Emirates LEED system launched

The Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) has launched a proposed building sustainability assessment system for the UAE.

Willis: LEED Emirates pilot to start in October.
Willis: LEED Emirates pilot to start in October.

The Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) has launched a proposed building sustainability assessment system for the UAE.

The system is based on the US Green Building Council's (US GBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, with modifications made to account for the local environmental conditions. The proposed LEED Emirates system is currently lodged with the US GBC for evaluation.

The main modifications to the US LEED system include an increased emphasis on water conservation. In addition, adjustments have been made to the content and weight given to other sections to make the overall system more applicable for use in the UAE's construction sector. The potential total points possible has also been raised from 69 to 72.

A number of assessment methods were considered for the basis of the new rating system, with LEED being selected due to its international recognition. In addition, the system refers to standards that are widely used in the UAE and several LEED accredited buildings already exist in the Emirates, which demonstrated that the model is achievable in the current construction sector.

"The aim was to find a system that was closest to what we want to achieve," explained Jeff Willis, EGBC Technical and Award Subcommittee co-ordinator. "One of the reasons for using the LEED system as a basis was that we need the international market to know that this is serious."

The EGBC intends to begin a pilot programme in October to trial the use of the rating system, with a view to having LEED Emirates ratified by September 2008. The aim is to apply the system to 25 new buildings throughout the UAE that are currently in the design phase; feedback from the pilot scheme will be used to update the rating system. Firms are invited to propose their projects for consideration (email: egbc@eim.ae).

  •  The EGBC is running a series of LEED for new construction technical review workshops during October in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Full details are available on the EGBC website: www.emiratesgbc.org or by email: egbc@eim.ae.

 

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