Eco-home, Abu DhabiA Sustainable Living Expo (SLE), exploring water- and energy-efficient solutions in urban environments, will be one of the highlights of The World Future Energy Summit, hosted by Masdar, that is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from next Monday to Wednesday 20-22 January during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Alongside it will be the International Water Summit.

The SLE is an actual-size home incorporating sustainable technologies in line with a central theme of the Summit, which is energy efficiency.

 steel frame houseOrganised in partnership with Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority, supported by Abu Dhabi Quality & Conformity Council, Future Build, and designed and built by Genesis Manazil, the SLE eco-home will display organic paint, insulating windows, and low-flow water fixtures, among other advanced products and services that reduce waste and use natural resources more responsibly.

The home is designed on a recycled steel frame and incorporates more environmentally building materials such ECOMAG boards, a lightweight non-toxic structural covering used for walls and floors. Much of it is prefabricated before being transported to the site, erected, fitted with insulation and then clad. This is a more efficient way of producing a cheap, high performing structure.

The organisers say that the SLE eco-home produces less waste, is cheaper to cool, and is as much as 80% quicker to build than regular homes.

The UAE is endeavouring to set a benchmark for sustainable development in the MENA region: producing less waste, reducing water and energy consumption, and increasing energy efficiency.

In Abu Dhabi, the Emirate aims to produce 7% of its power requirements from renewable energies and divert as much as 85% of solid waste from landfill sites.

GCC (Gulf Arab states) governments are also introducing a raft of new regulations to enforce stricter energy efficiency requirements and Saudi Arabia is a case in point. The Kingdom is introducing new building codes to help reduce thestaggering volume of oil – as much as 4 million barrels per day - diverted to meet domestic energy needs.

 ground floor of steel frame eco-efficient houseThe theme of the exhibition and the timing coincides with a blockbuster EU climate and energy package due to be unveiled on 22 January. This will comprise new legislative proposals on subjects from shale gas and tar sands to structural carbon market reform and industrial competitiveness.

The centrepiece of the package will be proposals for 2030 climate and energy goals that could expand upon the ‘20-20-20 targets’ of 20% emissions cuts, efficiency gains, and renewable energy market share by the decade’s end.

A recent EU report contains a ‘reference scenario’ which asserts that a greenhouse gas reduction target of 40% would create 645,000 new jobs by 2030. This is a move supported by the UK, Germany, and France.

If, in addition, the European Commission established a 30% renewable energy target and “ambitious, explicit” energy efficiency policies, says the European Renewable Energy Council says it “would generate 1.25 million additional jobs in a 2030 perspective, compared to the reference scenario”.