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evolving policies
Building codes

Every new building in the Emirate will have to abide by compulsory building codes staring 2014.
The Abu Dhabi Building Codes, launched by the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA), is a complete set of comprehensive and coordinated codes dealing with a variety of issues aimed at improving the construction standards for buildings in Abu Dhabi.

DMA has adopted the International Codes published by the International Codes Council (ICC). These Codes have been reviewed and customized for local conditions through the effort of many stakeholders.

The Building Code’s requirements for new buildings cover a wide range of aspects, among which is energy conservation, lighting, ventilation and maintenance.

DMA focused especially on sustainability and energy-conservation by closely coordinating the Building Codes with the Estidama Initiative. Estidama, launched by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) in 2008, established a new and comprehensive framework for measuring sustainability performance.

One of Estidama’s key initiatives is the Pearl Rating System which aims to address the sustainability of a given development throughout its lifecycle from design through construction to operation. The Pearl Rating System provides the guidance and detailed requirements for rating a project’s potential performance in relation to the four pillars of Estidama (Environment, Economic, Social and cultural).

The Pearl Rating System is organized into seven categories that are fundamental to more sustainable development. One main category is Resourceful Energy which aims at targeting energy conservation through passive design measures, reduced demand, energy efficiency and renewable sources.