Does The First Arabian Construction Week Signal a Greener Middle Eastern Building Policy? [image via flickr]
We have brought disturbing news from Dubai this week: a smuggled baby crocodile died and hyenas and baboons were confiscated from a private home. So it gives us pleasure to be able to provide our readers with a tidbit of hope. The Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC) will host a “focus day” tomorrow, May 26th, at the Green Building Middle East Summit. Just one of several activities taking place during the Arabian Construction Week at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), EGBC’s focus day aims to dispel the notion that building green breaks the bank.
It’s a common and tired refrain: we can’t build green. It’s too expensive. But that refrain is becoming less viable as more industry players shift their design and construction focus. The National Resource Defense Council claims that constructing a LEED building only costs 2% more than a conventional building. EGBC’s workshops will drive this revelation home with a series of workshops dealing with subjects such as regional councils, regulations, codes and guidelines, materials and products, new designs, existing buildings, as well as impacts and rewards of green building.
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The Arabian summit is the first of its kind, and reflects an intention to instill a Middle Eastern sustainability ethos. And just in time. Jeff Willis, EGBC’s chairman, told AMEinfo.com “the construction industry consumes significant levels of energy, water and materials, besides generating waste.” But he expresses hope that the summit will give the region’s leaders an opportunity to share knowledge and accelerate the momentum of green(er) construction.
Four trade exhibitions are also taking place at Arabian Construction week, namely: Green Building Middle East, Future-Build Middle East, Building Machinery Middle East, and Civil Engineering Middle East. Additionally, the Arabian World Construction Summit (AWCS) will be held alongside the exhibitions.
Benjamin Disraeli said “to be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.” We at Green Prophet hope that these and future gatherings will set the precedent for a more climate-friendly Middle East.