Dubai builders required to use ‘green’ concrete from April

Switching to eco-friendly building materials will cut pollution and long-term costs, Dubai Municipality says

PHOTO: From grey to green... Builders will be obliged to use eco-friendly concrete from next month. Credit: Shutterstock

All new buildings in Dubai will have to be built with ‘green’ concrete starting from April, the city’s municipality has announced.

Builders will have to use eco-friendly alternatives for original Portland cement (OPC) currently being used in construction projects, Dubai Municipality (DM) officials said at a press conference on Sunday.

Each tonne of OPC emits more than a tonne of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases. Additionally, cement production also causes high amounts of dust to be released into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and causing respiratory diseases in people living close to factories.

Consultants, contractors and cement companies will, therefore, now have to use greener and safer substitutes like Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBFS) and fly ash, reports say.

The UAE’s construction industry currently depends on 12 companies for cement production, officials said at the conference. These firms will now have to ramp up their production capacity to make greener building materials.

“The capacity of the 12 cement companies in the UAE is 39 million tonnes. But we are producing only 19 million tonnes as per the demand, which is going up slowly,” said Abdullah Raffia, DM Assistant Director-General for Engineering and Planning Sector, quoted in Khaleej Times.

Making the switch to green concrete, in addition to cutting down pollution, will also ensure buildings last longer, through enhanced resistances to salts and better thermal insulation of concrete, making them more suited to the extreme temperatures in the country. This will also amount to long term cost savings, Raffia noted.

“We have calculated an estimated saving of Dh192 billion for Dubai because of the extended durability of buildings,” he said.

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