NEW YORK CITY’S ‘GREENER, GREATER BUILDING PLAN’ MODEL EXAMPLE FOR ABU DHABI’S OLDER BUILDINGS
Turning ‘old’ into ‘gold’ to be outlined by Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs official at ecoConstruct Expo
Abu Dhabi, UAE, March 2012: A representative of the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs has urged municipalities of GCC cities to play a larger role in the creation of regulations in sustainable building codes using New York City as a model example.
Fatma Amer, Advisor of Building Code and Construction, Municipal Regulations Divisions at the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs, said that regulatory entities need to create regulations that achieve results through serious implementation and enforcement, and that are developed with full participation of the construction and real estate industries.
“Major cities in the GCC need to realise that achieving their goals of energy savings and reduction in green house gasses cannot be done without the interference of the government and development of laws and regulations that are practical and easily implemented,” said Amer.
“Regulations also need to be supported by credible studies that show the costs and benefits to building owners and developers.”
Amer will be part of a panel discussion at the ecoConstruct Expo Conference, the pioneering industry event taking place from 22-25 April 2012 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
She will talk about transforming existing buildings in Abu Dhabi to conform to new green building regulations, such as those set out by Estidama and its Pearl Rating System (PRS).
Amer said that the New York City Municipality is a model example of what government regulatory entities can potentially achieve through adopting new state of the art building codes.
“In the end of 2009, the New York City Municipality signed the four legislative components of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP),” added Amer, who spent several years in the city’s municipality.
“Focused primarily on 16,000 of the city's largest properties, the GGBP is aimed at ensuring all construction projects in the city require annual energy efficiency benchmarking. As a result, by 2030, the GGBP will achieve citywide energy cost reduction by US$ 700 million annually and create roughly 17,800 construction-related jobs over 10 years.”
“Through adopting these state of the art building codes, New York City is able to create the regulatory framework for energy efficiency and water conservation in new and existing buildings. Similarly, Abu Dhabi is adopting new codes that will support the Emirate’s sustainability goals.”
Amer continued that though challenges do exist regarding sustainable construction in the GCC region, these can easily be overcome with the right strategies put in place to ensure its effective implementation.
“Green building in the construction industry is an extremely viable proposition, not just by exploring use of new materials and avoiding bad ones, but it also by opening up new opportunities to employ more people and create jobs,” she added.
“The main challenge is that it requires new sets of skills that are not currently available to meet the needs of the industry. We need training institutions devoted to training engineers, architects, contractors, and other trades specialising in green construction practices.”
ecoConstruct Expo is the region’s only dedicated exhibition focusing on sustainable design and construction for the built environment.
Co-located with Cityscape Abu Dhabi, ecoConstruct Expo provides a crucial sourcing and knowledge platform for the billions of dollars committed to major projects within Abu Dhabi and the surrounding region. Together the events attract more than 30,000 visitors.
“ecoConstruct Expo is very reputable in the area of green construction where I can meet the best in the industry and get the latest in the field of sustainability,” continued Amer.
“As a representative of Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs and formerly of New York City, this conference is an opportunity to clarify the role that the Municipal System plays in order to make the concept of sustainability a reality.”
ecoConstruct Expo is supported by its Foundation Partner, the Department of Municipal Affairs, Sustainable Knowledge Partner, Masdar City, Strategic Partner Emirates Green Building Council, Principal Sponsor Emirates Steel and is endorsed by the UAE Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Caption: Fatma Amer, Advisor, Building Code and Construction of Municipal Regulations Division at the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs: “New York City a model example of sustainable buildings.
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About ecoConstruct Expo
ecoConstruct Expo is jointly organised by Informa Exhibitions and Clarion Events Middle East. More information can be found at www.ecoConstructexpo.com.