Seeking for a sustainable Iran

Iran is at a point where the majority of urban development that could exist in 100 years hasn’t even taken place yet.. It is a giant opportunity to do good..

Healthy, prosperous and resilient communities develop not as a result of isolated initiatives but through a combination of clear vision and strategic actions. a forward looking governments should increasingly understand the importance of addressing the urgent needs of today, while not compromising the opportunities of tomorrow. Sustainability, the term most commonly used to describe this approach, encompasses a broad framework of interrelated issues that includes (but is not limited to) environmental stewardship, economic growth, public health and social equity. Given the all-encompassing nature of sustainability, A++ tehran is aimed to provide the local market with a broad overview and action items commonly contained within a city-wide sustainability strategy. A++ goal is to represent, locally recommended and replicable strategies that have successfully contributed to city-led sustainability efforts across the world providing ideas and inspiration for a community seeking to develop or expand upon sustainability initiatives mainly Encouraging Green Building Standards for New and Existing Buildings.

Green buildings, when part of a broader sustainability plan, consume less energy, produce fewer emissions, protect occupant health, minimize waste and create jobs. By adopting green building standards for public buildings, cities lead by example and help to create a market for similar standards across a community. it is possible to choose to apply standards to new construction or extend requirements to existing buildings based on certain requirements (i.e. age and size of a building).

A++ goes Green…

A++, has made a step forward to to its effort in communication and its awareness of the need to build a more sustainable world.

From today, the site of the studio will also be reached through the new extension “.green” de facto abandoning each geographical identification in favor of a broader and international vision. A++ and its green philosophy are today shaping each and every design of ours, and ever more leading our thoughts towards a new and renovated future of architecture and design.

see you on !!

a step closer to sustainable island as property developer breaks new ground

Al Hamra Real Estate Development has held an official ground-breaking ceremony for Falcon Island, a luxury AED1 billion residential development that will soon be home to one of the most exclusive and environmentally-friendly pieces of real estate in region.

“With exquisite European architecture, some of the finest interiors anywhere in the world, and stunning green spaces, nothing else in the GCC will compare with what is on offer at Falcon Island. It will also completely redefine the real estate landscape in the northern emirates,” said Al Hamra Real Estate Development General Manager, Benoy Kurien.

“This is something we have been doing for over a decade, and the ground-breaking of Falcon Island is not only another proud moment in our history, but it is also symbolic of new ground we’ve been treading in the property market in Ras Al Khaimah,” he said.

Built to the highest international standards and with LEED Platinum Certification in mind, the 150 exquisite properties that will be built on Falcon Island will offer unrivaled waterfront living and world-leading energy-efficiency specifications, as well as excellent value and a return on investment to rival anything that is on offer in the big cities, said Mr Kurien.

“The prospects of owning a LEED certified property in a booming property market where average sale and rental rates across UAE have been increasing by around 30 and 25 percent, respectively, is one of the key reasons why the first phase of Falcon Island has sold out. LEED properties are 30 percent more valuable and retain more of that value.”

“A second off-plan phase has been released and is also selling out fast, and shows that there is real confidence in the Al Hamra Village brand and the local property market.”

Net Zero Metrics

As the “zero energy” and “net zero energy” concepts are relatively new, there are not yet definitive, widely accepted zero-energy metrics. at present there are four ways in which net zero energy may be defined and building designers, owners, and operators should select the metric that best fits their project: :
• Net Zero Site Energy
• Net Zero Source Energy
• Net Zero Energy Costs
• Net Zero Energy Emissions
Site Energy refers to the energy consumed and generated at a site (e.g. a building), regardless of where or how that energy originated. In a net zero site energy building, for every unit of energy the building consumes over a year, it must generate a unit of energy.

Source Energy refers to primary energy needed to extract and deliver energy to a site, including the energy that may be lost or wasted in the process of generation, transmission and distribution. For example, a coal-burning power plant may generate 1 Joule of electricity for every 3 Joules of energy in the coal consumed. If natural gas is used at a site, for every 20 Joules consumed, 1 Joule may be needed to extract and distribute the gas to the site. Metrics for net zero source energy buildings account for these factors, though exact metrics can vary depending on site and utility factors.

Net Zero Energy Cost is perhaps the simplest metric to use: it means that the building has an energy utility bill of $0 over the course of a year. In some cases, building owners or operators may take advantage of selling Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from on-site renewable generation.
Many conventional energy sources result in emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, etc.

A Net Zero Energy Emissions building either uses no energy which results in emissions or offsets the emissions by exporting emissions-free energy (typically from on-site renewable energy systems).
Grid Connection and Net Zero

As happens also in our recent development “ falcon Island”, Most Net Zero Energy Buildings are connected to the electric grid, allowing for the electricity produced from traditional energy sources (natural gas, electric, etc.) to be used when renewable energy generation cannot meet the building’s energy load. When, conversely, on-site energy generation exceeds the building energy requirements, the surplus energy should be exported back to the utility grid, where allowed by law.


