The Wave, Muscat adopts sustainable development practices

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change" said Charles Darwin, many years ago.

However, what does ring true today is the fact that climate change and global warming are realities that we all have to face in today's world, the sooner we accept this and start dealing with it the better it is.

As world-wide awareness of climate change grows, developers across the region are changing to reflect consumer's interest in the issue. The Wave, Muscat, a world class, mixed- use community development, spread along 6 kms of natural beach, is one such project taking shape in Oman which lays a significant amount of emphasis on "green" initiatives to its design and development, including energy efficient modules for construction structure, adopting best practice principles in creating green spaces, innovative approaches to landscaping techniques and planning and adopting sustainable techniques for recycling water.

"All the initiatives which we have undertaken are not mandatory for the construction but we have considered that "going green" is in fact imperative and an intrinsic part of The Wave, Muscat being recognized as socially responsible sustainable developers. We are looking to apply for accreditation from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) where appropriate. This recognition is especially important to us when one considers that a prime motivator for developers to create a certified sustainable building is to differentiate their project from competition," says Nick Smith, CEO, The Wave, Muscat.  

Shedding some light on the green initiatives at The Wave, Muscat, Senior Projects Manager on site Iain Liversage, says, "Sustainable buildings use design techniques, materials and technologies that minimize a buildings impact on the environment in their design, construction and operational systems while adequately servicing and supporting activities within. The Wave, Muscat will boast a slew of green design features, from a water recycling system to energy efficient air conditioning that will incorporate multiple aspects of environmentally friendly designs.

The construction of the units at The Wave, Muscat have an enhanced thermal envelope, the walls have cavity insulation with low E glazing which helps reduce heat loss from within the building and reduces solar gain from outside. Green spaces have been created throughout the development to not only enhance the experience for our residents but also create habitats for local bird life.

Turning trash into treasures is the philosophy behind the artificial reef we would be creating around the sea bed adjacent to the Kempinski hotel. Studies have shown that artificial reefs have the potential to attract a staggering array of marine life thus supplementing what would naturally occur in this area which could also be a potential diving site in the future.

Where feasible the sourcing of bulk construction materials, cement and rock requirements are met from within 45 kms of the construction site.  The majority of the building fabrics, are also sourced locally from within Oman, thereby assisting us in reducing our carbon footprint by minimizing transportation.

Our centralized cooling plant will allow us to provide air conditioning to our apartment buildings in a much more ecologically manner using centrifugal mass cooling techniques rather than individual DX refrigerant units to each apartment. This method reduces both the impact of ozone depletion and global warming.

Matt Reynolds, Atkins Supervising Senior Landscape Architect at The Wave, Muscat, provides an insight on how a few initiatives can make the hard and soft landscaping both sustainable and environment friendly.

"The landscape designers (Landscape Designs LLC, Oman) have focused on providing a landscape treatment that minimizes the use of water through a selection of gravels, paving and a palette of plant species accustomed to the Sultanate's climate and soil conditions. The choice of appropriate plant species will ensure that the green areas throughout the streetscapes and parks will remain attractive, healthy and green whilst affording the predicted levels of foot-traffic. Additionally, the designers have carefully incorporated shade tree planting to provide a year-round cooler micro climates and shaded spaces for people to comfortably congregate and socialize within these public spaces.

To further reinforce the character to these public spaces, the use of the endemic ‘date palm' can be widely seen along the streetscape network. The date palm planting is socially and culturally symbolic of a prosperous country and successfully provides a framework to the traditional Omani landscape of The Wave project.

All the sweet soil and sub soil gravels and raw materials utilized on site are sourced locally and recycled where-ever possible.

Recycling water is also another technique central to establishing sustainable landscapes. The utilization of treated sewage effluent (TSE) for use in the drip irrigation lines which efficiently deliver the water requirements to the planting without posing a threat to the public will also soon be activated. Where ever possible we will be incorporating the latest proven technologies for water saving devices within the landscape, whilst carefully providing a beautiful and dynamic landscape that the public will remember and enjoy."

Sustainable real estate is not a passing trend but is the new way of doing business in real estate as sustainable buildings and developments provide considerable financial savings. In developing, maintaining, owning and occupying sustainable real estate developments, individuals can help make a positive impact on the environment.