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Working in Abu Dhabi becomes easier for UK architects

New building codes adopted by the Abu Dhabi government this month will make working in the emirate easier for UK practices, senior architects have said

The Department of Municipal Affairs announced that voluntary implementation of the Abu Dhabi International Building Codes had started on public projects this month.

This move comes a year ahead of the codes becoming compulsory on government schemes in October 2014.

Ian Apsley, Abu Dhabi-based director at London-headquartered Broadway Malyan, welcomed the move.

‘The codes will make the design and build of projects safer and more efficient, and drive up energy efficiency standards,’ he said.

‘Codes based on international best practice will enable our expert designers to share knowledge to a greater extent and partner with clients to deliver safer, higher quality and greener buildings for occupants and users in the region.’

Richard Philipson, consultant to Stride Treglown, said the codes – based on those in use in the US – should help foreign architects work with local practices.

‘The introduction of the new code should enable these teams to work more closely together and find some common ground when construction solutions are being determined,’ he said. 

‘Having a solid basis for construction code should also help to reduce the amount of interpretation of code that currently exists in the approving authorities. 

‘I expect the introduction to make it easier for UK firms to work in the Emirate.’

Construction in Abu Dhabi was kickstarted in January 2012 when The Abu Dhabi Executive Council gave the green light for a raft of schemes that had been either placed on hold or held up in creation.

Philipson said the schemes were progressing, but that a Dubai-style boom was ‘a long way off’.

Broadway Malyan has designed a number of schools in Abu Dhabi in recent years, and is continuing to do so. Stride Treglown is to deliver twoacademies on Reem Island in Abu Dhabi.

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