Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre

Real Time Energy Monitoring Display in the UAE.

The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre (SZDLC) is an educational facility in the heart of Al Ain Zoo in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), combining knowledge and learning through interactive exhibits, multimedia and visual materials.  The centre encourages visitors to consider their relationship with the environment, encouraging them to communicate with it and adopt more sustainable lifestyles.


The SZDLC is the first building in the UAE to achieve a rating of five pearls in sustainability accreditation at the Design & Construction stage.  The centre was keen to monitor energy usage and discover and utilise opportunities to manage energy usage, reduce consumption and carbon emissions.  The energy data would also be used as part of the centres learning and educational experience and displayed to influence behaviour.

Proposed Solution

The aim of the works was to provide high resolution data across different buildings, recording electricity, water and other utilities.  The SZDLC also has solar panels and sought to record energy consumption from the grid and that generated from the panels.  In order to achieve this, different buildings and areas were sub-metered and the data linked to an existing Building Management System (BMS).  Multiple kiosk monitors were installed throughout the centre, providing visual and easy to understand live energy consumption data for students and visitors.

Work Completed

The full, real time energy system went live on the 26th November 2014.  Having now generated over three years of energy data, the system shows trends over time, including grid power consumption and solar power generated by the SZDLC solar panels.  The data can be manipulated to show overall consumption but also be directed to each meter/ submeter, providing high resolution data that can be analysed and used to realise consumption reductions.  The data also shows real-time energy consumption, as well as recording historical information, highlighting areas of high or excessive consumption immediately, allowing it to be investigated and actioned immediately, further realising savings.


Results & Benefits

Following the installation of the energy management system, the SZDLC received LEED Platinum certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).  The ability to read live energy data has resulted in a 59.4% saving in energy consumption in 2017, when compared to the ASHRAE Energy Standard 90.1-2004 comparators.  This equates to 3,941,083 kWh less energy consumption comparatively.  Savings are realised by the provision of multiple displays of energy and water consumption, minute by minute, hour by hour, and long term statistical displays that are quick and easy to understand and interpret and predominantly displayed.  This results in a reduced carbon footprint, furthering the sustainability credentials of the centre and realising the financial savings of reduced energy consumption.

Real time energy monitoring has allowed the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre to reduce energy consumption by 59.4% compared to the ASHRAE Energy Standard.