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Tue 6 Nov 2007 01:32 PM

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Gold standard

Only LEED Gold buildings allowed to build on Dubai Waterfront, says Nakheel.

Gold standard

In a mid-October statement, Nakheel issued an unprecedented mandate for developers and architects looking to be involved in the Dubai Waterfront project. In keeping with a development strategy that is becoming increasingly more green, officials have implemented a policy that states every building located within Dubai Waterfront, which is bigger than both Manhattan and Beirut, must carry with it a Gold LEED certification.

"The way to make that happen is by having gold LEED certification written into the building control regulations (BCRs) and the sales contract - whether or not it's one of our buildings," says Shaun Lenehan, head of environmental design at Nakheel. "It's just a matter of having access to people that know what they're doing. There is a shortage of these kinds of professionals around the world because everyone is going for the same thing at the same time."

Embedded within the green building phenomenon is a dichotomy between the technology and orientation of the buildings and the end-users themselves.

"The way to save energy comes down to the built environment and the people. You can do whatever you want to a building but unless people want to [live sustainably], nothing is going to happen," says Lenehan.

Beyond the buildings themselves, in Dubai Waterfront, Nakheel is looking to redefine the neighbourhood concept with an eye toward compactness. "If we can provide amenities within the neighbourhood, for all levels of social class people won't have to drive," says Lenehan.

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