Expert says international experience will count with new Abu Dhabi building codes / by Chris White

The Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) has announced that the voluntary implementation of the Abu Dhabi International Building Codes has started on governmental projects for one year, before the codes are made compulsory on government projects in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi from October 2014.

The DMA has also said that it will cooperate with the private sector and strategic partners to enhance the implementation of the codes across both the public and private sectors, given the positive impact of the codes on the quality of the projects and wider construction industry.

Ian Apsley, Abu Dhabi-based Director at global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan, said: “We welcome the introduction of codes because they will make the design and build of projects safer and more efficient – such as through greater clarity in the planning process to help ensure a more streamlined approvals process – and drive up energy-efficiency standards.

“As a practice with 16 global studios, codes based on international best practice will enable our expert designers to share knowledge to a greater extent and partner with clients to deliver safer, higher-quality and greener buildings for occupants and users in the region.

“While codes of practice are widely used in the various Emirates forming the UAE, there are often ambiguities which require consultants and building owners to negotiate with the various Municipalities on the application and interpretation of such codes. Negotiation can be a sticking point and the new standard set of codes will create a faster and smoother development approvals process.

“The changes will also make the design process for new properties more efficient. In common with many global design practices, Broadway Malyan has the capacity to allocate resources and different skill sets from a number of different offices to specific projects across the world.

“By introducing a new consistent and transparent building standard in Abu Dhabi, cross-office global working will become much easier – improving the efficiency and speed of the design process and delivering greater value to developers and investors. In a competitive global market, where consistency and reliability of regulations are crucial, this will make Abu Dhabi an even more attractive location to invest.

“Although sustainable new projects are being built across the Emirate – district-wide cooling schemes are an obvious example – the new codes reinforce the importance of designing sustainable, resource-efficient buildings.

“That is to be welcomed as it will encourage the design and delivery of new buildings which not only have less impact on the environment, but which are more attuned to the demands of international occupiers. Higher-quality and more resilient properties can only be good news."

Broadway Malyan is actively supporting the Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (ADEC) ‘model schools’ programme, having designed a number of schools which have opened to students and with two more phases in design.

Distinguished by its global reach with 16 studios across world centres, unrivalled diversity with over 450 sector experts and distinctive client focus with over 85% income from repeat business, Broadway Malyan creates world-class and fully-integrated cities, places and buildings to unlock lasting value and deliver a ‘return on design’.

Pictured – An example of an ADEC school designed by Broadway Malyan and now open to students 

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