What is it?
The Gulf Building Code (Code) is a unified regional code that will be applied to building and construction projects throughout the GCC States. The unified code will comprise of the following: the architectural, construction, fire, green buildings, renewable energy, maintenance of buildings, mechanical and electricity codes. The Code is expected to be launched and come into effect from December this year although it is not yet clear how this will interact with regulations of, for example, the individual Emirates of the UAE.
What is the aim?
The Code primarily aims to protect the safety of building occupants and support sustainable development in the GCC region whilst also achieving the highest level of quality in building and construction. The Code is also anticipated to contain significant provisions aiming to achieve reduced energy use, preserve heritage and enhance the Arab and Islamic identity of the people in the GCC region. The Code is also expected to contain a system for assessing sustainable green buildings in order to promote the protection of the environment, and global efforts to alleviate the consequences of carbon emissions and the greenhouse effect.
What will it look like?
The Code is expected to be largely modelled on the Qatari Building Code introduced in October 2014 which was developed with contributions from more than 100 global building and construction experts.
How will it impact you?
It is expected that the Code will apply to all new building and construction projects that occur after it comes into effect later this year – this will likely include the construction and development of schools, universities and other education facilities throughout the GCC States. Whilst the precise impact is unknown at the moment, we consider that many developers will face a considerable increase in costs in complying with the new codes and applicable standards. We recommend that anyone planning a building considers appropriate provision for the Code in any new tenders.