Jourdan Younis

LEED ROI: What is the Return on Investment of LEED Certified Buildings?

What is the return on investment of being LEED certified? And how can you maximize that ROI?

After all, there still exists some ambiguity when it comes to green buildings and their monetary return on investment. Let’s be clear: The ROI isn’t just social and environmental. It’s also financial.

At the same time, this information is crucial for any investment in green buildings.

Want to learn more about LEED ROI? Let’s find out.

What is LEED?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)¸ granted by GBCI, is the most widely used third-party certification for green buildings. It includes ten different rating systems for the design, construction, and operation of buildings, homes, and neighborhoods.

LEED focuses on resource efficiency, health aspects, reduction in emissions, as well as a sustainable and cost-efficient building life cycle. It’s an open system and because it adapts to technical developments in the industry, every new version of LEED comes with updates and improvements.

Now, LEED is an established green building certification.

But why should you get LEED certified and not just build according to industry best practices when it comes to green buildings?

Simple. Because a third party verification, like LEED, builds trust. A certification proves that your building keeps to LEED standards.

This, again, translates into several advantages. For example: Brand awareness and higher asset value.

But still, deciding to use LEED becomes much easier once you know it does, in fact, mean a higher ROI.

Let’s first take a look at the benefits of LEED.

What are the benefits of LEED?

So, what are the benefits of LEED?

The benefits can be categorized into three different subcategories. 1) Assets, 2) Operations and maintenance, and 3) Work, life, and community.

Let’s look at each of these subcategories.

1. Assets

First:

What is the asset value of green buildings?

Because they are high-quality and high-performance buildings, green buildings are seen as more valuable than conventional buildings.

And because LEED certifications are reputable and give green projects transparency, they improve the value of green buildings.

According to a study by CoStar and US San Diego, which was based on CoStar’s US database of 2.8 million real estate properties, green buildings consistently achieved higher occupancy and rental rates, as well as higher sales prices.

And according to a report by the WorldGBC, green buildings tend to have higher sales prices, higher rental/lease rates, lower operating expenses, higher occupancy rates, and lower yields than other buildings.

Studies have shown that price premiums for certified buildings compared to non-certified buildings are between 0-30%.

However, that same report points out that unique conditions (such as local conditions) make it difficult to determine sales price increases.

But, as more and more companies and investors understand the other benefits of green buildings, their value has continued to increase.

So while sales prices are hard to predict, green buildings are still seen as having a higher value compared to other buildings.

Next:

What is the operations and maintenance ROI?

2. Operations and maintenance

Look:

Green buildings typically use resources more efficiently than other buildings.

And because of this, operations and maintenance costs decrease. For example, water, energy, and waste management costs tend to go down.

In terms of energy, green buildings achieve these savings by using more efficient lighting, heating, and cooling systems, as well as better insulation.

Water savings are achieved by reusing water, using green roofs, rainwater catchments, and more. Plus, in general, green buildings are built with more durable materials and therefore, they don’t require as much maintenance as conventional buildings.

Finally, green buildings tend to lower emissions by reducing the usage of energy and gas. This means a lower impact on the environment, as well as cost savings.

What are some specific savings?

A 2006 Capital E analysis of 30 green US LEED standard schools show that these schools achieved, on average, an energy reduction of 33% compared with conventional buildings. This translated into average savings of $0.38 per square foot per year.

However, while there are examples of successful LEED projects, there has also been criticism of whether LEED does, indeed, lead to energy savings. At the same time, most critics acknowledge some energy savings thanks to LEED.

3. Work, life, and community

Finally:

What is LEED’s impact on health and productivity?

A 2015 study by Harvard University shows that people who work in green buildings (well-ventilated offices with below-average levels of carbon dioxide and indoor pollutants) have significantly higher cognitive functioning scores.

And in terms of LEED, the health and productivity benefits are established.

LEED’s impact on health and productivity include:

  • Reduced absenteeism and sick days.
  • Improved working morale.
  • Better performance.
  • Less employee churn.

How do green buildings achieve these benefits? For example:

  • Better ventilation.
  • Improved air quality and acoustics.
  • Increased natural light.

Together with other studies, research by Carnegie Mellon University backs this up.

14 case studies show that productivity improves by 0.2% to 15% thanks to temperature control. Task air systems have been shown to improve productivity by 11% and 67% to 90% reduced churn costs.

11 case studies show that lighting can improve productivity by 0.7% to 26.1%.

And 17 case studies show that air quality improves health by 13.5% to 87%.

