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Positive response to Dubai's green building codes

Keynote speaker addresses UAE Infrastructure Summit 2014

NEWS, Business, Green buildings, UAE Infrastructure summit

HE Engr Abdulla Mohammed Rafia, assistant director general and chairman of sustainability committee, Dubai Municipality, has revealed there has been a positive reaction to the implementation of new green building regulations.

The regulations are one of eight initiatives launched by the Municipality towards the goal of becoming one of the top ten sustainable cities in the world by 2020.

The specifications were established in 2010 and were initially targeted at government buildings – all 40 of which were abiding by the new law by the time it was rolled out across the Emirate at the start of 2014.

In his keynote address at the UAE Infrastructure Summit 2014, Rafia said: “Usually when you have these kind of changes in regulation, you expect a lot of resistance. This can come from designers, in Dubai we have about 600 contractors and 5,000 companies; material suppliers; maybe even some developers and land owners.

“You expect opposition to be quite large, but what we did was take our time to establish a mechanism to deal with these issues with stakeholders.

“We have taken all these people on board in our awareness campaign. We’ve got everybody in to explain what we’re doing.”

Rafia said the key was implementing the regulations on the government’s own buildings and highlighted that, as a result, they saw a 43% reduction in energy and 15% reduction in water.

“We didn’t just go out and tell people what to do, we got them on board and we are finding there has been excellent acceptance.”

In his address, Rafia said the aim is to have half the buildings in Dubai classified as green in the next 10 years and 25m2 of green space per person.

In addition, he says the aim is to achieve a 30% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030.

And he admitted there would be no opt out for new buildings.

He said: “We are not going to limit where green building codes will be applied. They will be applied all over Dubai in every square foot that we build.

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