Friday, March 12, 2010

Dubai introduces new set of 'green' building specifications

All new buildings in the emirate will have to adhere to the second phase of specifications for 'green' building, which is aimed at the efficient use of electricity, water and renewable energy resources.

The Gulf Today, 10 March 2010

A new set of guidelines and specifications has been introduced in Dubai to regulate building standards for achieving efficiency in the use of electricity, water and renewable energy resources.
Up to 40 per cent of the emirate's energy consumption could be slashed by applying the new specifications in line with the second phase of the green buildings regulations that will be issued in the next month, said a senior government official.
The outcome will also facilitate the reduction in utility bills, besides other implications of adhering to green building standards, said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).
"The second stage of the environmental initiative is aimed at reducing electrical energy consumption, especially the energy used for cooling, lighting, water heating and other domestic use of power. The amount that can be saved from the facilities' bills alone can cover, in the long run, more than the cost of installation and maintenance," he added.
According to Al Tayer, Dubai will be the first city in the Middle East that officially applies the green buildings standards on its residential and commercial buildings, upon completion of the Green Building Project's implementation.
This is was announced by the DEWA chief on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Water, Energy Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX 2010) that will run at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre until March 11.
Within the green buildings framework, the second stage of the green building regulations has been jointly developed by the DEWA and Dubai Municipality (DM), which earlier initiated the emirate's much acclaimed 'Green Buildings Project.'
"Upon issuance in April, the specifications on the usage of power and water in the green building regulations will ensure the efficient use of electricity, water and renewable energy channels by the residents of the emirate," added Al Tayer.
According to him, all new buildings in the emirate will be required to comply with the codes and regulations and incorporate them in their construction designs, in the initial stage of the second phase.
"DEWA will ensure the application of energy, water and renewable energy efficiencies, while the Municipality will supervise and regulate the application of other major standards that fall under its jurisdiction," clarified Al Tayer.
He pointed out, "Both optional and mandatory regulations are in place to make the buildings compatible with the environmental requirements. The specifications include a set of factors such as site selection, efficient use of the energy and water, quality of materials used in construction, indoor environmental quality as well as waste management system."
"The new specifications also will rationalise the consumption of water and the optimum use of renewable energy in Dubai. All these factors will contribute effectively in reducing gas emissions, improving internal environment quality, and will reflect positively on public health," he said.
"Such factors will increase the life span of the buildings, contributing in the preservation of the ecosystem that will invariably lead to increased productivity," he added.
Al Tayer noted that the implementation of the green building regulations in Dubai comes in line with the launch of Green Building Project, aimed at providing a sustainable urban development.
The standards and procedures of green buildings will ensure that Dubai will remain a healthy and environmental-friendly city, he said.
The infrastructure, land and environment committee has approved the launch of the second phase of the green building regulations.
Al Tayer said that the Dubai Government is carrying out serious steps to reduce emissions of green house gases into the atmosphere of the city, in light of the climate studies indications that the situation in the region is worse than what was expected.
"The 'green' technologies already implemented in the emirate can immensely help in the mitigation of global warming and climate change," he hoped.