WGBC’s April 2018 report, “Better Place For People”, highlights 11 case studies.

For example, a net-zero carbon office in Australia had 94.5% staff satisfaction and 72% reported better health in LEED certified buildings.

LEED has a big impact on wellbeing, which means direct and indirect savings and improvements to people’s overall health, performance, and output.

What is the investment required to get LEED certified?

What type of investment do LEED certifications require?

After all, this is the top cited obstacle for not pursuing green buildings.

LEED typically comes with a green premium, ie. a cost premium that’s needed to build a green building instead of a conventional building.

What does the cost include? Up-front costs, such as the certification itself, but also more sustainable materials, better mechanical systems, design, and modeling.

In terms of the LEED certification costs, the cost depends on your project. Here is the specific fee structure.

And other costs? We can’t talk about any specific percentage or sum because these costs depend on the level of certification, as well as project-specific strategies.

According to the 2013 green building report by WorldGBC, reported green premiums range between 0% to 12.5% (the majority are between 0%-4%). LEED Silver or Gold green premiums range from 0% to 10% and LEED Platinum premiums fall in the 2% to 12.5% range.

As you can see, some of the green premiums start at 0%.

What this means is that projects can be achieved without any additional expenditure.

For example, a Harvard University analysis of 20 LEED projects in 2007 showed that 40 LEED credits could be achieved without extra costs.

In other words, green premiums aren’t unavoidable in LEED projects.

Plus, with the help of LEED consultants, you can make sure your investment gets you the highest ROI possible. (Want more information on LEED consulting? Here you go.)

Now:

You have a better understanding of LEED costs. So what about LEED ROI?

What is the ROI of LEED?

Now you know the benefits and costs of LEED.

So, does LEED give a return on your investment?

As we’ve seen, a well-managed green building can lower energy, water, and maintenance costs, as well as improve productivity and wellbeing and increase the value of the building.

While there might be a green premium (especially if we talk about higher LEED certifications), these can be paid off in a reasonable time span.

Want more specific examples? Let’s look at a few LEED projects and their results.

Adobe Systems, Inc.

Adobe received three LEED Platinum awards in 2006 for its headquarter towers. This project produced positive publicity and Adobe reported a net present value return on almost 20 to one on the investment.

The following three examples are reported by USGBC.

Orlando Magic’s Amway Center

The first NBA arena to earn LEED Gold certification, the Amway Center, was able to achieve nearly $700,000 in annual energy costs and overall, close to a million in a year.

The Old Globe

The San Diego regional theater The Old Globe was able to save more than 14,000 annual kilowatt hours and reduce overall water usage by 32%.

Shanghai 2010 Expo Center

The Shanghai 2010 Expo Center achieved 82.5% annual water savings and a 93% reduction in stormwater runoff volume.

LEED in the future

What will LEED look like in the future?

According to the World Green Building Trends (2018), green building activity continues to grow.

Green buildings are a smart investment from a cost perspective. But for many businesses, environmental responsibility continues to grow in popularity.

What this means is:

Everything points to the fact that LEED has and continues to produce a return on investments.

Want to get LEED certified?

That’s it. That’s what you need to know about LEED ROI.

At the end of the day, LEED provides mainly upsides. Not only for your bottom line but also for some of your most important assets, like your brand.

It does require investments, yes. But benefits, both in the short and in the long term, outweigh these costs.

Want to learn more about how you can use LEED for your projects? Read more about our LEED services here.

 


10 Best Business Travel Tips to Stay Healthy and Productive on Your Business Trips

How do you stay healthy and productive on a business trip?

After all, if you travel a lot, you want to make sure all that traveling doesn’t impact your health or performance.

Want to learn more? Here are our 10 best business travel tips.

Why you should prioritize your wellbeing on business trips

First things first. Why should you prioritize your wellbeing on business trips?

Simple: Because if you travel often for work, your choices add up.

So while yes, that one steak or pizza feels justified when there aren’t any good options nearby, think about the long-term effects.

For example:

According to Harvard Business Review, there’s a strong correlation between business travel and health risks. Traveling for work means higher stress levels, poorer performance, and a higher risk of health issues like obesity.

We see this in our own organization. Our consultants frequently travel for projects and client meetings. Because of this, we’ve taken a closer look at what we as a company can do when it comes to things like business travel.

In the end, this was why we launched our own health program, Alpin Healthy, and became the first WELL certified building in the Middle East (WELL promotes employee-focused buildings).

