Green Buildings




A Green building is one where the qualities of both the indoor and outdoor environments have been considered and protected during its design, construction, operations, maintenance and use. Green design attempts to balance economic, social, and environmental factors and its principles affect all phases of project development, from design to disposal. Green Buildings are also commonly referred to as Sustainable buildings, Eco friendly buildings or environmentally friendly buildings.


A Green Building is characterized by optimized energy consumption, improved energy efficiency, increased water savings, reduced pollution, enhanced indoor air quality, better productivity and reduced operation costs. At a broad level, Green Buildings greatly help the environment in terms of reducing the Green House gas (GHG) emissions and climate change adaptation.


On October 24th, 2007 His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai issued a resolution and directive that effective January 1st, 2008, all owners of commercial and residential buildings on the emirate of Dubai must comply with internationally recognized environment-friendly specifications of sustainable development to turn Dubai into Green Dubai.


EHS-TRAKHEES, the Regulatory arm of PCFC and Special Development Zones of the Dubai World established Green Building Regulations late 2007 to implement within its jurisdiction.


Sustainability Department [Green Building]

The Sustainability department was created exclusively to address the built environment and administer the Green Building Regulations for the jurisdiction


  • Established late 2007
  • First in the Region to Mandate Green Building Regulation for New Constructions
  • Strong & Well defined Green Building Regulations
  • Robust Regulatory Mechanisms
  • More than 9 years of Regulatory Experience
  • Several Certified  Green Buildings in EHS Jurisdiction


Roles & Responsibilities

  • Development of Regulatory  Infrastructure and Continuous Improvements
  • Green Building Design and Post Construction Reviews
  • Clearance for NOC-Building Permits
  • Clearance for NOC-Building Completion
  • Pre-Qualification of Specialists
  • Technical Assistance
  • Green Building Certification
  • Accreditation
  • Other Initiatives

Main Functions

The development of facilities (New constructions) within the jurisdiction of Trakhees-EHS necessitates approval from the Green Building department (a.k.a Sustainability Department) to facilitate the issuance of the No Objection Certificate (NOC) during building permit and building completion process.

Accordingly the Sustainability Department facilitates the following activities

  1. Review of the Green Building Submissions and providing clearances to the Permits section in the process of issuance of EHS-NOC for Building Permit for new projects.
  2. Review of the post construction green building submissions, carrying out relevant inspections as deemed essential and providing clearance to the Permits section in the process of issuance of EHS-NOC for Building Completion Certificate.
  3. Green Building Certification for projects opting for EHS In-House certification in lieu of external certification.
  4. Necessary Site inspections / meeting with the client FM team and management in the process of in-house certification
  5. Review and Approval of Pre-Qualification Applications for Third Party Green Building  Consultants
  6. Review and Approval of Pre-Qualification Applications for Third Party Green Building  Commissioning Authorities (CxA)
  7. Green Building Certification – Existing Buildings


Other Functions

  1. Continuous improvement to Green Building Regulations and the regulatory infrastructure  in coordination with all the stakeholders,  to reflect the environment, ecology and culture of UAE
  1. Technical Assistance to stakeholders' viz. Clients, consultants, developers, suppliers etc. in the process of implementation of Green Building Projects.
  2. Assistance to stakeholders on energy efficiency improvement programs for existing buildings
  3. Create and oversee need based sustainability forums such as "Technical working group / Green Forum, Materials Forum etc.
  4. Accreditation / Training program on Regulatory awareness pertaining to EHS Green Building regulations for warehouses and industrial developments
  5. Participation in Sustainability / Green Building Forums to promote low carbon developments in the built environment.


KEY Stakeholders


  • Developers
  • Architectural Engineering Consultants
  • Green Building specialists
  • Contractors
  • Suppliers
  • PCFC Trakhees business units
  • EHS Departments
  • Regional / Global green building entities
  • Other authorities in Dubai
  • Others


Green Building – Ingredients / Needs / Focus Areas

  • Needs of the region
  • Integrated Design  Development & Delivery
  • Energy optimisation
  • Water consumption reduction
  • Active design (Energy, Water, etc.)
  • Passive design (Envelope, shading etc.))
  • Sincere enforcement
  • Construction compliance
  • Post occupation performance / operational sustainability
  • Truly performing buildings


Major Region Specific Barriers

  • Lack of awareness
  • Paucity of management commitment
  • Dearth of technical skills
  • Abundance of green washing


Policy Instruments deployed by EHS

  • Regulatory and control instruments
  • Support, Informatory & Voluntary Instrument


Regulatory Infrastructure


Approach to Green Buildings



Credentials / Achievements 

The Sustainability department has achieved rapid strides in the domain of low carbon built environment through several forward looking initiatives and responsible interventions by deploying the following policy instruments

  1. Regulatory & Control Instrument
  2. Support, Informatory and voluntary Instrument

Some of the achievements are listed under


  1. Hundreds of projects have been submitted to and reviewed by EHS sustainability department for compliance to green building regulations.


