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Sat 13 Sep 2008 04:15 AM

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UPC to introduce green laws in Jan

Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council (UPC) will introduce in January 2009 its green regulations for new buildings and communities along with its own adapted-version of the Leed rating system.

Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council (UPC) will introduce in January 2009 its green regulations for new buildings and communities along with its own adapted-version of the Leed rating system.

If approved by the Abu Dhabi government these guidelines could be enforced on a federal level.

Speaking to Construction Week, UPC general manager HE Falah Al Ahbabi said: "The new regulations for these particular categories will come into effect in January next year. This will be followed by the introduction of regulations for existing, public and industrial buildings three months later in April."

He also said the body was currently working on a plan to introduce fines for those who do not comply with the new regulations when enforced.

The new Pearl rating system will also come into effect in January and includes ratings from one to five with five being the highest.

"The Leed rating system is the best green building standard in the world so we've based our rating system on it with a few changes to suit our region," said Al Ahbabi.

"We have taken into account our climatic conditions and culture and our energy and water resources."

He also added that the use of solar energy and green roofs are highly encouraged by the new rating system.

"Even though the regulations are based on basic sustainability requirements, one cannot reach the maximum rating of five pearls unless things such as the use of solar energy, water conservation and other such factors are incorporated."

In order to climb up the Pearl rating chart, developers and contractors will have to incorporate all elements of sustainable design in increasing variations.

"One cannot reach any Pearl level with just incorporating one method of sustainability," said Al Ahbabi.

"Various green building methods will have to be implemented in certain amounts and depending on the sustainability levels obtained, the points increase."

To get a rating of One Pearl, a minimum score of 35% sustainability will have to be achieved while a score of 75% or above will see a five Pearl rating.

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