Major Abu Dhabi projects embrace Estidama
Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), the agency responsible for the future of Abu Dhabi’s urban environments in line with Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, and founder of the Estidama sustainable initiative, is conducting a series of workshops with developers of projects that have achieved Estidama Pilot project status.
The workshops aim at educating designers of 20 development projects on how to inject Estidama New Buildings Guidelines and Community Guidelines in their designs and how to rate their sustainability performance as per the Estidama Pearl Rating Method. The workshops will also guide developers as to the process of documentation, key milestone and key dates moving forward.
Commenting on Estidama’s workshop initiative, Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council said: The selection of these Pilot Projects for entering the ultimate testing sessions of Estidama guidelines and rating methods is a significant step towards ingraining core sustainability practices in the conceptual phases of urbanization projects planned across the Emirate”. He further added: “our core and assigned objective is to establish the Estidama Pearl Rating Method as a leading benchmark rating tool over the region and provide developers with the opportunity to brand and market their buildings as Pearl Design developments”.
The Estidama Pilot Projects range from individual mixed use buildings, residential towers, retail developments through to large scale new communities. The list of developers participating in the Estidama Pilot Program includes, among others, Royal Group, MASDAR, ICT, Al Qudra, and Al Dar.
Estidama’s rating method distinguishes between two types: Design Rating and Living Rating. The former is an initial rating based on design plans and documents that ensure guidelines have been observed at the design stage. The latter is a post-occupancy rating that requires performance data showing compliance with Design Rating. This is a more rigorous approach that incorporates the interesting feedback data it yields as to which sustainability practices are working and which need to be revised.
Saood Al Junaibi, Director of Development Review and Urban Design, UPC, and Senior Estidama spokesperson said: “As we look forward to achieving an environmentally, culturally, socially and economically sustainable urban development across the emirate, our workshops will improve the designers’ understanding of Estidama Guidelines and Rating Method to really achieve the highest sustainability level desired from the start of the design process”.
“At Estidama, we are aware of the need to work closely with our stakeholders to ensure that they grasp our message and to incorporate theirs in our plans and guidelines. Our workshop sessions will provide us with the opportunity to work together with designers and developers and ensure that new developments respond to the natural environment, consume less water and use energy more efficiently. This will ultimately result in the improved sustainability of the buildings in Abu Dhabi”, he elaborated.
Estidama intends to release a first version of the New Buildings Rating Method and Communities Rating Method early in October. The learnings from the Estidama Pilot Program will improve efficiency of the guidelines and rating methods.
Falah Al Ahbabi concluded: “Such workshop sessions illustrates the way UPC is working in total partnership with private developers and public authorities to build sustainable urban environments. It offers a valuable tool to designers, developers, government agencies and institutional investors. As the regulatory authority, Estidama aims to build the strongest possible environmental legacy dedicated to serving community and promoting the fundamentals of responsible and ethical sustainable practices as one of the key component and driving force of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030”.
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