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A modern home in today’s world is a sustainable home. A sustainable home basically means conserving energy and ensuring that the development of the house has very little impact towards the environment. In some countries, building a sustainable green home is an encouraged move, as the government may choose to give some tax rebate or some initiative to encourage more home owners to build green homes. Australia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been having this concept of sustainable green homes for some time now.
This paper aims to compare and contrast the different policies and issues that these countries are having. Progression of assize and Policies to Sustainable Green Homes in Australia In the state of Queensland in Australia, the term “sustainable housing” is defined as planning, designing and building houses that are sustainable socially, environmentally and economically. (Smart & Sustainable Homes 2008) In Australia, the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts is responsible for planning and implementing various sustainability policies to help protect the environment.
One of their policy campaigns is on creating smart green homes in Australia. In Queensland Australia, the government has developed a concept called the “Smart Housing” whereby the government is building houses that are environmentally safe and at the same time provides a good structure according to the state’s unpredictable climate. This was a collaborative effort between the state government and the national government from 2004 till present to provide projects, supports and consultants to the public to build greener homes.
To encourage more people to build green homes, the government has also come up with a guidebook on how to build houses by taking into consideration of the unpredictable Queensland weather and also using the “Smart Sustainable Homes Design Objectives.
” According to a recent architecture survey which was featured in the brochure of the Australian Institute of Architects, around 80% of Australian people were eager to set up their hot water service using solar power.
This shows that people are very much keen about saving the environment. Apart from that, the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) initiated a special day called the “Sustainable House Day” in 2001 as an initiative to bring together green home owners to showcase their homes to people who want to build a green home. This will be the 10th year that they will be organizing Sustainable House Day and they are expected to showcase around 250 homes to the public. Progression of assize and Policies to Sustainable Green Homes in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates, being an economically polarized nation strapped for livable urban space, the authorities continue to face tremendous challenges in providing adequate and clean water, sanitation and living conditions to people belonging to segments of society. The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) has been a pioneer since 1991 in promoting sustainable growth through community waste recycling projects and the cyclical use of materials. EEG was also responsible for launching a campaign to bring about awareness among policymakers and the media about green buildings, as environmental sustainability is a relatively new concept.
This led to the creation of green building council for the UAE and Estidama Program, which sets standards for minimum environmental sustainability requirements. This council also has developed a transparent rating system known as the Pearls green building rating system that is employed to construct environmentally sustainable buildings in the UAE. The regulations set by Estidama Program known as the Estidama New Building Design Guidelines (ENBDG) have now become a part of the building code. These guidelines focus on aspects such pre-design planning, demolition of older buildings, material purchase and interior environmental quality.
Incentives are given to construction companies that use locally available building materials and labor, so as to reduce carbon footprint. The new regulations also encourage constructors to reuse and recycle building materials; acquiring technology to utilize renewable sources is also promoted by the government (ESTIDAMA, 2008). In April 2010, the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority has set forth new building regulations that would decrease energy consumption by forty percent; electronic equipments such as air-conditioners would also require more efficient energy ratings to be installed in new buildings (Elgendy, 2010).
Conclusion As the world moves towards a globalized economy, urban space would continue to be much sought after especially in developing nations such the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Australia. While Australia is more sparsely populated, UAE is more densely population and hence makes inhabitable real-estate a more premium resource. Owing to population explosion and urban migration, the stress on such urban sprawls would eventually reach a point where there would no longer be enough resources for everyone. Such areas also consume natural resources at a faster rate while managing to leave toxic waste as a byproduct.
Although Australia is a little slower in adopting green homes, UAE seems to be quite serious about sustainable development. While it is harder to make corporations to adopt sustainable methods of business, it would be easier and more constructive to establish environmentally sustainable households to make the future more inhabitable.
Al Marashi, H 2006, ‘Encouraging Sustainable Urban Development in the United Arab Emirates,’ Global Urban Development Magazine, Vol 2, Issue 1, viewed 15 August, 2010, http://www.environment.gov.au/about-us/esd
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