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Sustainability must be from concept

You can't rely on green washing once a project is already underway

Think green before you put pen to paper, says panel at Build Smart 2009 conference.
Think green before you put pen to paper, says panel at Build Smart 2009 conference.

Speakers at today's Build Smart 2009 conference, Better Construction Through Interpolarity, revealed that, once the working drawings stage had been reached, it was already too late to create a properly sustainable building.

“It has to be right at the beginning, right at the brief,” said Abu Dhabi Education Council's Jyoti Sharma. “If you don't set your sustainability goals early, you won't achieve them.

“People come to me after design has been completed and say that they've heard that LEED is great. But the reality is that there's no longer time once you've finished working drawings. You'll need to redesign completely or spend an exttraordinary amount on the project.”

Executive director of buildingSMART allliance and the National Institute of Building Sciences, Deke Smith, said that the 'cradle to grave' idea behind sustainability was being taken even more seriously now in the United States.

“The US Green Building Council is a real success story and, in LEED 3.0, they're demanding even more information than before. They're insisting on seeing one year of utilities bills to show you've met your goals.”

Smith said that this had a positive impact on those involved in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and related technologies.

“The demand for more information is goood for BIM as it's that which produces that information. We're currently trying to get people to connect those dots.”

New build codes and the introduction of Estidama would, according to Department of Municipal Afffairs consultant Matthew Plumbridge, ensure that green principles were considered as early as possible in a building's lifecycle in Abu Dhabi.

“If you make green buildings, it means not having to build more buildings than necessary or more power stations – these things would afffect our 'brand'of Abu Dhabi.”

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Construction Week - Issue 767
Sep 01, 2020