The Real Value of Improving U-values

1 June 2016 Kingspan Insulation Middle East

Are the U-values you're specifying the most efficient for the Middle East building stock?

Understand the positive impact of improving U-values.

The operational expenditure of a commercial building is a fundamental metric in understanding the valuation, and thus the investment potential, of real estate. The operational expenditure is deducted from the future income streams of a building, and therefore, a higher operational expenditure will reduce future income streams, and as such, give a lower valuation.

Governments across the Gulf are committing to cut carbon emissions and energy demand. With programmes such as Dubai's integrated energy strategy, Abu Dhabi's Vision 2030 and Qatar's National Vision 2030, it is essential that we look at how buildings can help play a part.

So, with energy prices and carbon emissions rising, people are keen to seek out energy reducing solutions. We've found insulation can be pretty effective, however, understanding the Return on Investment (ROI) that can be generated from reduced energy charges by going over and above what is required by local regulations, is essential to insulation being considered as one of the big players.

We asked Mott MacDonald to research the energy usage, carbon emissions and Return on Investment (ROI) when specifying additional  insulation solutions versus doing the minimum and complying with local regulations.

All of the models in each of the study locations showed a reduction in cooling and overall energy consumption when improvements were made to the U-values of the building’s wall, roof and floor elements
— Mott MacDonald

The Results

The findings show that, despite the requirement for a CapEx uplift for the additional insulation ranging from 0.01% to 3.23% of total development costs, the additional cost of increasing the insulation to achieve the required U-value can provide an overwhelming ROI and energy-saving potential:
  • 100% of the 1,241 calculations showed energy-savings and a reduction in carbon emissions
  • with the potential to save up to 92 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually in just one building
  • 1 in 5 of the total calculations showed an ROI of over 200%
  • up to 84% of calculations for a building showed an ROI of over 100%
  • all six buildings showed opportunities for a positive ROI – the villa showed opportunities for an instant ROI, while the other buildings showed opportunities for an ROI of over 3,200%
Have a look at some examples of the results in the table below.
    Improved U-values (W/m2.K)    
Location Building Type Roof Wall Floor Annual Energy-Savings
Abu Dhabi U.A.E Villa 0.25 0.29 0.30 1,204 602%
Muscat, Oman Low-rise Residential 0.20 0.29 0.30 37,808 712%
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia High-rise Residential 0.20 0.54 0.54 45,914 882%
Dubai, U.A.E. Low-rise Commercial 0.20 0.45 0.30 2,002 376%
Doha, Qatar High-rise Commercial 0.29 0.45 0.54 10,293 117%
Dubai, U.A.E. Hotel 0.25 0.45 0.45 15,217 1,334%


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Contact Information

Kingspan Insulation Middle East

Kingspan Insulation operates across the Middle East, Africa and Indian Subcontinent. Contact us to find your local representative. For any inquiries send an email to

Head Office - Dubai

Dubai: P.O. Box 113826, Dubai Investment Park 2

Tel: +971 4 889 1000

Fax: +971 4 883 8515