by Lauren Willington
With the UAE’s construction industry having to adopt measures in line with international ‘green’ building standards from January 2008, a massive shift is anticipated in the whole design and build process.

Now that the new regulations are set to be rolled out, arguments of insufficient returns and a costly design process will no longer reign over the essential need to take action when it comes to preserving the environment for future generations.

The regulations will require developers and contractors to work together to ensure buildings are constructed with energy efficiency in mind.

This includes incorporating measures such as solar power into design, as well as using water-efficient valves and recycled building materials.
But the main questions being asked are how cost-effective will building with sustainability in mind be, and how will it impact a project’s schedule?
“You can see why the industry might be sceptical or outright opposed to this,” said Samuel Keehn, environment and sustainable energy manager, Energy Management Services.
“But in practice, the extra time spent during design – which will be one of the biggest changes to the process – will pay off because more optimised systems will be put in place, meaning there’ll be less changes, orders and mistakes. The overall timeline and budget of the project will be impacted only slightly, if at all.”
Keehn added that the design process would have to involve an integrated team of architects, consultant engineers and contractors to bring ideas to the table before construction gets underway, and foresee any problems that might arise.
This process would also involve hiring sustainable energy managers to consult on the design process.
“Effectively, a new trade has been created in the construction industry,” said Keehn.
“Projects will now need green building consultants, at least until the practices become more integrated into the design and build techniques of the more traditional consultants. And even then, third party certification will be necessary, which requires knowledge, time and coordination.”

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