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Sat 28 Feb 2009 04:00 AM

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Abu Dhabi launches further green initiatives

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) has taken a further step to demonstrate the green commitment of the emirate through the launch of the website version of Estidama.

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) has taken a further step to demonstrate the green commitment of the emirate through the launch of the website version of Estidama.

Estidama, which means sustainability in Arabic, is an initiative intended to encourage responsible decision-making on the part of the construction industry and other related sectors.

The online portal includes a number of interactive tools that allow users access to specialised sustainability issues.

The site includes information for developers on the Pearl Rating System - the voluntary programme developed in 2007 to provide new buildings in Abu Dhabi with a sustainability rating relevant to regional conditions.

It also includes details of the  Estidama Integrative Design Process, which the UPC said focuses on "the how of sustainability rather than the what."

"It is an evolved model that redefines existing urban development practices and requires a level of collaboration that is rarely used in our region, or in building projects currently underway," said Estidama associate planner Salem Al Qassimi.

"This collaborative approach can be completed in a timely fashion, but because of its structure and philosophy, can save significant time and construction costs." The site is at www.estidama.org.

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Wildlife Society, in association with WWF (EWS-WWF), and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) has launched the "Heroes of the UAE" campaign to promote energy efficiency and reduce consumption across the country.

"According to our State of Environment Report, Abu Dhabi's electricity demand has surged in the past 10 years from 1766MW to 4320MW," EAD secretary general HE Majid Al Mansouri said.

Organisers called for supporters to join the campaign online at www.heroesoftheuae.ae.

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