Why DAMAC Lagoons is providing a blueprint for green construction

Why DAMAC Lagoons is providing a blueprint for green construction

If you’re a regular reader of my blogs and social media posts, you’ll know that sustainability is a cause very close to my heart. This issue also represents a priority for our nation’s leaders, as demonstrated by policies such as the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to achieve net-zero emissions by the midpoint of this century.

And while I do my best to champion sustainability in all its forms, I understand that as Managing Director of Sales & Development at DAMAC Properties and founder of PRYPTO, my greatest opportunity to encourage positive change lies within the sector of real estate. Construction represents big business in the UAE, which is unsurprising given the sheer volume of world-famous structures that populate our small nation. In fact, the total value of this market was estimated to be in the region of $90 billion in 2022.

However, on a global level, this sector features as many challenges as it does opportunities – especially when it comes to sustainability. That’s why forward-thinking outfits like DAMAC are working to transform the former into the latter, demonstrating that environmentally friendly development and world-class living standards are not mutually exclusive.

It seems the largest environmental challenge facing this sector relates to CO2 emissions. Put simply, many of the processes and machines used to manufacture building materials and build projects contribute to carbon dioxide pollution. What’s more, not all materials manufactured will even be used, making the whole process more resource and waste intensive than it could be.

So, what does the future of sustainable property development look like?

The future of living

For many people, luxury living in Dubai may, on the surface, seem at odds with sustainable initiatives. Yet we are fortunate to have a government that brings sustainability to the forefront of its policymaking, creating an environment of possibility. Developers are empowered to use the latest technology and innovative processes to build communities that are luxurious and sustainable in equal measure.

DAMAC Lagoons, for example, is an attractive, high-end development in the Dubailand area. It features a mix of homes, ranging from four and five-bedroom villas to townhouses and apartments, spread across eight distinctive clusters, each aptly named and styled to match a Mediterranean theme. The development hosts a variety of leisure activities, too, including cinemas, waterparks, gondola rides and a floating amphitheatre. For me, the fact that several of these clusters have already launched to great success is testament not only to what is possible in our nation but also to our population’s appetite for a more sustainable version of ‘luxury living’ within the real estate development sector.

Changing the world, one sustainable community at a time

Constructing an entertaining and luxurious development is one thing, but ensuring it is also kind to the environment is a challenge that requires cross-sector collaboration. Bringing in sustainability experts allows the construction industry to reflect impartially on the impact of its actions, which can only lead to greater and more meaningful change in the longer term. DAMAC has partnered with UAE sustainability consultants, Climatise Engineering, to help uphold its commitment to sustainable practices. During construction, assessments will be frequently conducted to determine and implement new measures which help reduce the carbon footprint of the project.

If developers are going to lead the way with greener construction initiatives, careful consideration must be given not only to in-the-moment construction procedures but also to how people are going to live in the community once building work has concluded. For example, a bespoke sustainability approach has been taken for the DAMAC Lagoons development, which will target (among other proposals) initiatives such as the integration of water and energy efficiency measures, sustainable mobility options, electric vehicle charging points, and more than 13m2 of green open space per person.

Putting people, their lifestyles and their experiences at the heart of the development is always going to make it more attractive to buyers and investors, but when it comes to sustainability, the most successful communities will integrate greener living initiatives so that they feel like a natural part of life within that neighbourhood. With this in mind, tenants’ activities in our other communities, such as DAMAC Hills and DAMAC Hills 2, is being analysed to optimise DAMAC Lagoons’ sustainable practices and achieve the highest possible sustainability ratings.

A blueprint for the future

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Previous communities developed by DAMAC have featured similar initiatives, and with good reason. These elements have allowed us to create a blueprint for present and future sustainability. It is no accident that they have become a mainstay of the sustainable development toolkit. But that’s not to say that innovation is unwelcome. As I mentioned earlier, our industry needs to reflect upon and adapt its practices if it is going to build more sustainably over the long term. This leaves plenty of room for the adoption of new methodologies, technologies and techniques, and I look forward to seeing how they can be integrated into existing, proven structures to build a greener future.

The success of large developments, such as DAMAC Lagoons, prove that luxury and sustainability can go hand in hand. What’s more, we know it’s essential for the planet that they do.

That’s why I expect the UAE will continue to lead the world in terms of sustainable construction.