Saafat refers to the traditional Arabic system of using palm fronds as roofing to keep the interior cool. It was a symbol of construction and also represents care for the local environment, as all parts of the palm tree were utilised for various purposes. The Al Saafat project aims to bring a 20 percent reduction in electricity consumption, 15 percent in water consumption, 20 percent carbon dioxide emissions and 50 percent waste reduction.The initiative is designed to achieve the high performance of buildings to promote human and environmental health by strengthening the planning, design, implementation, and operation phases of buildings.
“In line with the vision of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the municipality continues to move towards achieving its goals of being the world’s first sustainable city. Hence, it has launched several projects and initiatives, the latest being the green building rating system, Al Saafat,” said Layali Al Mulla, Director of Buildings Department.
Speaking on the strategic objectives of the Al Saafat system, she explained that the objectives include enhancing Dubai’s march towards sustainable development and to make Dubai a healthy city that meets the highest standards of sustainable development through continuous rationalisation of energy consumption, conservation of water resources, protection of the environment from harmful pollutants and waste in order to provide a better life for the community, ensure economic growth in Dubai, increase its competitive opportunities and its leading role in sustainable development.
Al Mulla stressed the role of integrated control through the work mechanisms in the Buildings Department to ensure quality and accuracy in carrying out construction work that complies with the requirements of the green building rules and specifications during the stages of licensing and supervision in order to achieve the desired objectives and enhance cooperation between Dubai Municipality and its strategic partners, the property developers, owners, consultancy offices and contracting companies operating in the Emirate of Dubai.
As per Circular No. 222, the green building rating is split into four major classifications: platinum, gold, silver and bronze, in descending order, and every building must adhere to the minimum bronze category requirements.