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Dubai govt approves green building code

Sajila Saseendran / 3 November 2010

Dubaiís much-anticipated Green Building Code has been approved by the government and will be rolled out in phases, instead of imposing it compulsorily at one go.

It took almost two years for the Dubai Municipality to finalise the regulations for green buildings aimed at implementing environmental design for buildings by using energy-efficient construction materials and methods to reduce consumption of power and water. This followed a directive by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in 2007 that all buildings constructed in Dubai from 2008 should meet the green building standards.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of the municipality, on Wednesday said the green building specifications, which were finalised recently, were approved by the Dubai Executive Council last week. He was speaking at a press conference held to announce the EnviroCities Conference 2010 to be held under the title “Green Cities” on November 28 and 29 in Dubai.

In reply to questions, Lootah said the government’s plan is not to implement the code compulsorily in all buildings. Instead, he said, the regulations would be put into practice in phases during which the municipality intended to educate the construction industry and the public about them.

“If you have a 100 per cent green building and if you have a poor management internally, you cannot achieve the goal,” he said, noting that the focus would be on behavioural changes that would have great impact in energy conservation by adopting small steps.

According to Lootah, the government is also looking at offering incentives to encourage developers to adopt the green building specifications, the implementation of which would require huge investments. Without revealing specific details, he said various ideas are being discussed in this regard.

He clarified that the implementation of the code is not to overstress on the requirements which could, in turn, increase the cost involved. “Our aim is not to increase the cost. We want to cooperate in (designing) the building, in the selection of the materials and most importantly in the management of buildings.” — sajila@khaleejtimes.com

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