Dubai: new building code to limit glass on faades

Dubai Municipality has announced that it will be implementing a federal green building code that will limit glass to 60% on external faades of Dubai“s structures in 2014.
Eisa Al Maidoor, assistant …

Dubai Municipality has announced that it will be implementing a federal green building code that will limit glass to 60% on external faades of Dubai“s structures in 2014. Eisa Al Maidoor, assistant director-general for Planning and Building Affairs, Dubai Municipality, said the code, which was approved by the Executive Council in August 2010, is not a ratings system but a law that all buildings will be obliged to follow before being issued a building permit. Over the next three years, all buildings will have to comply with the Dubai Municipality building code, which includes regulations on glass, water and waste management, Al Maidoor said during the recently-held EnviroCities 2010 conference. Buildings that have more than 60% glass will need to provide shade for it, he added. “The next three years are a trial period to make sure we have enough materials and the code does not affect the market. We thought about making this transition period just one year but decided it was too short,” he said. Government buildings will be obliged to meet the criteria from the beginning of 2011, according to Dr. Rashid Bin Fahd, UAE Minister of Environment and Water in his opening address. “We have always been keen to incorporate the environmental dimension in the developmental plans. Realizing the pressures of urban development boom, the UAE has given much importance to apply sustainable solutions including transforming the city areas into green, which in turn will reduce the impact of carbon emission and protect the environment,” said Bin Fahd. Al Maidoor added that with regards to internal environments, buildings will need appropriate management and will have to calculate their performance. Around 155 global building practices were studied in compiling the Dubai building code, which will consist of 79 clauses, he said. “The cost of building has increased 3-5% but we can cover the costs of building greener buildings from what we save in electricity and water,” said Al Maidoor. Of the 79 clauses, 18 will regards design, 27 quality of materials, and seven electricity and water. Other clauses will take into consideration recycling, waste management, and indoor air quality. “Our buildings make the rest of the world dream and we want to make them more efficient and use economically viable materials that protect the environment,” he said. Al Maidoor added that two representatives from other cities have already requested a copy of the Dubai Municipality guidelines. Many buildings already use 15% less water than regular buildings, and at least 80% are correctly insulated, he concluded.