Sunday, March 7, 2010

By 2011, Dubai well on way to giving itself green canopy

19 Dec 2009, The Gulf Today

The manual on the green roofs project, which will help Dubai to achieve its strategic goal to lift per capita green areas to 23.4 square metres by the end of 2011, has been prepared by Dubai Municipality (DM).
The concept of the green roofs project is aimed at keeping pace with international standards on sustainable development by planting green roofs and facades in the Emirate.
The guidelines specify an application study of the system and construction and environmental standards that must be met during the application, as well as the licensing mechanism, says a senior DM official.
Plant types
Farhan Al Marzouqi, Head of the Corporate Marketing and Relations Department at the DM, said that the civic body has listed the types of plants that are suitable for cultivation on the surface and soils that are suitable, and their technical specifications.
The manual also explains the needs of different plants for irrigation so that the plants requiring minimal maintenance are selected.
"Roofs of all buildings and houses in Dubai will be transformed into cultivated areas under the project that also clauses on using water generated from air conditioners for irrigating plants," he said.
Protects, purifies
"The green roof protects the roof of the traditional building and the plantation on the roofs of the buildings will cool and purify the air and produce oxygen; it also regulates the humidity and absorbs the dust," he added.
According to Al Marzouqi, the application of the system will have a direct impact on the city from the environmental, aesthetic and economic aspects as the use of green roofs will lead to reducing the challenges of modern cities.
He noted that the green roofs project will be implemented gradually and in line with the green buildings project, as the massive growth of urbanisation in Dubai is leading to rising temperature levels in the region.
"As per the studies conducted by the DM in comparison with the success of the concept in other countries, it will significantly contribute to reducing temperature and purifying air from other pollutants from the emirate's environment," explained Al Marzouqi.
"The municipality has formed a special committee for the preparation of technical and application studies to establish the green roofs that will apply to all buildings in the Emirate of new and existing ones," he said.
Reduce energy use
"The green roofs will significantly reduce energy consumption, as buildings with green roofs require less cooling in the summer than buildings with conventional roofs. The methods of thermal insulation will contribute towards addressing the phenomenon of accumulation of gases in the built environment, if it's used widely," he pointed out.
According to him, the green roofs will also reduce the impact of urban heat that is around 3 to 5°C higher than the suburbs due to the absorption of the temperature by buildings and streets and the inability of the city to get rid of the heat during the night period, which leads to accumulation of gases.
Water needs
"The green roof system will benefit from the concentration of rainwater, the drainage and wastewater treatment and water resulting from air conditioning units so as to not to drain the resources of additional water for irrigating the plants. It will isolate external sounds. A green space meets the needs of the community for green areas for a variety of uses in large cities," said Al Marzouki. The Dubai Municipality was the first to take initiative in the application of the system on its premises, on which work has recently started.

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