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Dubai: Gems Dubai American Academy has become the first school in the region to win an innovation award for adopting an energy saving and industry leading technology called TermoDeck, making it the first thermal energy storage school of its kind.

This follows an agreement with Eco-Structures International, which provides indoor air quality systems.

The project was also recognised as the UAE’s Education Project of the Year and as the GCC winner at the recently concluded MEED Project Award under the ‘Best Innovation Category’.

Tammy Murphy, Superintendent and CEO at Gems Dubai American Academy, said: “In the GCC, approximately 70 per cent of power is used for air-conditioning alone. With the installation of advanced technology following our agreement with Eco-Structures, our eco footprint can be significantly reduced while saving costs and providing students and teachers with the best air quality possible.

“We are also proud to have received the prestigious MEED Project Award as our project stands for quality, innovation and environmental protection”, she added.

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To make the 40,000 square metre campus more environmentally friendly, the TermoDeck design concept has been deployed to use the building’s structural mass to regulate internal temperatures for a wide spectrum of building types.

Randa Mouammar, Chief Strategy Officer at Eco-Structures, said: “Schools are more likely to have environmental deficiencies and poor indoor environmental quality than other buildings.

“When TermoDeck was applied to the design of the GEMS Dubai American Academy campus, the total connected load requirements dropped from 7.4 to 4.9 megawatts. In spaces where TermoDeck now operates, there is a design minimum of 50 per cent fresh air circulation during occupancy and tests show the lowest possible counts for bacteria, mold and fungus.”

Tests have indicated stable temperatures without cold airflows or drafts, and illness-related absence has also reportedly decreased since the intervention. TermoDeck absorbs warmth during the day so that indoor temperature remains comfortable at night without consuming too much energy.