Dubai – MENA Herald: The fourth Annual Congress of Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, will be held on October 20 and 21, 2015, in Dubai, under the theme ‘How do green buildings scale up? – Bridging the Gap between Green Buildings & Sustainable Cities.’

The largest of its kind gathering of experts representing the sustainable built environment, the Annual EGBC Congress will be held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Public Works.

Designed to stimulate interactive discussions and create a space for learning, networking and capacity building amongst multiple stakeholders, the Annual EGBC Congress is expected to further influence sustainable practices in the UAE’s built environment and help identify the key industry challenges and issues as well as catalyse innovation in green building practices to create new models to support the country’s efforts to be greener and more sustainable. Stakeholders representing the entire building industry supply chain including high-ranking government officials as well as academics and sustainability experts from across the region will attend the Congress to present a wide range of regional and global perspectives on green building and sustainable cities.

Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, said: “With 54 per cent of the world population living in cities and an estimated 66 per cent by 2050, the emphasis on sustainable cities has never been so crucial. Both government and industry stakeholders are increasingly exploring how we can move from an assortment of green buildings to a fully sustainable metropolis, leading to an ever growing demand for green building practices.”

He added: “The UAE, for example, is playing a global leadership role in creating sustainable cities for the future and promoting green building practices, with several world-leading government programmes to drive sustainable development. With the Annual EGBC Congress, we aim to recognise and benchmark best practices within the industry and support the UAE government’s ‘green economy for sustainable development’ strategy and the UAE Vision 2021, which place utmost priority to sustainable development.”

This year’s Congress will focus on five key themes: Climate, Well being, Economy, Innovation and Policy; which will be discussed on the first day, highlighting how green buildings contribute to mitigating the effect of climate change and to greening the local economy, and whether healthy designs and operations achieve results in improving the occupants’ health and well being. Presentations will also put the spotlight on the future of the green building industry in the UAE, trends and how the industry is paving the way towards change; and will assess how the industry is performing against local and international standards.

The second day of the Congress includes a visit to The Sustainable City, a five million square feet project that was conceived to be a world-class example of what can be achieved through a commitment to sustainability. The development features a wide range of initiatives to both conserve resources and save money, including energy efficient home design, use of eco-friendly building materials and solar panels placed on the roofs of residential units. The visit will include a workshop highlighting the role of various sectors in creating sustainable cities.

Sponsors of the 4th Annual EGBC Congress include BASF as the Sustainability Sponsor, Brookfield Multiplex as the Innovation Sponsor and Al Abbar Group as the Workshop Sponsor.

EmiratesGBC regularly hosts and participates in multinational events, conferences and forums. EmiratesGBC has also developed a suite of activities, inclusive of networking events, technical workshops, focus days and facilitated training based around specific issues related to the built-environment that meet the needs of its members, of the UAE community, and the wider Middle East.