So we’re promoting our employees’ wellbeing at the office. But what can be done to improve business trips?

Let’s look at our 10 best business travel tips for healthier work trips.

1. Simple ways to stay healthy on flights

Did you know that flights are full of harmful germs?

In fact, places like your tray table are often the germiest place on a flight.

So how do you avoid getting sick on flights?

Here are the best tips:

  • Use hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes to clean your seat (including armrests and seat belt buckle) and tray table.
  • Wear a respiratory mask if you notice that people around you are sneezing or coughing.
  • Choose the window seat to avoid contact with people moving around in the plane (as more movement increases the risk that germs will spread).
  • Use your own pillow and blanket on longer flights.

The next step?

Drink more water.

2. What’s the best way to improve your performance? Drink water.

One thing you can’t miss out on during your business trips?

Drinking water.

Staying hydrated is the most effective way to stay healthy and productive.

For example, some of the benefits of water are:

Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, aids digestion, and stabilizes your heartbeat.

So, how much water should you drink every day?

About 30-50 ounces or 1-1.5 liters throughout the day, according to Harvard Health.

And note that when you’re traveling to a new climate, you might need to drink more water because you sweat differently in that climate.

3. Use mass transit in the right way (without getting sick)

You know how it is:

If you travel to a bigger city, mass transit, cabs or a ride service like Uber, Lyft, or Careem might be the easiest transportation alternatives to get around.

At the same time, germs are all over places like subways that transport thousands of people every day.

While outdoor surfaces get sterilized by the sun’s UV rays, underground spaces don’t have that same natural protection.

So how can you protect yourself from getting sick while using public transportation?

Here’s how:

  • Use gloves when touching seats or poles. If you don’t have gloves with you, wrap your arm around the pole, instead of grabbing it with your hand.
  • Don’t touch your mouth and eyes before you’ve washed your hands.
  • And wash your hands as soon as possible.

The same goes for your cab or ride service. Wash your hands immediately after your ride.

Next:

Staying healthy in hotels.

4. Why hotel rooms aren’t as clean as you think

Think hotel rooms are germ-free?

Think again. Many parts of hotel rooms don’t get cleaned on a regular basis.

For example:

The remote control is something most guests touch, but chances are, it doesn’t get properly cleaned after every visit.

So how can you stay healthy during your stay?

Use these steps:

  • Bag the remote control so you don’t touch it when using the TV.
  • Use slippers in your room. Your shoes are full of germs so you might want to minimize walking around with them in your room.
  • Don’t use the bedspread. Bedspreads need to get dry cleaned and most hotels will only clean them a few times a year. So roll it up and put it in a corner during your stay.
  • Wash glasses or cups before you drink from them.

That’s it- that’s how you minimize the risk of getting sick while staying at a hotel.

Next up:

One of our top business travel tips… Your workout routine.

5. How to keep up your workout routine when traveling for business

One of the things our Alpin Healthy program encourages is to keep up a workout routine.

But how do you make sure you stick to it while traveling?

After all, it’s easy to let your workout routine slip with irregular schedules, flights, and the stress of traveling.

At the same time, working out is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay both healthy and productive.

Think about it:

Exercise reduces stress and improves wellbeing, sleep quality, and energy.

You should get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week and get some form of physical activity done every day.

So how do you make sure you get as many benefits as possible from exercising when you’re traveling? As a rule of thumb, if your trip is over three days long, you should pack with you workout clothes and use the hotel gym or go running in a nearby park.

6. The one thing to prioritize when you’re traveling? Healthy food.

What’s something that’s easy to overlook when you’re traveling?

Healthy foods.

After all, it’s not always easy or convenient to get anything else than steak, pizza or other fast foods.

But healthy nutrition is crucial for your health and wellbeing.

So instead of buying a sandwich on the go or snacking on chocolate, pack healthy snacks with you. Nuts are great for traveling and fruits can work for shorter trips.

And before you travel someplace new, do some quick research. Are there any places close to your hotel that sell green and healthy food? If you have a hard time finding anything, ask at the hotel reception for alternatives or any local home delivery apps that let you order healthy food.

Now, changing the way you eat is already huge.

But there’s something else we need to look at… Stress! Here’s how to deal with stress during your business trips.

7. How to reduce stress on your business trip

You know what?

Stress is such a big problem for most business travelers.

It impacts your sleep, energy, and mood- all those things you need to be able to perform at your best level.

So how do you combat stress on the road?

