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Farnek ‘LEEDs’ Burj Khalifa to prestigious international sustainability award

Written by:
Steven Jones
ZQ Lee

Leading UAE-based total FM company plays pivotal role in ensuring world’s tallest building achieves LEED Platinum Certification.

Through its sustainability and consultancy division, leading UAE-based smart and green total FM company Farnek, has enabled the Burj Khalifa to achieve LEED O+M Platinum Certification, the optimum international standard for the operation and maintenance of green buildings.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) which developed the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building program, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek commented, “This outstanding achievement clearly demonstrates owner and operator Emaar Properties’ commitment to sustainable practices and cements the Burj Khalifa’s enviable reputation as a global sustainable landmark, aligned with the UAE’s net-zero 2050 strategy.  

“Buildings are responsible for 40% of global energy carbon emissions and are routinely recognised as a critical sector in tackling climate change. LEED-certified buildings have 34% lower CO2 emissions, consume 25% less energy, 11% less water and have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills.”

The programme provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building strategies. LEED projects earn points by adhering to prerequisites and credits across nine measurements for building excellence from integrative design to human health to material use.

LEED, buildings and communities not only save money, improve efficiency, lower carbon emissions and create healthier places for people, it is critical to addressing climate change and meeting ESG goals, enhancing resilience, and supporting more equitable communities.

“LEED certification is the ultimate recognition of global green building leadership, signaling that a building has undergone rigorous third-party verification and meets the highest green standards,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO, USGBC.

“By prioritising sustainability, the Burj Khalifa is leading the way and helping the USGBC continue towards our goal of green buildings for everyone within this generation,” he added.

Farnek provided specialised LEED consultancy services, complying with LEED O+M standards, facilitating the demanding certification process and attainment of the prestigious platinum certification for Burj Khalifa, which at 828 metres high, is the world's tallest building.

The key initiatives undertaken included energy and water performance, indoor environmental quality, sustainable site management, effective transit connectivity waste management and sustainable sourcing.

“The LEED O+M certification places a strong emphasis on sustainable operations. Farnek has been providing FM services for Burj Khalifa for over a decade now and significantly contributed to its sustainability performance by implementing top-tier green building practices and sustainable operational strategies,” said Muna Al Nahdi, head of sustainability and consultancy at Farnek.

“The Burj Khalifa’s sustainability performance was already commendable, and this became evident when it scored highly and achieved platinum certification, after being benchmarked against local and international standards through the LEED rating system.

“This exceptional performance is particularly notable in areas such as energy and water efficiency and indoor air quality. We initiated the consultancy process and efficiently completed the required documentation to meet LEED requirements within just six months.

“This accomplishment was facilitated by our extensive expertise in LEED consultancy and the active involvement of our FM team. This acknowledgment underscores the significance of Farnek's innovative and eco-conscious FM practices, which transforms ordinary structures into sustainable buildings.”

In terms of energy performance, Farnek employed cutting-edge energy management and optimisation strategies such as implementing smart building technologies, the use of energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems and in addition to continuous monitoring and measurement, carried out regular audits to identify and address areas for improvement.

Water consumption was also monitored to identify opportunities for conservation, by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances, implementing landscaping practices that minimise water usage and by diverting condensate water for irrigation purposes.

The Burj Khalifa provides a healthy and comfortable indoor environment for residents and visitors, by utilising measures such as efficient ventilation systems and controlling and monitoring indoor air quality and enhanced thermal comfort and light levels, that improve productivity, health and well-being.

About Farnek:

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in the UAE since 1980, Farnek Services LLC is a Swiss-owned independent facilities management company.

With a skilled workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Farnek delivers professional Facilities Management services to across several sectors; Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure and Entertainment.

For more information, please log on to www.farnek.com

About the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to transforming how buildings and communities are designed, built and operated to create thriving, healthy, equitable and resilient places that advance human and environmental wellbeing. USGBC leads market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, an international network of local community leaders, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit usgbc.org and connect on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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