The Adoption of Building Environmental Performance Assessment Methods in the UAE Built Environment

  • Amna ShibeikaEmail author
  • Batoul Hittini
  • Tasneem Abdel Raheem
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


Current research in sustainable development of the built environment acknowledge the role of building environmental sustainability assessment methods as market changers for sustainable buildings’ design and construction. While most of the existing studies are focused either on developing and comparing assessment methods, or on assessment methods’ performance outcomes, this research addresses how assessment methods are adopted in practice. To address this, a pilot study was designed with desktop study of literature and regulation documents, as well as 7 guided in-depth interviews with 8 professionals engaged with assessment methods in the UAE. While, the spread of sustainable design and construction practices is motivated by mandating the assessment methods for all projects, but, with various rating requirements for government and private development projects, the analysis has revealed the continuous development of communication channels for the spread of sustainable design and construction practices between the regulative bodies with: (a) clients through raising awareness activities, (b) projects professionals through training and technical support, and (c) suppliers of sustainable systems and products through quality assurance and certification procedures. Finally, the paper discusses these findings and outlines possible impact on theory, policy and practice.


Adoption Building assessment Innovation Sustainability UAE 


  1. Abraham PS, Gundimeda H (2018) “Greening” the buildings—an analysis of barriers to adoption in India. Cities and the Environment (CATE) 10(1)Google Scholar
  2. Bond AJ, Morrison-Saunders A (2011) Re-evaluating sustainability assessment: aligning the vision and the practice. Environ Impact Assess Rev 31(1):1–7. Scholar
  3. Cole RJ (2005) Building environmental assessment methods: redefining intentions and roles. Build Res Inf 35(5):455–467. Scholar
  4. Ding GKC (2008) Sustainable construction—the role of environmental assessment tools. J Environ Manag 86(3):451–464. Retrieved from
  5. Epstein D, Jackson R, Braithwaite P (2011) Delivering London 2012: sustainability strategy. Proc Inst Civ Eng 164(5):27–33. Scholar
  6. Gann DM, Wang Y, Hawkins R (1998) Do regulations encourage innovation? The case of energy efficiency in housing. Build Res Inf 26(4):280–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Miles MB, Huberman AM (2018) An expanded sourcebook: qualitative data analysis, 4th edn. SAGE Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  8. Moran DD, Wackernagel M, Kitzes JA, Goldfinger SH, Boutaud A (2008) Measuring sustainable development—nation by nation. Ecol Econ 64(3):470–474. Scholar
  9. O’Brien J, Keivani R, Glasson J (2007) Towards a new paradigm in environmental policy development in high-income developing countries: the case of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Prog Plann 68(4):201–256Google Scholar
  10. Opoku A, Ahmed V (2014) Embracing sustainability practices in UK construction organizations: challenges facing intra-organizational leadership. Built Environ Proj Asset Manag 4(1):90–107. Scholar
  11. Pettigrew AM (1990) Longitudinal field research on change: theory and practice. Organ Sci 1(3):267–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Reiche D (2009) Energy Policies of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries-possibilities and limitations of ecological modernization in rentier states. Energy Policy 38(5):2395–2403. Scholar
  13. Rogers EM (2003) Diffusion of innovations, 5th edn. Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Schweber L (2013) The effect of BREEAM on clients and construction professionals. Build Res Inf 41(2):129–145. Scholar
  15. Schweber L, Haroglu H (2014) Comparing the fit between BREEAM assessment and design processes. Build Res Inf 42(3):300–317. Scholar
  16. Spradley JB (1979) The ethnographic interview. Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc, USAGoogle Scholar
  17. Thomson CS, El-Haram MA (2018) Is the evolution of building sustainability assessment methods promoting the desired sharing of knowledge amongst project stakeholders? Constru Manag Econ. Scholar
  18. Yin RK (2018) Case study research and applications: design and methods, 6th edn. SAGE Publications, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amna Shibeika
    • 1
    Email author
  • Batoul Hittini
    • 1
  • Tasneem Abdel Raheem
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Architectural EngineeringUAEUAl AinUAE

Personalised recommendations