Here’s how:

#1. Stretch. Take breaks and stretch between meetings. Stretching gets your blood circulating. Remember to get up and walk around every 90 minutes. Ideally, you’ll want to take a break and think about something else than work for about 10-15 minutes. For example, read a book or take a short walk (even if it’s to the coffee machine!).

#2. Meditate. Meditate and practice mindfulness for 10 minutes every morning. If you need help clearing your mind, you can use an app like Headspace.

Meditating doesn’t have to be harder than sitting silently for a few minutes and breathing deeply. But it will impact your stress levels.

8. Stay active by walking as much as you can

Maybe you know just how great walking is for your health.

But it’s easy to choose the faster option when you’re traveling, right?

Taking a cab or a quick subway ride… But at the same time, you could get a lot of your daily exercise done if you move around on foot.

Plus, you keep productive and your performance improves.

Speaking of walking, there’s another thing you need to keep in mind.

Your routines.

That’s what we’ll look at next.

9. A great way to stay healthy while traveling? Stick to your normal routines.

Look:

Routines are great. They help you stay healthy, reduce stress levels, and sleep better.

But when you travel, you often forget the routines you have at home.

After all, you might be in a different time zone, in a different climate and your schedule looks totally different from the one you have at home.

A big chunk of your day might be spent traveling or flying.

So how do you keep up your normal routines?

Simple: Create a schedule and stick to it.

So you have set times for when you work, sleep, eat, and exercise.

Preferably, this schedule follows your normal schedule.

A good way to keep yourself accountable?

Add your routines to your calendar and have an alarm go off so you can’t ignore it.

10. The best ways to make sure you get enough sleep

I saved the best for last.

After all, sleep is such an important health factor.

That’s why you need to prioritize sleep as much as you can.

So how much should you sleep?

This depends on you and what amount of sleep keeps you happy and productive. The National Sleep Foundation recommends between seven to nine hours of sleep for adults.

But sleep quality is equally important as the amount of sleep you get. You see, if your sleep quality is poor, you won’t get all the benefits of sleeping.

How do you improve your sleep quality? Take these steps:

  • Make sure your room is dark so that your brain isn’t tricked into thinking it’s day time.
  • Avoid screens (or consider using the Redshift software, which adjusts your screen light according to the time of the day).
  • Avoid coffee after 2PM in the afternoon so that caffeine doesn’t affect your sleep.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, a proven method is to get up, read or listen to calming music for about 15 minutes, and then go back to bed.

Over to you!

There you have it! These are our best business travel tips for staying healthy and productive.

Use this checklist whenever you’re traveling. You might just notice your stress levels go down and wellbeing go up.

Learn more about our Alpin Healthy program and how we work for a work culture that prioritizes wellbeing.

Download a copy of this article as a PDF.

 


The Power Station Challenge: How Did NYU Abu Dhabi Achieve Energy Savings of 30%?

How did we help NYU Abu Dhabi achieve energy savings of 30% when benchmarked against the ASHRAE 90.1 baseline? It all started with the IES Power Station Challenge, a challenge that focuses on creating sustainable built environments.

Want to know more? Read on!

What is the Power Station Challenge?

The Power Station Challenge is a challenge by our long-term partner IES, a world leader in intelligent sustainability solutions for the built environment. The challenge was launched to promote the IES software Virtual Environment (VE), which helps create sustainable development and construction projects. This is a software we at Alpin use to leverage our thought leaders in building physics to deliver the most insightful energy analysis to our clients.

The goal of the Power Station Challenge is to save 100 power stations from being built. We’re a big part of this. So far, Alpin’s Energy Modeling services, such as the NYU Abu Dhabi development project, have saved more than 100,000,000 Kilowatt hours.

What does this mean?

Let’s use an example. If you take 30,000 cars and line them up bumper to bumper, enough to stretch them from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, they would emit over 44,000 tonnes of CO2. This is the equivalent of 100,000,000 kWh of energy, enough to power over 14,000 homes.

And that’s what we’ve help our clients save- over $7.25 million per year, a number that is steadily increasing.

Energy Modeling is a vital part of our commitment to lowering the carbon footprint and maximizing our clients’ return on investment. Proper modeling optimizes a client’s construction budget.

How? Our clients lower consumption during the operational phase and we ensure the most cost-effective materials are utilized in a building’s façade.

While MEP equipment can be very expensive, Energy Modeling allows us to simulate exactly where our clients can make savings.

Our Energy Modeling team also integrates Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) – software that visualizes how air patterns affect a building as it flows past and can contribute to cooling strategies.

