The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the highest ecological footprint in the world (along with the US) at 4.6. In other words, 4.6 planet Earths would be needed to provide the resources required to sustain the lifestyle of the UAE. Nevertheless, the Swiss embassy in Abu Dhabi is committed to sustainability.
Certified sustainable ventilation system
The US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) label confirms that a building has been designed, planned and constructed based on a set of measurably sustainable criteria. The interior of the Swiss embassy in Abu Dhabi received a LEED silver rating in 2015. Ventilation plays a key role here: in a country where the average annual temperature is around 28°C, heating is not required but cooling is all the more important. The building has a central air conditioning system with heat recovery for inlet and exit air.
In addition, it is fitted with devices that optimally distribute the cooling energy throughout the office space. The cooling machines are also very efficient as they use a compressor to transfer heat energy from an area to be cooled to a warmer environment, effectively carrying the heat away. The individual offices are connected so that not every room needs its own cooling system.
In addition, energy-saving bulbs are used in the embassy, and lighting is optimised through the use of sensors or timers. The building saves not only energy but also water, using recycled water to flush the toilets and cool the air conditioning system.