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Green Building Council in new sustainability drive

The Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) has appealed to contractors and developers to join the LEED Emirates pilot programme in a drive to push sustainability on new buildings in the UAE.

Pacific Control HQ in Techno City was the first building in the UAE to win Platinum LEED status.
Pacific Control HQ in Techno City was the first building in the UAE to win Platinum LEED status.

The Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) has appealed to contractors and developers to join the LEED Emirates pilot programme in a drive to push sustainability on new buildings in the UAE. "Our main objective is to promote the principles of green building, and the most important thing for us is that we have an open dialogue with contractors, developers and the authorities on this," said Sadek Owainati, founder and chairman, EGBC.

The UAE programme has been adapted from the American version of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

A LEED points system, ideally used during the planning stage, helps to classify how sustainable a building is.

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Upon completion, a building is awarded bronze, silver, gold or platinum, depending on how much has been done to make it greener. The only building in the UAE to have so far been awarded Platinum LEED status is the Pacific Control Systems HQ in Techno City. The UAE LEED pilot programme is expected to get underway within the next year.

"The US programme is really good, and it could apply here, but it's far better for the UAE to have its own system. To make it good takes a little time, so that's what we're working on now," said Samuel Keehn, environment and sustainable energy manager, Energy Management Services (EMS).

The proposed rating system for the UAE programme has been broken down into six main categories including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environment quality, and innovation and design process.

Workshops are also being set up to raise green building awareness within the industry. "I think part of the process for EGBC will be to look at the way in which we are scoring and try and make sure we agree that the US one is similar to the Emirates one," said Jeff Willis, associate director, Arup Consultants, and co-ordinator for promotion and awareness for the sub-committee of EGBC.

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Construction Week - Issue 767
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