Additionally, our team integrates services into life cycle analysis in order to help visualize the cost savings and investment profiles early in the project. This leads to higher ROI.

And that’s what we helped NYU Abu Dhabi do. So what was the project all about? Here’s what you need to know.

What was the NYU Abu Dhabi development project all about?

NYU Abu Dhabi, a liberal arts university, opened in 2014. Its campus is located on Saadiyat Island. The campus covers 450,000 square meters and reaches heights of over 50 meters.

And what was our role in this development project?

We were invited to conduct stage energy analysis. The goal was to ensure that the project would reach its energy savings goals and that it would comply with the local standard, Estidama PBRS.

This standard requires projects to be 12% above the ASHRAE 90.1 baseline. However, the project had already achieved this standard. Now, the goal was to achieve 25% above the ASHRAE 90.1 baseline to achieve a 2 Pearl rating.

How we achieved energy savings of 30% when benchmarked against the ASHRAE 90.1 baseline

So how did we achieve this goal… And more?

At Alpin, our mission is to be at the forefront of sustainable development and construction. That’s why we founded Alpin Innovation Labs, which is all about developing these solutions and transforming the construction industry. One of the solutions Alpin Innovation Labs offers is to help our clients use technology and software to meet ASHRAE requirements.

With the tools, systems, and knowledge we’ve developed in Alpin Innovation Labs, as well as using IES’ software VE to incorporate the ECMs, we helped the main contractor verify the parameters they set out in terms of u-value, lightning, and HVAC. We provided feedback on the HVAC and water system to determine potential energy and water consumption savings.

In the end, we were able to achieve energy savings of 30% when benchmarked against the ASHRAE 90.1 baseline.

The result?

NYU Abu Dhabi exceeded its goals and achieved a 2 Pearl rating.

How did our results support the Power Station Challenge?

What’s the result of the Power Station Challenge?

So far, the challenge has saved an amount of energy that equals 30 power stations.

Our NYU Abu Dhabi project, as well as other projects, have been instrumental in achieving these results.

Find out more about our Energy Model and BIM Integration services.

 


What Impact Does Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Have on Sustainable Development?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a strong investor in a more sustainable future. A notable example? The policy paper Vision 2030, which in many ways talks about sustainability, including sustainable development.

As multi-faceted specialists focused on sustainable development and with a presence in Saudi Arabia, we at Alpin are excited to see Saudi Arabia’s ambitious goals become reality. In fact, for the past seven years, we’ve been working on helping the country achieve them.

Want to know more about Saudi Arabia’s vision and how it will be achieved? Let’s dive right in.

What are Saudi Arabia’s sustainability goals?

Here’s what it’s all about:

In its policy paper Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia sets out goals that will steer its policy-making over the next decades to enable a thriving society for its citizens. Saudi Arabia is positioning itself as a strategic business hub in the Islamic world and as a connector of three continents. Also, by creating this vision, the country is transforming into an investment powerhouse.

Now, the paper has three main themes (a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation) with different subthemes.

Many of these subthemes reference sustainability in one way or another. For example, the paper talks about environmental sustainability, renewable energy, and protecting resources.

Plus, some subthemes make a reference to sustainability more indirectly. The paper mentions developing cities as a goal. A big part of this? Sustainable development and construction.

This is at the core of what we do at Alpin. We believe in delivering the most sustainable development solutions. For example: One of our projects is a 10-year build out- a key city development where we act as sustainability advisors on the client side.

So are we happy that more countries like Saudi Arabia are setting ambitious sustainability goals for their development and construction projects? You bet. And here’s how we help Saudi Arabia achieve these goals.

How will Saudi Arabia achieve Vision 2030?

Vision 2030 sets out ambitious goals. But how will Saudi Arabia achieve them?

Alpin has had a strong presence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, since 2012 and during quite some time, we’ve been investing in the country’s long-term viability. We’re committed to helping Saudi Arabia achieve its goals and implement Vision 2030.

And one thing is clear:

Sustainable development will require an innovative approach.

At Alpin Innovation Labs, that’s exactly what we do. Our vision is to produce innovative practices that push the industry to become more sustainable.

To date, we’ve worked on some of the biggest projects in Saudi Arabia in various sectors (for example, engineering, banking, and finance). Some of our projects include the King Khalid International Airport, the main metro station in Riyadh designed by Zaha Hadid, the largest manufacturing plant in the country, as well as the first LEED platinum development and LEED EBOM projects in Saudi Arabia.

