Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, in partnership with Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company), has today launched its “Model Villa Initiative”, in an effort to promote energy efficiency and the building of more sustainable residential villas in the emirate.
The initiative is part of RAK Municipality’s Building Retrofits Programme, which complements the Ras Al Khaimah Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Strategy 2040 and the UAE’s overarching plan to improve energy efficiency by 40 per cent by 2050.
It will see the selection and retrofitting of a local villa to demonstrate how energy savings can be achieved in existing buildings. The results will then be analysed and made public for the benefit of other villa owners undertaking similar retrofits.
The selection process for the villa will be through an open-call for applications. Starting this week, booths will be set up at RAK Municipality and shopping malls around the emirate, including Manar Mall, Al Naeem Mall and Al Hamra Mall, to raise awareness and drive submissions.
The Model Villa Initiative follows the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between RAK Municipality and Masdar, and is part of a wider collaboration between the two entities to study and improve the energy and water efficiency of existing villas in Ras Al Khaimah.
Masdar will act as a technical adviser to RAK Municipality on the plan, which will launch later this year.
HE Munther Mohammed bin Shekar, Director General of RAK Municipality, said: “The Ras Al Khaimah government is engaged in a long-term strategy for sustainability. We welcome the collaboration with Masdar and the launch of this initiative to support the adoption of new technologies and practices, which will reduce the energy intensity of our economy and increase the share of renewable energy. The model villa initiative is the first, concrete example of our collaboration.”
The developer of Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments, Masdar unveiled the Eco-Villa Prototype at the city in 2017, a working pilot project showcasing practical and affordable solutions in energy and water saving, as well as sustainable home farming techniques. The company has also launched a dedicated Energy Services division, which specializes in energy auditing, retrofitting, and consultancy on sustainable power generation solutions for buildings.
Yousef Ahmed Baselaib, Executive Director of Sustainable Real Estate, Masdar, said: “We welcome this latest partnership with RAK Municipality, which aims to demonstrate the economic feasibility and commercial benefits of retrofitting homes with the latest sustainable technology. Our expertise in energy, waste and water conservation will be a valuable addition to this project, hopefully delivering substantial savings to property owners and residents in the long term.”
“The Model Villa Initiative also complements a number of other projects being undertaken by Masdar with other UAE emirates,” Baselaib added. “It will help promote building environmental efficiency across the UAE and the wider Middle East.”
The retrofit of the chosen villa is due for completion in 2019. It is hoped an expanded programme for villa retrofits will then be rolled out.
The Government of Ras Al Khaimah has initiated the Ras Al Khaimah Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Strategy 2040 based on nine pillars: green building regulations, building retrofits, energy management, efficient appliances, efficient street lighting, water reuse and efficient irrigation, solar programmes, energy from waste, and efficient vehicles.
A number of these pillars are potential areas of collaboration between Ras Al Khaimah Municipality and Masdar.