Towards conceptual understanding for the adoption of building environmental sustainability assessment methods in the UAE built environment

A. Shibeika, T. Abdel Raheem, B. Hittini

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The UAE is witnessing increased interest for sustainable development which poses challenges on the development processes for the large amount of built environment projects taking place in this emerging economy. While, great attention has been given to the development of tools and methods to measure and assess the performance of buildings to meet specific environmental sustainability targets, however, less is known about the effect of these assessment methods on the built environment development process itself. This paper addresses this gap through the investigation of the adoption of building environmental sustainability assessment methods for development projects in the UAE. Currently, there are two assessment methods in the UAE; Pearl Building Rating (PBR) and Al Sa'fat systems. Background study revealed that both systems: are developed in parallel to the development of building codes, adopt performance-based approach for assessment methods, and their adoption for development projects is basically mandatory. This paper draws from diffusion of innovations theory and growing literature in the adoption of similar assessment methods in projects, with the objective of proposing a conceptual framework that conceptualizes PBR and Al Sa'fat methods as innovations and the development projects as the social system for adoption, while focusing on the adoption process dynamics rather than the decision to adopt or not. The proposed framework captures specific conceptual themes, providing the foundation for further empirical investigation. As such, this paper contributes to the growing literature on the adoption of global energy assessment tools and specifically addresses the UAE's sustainable development policy and regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012185
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 5 2019
EventSustainable Built Environment D-A-CH Conference 2019: Transition Towards a Net Zero Carbon Built Environment, SBE 2019 Graz - Graz, Austria
Duration: Sept 11 2019Sept 14 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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