And as Saudi Arabia continues to develop cities to achieve its Vision 2030, we continue delivering innovative solutions to meet the needs of our clients.

What’s ahead for Vision 2030?

So, will Saudi Arabia achieve its ambitious sustainability goals by 2030?

We believe so. That’s why we’ve invested extensively in the country. And as Trusted Advisors, we continue using our team, advanced processes, and innovative technology to work on the Kingdom’s most innovative development projects.

Visit Alpin Saudi Arabia

 


Complex Infrastructure Projects: How to Create Sustainable Projects

How do you make complex infrastructure projects sustainable?

At Alpin Limited, this is one of our core competencies. We’ve worked on several high-profile and large-scale projects, such as the Dubai + Riyadh Metros and right now, the 2020 World Expo.

To ensure that we’re meeting the strictest requirements, we use accreditations such as CEEQUAL. Here’s what our projects look like.

What is CEEQUAL?

CEEQUAL promotes sustainable civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping, and public realm projects. It’s an evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating, and awards scheme. It awards projects that go beyond the minimum threshold in terms of environmental and social performance. 

By using CEEQUAL in your construction projects, you get benefits like these:

  • Sustainability improvements. Resource efficiency and a reduction of complaints and environmental incidents. 
  • PR. CEEQUAL backs up your social responsibility policies. 
  • Reduced costs. Thanks to sustainability planning, you reduce your construction costs. CEEQUAL reportsthat cost reductions have ranged from £3000 to £5 million.

At Alpin, we work towards changing the construction industry to become more effective and sustainable. CEEQUAL works perfectly with our goals and that’s why we are CEEQUAL accredited. 

How we create sustainable complex infrastructure projects

Thanks to years of experience and accreditations like CEEQUAL, one of our core areas of expertise are sustainable complex infrastructure projects. Here’s what we focus on.

Transportation

As you know, projects involving major airports and train stations require meticulous planning. For us, it’s important to use our innovation, reliability, and high level of expertise when we work on projects that work now and in the future. That involves sustainability. 

Some of the projects we’ve worked on include the expansion of King Khalid International Airport where we helped save 47% water and 19% energy. 

Developing communities

Another one of our core competencies includes creating communities that withstand the test of time and unexpected environmental impacts. We work to ensure that the boom in city living will happen in a sustainable way. We’ve done this by developing sustainable community rating systems, regional 2030 plans, and proofing against climate change effects. One of our projects is the Al Zahia Gardens Masterplan in the United Arab Emirates.

Case study: 2020 World Expo

Alpin was chosen as the design phase commissioning authority for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. One of the core themes for the Expo, besides Mobility and Opportunity, is Sustainability. 

Our role will be to integrate these themes into the construction, operation, urban design, and legacy of the site. We’ll also focus on the efficient use of resources. Our goal is for this World Expo to be the reference point for sustainability for future Expos. 

And how will we ensure this? By meeting US Green Building Council requirements and local standards. And as a CEEQUAL accredited organization, these standards will naturally impact the project. 

How can you create sustainable projects?

Working on a complex infrastructure project? Want to improve your own construction standards? 

That’s what we help you do at Alpin by using our expertise and accreditation systems like CEEQUAL.

Want to learn more about our approach to making complex construction projects sustainable? Read more about how we help you meet even the strictest green building certifications here.


We Created a Program to Promote Employee Wellbeing. Here’s Why.

Want to know what employee wellbeing looks like in practice? At Alpin, we set out to develop a program that would promote employee wellbeing in effective ways.

The results of this initiative, Alpin Healthy, have more than exceeded our expectations. Here’s how.

What is Alpin Healthy?

Alpin Healthy is our initiative to promote employee wellbeing. With Alpin Healthy, we want to foster employee wellbeing both at work and at home. We do it by focusing on a few core areas:

Healthy eating

At our office in Masdar City, we offer plenty of organic fruit and green tea. During our breakfasts and lunches, we offer fresh and nutritious food.

Reusable water bottles

Our employees can enjoy quality water thanks to our BPA-free water coolers and BPA-free reusable water bottles.

Safe and healthy working conditions 

At Alpin, we work to achieve safe and healthy working conditions in many ways. We have a rigorous cleaning and sanitation plan in place. Training is given to employees so that health and safety is a priority in their lives. We offer coaching and guidance on things like healthy eating and first aid. 

Sports and recreation 

We organize sports and team activities for our employees. We encourage employees to participate in events like fitness events and team exercise by sponsoring community events. 

