CCC is committed to increasing its focus on green projects and making environmental excellence an integral part in its operations.

Samir Thabet, the company’s sustainability coordination manager, told Construction Week that, at present, CCC is managing several projects that are pursuing different green certifications.

These projects, noted Thabet, have a combined value of more than $5bn and include Lines 1 and 2 of the Riyadh Metro; Abu Dhabi International Airport - Midfield Terminal Building; Automated People Mover Head House Phase 1 in the UAE; Opera Grand Tower and Al Zahia City Centre, both also in the UAE; City Centre Almaza in Egypt; and Abu Dhabi Plaza in Kazakhstan.

He pointed out that the company already has a track record of completing green building projects, one of which is CCC’s own LEED-certified corporate head office in Oman.

Thabet said: “We are concentrating on the principles of green construction. Our business strategy is to provide holistic solutions covering the entire life cycle of infrastructure projects, promote human and environmental health, and drive resource efficiency.”

He stressed that this focus on integrating sustainability into its projects and operations will define its future projects, adding: “Internally, we are fostering a knowledge framework to promote greater sustainability understanding and drive behavioural change among CCC employees by providing them with valuable skills.  For instance, we frequently organise webinars featuring market leading experts, who share with us their insights on sustainable solutions related to the construction industry.”

Speaking about challenges in the GCC when it comes to developing green projects, Thabet said that project cost issues, people’s inherent resistance to change, and a lack of emphasis on green education in schools as obstacles that the construction industry and its stakeholders need to address.

He elaborated: “Clients should consider the total project cost – construction cost and operation cost. Clients can use the savings from operating green buildings to offset any initial higher construction cost. Life cycle cost analysis is very important to support green purchasing decisions.”

On people’s attitude towards sustainability, he noted that members of the construction community are “used to building in a certain way and using techniques, materials, and products with which they are familiar”. This, he said, makes it a challenge to introduce new green materials to the market.

He further noted that most fresh engineering graduates don’t have enough educational training on sustainable design and construction. “At CCC, we have established our own programme to offer employees training on green building regulations and requirements,” he said.

CCC recently won Contractor of the Year at the MENA Green Building Awards 2017, organised by the Emirates Green Building Council in partnership with the Jordan Green Building Council and the Lebanon Green Building Council.