GEMS Dubai American Academy Becomes UAE’s First Thermal Energy Storage School

The school building uses TermoDeck technology for its structure, which cuts energy consumption by 30-50% and AC capacity by up to 50%.

EMS Dubai American Academy (DAA) has become the first school in the region to win the Innovation Award for adopting an energy-saving and industry leading build technology, TermoDeck, establishing it as the first thermal energy storage school of its kind.

This follows an agreement with Eco-Structures International, which focuses on providing the best building envelopes and indoor air quality systems. The project was also recognised as the UAE’s Education Project of the Year and as the GCC winner at the recently concluded MEED Project Award under the ‘Best Innovation Category’.

Tammy Murphy, Superintendent and CEO at DAA says: “In the GCC, approximately 70% of power is used for air-conditioning alone. With the installation of advanced technology following our agreement with Eco-Structures, our eco footprint can be significantly reduced while saving costs and providing students and teachers with the best air quality possible.”

The DAA campus, spread over an area of over 40,000 square metres, includes classrooms, cafeterias, offices, lecture halls, theatres and a gymnasium. To make the campus more environmentally-friendly, the TermoDeck design concept is being deployed, which uses the building’s structural mass to regulate internal temperatures for a wide spectrum of building types. Tests of the new school environment have indicated stable temperatures without any cold airflows or drafts, and teachers have reported high levels of occupant comfort inside their quietly air-conditioned classrooms. Illness-related absence has also been reported to be significantly lower.

During cooler desert nights, TermoDeck absorbs the warmth provided by the sun in the daytime so that the indoor temperature remains comfortable and stable year-round without consuming too much energy.