Although green building codes have existed in the United States, Australia and elsewhere for a while, the same phenomenon has only recently been adopted in the Middle East. Israel’s first eco-tower aspires to incorporate, and Intel has already achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles. The western codes are voluntary, but Abu Dhabi’s municipality established its own green building code in May this year called the Pearl Building Rating System (PBRS) for Estidama. As of this month, by executive order, all new public buildings must achieve at least one pearl while government buildings must achieve two of five possible pearls.
The pearls refer to different pillars of sustainable building:
“The PBRS encourages water, energy and waste minimization, local material use and aims to improve supply chains for sustainable and recycled materials and products,” according to the Estidama website.
However, the Abu Dhabi paper Khaleej Times reports that the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has taken their new building to a higher standard.
Instead of shooting for only two pearls as required, the Shaikh Zayed Museum in Al Ain Park is expected to achieve all five pearls.
“The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority’s new building, now under construction in the capital, will be the first ‘green building’ in the emirate adhering 100 per cent to the green building codes,” according to the paper.
Green building codes are designed to demonstrate that it is possible to build sustainably without going bankrupt, and impressive buildings throughout the world are sprouting up that have sourced their materials locally, and used passive design and recycled water to drive down energy and water consumption.
That a government entity in Abu Dhabi is taking the lead and pursuing the highest possible standard will hopefully empower future developers to follow suit.
“There are a large number of buildings and establishments which have already started implementing green building standards in the emirate,” the paper reports.
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image via Михал Орела