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Tue 1 Jul 2008 04:00 AM

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Abu Dhabi’s green building initiative

A program for sustainable building in Abu Dhabi has been jointly launched by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Municipality and Masdar.

A program for sustainable building in Abu Dhabi has been jointly launched by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Municipality and Masdar.

Entitled Estidama, the Arabic for sustainability, the integrated program will devise guidelines and regulations for the sustainable design, operation and maintenance of all buildings and communities within the Emirate.

It is intended to help implement the principles of Abu Dhabi's Plan 2030's recommendations for urban development and to diffuse sustainable design into all physical developments within the Emirate.

Phase one includes the identification of design guidelines for residential and commercial buildings. Estidama New Building (ENB) design guidelines will provide all stakeholders in the construction industry with outline information to ensure an integrated approach to sustainable building design.

Ten major sustainability elements have been identified as necessary for addressing through the design criteria, including water, energy use and indoor environmental quality.

"Estidama is the cornerstone of our sustainability efforts...our first step will be to apply the ENB guidelines by working with various other government entities. This is part of our ongoing work in reviewing developments across the Emirate," stated UPC general manager Falah Al Ahbabi.

The Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) has been involved in the adaptation of the working document to suit local needs and regulations. EGBC chair Dr Sadek Owainati said: "It has to allow for the proper parameters to be taken into consideration when designing any building, so it will definitely request and expect designers to ensure they utilise means to reduce the demand on energy and water.

The next step will be regulations that demand certain minimum [standards]...we need to aim for better, more efficient designs."

The guidelines will come into effect over the coming months. This will be preceded by a major awareness campaign. For more details see www.upc.gov.ae.

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