February 14, 2017
With the devastation that scientists predict will come as a result of man-made climate change, the need for sustainable buildings for the future is at an all-time high. One country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has set a positive example by redesigning their embassy in Washington, D.C.
The embassy was given the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold award by the US Green Building Council. It has also been awarded Energy Star certification by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The modifications that the UAE has made to its facility will reduce its carbon emissions by 400 tons of CO2 per year. The UAE’s dedication to sustainability is shown in their goal to diversify the economy of their country, with an emphasis on Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, and make it a leader in the growing new sector of alternative energy production.
While happy with their accomplishment spokesmen for the embassy remain humble and grateful towards all of the people who made the awards possible. Yousef Al Otaiba, an ambassador for the UAE, was quoted as saying “Thanks to the dedication of the UAE Embassy employees that led and supported the retrofit the UAE Embassy now stands as one of the most sustainable buildings in the United States.”
Thankfully the UAE is not the only embassy in D.C. to get involved in becoming eco-friendlier. The D.C. Greening Embassies Forum has recently been formed to encourage other countries to reduce carbon emissions and make their embassies more sustainable. Their goal is to make the District of Columbia the greenest city on the planet. Some notable countries who are getting behind the green energy movement with regards to retrofitting their embassies are the Netherlands and Finland. The Finnish embassy received LEED Gold certification in 2010. The Dutch embassy received LEED Silver certification in 2012. There were also a total of 47 different countries who came together to sign the Neighbors in Sustainability pledge, which is a promise by the nation’s embassies to reduce waste, save energy, reduce fossil fuel emissions, and teach their employees conservation techniques.
With the UAE stepping up to become a leader in adopting green technologies it is their hope that the word will take notice and do their part to adopt the clean energy that we can all be proud to use.