x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Standard building code to guide new projects

'Clear and effective' regulation hopes to standardise construction and increase safety regulations across the emirate.

Bulldozer going for construction work near the beach at Umm Suqueim area of Dubai.
Bulldozer going for construction work near the beach at Umm Suqueim area of Dubai.

ABU DHABI // Abu Dhabi will develop its own building code to standardise construction and safety regulations across the emirate. The Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) is developing the Abu Dhabi International Building Code with the International Code Council (ICC), a leading non-profit authority on construction codes, to guide new building projects.

"There is a great need to provide clear and effective regulatory codes and guidelines that address the specific requirements of all sectors within the construction industry," said Dr Juan al Dhaheri, the chairman of the DMA. The DMA has signed a memorandum of understanding to adopt ICC standards, which will serve as a model for Abu Dhabi's building code and improve public safety. "We are confident that through the new codes, we will achieve a state-of-the-art regulatory structure that will boost the public safety and building longevity," Mr Dhaheri said.

The codes set out under the new scheme will be enforced across the emirate with inspections carried out to ensure compliance. Ahmed Shareef, the undersecretary of the DMA, said the new agreement was timely because the emirate needed a unified regulatory system for the construction industry. "By adopting the international codes, the emirate of Abu Dhabi immediately raises its construction standards and benefits from the efforts of decades of code-development work by world-class experts," he said.

Government experts, as well as contractors, universities, developers, and engineering and architectural firms will collaborate on the code. Aside from helping to lay the foundation for the development of guidelines specific to the emirate, the agreement between the ICC and DMA will also include a study to improve the building industry's regulatory system. The collaborative effort also hopes to create professional certification programmes and develop education and training initiatives for professionals in the field.

The ICC was founded in 1994 with the aim of establishing a national construction codes model in the US. business@thenational.ae