Dubai: Creating a full-scale residential community that conforms to “green” credentials is doable — that is what Diamond Developers is proving with its ‘Sustainable City’ development in Dubailand. The Dh1.2 billion project — featuring 500 villas and town houses — has deployed elements such as solar panels, LED lighting and green appliances to bring the energy load factor down when residents move in from July onwards.
The developer believes consumption savings of up to 50 per cent can be effected through these (compared with a similar project built on conventional lines), plus those that will be generated from having energy renewables where possible.
Of the overall project cost of Dh1.2 billion, 50 per cent of it was put up by Diamond Developers as the equity portion. This is inclusive of the land cost.
“By next month we should have completion certificate, and that will set the stage for the handover process,” said Faris Saeed, CEO and Co-founder of Diamond Developers. “There may be individual components within the development process that may be costlier, such as LED lighting, but for property owners there will be tangible benefits from big reductions in air-condition loads, etc. Those savings are enough to cover the extra costs over the initial years.
“The solar panels on the roofs can generate between 5.5-8 kilowatt peak, and that’s quite a good sized output from each unit.
“But we are not part of any carbon credit programme — I don’t think it would have been beneficial to have one for this project.”
The town houses are priced upwards of Dh3 million, while a four-bedroom villas would be in the range of Dh6 million and over. 50% of the units have been acquired, the rest wi ll be leased according to the developer, whose portfolio includes six completed high-rises in Dubai Marina.
The Sustainable City will also have an eco-friendly mall and even a ‘farm’ set on 400,000 square feet within its centre. “We decided a farm was more of a fit with what the project is about than just another green expanse,” said Saeed. “The community mall development (with a gross floor area of 180,000 square feet) will form part of the second phase.
“And we intend to put part of the leasing income generated from the mall — say, 35-40 per cent — into the service and maintenance funds that will be operated by the residents of the residential community.”
The mall as well as other community features such as a club, a small-sized resort, school and equestrian facility will also be put up by Diamond Developers.
The developer confirmed plans to top up its land bank for future projects, with Dubai World Central rated a top prospect. “Any location where we can get access to big sized plots would be ideal for a new project,” said Saeed. “We will stick to the theme of sustainable development in all future ventures — now that we have shown clear proof that it’s possible, it would be easier to replicate.
“There will be a buyer base who would value the benefits accruing from such a development where the environmental impact is minimised to optimum levels.”