The excess energy production offsets later periods of excess demand, resulting in a net energy consumption of zero. Due to current technology and cost limitations associated with energy storage, grid connection is usually necessary to enable the Net Zero Energy balance. Differences in how utilities and jurisdictions address payment for energy that is exported from the building into the grid can impact project economics and should be carefully evaluated.


Energy Efficiency

Regardless of the definition or metric used for a Net Zero Energy Building, minimizing the energy use through efficient building design should be a fundamental design criterion and the highest priority of all NZEB projects. Energy efficiency is generally the most cost-effective strategy with the highest return on investment, and maximizing efficiency opportunities before developing renewable energy plans will minimize the cost of the renewable energy projects needed. Using advanced energy analysis tools, design teams can optimize efficient designs and technologies.

Energy efficiency measures include design strategies and features that reduce the demand-side loads such as high-performance envelopes, air barrier systems, daylighting, sun control and shading devices, careful selection of windows and glazing, passive solar heating, natural ventilation, and water conservation.

Once building loads are reduced, the loads should be met with efficient equipment and systems. This may include energy efficient lighting, electric lighting controls, high-performance HVAC, and geothermal heat pumps. Energy conversion devices such as combined heat and power systems, fuel cells, and micro turbines do not generate renewable energy. Instead, they convert fossils fuel energy into heat and electricity and are can be considered energy efficiency strategies.

Renewable Energy

On-Site Renewable Energy
Once efficiency measures have been incorporated, the remaining energy needs can be met using renewable energy technologies. Common on-site electricity generation strategies include photovoltaics (PV), solar water heating, and wind turbines.

Renewable, on-site thermal energy can sometimes be provided by effective use of biomass. Wood, wood pellets, agricultural waste, and similar products can be burned on-site to provide space heating, service water heating, etc. Biofuels, such as biodiesel, may also be used in conjunction with conventional fossil fuels to meet thermal loads.

Priority should be given to renewable approaches that are readily-available, replicable, and most cost-effective. System maintenance must also be given consideration to over time. Life-cycle cost analysis should be used to evaluate the economic merits of various systems over their usable lifetimes.

Off-Site Renewable Energy

Depending on the metric and guidelines used, buildings may be permitted to use energy generated off-site to offset energy used in a building. If space is limited, a facility owner may install dedicated wind turbines, solar collectors, etc. at a separate location. Most often, however, credit for off-site renewable generation is gained by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs).

RECs are available from many renewable energy technologies. Large, utility-scale wind farms, solar plants, geothermal plants, and hydropower facilities generate electricity without using fossil fuels or primary energy. The costs of constructing and operating these generation facilities are often paid for by selling the “credit” for generating energy renewably (as well as selling the energy itself). The structure and market for RECs is evolving and it varies regionally.

Allowable renewable energy strategies which include: “energy produced by solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, ocean (including tidal, wave, current, and thermal), geothermal, municipal solid waste, or new hydroelectric generation capacity achieved from increased efficiency or additions of new capacity at an existing hydroelectric project”.

Cover Photo: Falcon Island’s Photovoltaic Bridge

A++ to develop the first Net_Zero island in UAE

Conceived as Part of the ENERGY BUILDING PROJECT that A++ has started few years ago it refers to the development of a completely sustainable luxury island off the shores of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.
The project involves the design and construction of N ° 150 prestigious villas with the highest energy efficiency .
The whole complex will be characterized by the implementation of high sustainability systems , both for the production of electricity as well as for the production of thermal energy.
The villas will be built using a partial pre-cast assembly, performed by dedicated companies in protected environment thereby ensuring effective control of the quality of the implementation .
The villas will be characterized by the use of sustainable materials and technical systems with low consumption and low maintenance.
The island will be powered by electricity generated from a combination of centralized production , by means of a photovoltaic roof built on the access bridge to the island, and localized production by means of panels placed on the roofs of individual houses .
The cooling of homes and public areas will be secured by a centralized system powered by solar energy and distributed through a system of district cooling.
Falcon Island Net Zero Development

Merry Christmas 2013

It has been a long and tiring year, nevertheless our work towards sustainability has given us its fair amount of satisfactions.
We have been given the chance to once again prove our theory in the field in many places in the world by the hands of visionary investors that, if possible, have believed in our new approach to design and construction even more than us.

And once again we have had the satisfaction of being proved right: Thinking sustainability from the first stages of design not only works perfectly towards the quality of the realization, it also yields short, medium and long terms advantages for both the investor and the final user:
The end message of the marketplace is that green homes and buildings are worth more than non green homes and buildings, in every aspect, for good peace of green believers.
For as much positive this result might be, it is not an arrival but a continuation of an ongoing project that reflects a succession of explorations, encounters, and emotions, as well as yearnings as a result of the work of many passionate people, all around the world: architect, engineers, field specialists, researchers, artists, financial advisers, technical experts and simple enthusiasts along with families and friends who have supported ( and tolerated) our work and our dedication.

We are grateful to this people and together with them , we would like to wish you the merriest of Christmas and we would like to share with you our hope for a greener and more sustainable world.

The A++ team.