MANAMA – Bahrain has approved blueprints to implement eco-friendly policies which aim to construct "green buildings" across the country to reduce all types of pollution and increase green zones and plantations.
The Central Municipal Council is Bahrain’s first council to get onboard the scheme, which is being spearheaded by the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry. It is understood the other four councils are still studying the proposal.
The new legislation will require building owners to adhere to international environmental standards including in lighting, noise, air-conditioning and ventilation, heating, building materials, electricity, pavement and emissions.
It will exclude residential villas and homes and will be implemented in new buildings in the governorate starting next year.
Under the new requirements, buildings must include 50 percent greenery of their total land space, including planting of palm trees and local vegetation.
At least 50 per cent of each facility’s rooftop must also have a green zone.
"Bahrain is entering a new phase with the implementation of the new green buildings law, which will make it compulsory rather than voluntary as practiced world-wide," said council chairman Abdulrazzak Al Hattab.
"The law is so comprehensive and detailed that pollution rates would sharply drop whatever their sources are. It includes strict criteria for new buildings, that for now excludes villas and homes, which would reduce the level of all pollution, whether noise, gas, sewage, electricity, water, eye sores and others. "Specifics have been outlined and will be finalized by specialists from the ministries and government bodies concerned before being made public a few months before the official implementation of the law on Jan. 1."
Al Hattab said that "going green" did not just mean reducing the types of pollution, but also increasing greenery within buildings.
"All new buildings will have to start a new green approach that will oblige them to have plants in half of their total space," he said.
"It will encourage plantation as 50 per cent of the green area has to be filled with Bahraini plants including two palm trees. At least 50 percent of rooftops in each facility must also have greenery."
He said the law also incorporates policies for the disabled and cyclists.
"Buildings with 20 car parks or more must allocate 5 per cent of its space for people with special needs and create adequate shaded areas for bicycles, which should not be more than 40m away from the nearest facility." – SG/Agencies