Earth Day is on its way and “sustainability” is an excellent buzzword in the world, but what does it mean in Real Estate, and how can you fill up your car for free? Aldar even recently launched “Sustainable City” in Yas Island to much fanfare, and it sold exceptionally well off the back of its many sustainable features.
And sustainability should be close to the front of our minds here in Abu Dhabi – we have the 7th largest oil reserves in the world, almost all our drinkable water comes from desalination plants, and we use more water per person than any other country—three things which are the furthest from the ideas of sustainability.
In its most recent launches, Aldar has been at great pains to note the sustainable features of its projects. Things like “low flow” water fixtures, solar reflective roof material, sustainably sourced building materials, LED lights, low VOC paint, etc. All this makes Yas Park Views, for example, a Pearl 2 Estidama-rated project, which rates the energy efficiency of a building.
Sustainable City has so many of these features that it’s predicted there will be little or no service charges for the entire community, and electricity bills will be extremely low. Even if you don’t care much for the environment, everyone cares for their pockets, so more “sustainable” projects should be on the way.
What is conspicuous by their omission in most projects, however, are solar panels. I can’t speak for Dubai, but Sustainable City is the only project I have seen in Abu Dhabi that has them. And why no solar panels when they can let us fill our cars for free? Because if you have an electric car, you fill up for nothing when your electricity comes from the Sun. Free petrol forever. That must be worth something.
So progress is being made for sure in many aspects of development. Aldar certainly sees it as an essential marketing tool, as well as, I hope, their duty to the environment. It has the potential to save purchasers a huge amount of money on electricity bills and petrol too. Let us hope the upward trend is maintained.