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‘UAE Government must develop a comprehensive approach to implementing IEQ’

Aisha Al Abdooli, Director, Air Quality Department at the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, suggests ways to tackle indoor air pollution

| | Mar 28, 2017 | 9:37 pm
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Across the UAE, businesses and industries have been making efforts to ensure good indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in buildings to create sustainable living conditions in the country. But there remains a long way before all buildings can meet the international guidelines and certification standards. How and what can the UAE Government do to motivate contractors, consultants and building owners towards IEQ implementation efforts in the country?

The government should develop a comprehensive approach to tackle the challenges, says Aisha Al Abdooli, Director, Air Quality Department at the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. She explains: “The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), for example, is exploring unique mechanisms to enable the building industry to invest in indoor air quality through its AD Trustmark for environmental performance scheme. They have set certification criteria for construction products that have an impact on indoor air quality, including interior and exterior paints, adhesives and sealants, carpets, tiling and flooring materials, which help fulfil the Estidama requirements. To ensure the elimination of indoor air pollutants from HVAC systems and ducts, QCC also established a certification programme for HVAC system and duct cleaners and training schemes, along with a certification for HVAC systems based on performance, materials and filter types.”

A solution that she suggests is that since there is lack of data on source of indoor air pollution and its extent, the government could start from setting the baseline by preparing proper monitoring mechanisms before creating effective performance targets. “Eventually,” Al Abdooli says, “the new policy framework should help owners and occupants take into account the indoor air quality in their choice of buildings, so that the building with good indoor air quality will get higher market value. That way the building sector will naturally invest in eliminating pollutants.”

 


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