July 5 - Dubai, better known for its towering skyscrapers is also home to the world's most sustainable commercial building. Hayley Platt takes a look at 'The Change Initiative' - recently awarded the world's most sustainable building.
Dubai - a city renowned for its futuristic skyline. Home of the world's tallest building, and the world's most sustainable commercial one too. A heat-reflecting roof, and solar panelled heating are just some of the 2000 different technologies used in the design. Gundeen Singh, founder of the initiative, says being green can also be lucrative. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEO AND FOUNDER OF THE CHANGE INITIATIVE, GUNDEEP SINGH, SAYING: "A significant portion of our business is B2B which means we sell solutions to commercial houses, to developers, to a lot of people who are building or fitting large buildings as an example. Along with other things that we do, that's going to bring us to a turnover in the first year of around $20-$25 million." Inside is just as impressive. From Gluten free groceries to a range of sustainable furniture and crockery. It was recently awarded the LEED Platinum certification for the world's most sustainable building. It scored 107 out of a maximum 110 points - winning marks for good water efficiency, energy, design and sustainability. Residents say it's a breath of fresh air in a city better known for having one of the world's highest carbon footprints. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CUSTOMER AT THE CHANGE INITIATIVE, LIZETTE PITOUT, SAYING: "I'd heard that a café had opened and that it was serving delicious food and living in Dubai you're always on the look-out for something new and exciting and especially something organic and sustainable and green because there is so little of it around." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEO AND FOUNDER OF THE CHANGE INITIATIVE, GUNDEEP SINGH, SAYING: "We are now able to clearly say that sustainable buildings are possible and that sustainability is possible in a place where everything is completely different." Singh has plans to expand into Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, before conquering the U.S. and Europe.