The pressure on the UAE and the rest of GCC countries to focus on new low-energy architecture will increase over the next eight years as billions of dollars are ploughed into infrastructure development across the region, new research shows.
According to a regional market study, spending on building exteriors will increase from $8 billion this year to $12 billion in 2024. Accounting for 41.8 per cent of the overall façades market last year, Saudi Arabia alone is estimated to grow to $5.5 billion by 2024, up from $3 billion this year.
Architects and developers need to prioritise lower heating and air conditioning costs to achieve energy efficiency, says the report which was commissioned by dmg events Middle East, Asia and Africa, organisers of the Windows, Doors & Façades trade exhibition launching in Dubai in September.
The study says significant growth in the GCC façades market will stem from a big rise in the number of construction, refurbishment and renovation projects driven by tourism and major events like the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Expo 2020 Dubai and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Issued by US-based market research and consulting specialists Grand View Research, it points to a major opportunity for architects, developers, and manufacturers who will assemble in force at the Dubai World Trade Centre for the inaugural Windows, Doors & Façades event from September 18-20.
The study estimates increased spending on facades in the other Gulf countries between this year and 2024 as follows: the UAE with $2 billion to $3 billion; Qatar with $1 billion to $2 billion; Kuwait with $603 million to $825 million; Oman with $434 million to $535 million; and Bahrain with $226 million to $305 million.
"The key factor expected to drive the façades industry is the need to lower heating and air-conditioning cost and achieve greater energy-efficiency," said Muhammed Kazi, exhibition director of Windows, Doors & Façades.
"Façades give buildings a superior look which is a big priority for corporate headquarters. But these impressive glass fronted buildings consume the highest energy and regulating their temperature is a big task."
"With massive development scheduled in the region, despite the decline in oil prices, there is now a big opportunity for architects and other design professionals in the GCC countries. This is especially the case in the UAE, which is the region's largest user of energy on a per capita basis, with 70 per cent of primary energy usage through buildings, mainly due to air-conditioning and lighting," he added.
The Windows, Doors & Façades exhibition will showcase a wide range of products for optimising energy retention and management, which vary from embedding the use of plants into the design of buildings, using minimal sliding doors, automated layered glazed panels as well as digital, interactive façades, already popular in major cities around the world.