that fundamentally improved the way we live, work and play.
A few years after that, in 1917, Walter Kidde pioneered early smoke detection and fire suppression.
 
Q: How can UTC help in making the world a better place to live?

A: We are working to innovate and provide products that allow for smarter, more sustainable buildings.
From energy services to automation systems, and existing buildings to new construction, we’re here to help minimize energy consumption while maximizing comfort.
In a region like the Middle East, life simply would not be the same without the products and solutions offered by UTC Building & Industrial Systems.
Carrier air conditioning solutions make our lives more comfortable, especially in the summer heat and Otis elevators allow us to travel to the tops of our skyscrapers.
Our fire and security products keep people and property safe, and mitigating safety risks certainly improves the quality of our everyday life.
 
Q: How can UTC provide energy efficiency and sustainability strategies to audiences around the world?

A: As mentioned earlier, we believe that dialogue with global reach can rebalance the built environment with the natural environment.
We also believe that education will accelerate the green building movement.
The Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series aims to connect local green building professionals with international green building thought leaders.
Since 2011, the Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series has reached more than 2,500 professionals through 22 events in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey.
We will continue deploying these lectures around the world and will continue to train professionals in LEED as UTC Building & Industrial Systems employs certified US Green Building Council LEED trainers.