Building code

Building code
The UAE's building codes are under review.
Published: 3 June 2012 - 2 a.m.

Acting director-general Eng. Mohamed Saleh Badri of ESMA introduces CW to the UAE’s proposed new building codes.

Can you give us some background on the ESMA?
Established in 2001, the ESMA holds responsibility for formulating and issuing national standards, as well as adopting international standards to strengthen the national economy and protect consumers, the environment and the national market.

What are the goals for and scope of the planned regional code?
The purpose of this regional code is to establish minimum requirements to safeguard public health, safety and general welfare with regard to the built environment.

Its provisions will apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure or any connected or attached appurtenances.

We are working to build a code referenced to the International Code Council code that is adapted for our country and environment.

Implementing these building codes is a major step toward achieving the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision and will have a positive long-term impact on Abu Dhabi’s and the UAE economy, growth and development.

The code will enhance safety and longevity, and encourage efficiency, cost-savings and sustainable building; it will also ensure greater fire protection, construction safety and structural integrity in new buildings.

In addition, if the Cooperation Council for the GCC proceeds with the formation of unified Gulf building codes, a joint committee consisting of national standardisation committees in the member states the GSO (GCC Standardisation Organisation) and the private sector would be entrusted with a plan of action for the project. The member states would provide reference standards, as well as information about international practices and successful experiences applied in this area.

The UAE code, which hopefully will expand to other GCC countries, will establish these minimum requirements through addressing the following: adequate light and ventilation, energy conservation, means of egress facilities, sanitation, structural strength, stability, construction, alteration, enlargement, demolition, location, equipment, movement, maintenance, repair, removal, use and occupancy, replacement and safety for life, including firefighters and emergency responders, and for property, from fire and other hazards related to buildings.

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