Abu Dhabi to set up unified building codes
Abu Dhabi, November 13, 2009
Abu Dhabi has signed up to new and rigorous codes in urban and industrial building, enforced by tough and inquisitive regulators that conform to the most demanding global standards.
The new rules, 'Abu Dhabi Building Codes' have been developed in tandem with the International Code Council (ICC), the world's leading building code authority and developers of the international codes to establish the framework for adoption of International Building Code (IBC).
The ICC is also responsible for advising US regulators on their exacting regime.
As part of the initiative, hundreds of delegates from both private and public sector are being despatched to training courses on every aspect of construction from seismic protection to fire control, said a top official of the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA).
The DMA was created in to lead, co-ordinate and oversee three municipalities in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western region. The DMA has a regulatory role while the service delivery and operations are at the municipality level.
The DMA had earlier this year signed a MoU and service agreement with the ICC to establish the framework for adoption of the IBC which will take effect by 2010 and the development of the Abu Dhabi International Building Code, the new localised set of standards which will guide the development of construction projects in Abu Dhabi.
'Abu Dhabi has stated clear ambitions not only in providing the best environment in which to live and work but to delivering the services which support that ambition. Top five governments supply this kind of legislative and regulatory framework and that is where we want to be,' said Rashid Mubarak Al Hajeri, chairman of DMA and Building Codes Higher Council.
'However, more important than this is the safety and welfare of people in our emirate. On that there is no room to compromise and government and private sector have come together to enhance confidence in our built environment.' he pointed out.
Al Hajeri said the challenge is significant not least because of the extraordinary speed of construction growth across Abu Dhabi (construction industry contributed 4.7 per cent to 2008 GDP) but because of its demanding climate, seismological features and the wide range of industrial activity powering the Emirate's economic expansion.
'The regulatory environment needs to be all encompassing but sufficiently clear and practical that developers can act rigorously without slowing Abu Dhabi's infrastructure drive,' he added.
The IBC also takes in energy efficiency and property maintenance in a region where climate soon takes its toll on building fabric. Training and legislation to support the code continues in Abu Dhabi in consultation with the ICC.-TradeArabia News Service