Dubai: All buildings in Dubai will have to be constructed as per environment-friendly "green building" standards from January, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has instructed in his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai.
Owners of residential, commercial and other buildings will have to implement the decision according to the highest international standards that are suitable for Dubai, to maintain a healthy city that follows the global benchmarks in sustainable development and clean environment.
Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, said the decision enhances Dubai's keen efforts towards contribution in international efforts to combat environmental challenges, such as the global initiative to control climate change and heat retention.
The decision makes Dubai the first city in the Middle East and one of the first in the world to implement this method.
Al Gergawi said the decision reflects Shaikh Mohammad's keenness to combat environmental challenges and is part of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, which includes the application of the best standards for safety, and quality.
Ahmad Bin Byat, Secretary General of the Dubai Executive Council, said the Council will immediately adopt necessary measures to ensure effective implementation of the decision.
He highlighted the financial advantages of going green - from lower construction costs and overheads to reduced utility bills for Dubai residents.
Environmentalists lauded the decision as a major boost to environmentally-conscious construction.
Dr Sadek Owainati, founder of the Emirates Green Building Council and chairman of the board, said the decision will favourably impact the construction industry to go sustainable and will enforce the "expectation we have of construction in this part of the world."
"We appreciate the instruction by Shaikh Mohammad. It is what we are aiming for. Without government support it would be difficult to apply these standards and we are looking forward to seeing the regulations," said Owainati.
He said the principle for older buildings has not been laid out yet, but the council is encouraging the reviewing of energy consumption in older buildings. "You cannot change the orientation of a building but you can remove hazardous materials."
- A green building is environment-friendly by abiding international standards to reduce its impact on the environment. It achieves this by increasing its efficiency and use of energy, water, and materials, and reducing impacts on human health and the environment, through better design, construction, operation and maintenance.
- According to the US Green Buildings Council, a green building on average saves 70 per cent of electricity, 50 to 60 per cent of water and 36 per cent of energy than standard buildings.
- Based on a point system for every level of efficiency there are about 16,000 green buildings in the United States. There are 16 Platinum green buildings in the world, which is the highest level of eco-friendliness for a structure. By using solar panels and wind turbines to water efficient faucets, buildings can make a difference to how they impact the environment.
Shame it has taken so long. By the time this comes into effect think of all the hundreds of towers and thousands of villas that have missed out. The energy usage from those buildings that have already gone up is huge - how can that be rectified?
Posted: October 25, 2007, 17:52
I hope the construction phases where many toxic materials are generated is also considered. What about the community's carbon footprints after the building is built? There is a long way to go one step at a time!
Posted: October 25, 2007, 17:24
This is really a great idea. I am sure it will help to make Dubai green and clean.
Posted: October 25, 2007, 16:56
Wow!! Great move. Looking forward to seeing a Green Dubai!
Posted: October 25, 2007, 08:00
What took the UAE so long to decide this? Seriously!
Newcastle upon Tyne,England
Posted: October 25, 2007, 02:35