Implementing Sustainable Construction Practices in Dubai - a policy instrument assessment

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Implementing Sustainable Construction Practices in Dubai - a policy instrument assessment

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Implementing Sustainable Construction Practices in Dubai - a policy instrument assessment
Author(s) Maguina, Marco
Date 2011
English abstract
Recognized as one of the main obstacles to sustainable development, climate change is caused and accelerated by the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated from all energy end-user sectors. The building sector alone consumes around 40% of all produced energy worldwide. Reducing this sector’s energy consumption has therefore come into focus as one of the key issues to address in order to meet the climate change challenge. Implementing sustainable construction practices, such as LEED, can significantly reduce the building’s energy and water consumption. Prescribing these practices may however encounter several barriers that can produce other than intended results. Since the beginning of 2008 Dubai mandates a LEED certification for the better part of all new constructions developed within the emirate, nevertheless the success of this regulation is debatable. This thesis identifies the barriers the introduction of the sustainable construction practices in Dubai faced and analyses the reasons why the regulatory and voluntary policy instruments were not effective in dealing with these barriers. Understanding these barriers as well as the merits and weaknesses of the policy instruments will help future attempts to introduce sustainable construction practices. To put the research into context a literature review of relevant printed and internet sources has been performed. In order to further understand the barriers the construction market in Dubai faced, qualitative observational research methods have been used. In addition the input of different key stakeholders with unique knowledge of the construction market was deemed to be necessary. Finally, for purposes of verification, the research relied on quantitative methods using different databases that provide detailed information about construction projects in the United Arab Emirates. The thesis concludes that several barriers, such as a) financial, b) market related, c) behavioral and organizational, d) political and structural, d) technical and e) information barriers hindered the introduction of sustainable construction practices in Dubai. Furthermore the introduced policy mechanisms were not effective in providing clarity on the scope of the policies and environmental goals, failed to provide financial incentives to investors or developers and considered only weak enforcement mechanisms. As a final outcome the thesis presents a number of suggestions that should increase the number of LEED certified projects. These suggestions include changes in the current regulations, the introduction of new policy mechanism such as a building code and major changes to the energy policy such as the correction of the utility prices and the liberalization of the energy market.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 44
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) LEED
Sustainable construction practices
Dubai World
policy instruments
Green Dubai Resolution
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