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It’s all about the answer when you ask your clients, “Are you happy in this place?” If the answer is “Yes,” we can continue to grow.
Faisal Abdulla Al Belooshi, Senior Director Facility Management at Dubai Airport Freezone
Dubai Airport Freezone has a clear vision: It wants to be the leader in building efficiency and client satisfaction in the region. This entails reducing operational costs and passing on the benefits of technology to its clients. Users can individually control office temperature and lighting with a mobile app. 61 energy monitoring units are integrated into Navigator – the cloud-based energy and sustainability platform, being used to record energy consumption in Dubai Airport Freezone’s buildings. Thanks to the high level of integration achieved in the building management system and several related energy saving initiatives carried out, Dubai Airport Freezone today has exceptional energy ratings of just 153 KWh per square meter per year. Further migration of legacy systems to the building management platform Desigo CC will unlock even more potential for energy and operational savings.
Airside optimization already saves 8 percent of energy annually. Even more savings were made possible with the implementation of Demand Flow™, the patented solution from Siemens for chiller plant optimization. In the first 9 months alone, Dubai Airport Freezone saved close to a further 35 percent in energy. Added together, all energy efficiency initiatives including the setpoint limits, time schedules and HVAC controls, helped Dubai Airport Freezone reduce electricity and water costs from 34 million AED in 2010 to 20 million AED in 2017. An outstanding improvement in building performance, that was awarded with LEED Platinum certification. This has gone a long way towards meeting the authority’s ambitious goal of reducing Dubai Airport Freezone’s energy costs by 30 percent – and, of course, to providing clients with the best environmental conditions possible. Because satisfied clients are central to Dubai’s policy of happiness.
Dubai not only has happiness on top of its political agenda, but also sustainability, with very ambitious energy saving goals. Building management systems from Siemens helps achieve both: creating a comfortable environment that greatly increases clients' satisfaction and their happiness, and at the same time increasing the entire structure’s efficiency to help Dubai reach its energy goals.
Key to achieving both of these targets was the efficiency improvement of Dubai Airport Freezone’s two chiller plants. Using Demand Flow, the targeted savings of 14 percent and 30 percent per respective plant were not only met, but actually exceeded at 35 percent and 45 percent. In addition to exceeding the saving targets, Delta T was improved from 5.6 °C to 8.9 °C. Furthermore, issues with low cooling in some areas from the first chiller plant could also be resolved, while in the second plant the additional cooling capacity is being used for new building extensions. To make sure that Dubai Airport Freezone will further benefit from sustainable operation, 13 buildings are monitored and analyzed using Navigator – the cloud-based energy and sustainability platform, providing operators with the data they need at their fingertips. Asset management increases the productivity of the buildings even more while boosting sustainability at the same time. The result is a perfect place for business and for sustainability.
The benefits of reducing emissions and saving costs go way beyond a positive impact on the balance sheet. The first project between the Dubai Airport Freezone and Siemens targeted energy savings of 14 percent. Siemens actually delivered a 35 percent reduction – effectively cutting the payback time in half. The Siemens team exceeded expectations throughout the project and achieved results that match Dubai Airport Freezone’s own understanding of sustainable success. Even though it is one of the fastest developing freezones in the region, making that growth sustainable is paramount to them. So the savings and efficiency gains achieved by Siemens have not only helped the bottom line, but also strengthened Dubai Airport Freezone’s reputation as an attractive business hub that meets ambitious environmental targets. Furthermore, better indoor conditions provide an environment in which clients are even more productive. All these aspects make Dubai Airport Freezone a perfect example of how improving buildings helps to improve people’s lives while meeting CSR goals, cutting costs and fulfilling regulatory targets.
To achieve substantial energy savings in buildings it is vital to understand exactly what is going on. At the Dubai Airport Freezone, Navigator monitors and analyzes the energy consumption of 13 buildings. This data gives insight on where efficiencies can be gained. At Dubai Airport Freezone’s chiller plants, in combination with Demand Flow, Navigator gives the operators precise real-time information on the exact load. This data has enabled an energy efficiency increase of 30 percent while enabling better decision-making. The building management system is now programmed to take outside temperature and air humidity levels into consideration. The result is a far more efficient operation of the buildings and lower energy costs. These achievements are not kept a secret, but proudly presented to clients and visitors on a public dashboard. Because efficiency gains also mean reputational gains – and digitalization makes them possible.
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