In collaboration with Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the UAE Society of Engineers, the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) has organized a symposium about Abu Dhabi International Building Codes and their positives impact on Abu Dhabi’s economy in general and the construction sector in particular. The symposium, which was held at the Headquarters of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was attended by a plethora of strategic partners, engineers, consultants, contractors and representatives of other concerned authorities.
In his opening speech to the symposium, Mohammed Al Ansari, Acting Director General of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “Organizing this symposium at the Headquarters of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry is part of the endeavors to support the private sector, cementing its pioneering role in the local economy and improving its business processes in various fields, especially the construction sector, which is a key tributary of the local economic development. Abu Dhabi international Building Codes have the capacity to upgrade the business processes in the building and construction industry which in turn have a positive bearing on the local economy.”
In her opening speech to the symposium, Engineer Yasmeen Saadah, Director of Municipal Regulations Division, Department of Municipal Affairs, said: “Abu Dhabi International Building Codes constitute a key reference for engineering codes, technical conditions and standards governing the design, construction, inspection and maintenance of buildings. These codes have become a reality after being formally approved by Abu Dhabi Executive Council as a prelude to their mandatory implementation to all government projects as of next October. This achievement is an outcome of years of hard work, preparation and coordination with strategic partners in both public and private sectors and in collaboration with the International Code Council. This collaboration resulted in issuing six codes; Abu Dhabi International Building Code, Abu Dhabi International Energy Conservation Code, Abu Dhabi International Mechanical Code, Abu Dhabi International Property Maintenance Code, Abu Dhabi International Fuel Gas Code, and Abu Dhabi International Private Sewage Disposal Code. In addition, some basic standards have been issued namely, Special Needs Accessibility Standards and Concrete Building Design Standards. The DMA considers these codes as one of the most important strategic initiatives for the local building and construction industry, providing a solid local and standardized legislative base aimed at promoting and leveraging this industry in a sustainable manner.”
The Director of Municipal Regulations further added, “The DMA’s Plan for uplifting the building & construction industry and achieving sustainable development in this sector is not limited to Abu Dhabi International Building Codes, but also spans other steps and legislations as part of an integrated legislative system aimed at streamlining the work mechanism in this sector which is a key driver of economic development in the Emirate. The integrated system includes but is not limited to updating and standardizing the executive regulation governing building works in Abu Dhabi Emirate in accordance with the technical provisions of Abu Dhabi International Building Codes, which have already been completed, developing an e-portal for codes and linking it with the International Standard Specifications, and approving Building Permits Divisions in cooperation with the International Accreditation Service. The Plan also provides for launching the registration of engineers & architects & accreditation of craftsmen, updating Contractors Classification System, and registering consulting offices in addition to other steps that will be undertaken by the DMA in the near future in cooperation with stakeholders in a bid to upgrade the building and construction industry. All of these steps fall within the framework of the Municipal System’s commitment to deliver on the objectives of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 aimed at establishing sustainable economy and building a sustainable urban environment where people savour the highest standards of safety, health and safety, thus rendering the Emirate of Abu Dhabi one of the world’s best places to live, work and visit.”
For his part, Engineer Ali Bakeer, Manager of Abu Dhabi International Building Codes Development Project at the DMA delivered a detailed presentation about the codes, saying “This symposium aims at lending full support to engineers to enable them apply these codes easily and smoothly, given that the mandatory implementation phase in government projects will come into effect as of 01 October 2014. This symposium, which comes as part of the cooperation with the UAE Society of Engineers, contributes to enhancing the awareness of developers, consultants, engineers and stakeholders as regards the importance of these codes and their positive repercussions on the local economy, environment and the community, besides conserving energy and achieving sustainable development in the Emirate. These codes also contribute to improving the standards of lighting and ventilation and reducing energy & water consumption, extending buildings lifespan, slashing operational expenses and decreasing the maintenance cost of buildings in the long run.”
In order to ensure optimum implementation of Abu Dhabi International Building Codes, the DMA has taken several steps such as qualifying and training cadres operating in the Building and Construction Sector in coordination with the Higher Colleges of Technology to groom municipal engineers and inspectors to obtain certification from the International Code Council in various fields, and provide continuing educational programs for engineers and inspectors in the public and private sectors, besides integrating the provisions of the building codes in the curricula of all relevant programs such as civil & mechanical engineering, as well as building and construction. The DMA staged dozens of seminars and workshops of late about Abu Dhabi International Building Codes, their provisions and importance in developing the local building and construction industry which were attended by consultants, engineers and contractors operating in the Emirate along with all concerned parties of the Building and Construction industry.