Waste-to-energy: An opportunity for a new industrial typology in Abu Dhabi
Paleologos, Evan K.
El Amrousi, Mohamed
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Despite the current strides in recycling in both the USA and Europe the remaining amounts of waste that need to be disposed of keep on increasing. Reversal of this trend is extremely challenging, given the expected increase in global population, and as developing countries adapt consuming patterns resembling those of the USA and Europe. It appears then, given the multi-faceted disadvantages of landﬁlling, that thermal treatment will become the dominant disposal option for the foreseeable future. The United Arab Emirates' production of municipal waste places it in the top ﬁve countries in the world, consistent with the strong correlation found to exist between waste generation and level of urbanization and gross domestic product of a country. The scarcity of water in the UAE and the proximity of its aquifers to the ground surface make it very questionable whether landﬁlling is appropriate for the country. Thus, recycling and incineration appear to be the only solid waste management options for UAE, and this country's response to its waste problem can be thought of, also, as a test of how an advanced, afﬂuent society can address the problem of mounting waste. Related to these is the size of the incineration facilities and the need, in many cases, to be located close or within the urban environment. This point is explored in this work in arguing that a re-invention of the industrial building in the context of a modern city is a necessity, and should be approached not on a case-by-case basis, but in a systematic fashion where incineration facilities become integral parts of the urban landscape. The city of Abu Dhabi, UAE with its iconic buildings and forward-looking approach to urban planning and building design serves here as a model city, where such an integration could take place.