Estidama initiative to make abu dhabi the sustainability capital of the middle east
• Estidama initiative announced to “diffuse sustainable design into all physical development activities within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi”
• Estidama New Building Guidelines to rate sustainable design in all new residential and commercial buildings
The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), alongside the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), Abu Dhabi Municipality, and Masdar, announce “Estidama”, the program for sustainable buildings and communities for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Estidama, which means ‘sustainability’ in Arabic, is an integrated program to devise guidelines and regulations for sustainable (green) design, operation and maintenance of all types of buildings and communities within the Emirates of Abu Dhabi.
The program has been initiated by a group of government agencies and developers (UPC, EAD, ADM, Masdar, Aldar and Sorouh) in alignment with the leadership’s vision to transform Abu Dhabi into a sustainable Arab Capital. It will also help in implementing the overarching principles of Plan 2030 and its recommendations for the future of Abu Dhabi City’s urban development.
The first phase of the Estidama program includes the identification of a set of design guidelines for residential and commercial new buildings.
Estidama New Building (ENB) design guidelines have been written to provide all concerned parties and stakeholders (decision makers, developers, the public, consultants, etc.) with outline information for an integrated approach to sustainable building design.
ENB design guidelines provide a holistic approach to sustainable design which sympathetically integrates the local and built environment in the regional context with the underlining principles of minimizing resource use and maintaining quality of performance.
ENB guidelines identified ten major sustainability elements that need to be addressed through a variety of design criteria. These are:
• Energy Use;
• Indoor Environmental Quality;
• Waste Management; and
• Land Use.
Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, said:
“Sustainability is central to the work of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, and a key element of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030. Estidama is the cornerstone of our sustainability efforts, and we are extremely proud to be working with developers and other government departments across the Emirate to make it a success. It will help us ensure that the Abu Dhabi we hand to the next generation in 2030 is the best it can be.
“Now this announcement is made, our first step will be to apply the Estidama New Building Guidelines by working with various other government entities. This is part of our ongoing work in reviewing developments across the Emirate.”
Juma’a Al Juneibi, General Manager – Abu Dhabi Municipality, added: “Several developers have already risen to the challenge posed by the new ratings system, with innovative landmark projects proposed in Abu Dhabi. These will provide inspiration for others to put sustainability at the heart of their developments.”
Majed Al Mansouri, General Secretary of the Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi said:
“The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi aims for Sustainable Development to be the driving force behind any development efforts in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This can only happen through Partnerships, Transparency and Good Governance. Through green building designs we can maximize our contribution and impact and set a practical example for business and the community. I hope by next year, we become closer to the reality of living in green community with more committed partners and contributors”
"We applaud the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council on this much-needed initiative," commented Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Masdar CEO. "In line with the Abu Dhabi 2030 Development Plan, Masdar embraces sustainability to the fullest extent. Masdar City will further be part of the guidelines pilot program to ensure that all of our developments and buildings meet the highest sustainability standards."
The guidelines will come into effect as regulations in the coming months. The period leading up to the launch will include a major awareness campaign to ensure developers are aware of the new guidelines and rating system. The technical guidelines document and assessment tool can be found online at the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s website. (www.upc.gov.ae)