Star-powered: Dubai unveils new building ratings system

Published May 9th, 2016 - 08:00 GMT
The department's Building Classification System, or BCS, has so far enabled the surveying of 20,000 plots of land, and more than 120,000 units including apartments, offices, retail, schools and public amenities. (File photo)
The department's Building Classification System, or BCS, has so far enabled the surveying of 20,000 plots of land, and more than 120,000 units including apartments, offices, retail, schools and public amenities. (File photo)

Dubai is home to hundreds of five-star hotels and there might be thousands of four- and five-star buildings in the emirate soon, as the Dubai Land Department, or DLD, has planned star ratings for each building.

A complete overhaul of Dubai's building classification is currently underway, according to the DLD. The department's Building Classification System, or BCS, has so far enabled the surveying of 20,000 plots of land, and more than 120,000 units including apartments, offices, retail, schools and public amenities. This was done via a bespoke smart online system built in-house for the BCS project.

The smart portable computer units are used by specialised trained staff on site and the system is 100 per cent paperless, with real-time data entry and a 4G data connection. The information gained is directly migrated on to the DLD database through the smart system. The building then receives a star rating out of five based on 60 carefully-tailored requirements.

The project is monitored by the Dubai Executive Council. The innovative system's overarching aims are to move the real estate sector towards a more transparent and reliable Dubai, in line with the Dubai Plan 2021.

The new BCS utilises state-of-the-art tablet computers connected via 4G and the software that is used by qualified engineers and surveyors gathers and verifies land and property data on site with various government databases. This leads to the creation of a complete database of every single unit in Dubai as well as a star rating for each building.

The ultimate aim of the project is to ensure a smoother user experience for the Ejari system as well a more detailed calculation method for rental and service charge increases as mandated by the law. This has far-reaching benefits not only for governmental and regulatory bodies but also for tenants, landlords, investors and businesses.

DLD director-general Sultan Butti bin Mejren said: "Our whole project team is extremely proud to see our technical developments and hard work bearing fruit. We are confident that the training programme our engineers have conducted, in tandem with system technicians, will guarantee delivery of the project's core aims."

The building classification process starts with a building plot being assigned to an inspector via a GIS-expert administrator. The inspector then visits the site on foot and conducts the survey of the building, going into every floor and taking pictures of the building. The inspectors are trained to maintain and respect the privacy of the building occupants in line with the law and entry is restricted to the common areas of the building only. The inspection ends with a list of all the units and floors in the building as well as filling out the 60-point questionnaire.

DLD Technical Affairs Department director Mohamad Khodr Al Dah said: "The department is constantly striving to improve its services and streamline customer procedures by introducing intelligent and sophisticated systems, combined with field work. We anticipate that these efforts will support the Dubai 2021 vision and ensure a smooth delivery of land classifications."

By Abdul Basit
 

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