Legislative framework on green buildings on the way

First formal legislation on the green design of buildings under development, Dubai Municipality announces.

Formal legislation governing green buildings is in the process of being developed, Dubai Municipality has announced.

The Municipality will develop a new legislative framework for green design that will be implemented in all new buildings across Dubai by January 1 next year, Essa Al Maidour, assistant director general of Dubai Municipality for Planning and Building Affairs said at a seminar.

"It will be an ongoing process for new buildings with a tier structure and will be implemented in phases," he said at the 'Build it Green: Greening of Dubai through Regulations' seminar. Specifics on the new legislation were not revealed.

The framework will be the first formal legislation on the green design of buildings, although sustainable design guidelines already existing in the form of the LEED guidelines from the Emirates Green Building Council, and the Estidama guidelines recently unveiled by Abu Dhabi's Planning Council.

The new legislation will differ from such guidelines by being based on stringent regulations as opposed to recommendations and a point system.

"Rating systems are marketing tools that people use to put a plaque on the wall,"? said Susan Rogers, project manager for the Green Building Regulatory Project, a speaker at the event. "Regulations are mandatory and they are stringent."

Although focused on buildings, existing sustainable design guidelines include a number of points related to the design of the outdoor space, covering areas such as landscape irrigation, and landscape materials.

The announcement follows the decree issued by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in November, 2007 calling for the implementation of green building specifications and standards in Dubai from January 2008.

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