Abu Dhabi's Municipal System Leads Responsible Growth
Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is to host the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), between 18-21 January, bringing together international experts examining sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by a world ever more dependent on carbon based energy. But Abu Dhabi itself is more than just a convenient cross roads venue for east and west to meet.
It exemplifies many of the issues that WFES is set up to address. Commodity rich, expanding rapidly, a significant contributor to the world's oil based economy, the emirate also faces the challenge of its desert location where water is scarce and the summer's scorching heat puts huge demands on electricity to power air-conditioning.
Keenly aware of the need to address these problems, city and municipal authorities have spearheaded a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing the Abu Dhabi's sustainability credentials while making it a regional leader in ensuring the sustainability of its rapid development.
Primary among these is the introduction of world-leading building codes. Developed in tandem with the International Code Council, the codes will oblige contractors to construct buildings with specific regard to energy and water efficiency in addition to easy accessibility, seismic parameters, improved fire safety among other features. The codes demand that materials and insulation make best use of the desert's fluctuating temperatures to reduce energy hungry dependence on air conditioning.
Experts at the city's Department of Municipal Affairs calculate that the Abu Dhabi Energy Conservation Code will enable buildings to fall within the tough energy consumption limits laid out by the UN for extremely hot climates, which include 96 kWh/m2/pa for office buildings.
"Abu Dhabi is set to expand rapidly in the next decade, we need