Top five tips to reduce operating costs in the UAE's large buildings

Large buildings can especially suffer with excessive cooling loads, lack of effective insulation and glazing, and inefficient energy or water conservation systems.


The UAE has one of the highest energy and water consumption rates per capita in the world.  As many MEP consultants in Dubai know, large buildings can especially suffer with excessive cooling loads, lack of effective insulation and glazing, and inefficient energy or water conservation systems.

Engineering companies in the UAE also know the country’s unique climate can create further challenges. For the owner or end user, this means large operating costs that can ruin budgets and swallow profits.  At a time when most organisations need to make budgets go further than ever before, cutting operating costs is a smart way to achieve this goal.

Many methods of cutting common area operating costs are available by adopting the latest technologies, which can be incorporated in upgrades and plant replacement strategies.


Below are the top recommendations for building owners and operators to reducing their energy and water consumption and cutting your operating costs – especially for large building owners and managers. Depending on the cost-saving measures implemented, the return on investment can be quick, with savings accruing over the building’s lifetime, especially as energy costs increase, which is inevitable.

Review the operation of all major plant within your building with an expert MEP consultant in Dubai

• Check that air handling units (AHUs) aren’t providing too much air; check that only the number of chillers required are operating; check that only the required pumps are operating; check they are running at the lowest speed possible to meet the cooling needs of the building; check that the temperature, humidity and pressure sensors are reading correctly, a temperature sensor that tells the control system that your room is 24OC when it is actually 21OC, will use more energy to try to achieve the set point of 22OC, when in fact its already there.

• Supply only the quantity of air required, and the technology is available to do this cost effectively.

Managing/changing lighting systems

• Are you using LED wherever possible, other lighting sources are less efficient as they burn more electricity?  The extra electricity is then turned into heat your air conditioning system is then needed to remove.

Regulating the room temperature

• If you are sitting in an office carrying out sedentary work, 23OC is a comfortable temperature. Many offices are too cold and staff are uncomfortable.

Reduce water consumption by installing water-saving devices

• The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s Estidama programme already requires water-saving taps to be installed in new construction to reduce water consumption by up to 70%.  Real estate developer Emaar sponsored a programme retrofitting hundreds of buildings along Sheikh Zayed Road to reduce water pressure by up to 50%. By refitting your taps, toilet, and showers with specialised equipment, you could cut your water consumption and your operating costs.

Refurbish and retrofit to increase energy efficiency

• Many buildings have equipment and plant that has come to the end of its economic life. It is using too much electricity, it is taking too much maintenance time and costing too much in spare parts.

• Fan and motor technology is available that are 35% more efficient that those installed 10 to 15 years ago.

• All of the above costs money that comes off of your bottom line.

Why only think about profit margins? As building owners and operators there is 20% to 55% savings to be made in your utility operating costs.

To learn more about how to achieve a reduction in your operating costs, energy audit and optimisation, contact JPW Consulting Group at


For the latest MEP news from the UAE, Gulf, and around the world, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Most Popular

Sign up for Newsletter

Digital Edition

Read The Edition Here