Workplace

We work hard to ensure that our workplace fosters wellbeing. We utilize 100% natural lighting, all offices have a view to outside spaces, and our air quality exceeds ASHRAE standards by 30%. We use ergonomic office furniture.

WELL Silver and LEED Gold certifications

Our offices are designed to promote employee wellbeing. That’s why we’ve been awarded by the International Well Building Institute and US Green Building Council with WELL certification at the silver level and LEED Gold certification as the first in the Middle East.

Why do we put so much effort into promoting our employees’ wellbeing?

So, why do we put so much effort into employee wellbeing?

Great question. In fact, our initiative is backed up by quite a lot of data.

According to the Financial Times, research shows that by focusing on wellbeing, employees can gain almost a full day a week in terms of productivity. In other words, employee wellbeing is good for the bottom line.

Second, employee wellbeing is one of our core values. We believe that employees are a company’s competitive advantage. They are what makes the company thrive. Not promoting employee wellbeing would be an extremely bad business decision.

But there’s one more thing we need to figure out. Has our initiative led to any tangible results? That’s what we’ll look at next. 

What have the results been?

At Alpin, we believe in doing things with tangible results. And we’re already seeing some excellent results thanks to Alpin Healthy. Take Hani, who is one of our amazing colleagues.

Hani decided to transform his life and through hard work and determination, he was able to go from 140kg (308lbs) to 70kg (154lbs).

Now, fitness is a major part of his life. Plus, the transformation was internal, too. According to Hani, he feels more confident and is happy that others around him see him as an inspiration.

Take a look at Hani’s story here:



Over to you!

So, there you have it. With Alpin Healthy, our team members have been able to get some amazing results. Now over to you: Learn more about Alpin Healthy program.


The Development and Construction Industry is Riddled with Problems. Here’s How We’re Changing It.

What’s one of the most inefficient industries in the world? Simple: The construction industry. With Alpin Innovation Labs (AILA), we intend to change this. Here’s how.

Why is the construction industry in need of innovations?

Here’s the thing: The construction industry is notoriously inefficient. 

Projects are rarely delivered on time or within budget. Operational costs are often higher than predicted. And while there are many solutions out there, the industry is still lagging behind when it comes to sustainability. 

In fact: According to the Economist, the construction industry is the least efficient industry. Plus, the industry is one of the least sustainable industries. About 20%of the world’s emissions are caused by the construction industry. 

And it makes sense. While most other industries are quickly adopting digital tools and becoming more sustainable, the construction industry often is not. 

It’s clear that the industry needs new ideas and solutions. And that’s what we do at Alpin Innovation Labs.

How AILA is changing the construction industry for the better

At AILA, our mission is to provide innovative practices that change the way construction projects are run. We want to see efficient and cost-effective practices in place. 

How do we do this? For example:

  • We introduce new services to the market that will help the industry transition from paperwork to digital solutions.
  • We develop processes that support the efficient delivery of projects’ success targets.
  • We utilize technology to ensure the highest levels of quality development.

To achieve this, we use technologies like augmented reality, drones, and proprietary software that is integrated into our services.

But what does it look like in practice? That’s what we’ll look at next.

How AILA helps you create better construction projects 

How does AILA help you set up and implement more effective construction projects? Here are our core focus areas:

MEP forensics and independent analytics

Construction projects are getting more complicated than ever. With our forensics services, we investigate and analyze the cause of any failures or defects that might arise during a project’s operational phase. 

Building asset condition assessments

With our condition assessments, we deliver high tech data that helps you determine the condition of your building assets. Because we’re able to pinpoint risks and problems before they become major issues, we can minimize costs and the environmental impact. 

Building performance analytics

At AILA, we simulate how a building will function over time both during the early design stage and the operations stage. This way, we can determine what can be done for energy-efficiency and cost-efficiency. 

Thermal Imaging drone inspections

With the help of drones, we can carry out cost-effective site inspections. You see, by using drones to detect faults, we help reduce the need for expensive manpower. You get faster feedback, which helps you take action right away.

Alpin + Measurabl (Operational Data at your Fingertips)

At AILA, we’ve partnered with Measurabl so that we can provide you with the world’s foremost building analytics service. We check for discrepancies and irregularities so that your reports are always up to date. This helps construction projects become more sustainable, as sustainability begins with collecting data.

Alpin CxCloud

Alpin CxCloud is all about offering applications and software solutions that enable you to deliver better-performing systems for your buildings, improve operations, and quickly adapt to changes in business demands. 

