UPC and the Municipal System unveil Estidama Pearl Villa Manual

Press release
Published May 29th, 2011 - 11:02 GMT
Speakers at the press conference
Speakers at the press conference

Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), together with the Municipal System, unveiled the Estidama Pearl Villa Manual in a press conference held today. The detailed manual is designed to assist villa owners, design consultants, contractors and suppliers in maintaining Estidama standards during the villa construction process and provides comprehensive guidance on the requirements of Estidama and the steps needed to apply for the One Pearl rating, which is mandatory for all properties in Abu Dhabi Emirate. 

Building on the awareness of the Estidama programme, the UPC and Municipal System also announced that a series of nine workshops have recently been completed across the Abu Dhabi Emirate to help villa owners comply with Estidama’s requirements.

The Pearl Villa Manual, as well as the workshops, are just one part of a series of essential educational tools developed by the UPC and the Municipal System to raise awareness of the Estidama programme and the Pearl Rating System (PRS) and to simplify the implementation process for all parties.

Commenting on this initiative, Amer Al Hammadi, Director of Planning and Infrastructure at the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council states: “For all those involved with the design and construction of a villa, this manual aims to quicken and aid the Estidama application process by advising on what is required, who to contact for assistance and where materials can be sourced. It also explains the basics of Estidama and the Pearl Rating System and why these are such important initiatives for the future development and sustainability of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”

The manual provides an overview of the Estidama Pearl Villa Rating System (PVRS) and step-by-step guidance on the application process for new and existing users of the programme. It responds to stakeholder feedback on streamlining implementation for the benefit of all those involved with the process and covers questions and topics such as: what is Estidama and how is it measured; what is the Pearl Rating System; the need for Estidama; local challenges; process and procedures; and a summary of resources and tools to achieve a sustainable villa. The manual also introduces a simplified compliance procedure for product selection and offers advice on how to select materials and suppliers. 

The Pearl Rating System is also explained in the manual. This framework for sustainable design, construction and operation of community buildings - which was launched in September 2010 - was one of the first schemes of the Estidama programme, developed to drive awareness of the benefits of higher efficiency and resource management and to ensure that all developments in Abu Dhabi are sustainable for future generations.

The Estidama workshops, held in collaboration with the DMA and the three municipalities of the Emirate, saw technical experts from the UPC and DMA helping private individuals, who either own or plan to build their own villa, better understand the requirements of Estidama, the benefits of sustainability, and the steps to apply for the mandatory One Pearl rating for all properties in Abu Dhabi. The nine workshops, which took place in Al Ain, Al Gharbia and Abu Dhabi throughout the months of April and May were open to all home owners and home builders. 

Talking about the importance of the workshops, Al Hammadi, commented: “Awareness, education and knowledge are the main drivers that empower behavioural change and a change in mindsets of individuals towards sustainability is a core part of ensuring that Estidama gradually and positively impacts our environment.”

He added: “The villa workshops were some of the tools that we designed to create new attitudes towards sustainability at large as we want to explain that everyone living in Abu Dhabi can - and should - contribute towards it becoming the Arab world’s sustainable capital in accordance with the guiding principles of Vision 2030.”

Highlighting the Municipal System interaction with the UPC to ensure the proper implementation of Estidama in Abu Dhabi Emirate, H.E. Dr. Abdullah Ghareeb Al Baloushi, Executive Director-Municipal Affairs Support Sector, Department of Municipal Affairs, said: “Estidama is the core element in the Department of Municipal Affairs’ vision to have an advanced municipal system that enables sustainable development and enhances quality of living for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”

“Consequently, we are more than happy to join hands with the UPC as one of our most important stakeholders and strategic partners to achieve our vision and the vision of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi 2030.  We are keen the holistic approach of Abu Dhabi government to achieve sustainable economic growth and to work with other government entities hand in hand to achieve the goals of our government vision especially in the area of building and construction which considered to be very important sector of the local economy. This will ensure a sustainable growth in this sector,” he added.

By working closely with communities, organisations, businesses and policy makers, Estidama’s role is to preserve and enrich Abu Dhabi’s physical and cultural identity while constantly striving to improve quality of life for its residents and moving Abu Dhabi and our region towards global sustainability leadership.

Estidama, which means ‘sustainability’ in Arabic - is the UPC’s contribution to the global discussion on how to create more sustainable communities, cities and global enterprises while also preserving and enriching the physical and cultural identity of the local people. It is the result of a clear political vision that is built on four pillars - the environment, economy, society and culture - in pursuit of a higher quality of life. 

Estidama is the first programme of its kind that is tailored to the Middle East region and is intended to promote the concept of living in harmony with Abu Dhabi’s culture and environment while conserving the Emirati way of life so that future generations can benefit from the wise choices made today. Estidama’s sustainability principles are integrated into every facet of The UPC’s approach to urban planning, whether it be neighbourhood planning, street design, public realm design, coastal and waterfront development, spatial planning, Emirati housing, or transit infrastructure.

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