February 18, 2023

ICC hosts debut workshop in Dubai to promote building safety

categories : real estate

International Code Council, the world-leading building safety association, recently hosted its inaugural workshop in Dubai, focusing on a safety-first approach to innovative building systems.

With major projects in the UAE and Saudi markets utilising its solutions, the International Code Council said its objective through the event was to establish a safety-first approach in the Mena region. The ICC had recently opened its regional office in Dubai.

Over 90 delegates attended the event from the industry’s leading authorities having jurisdictions (AHJs), developers, contractors, architects, designers and manufacturers, among others, where ICC showcased its on-ground support to organizations involved in building safety including government entities, construction management corporations, manufacturers and design professionals.

The event kicked off with opening remarks from notable industry leaders including Dominic Sims - CEO, International Code Council, Meghan Gregonis - US Consul General, Dubai, Aisha Al Mulla - Head of Research and Building Section, Dubai Municipality and Engineer Riyadh Al Rasheed, the Director of Technical Affairs at Saudi Building Code National Committee.

Hosted by Mohamed Amer, the Regional Director of Operations for ICC Mena, the workshop explored the need for increased compliance in the construction industry, especially in growing markets of the Mena region.

Joined by Sims as well as other International Code Council senior executives and board members from the US and Shahin Moinian PE, Executive Vice President, Conformity Assessment Group, the workshop delved into the challenges and opportunities in the region, touching on the importance of robust regulatory framework for advanced and new building systems.

'The region is poised for huge growth in the building and construction industry, especially with the UAE’s 2050 vision to make the country the first in the region to achieve net-zero emissions,' remarked Sims.

'It’s crucial to underpin these projects with effective building codes and standards, especially where innovative materials, systems and methods are being deployed,' stated the top ICC official.

Further talking about Mena region, Amer said: 'There’s no doubt the region is pushing the boundaries of engineering and architecture with ambitious projects like The Line in Saudi Arabia, and more recently completed projects such as Atlantis The Royal and the Museum of the Future in Dubai. But they all need to start with a solid foundation, stringent compliance, education and technical knowledge sharing back to the community.'

The ICC has been involved in projects in the region for more than 27 years and several jurisdictions use the International Codes as the basis for their building safety regulations.

In 2012, Abu Dhabi government, through its Department of Municipal Affairs, introduced the Abu Dhabi International Building Codes, which are based on the International Codes (I-Codes) developed by the ICC to be the standards to guide the development of construction projects in the emirate.

While the I-Codes have been widely referenced in specific projects in Saudi Arabia for many years, including most of Saudi Aramco construction, in 2018, the Saudi Building Code National Committee introduced a mandatory suite of codes based on the I-Codes.

The Gulf Building Codes, which were announced by the Gulf Standardization Organization at the end of 2022, are in turn based on the Saudi Building Code, drawing heavily from the I-Codes.

Some of the new Saudi giga projects, including Neom, will see the implementation of the codes to create resilient projects, said the statement from ICC.

The ICC provides a wide range of building safety solutions including product evaluation, accreditation, certification, consulting, codification and professional development.

With more than 60,000 members worldwide – from government officials, architects and engineers to contractors and students – the Council develops model codes and standards used worldwide to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures.


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