Acoustics

Noise control is a must for the health and wellbeingof your building’s occupants. With our acoustics services, we help you create the best acoustical solutions for your project.

What’s ahead for the construction industry?

That’s it. That’s how we’re working on changing the construction industry for the better. 

After all, we need innovative solutions to figure out how to make the industry more sustainable and effective now and in the future.

Want to learn more about the work we do at AILA? Read all about it here.


How Being the First WELL Certified™ Building in the Middle East Helps Us Create More Productive and Profitable Workspaces

Earlier this month, our company, Alpin Limited, was awarded WELL Certification at the Silver Level for New and Existing Interiors by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) as the first organization in the Middle East.

Why are we so happy about this? Because it shows our commitment to employee wellbeing and health. But not only that. Thanks to this certification, we’ll be able to help our clients create more productive and profitable workspaces.

How exactly? Let’s find out.

What is the WELL Building Standard™?

In short, the WELL Building Standard™ is the most important building standard to focus on enhancing people’s health and wellness through the buildings where we live, work, and play.

This performance-based certification was created by physicians, scientists, and industry professionals to use best practices in design, construction, and evidence-based scientific research.

When an organization achieves this standard, it shows a deep commitment to people’s wellbeing. And that’s what made it so attractive to us.

Why we wanted to get WELL Certified™

So why did we want to get WELL Certified™?

Our focus is on projects that are environmentally efficient. But our commitment doesn’t stop there. We believe that employee health and wellbeing should be a top priority because people are any company’s biggest asset.

For example:

Our Alpin Healthy HR campaign, which is a wide-ranging initiative centered on a commitment to enhancing our employees’ wellbeing, goes hand in hand with this commitment. In fact, before we got WELL Certified™, our internal gap analysis showed that we were already about 80% there.

WELL is the most prestigious recognition in this space and it aligns perfectly with our values.

Is WELL an expense or an investment?

It makes sense. Focusing on employee health and wellbeing results in a more productive workforce. Your company becomes a more attractive employer, employees stick around for longer, and you save on costs like employee absenteeism.

But still, WELL does come with its own costs and expenses. After all, changes need to be made in several different areas- air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort, and mind. For example, to become WELL Certified™, we made several investments. These include an on-campus gym, noise level improvements, and a new air filtration system.

Is it all worth it from a cost perspective?

Here are just a few examples of the benefits of WELL:

  • An engineering consulting firm, Cundall, spent $80,000 to create a workspace that lived up to WELL Gold level standards. At the same time, absenteeism dropped by 50% and staff turnover dropped by 27%. This meant a return on investment in just the first year.
  • According to CBRE Madrid, 80% of employees believed that their offices made them more productive.

See how WELL is an investment that will pay itself back and more… Not an expense?

How are we using WELL to improve?

As a company, we’re committed to constantly improving and innovating. That’s how we can help our clients create spaces that work seamlessly with their goals.

In fact, beyond being WELL Certified™ we’re committed to staying at the forefront of our industry. For example, as the first company in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, we were awarded the LEED Gold Certification for Commercial Interiors, which is one of the world’s most recognized green building codes.

But that’s not all.

For us, WELL is not just a certification. It’s a way of life.

We’re constantly aiming to get better and improving our commitment to employee health and wellbeing. WELL is embedded in our office development practices, HR policies, and approach to teaming.

It will help us create a better workplace. But even more so, we can easily integrate WELL into our client projects.

Want to use WELL in your organization?

Right now, we’re working with select developers and Fortune 500 firms to deliver the next series of WELL Certified™ projects.

Want to use the same standards to achieve better employee productivity, happier employees, lower employee-related costs, and to increase the value of your building assets?

Learn more about how WELL can help you get there.


Drone Inspection at Jumeirah Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi

Alpin Innovation Labs recently conducted a drone inspection for Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi. Here's a video from the site.


Hani Fitbit Hero Interview

In Spirit of the recent Dubai Fitness Challenge 2018, our very own Hani Abdel Razeo has shared his inspirational story with Fitness in DXB on how he has dropped half of his weight through sheer hard work; with his main tools being exercise daily, good nutrition and a whole lot of determination.

Hear how Hani shed 70kg through sheer hard work and determination, and has transformed his life so that now his fitness plays a major role in his everyday life. Hoping to encourage and inspire others, he also shares how he has used his Fitbit charge 3 during the Dubai Fitness Challenge, Dubai 30x30!

Source: Fitness in DXB