As one of the key pillars of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 nation building plan, Khalifa Port and Kizad aim, in line with the overarching objectives of Vision 2030, to support Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification strategy while committing to the most demanding sustainability requirements set forward by the Estidama Pearl Rating System (PRS): this project alone will create 13 new economic sectors. Through diversifying, Khalifa Port and Kizad promote economic diversity and, by collaborating with the Estidama team at Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), the project is moving towards environmental, social and cultural sustainability through successfully achieving the requirements of the Estidama PRS.
While 80% of the project design had been completed prior to the Estidama PRS becoming mandatory, an effective partnership between Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), master developer for Khalifa Port and Kizad, and the UPC’s Estidama team, has resulted in the achievement of nine new buildings – which form part of the first development phase – complying with the Estidama 2 Pearl Design Rating. These buildings, spanning a wide range of industrial activities, are currently under construction and going through the Estidama Construction Audit phase, with completion anticipated from Q2 of 2012 through to Q3.
Strong collaboration was integral to ensuring the building designs met the Estidama PRS requirements without causing any delays to ADPC, which needs to meet its pre-arranged completion deadlines. A number of workshops were held involving the Estidama and ADPC teams, and a series of risk management scenarios was conducted, and building criteria developed, to prevent delays. A safe credit pathway was established for site-wide credits for all buildings, resulting in the first building being assessed over 10 days and the final building being assessed within 24 hours, due to a highly collaborative approach and pre-approved credit pathways being followed. The Estidama customer support process is now being continued during the construction phase though jointly held construction audits, which is adding significant technical value to the site team.
Furthermore, the UPC’s Development Review Team supported ADPC in implementing one of the integral components of the Estidama PRS: the Integrated Development Process (IDP). This ensures that all team members, from project inception and design, through to construction and operation, work together to optimise the process and seek out innovative and sustainable solutions throughout the development and operation lifecycle.
ADPC’s CEO Tony Douglas comments: “With the PRS, Estidama represents one of the most ambitious sustainable building design rating systems in the world. Utilising the Estidama PRS will result in long-term cost savings and highlight our commitment to implementing sustainable development and the wider objectives of the Economic Vision 2030. Our close working relationship with the UPC’s Estidama team has allowed ADPC to meet the mandatory 2 Pearl Rating, whilst adhering to our tight schedule through a truly collaborative approach.”
In addition to mandatory credits such as the IDP, developments are awarded credits based on other criteria such as efficient water and energy use.Options available to designers and construction managers include the use of hollow rather than solid block construction to help insulate the building (thereby reducing A/C costs and raw material usage), using double-glazed low E glass to reduce heat gain, yet allow for better natural light conditions, implementing high efficiency HVAC systems which promote energy savings whilst improving indoor air quality combined with materials selection and construction and operational waste management systems.
Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager, UPC, (pictured with ADPC CEO Tony Douglas) concluded, “The strategic role played by Estidama in facilitating the rating of these projects at Kizad demonstrates the level of support we offer to our partners in achieving a Pearl Rating. The Estidama PRS is the first sustainability benchmark in the Arab region to ensure and evaluate the sustainability performance of all kinds of buildings and developments in the Emirate. While the benefits of the PRS, both environmentally and financially are far reaching, it is important to remember that Estidama is not just a building rating system, but a clear and progressive sustainability programme based on a long term vision and supported by four equal pillars : economy, environment, society and culture. The economic diversification resulting from the implementation of this project is equally important”.
A further 20 sites are currently under UPC Development Review for ADPC customers, which plan to operate their businesses within Kizad. A specific Development Review framework that was formed early on in the process, complements the IDP and streamlines the overall project completion, permitting and PRS certification process.
“Estidama has gained strong momentum with more developers committing to its interdisciplinary approach and sustainability guidelines. By achieving the Estidama 2-pearl design rating, ADPC demonstrates that the industry is an active proponent of our initiative and a true partner in progress “, Al Ahbabi added.