  1. 75 Projects certified by USGBC / GBCI through proactive EHS intervention and facilitation.


  1. Development of region specific and practical regulations that address the need of the specific development. Besides the original regulation that was aligned to LEED (with regional alignment), the sustainability department developed the following additional regulations.
    1. Green Building regulations for villas and low rise residential developments
    2. Green Building regulations for warehouses and industrial developments


  1. High Quality Guidelines established for deliverables of Green Building Consultants, Commissioning Authorities (CxA), Auditing and Energy Efficiency Improvement program (EEIP)


  1. Structured procedures and review mechanisms within the department


  1. Creation of Key forums such as
    1. Material Forum– Sustainable technologies and products
    2. Energy Efficiency Improvement program for existing industrial facilities.
    3. Energy Efficiency Improvement program for existing commercial facilities.


  1. Member of technical working group on building energy labeling program for Dubai.


  1. Strategic Alliance with UNEP-SBCI & Participation in Global Metrics Project


  1. Promotion of Renewable Technology / Sustainability Mock-up within EHS offices


  1. Participation / collaboration with Academia


  1. Participation as speaker / panelist in regional / international events to promote awareness on the sustainability of built environment.


  1. Development of the Green Gallery for promoting awareness on sustainable products and technologies


  1. Winner of Emirates Energy Award 2015


  1. Winner of Ta'atheer CSR and Social Impact Award for best NGO


Trakhees-EHS has successfully reveiwed different types of faciilities and have facilitated their certifications through Strong regulations, Sensible enforcement and Successful regulatory processes.As on the date of compilation of the report, the Green Building statistics of Trakhees in relation to  Dubai city reads as indicated in the caption below:









EHS Philosophy for Sustainability





The progression of EHS has been steady gaining ground at each and every phase which helped in transforming it into a well-respected regulatory body in Dubai. The important Milestones are produced below. As the trend demonstrates, EHS has made rapid progress into the gamut of low carbon and energy efficiency in the built environment from the humble beginnings of 2007. Besides improving the Regulatory infrastructure, it has deployed the "Support, Informatory and voluntary" instrument to create awareness, strengthen enforcement, encourage compliance and in the process buildup the market capacity



  1. Development of Green Building Regulations for New Construction
  2. Establishment of the Sustainability Department



  1. Mandating of Green Building Regulations for ALL New Constructions.
  2. Pre-Qualification of Green Building Specialists



  1. Pre-Qualification of commissioning specialists



  1. Commences Materials Forum for Sustainable products & Technologies
  2. Releases guidelines for sustainability within existing buildings
  3. Rolls out In-House Green Building regulations for Villas and residential developments (up to 3 habitable levels)



  1. Commences Energy Efficiency Improvement Program for Existing Buildings     
  2. Rolls out EHS In-House Green Building Regulations for Warehouses / Industrial Facilities
  3. Rolls out EHS In-House Green Building Certification service



  1. Issues "Green Building Implementation Kit" Guidelines
  2. Commences "Green Building Accreditation program" for warehouse based regulations



  1. Conducts Materials form for sustainable products and technologies



  1. Completes the first "In-House Green Building Certification" 
  2. Presents Technical paper on regulatory policies at ICUE Thailand
  3. Completes the Green gallery incorporating low carbon initiatives



  1. Conducts Mass Awareness program for stakeholders
  2. Receives prestigious Emirates Energy Award from Dubai Supreme council of Energy



  1. Issues 4 KEY guidelines to empower the stakeholders and enable them to prepare the submissions.
    1. Sample Submission Formats – Warehouse (NOC-BP)
    2. Sample Submission Formats – Warehouse (NOC-BCC)
    3. Sample Submission Formats – Villa (NOC-BP)
    4. Sample Submission Formats – Villa (NOC-BCC)

  2. Receives Ta'atheer CSR and Social Impact Award for best NGO

EHS -Green Building Department AIMS to….


  • Deploy the Regulatory & Control Instruments in a  responsible & proactive manner so as to encourage compliance
  • Harness the potential of Support, Informational and Voluntary instruments to break the barriers to green buildings.
  • Accelerate the deployment of sustainable technologies for the new buildings through encouragement and technical support
  • Promote and encourage operational sustainability and performing buildings
  • Maximize the value to the CLIENT & ENVIRONMENT


Together we can and we would …….


Trakhees-EHS Green Building section considers itself as an active part of team and is committed to providing world class services to all developers within Dubai World jurisdiction. It is steadfast in ensuring that the Green building projects not only remain green in paper but truly sustainable in performance.


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Last Updated 2nd January 2017