Abu Dhabi's sustainable urban structures

Urban structuresImage Credit: Supplied

Estidama (Arabic term for “sustainability”) is a holistic framework created by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) to direct the course of sustainable development within the emirate. A key component of the emirate’s Economic Vision 2030, the framework seeks to ensure that sustainability is continually addressed through four key pillars: environmental, economics, social and cultural.

As such, it is compulsory for new developments in Abu Dhabi, whether commercial or residential, to achieve a One Pearl rating; government buildings must achieve at least Two Pearls. There are currently more than 30 buildings in Abu Dhabi that have been certified as sustainable.

The newly opened Yas Mall, the capital’s largest shopping complex, received a Two Pearl rating for its sustainable design.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum, located at the Saadiyat Cultural District, were both awarded a Three Pearl rating. Louvre also received the Green Building Award in 2013’s The Green Middle East Awards for Environmental Excellence in Sharjah.

The extremely stylish Al Bahr Towers, which received a LEED Silver rating, are two 29-storey structures located off Salam Street. Though both buildings have modern elements like glass and steel, their engaging feature is the “mashrabiya,” a traditional wooden lattice screen that has been used in ancient Islamic design to denote the need for seclusion and privacy while providing shade from the sun. The towers are known for their umbrella-like elements that expand and contract upon the movement of the sun.

Masdar City, a mixed-use development constructed on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, relies completely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, and is the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste city.

Furthermore, several buildings in the capital have had rooftop solar panels installed on them in a bid to generate green energy and lessen carbon footprint.

Handy Hints
• The Louvre Abu Dhabi was given a Three Pearl Estidama rating
• Masdar City known as world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste city
• Abu Dhabi has many schools installed with rooftop solar panels

Source: Urmila Santosh, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer


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