Muscat: Energy savings up to 20 per cent are expected to be realised owing to Madinat Al Irfan’s sustainable urban design, according to master developer Omran.
Under a sustainable governing framework, the multi-million rial project will implement the use of solar water heaters, solar lighting, smart architecture to create natural shade zones, and sustainable materials and efficient HVAC systems among others to decrease total energy consumption.
“We are expecting 9 per cent to 20 per cent savings in total energy consumption in this project. I believe we are achieving more than 18 per cent in the Exhibition Halls,” Ammar Al Kharusi, director of development at Omran said on the sidelines of the Sustainability Forum.
According to Al Kharusi, sustainability equates not only to energy savings or environment but encompasses an approach that envelopes people, planet and profit.
“Sustainability has three pillars; environment, economy and society, therefore assessing solutions that positively impact the environment need to take into consideration any social or economical impact. We found it feasible to use solar thermal solutions for the hot water supply for example rather than the conventional grid,” he said. He also highlighted that the cost of energy saving is not felt by the individual as it is subsidised; however, saving energy helps government.
“Energy saving practices by Madinat Al Irfan are commendable. At the moment, we need such measures because we can see the pressure being exerted on Oman’s natural resources. The cost of electricity has gone up too. We need to use more sustainable materials to help the environment and financial aspects of the country,” Marco Occhipinti, country manager of Pinti Paints, which produces pioneering heat reflective paints, said.
Spread over an area of 7.4 square kilometres, Madinat Al Irfan has an urban architecture that includes a high performance building envelope that reduces solar gain through solar reflective materials among other passive and active measures.
Al Kharusi also emphasised on sustainability in terms of creating jobs for nationals.
Conventionally sustainable building relates to use of local materials, energy reduction, increase longevity of buildings and use of alternate sources of energy but Omran will also focus on operational business that can help create jobs.
“We have tried our best in this project to source locally. Moreover, we aim to encourage Omani businesses to setup in Madinat Al Irfan and by creating the critical mass needed in the downtown areas, we envision the location to be ideal for start ups and SMEs,” he said.
The JW Marriott and Crowne Plaza are expected to open by the end of this year in Madinat Al Irfan.