Green building code from next year

DUBAI — The UAE government will introduce a federal level green building code from next year, Minister of Environment and Water Dr Rashid Ahmad bin Fahd said on Sunday.

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2010, 12:11 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:13 PM

Addressing the EnviroCities 2010 conference in Dubai, the minister said the code would initially be implemented in government buildings across the emirates. The minister said that the council of ministers had taken a decision in July regarding the implementation of the code from the beginning of next year.

“We have always been keen to incorporate the environmental dimension in the developmental plans. Realising the pressures of urban development boom, the UAE has given much importance to apply sustainable solutions including transforming the city areas into green, which in turn will reduce the impact of carbon emission and protect the environment,” he told an audience of environmental experts from across the world, including the founder of Earth Day, Denis Hayes.

Aimed at reducing energy and water consumption in all buildings, the federal green building code is expected to regulate green building codes developed by individual emirates. Abu Dhabi municipality rolled out its own green building code in September this year while Dubai Municipality announced the approval for its code earlier this month.

In Abu Dhabi, all new public buildings must achieve at least one pearl rating while government buildings should achieve two of five possible pearls under the Pearl Building Rating System (PBRS) for Estidama, the capital’s building methodology for constructing and operating buildings and communities more sustainably.

Dubai Municipality made it clear on Sunday that it will also ‘lead by example’ and start the execution of its green building specifications with government buildings.

Municipality’s Assistant Director General for Engineering and Planning Sector, Essa Al Maidour said the code will be made obligatory in all Dubai buildings only in three years as the government wished to prepare and educate the market and citizens during the transitional stage.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, he said Dubai would have its own unique certification body that will specify performance indicators for different types of buildings and rate green buildings.

He said about 80 per cent of the specifications, including the provisions for thermal insulation, and natural lighting and ventilation, had already been applied in Dubai buildings.

As per the new code, 60 per cent will be the maximum limit for using glass in buildings to restrict solar gain and decrease the demand for internal cooling, he said.

“If you have to use more due to certain circumstances, you will have to shade them or face them to north where you don’t have much sunlight,” said Al Maidour.

Department of Municipal Affairs in Abu Dhabi has envisioned a strategy to limit glass to just 30 per cent of a building’s facade when it updates its Energy Code that will complement the PBRS.

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