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Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre in Al Ain basks in a befitting pearl glow

5. October 2011

Committed to the most demanding sustainability requirements set forward by Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre in Al Ain has achieved the five pearl rating of the Estidama Pearl Rating System (PRS) in the design phase. The Austrian Trade Commission delves into the details

The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre in Al Ain has achieved the five pearl rating of the Estidama Pearl Rating System (PRS) in the design phase. This makes it the first government sustainable development to attain the highest sustainability rating. The project also achieves the first in attaining innovation credit, which once completed could influence emirate-wide construction practices.
“By achieving the highest Pearl Rating, the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre will be the catalyst for all upcoming sustainability-driven projects,” said H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi, general manager, UPC.
“It will prove incredibly relevant to our region, given that the Estidama Pearl Rating System is a unique four-pillar programme tailor-made to tackle the needs of our region’s distinctive environment from the environmental, economic, cultural and social perspectives,” he said.
He said the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre is a tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed and his commitment to the natural and cultural life of the UAE.
“With one of its flagship projects gaining the top ranking, Abu Dhabi is sending a strong yet clear-cut message, that it is gearing up to establish itself as the sustainable Arab capital. Inspired by the forward-thinking and insightful vision of its leadership, Abu Dhabi has taken great leaps to translate this strategic vision into reality through the implementation of the Pearl Rating System on emerging projects and future planning initiatives,” said H.E. Al Ahbabi.
Emphasising the importance of Estidama in this symbolic project, H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi, added, “Estidama has gained strong momentum with more developers committing to its inter-disciplinary approach and sustainability guidelines. Achieving a higher rating beyond the required mandatory is proof that the industry is an active proponent of our initiative and a true partner in progress.”
The Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort (AWPR) is a pilot representation of the UAE’s pledge to wildlife conservation and to compliance with Estidama guidelines, attaining its highest ratings. The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre (SZDLC) is at the heart of the development project that is designed with the Estidama guidelines at its core. Embedded within the UAE World Desert, the Centre will be offering attractive and high tech exhibits to bring the history of Abu Dhabi and the region to vibrant life. A centrepiece of this will be the preservation methods that have been used for survival in arid land ecosystems over the centuries. The visitors to the centre will be able to understand the practices of the past and gain the knowledge and awareness that is needed for conserving the desert and arid land ecosystems for future generations.
The project embellishes the core philosophies of the Estidama programme- combining a cultural and technical framework for energy, water and construction standards based around sound architectural principles of passive measures linked to high efficiency in building systems backed up with responsible renewable technology. The project also achieves a first in attaining innovation credits which once completed could influence Emirate wide construction practices.
H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi concluded, “With Estidama and Pearl Rating System taking huge leaps in urban developments in Abu Dhabi, we are confident that they will present unrivalled level of benefits for generations to come, not only by preserving our natural resources but also preserving and promoting our heritage and way of life. We begin this leap by setting a pattern of high achievement and commitment to sustainability with the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre.”

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