Can’t breathe this
The UAE captivates you with its highrise buildings, I remember arriving on the shores of this Gulf nation seven years ago and living in a skyscraper tower. As a Goan who grew up on a farm you’d understand my apprehension of looking down from my balcony. I had a great view though.
But for all the time I lived there I wondered why cladding was such an important part of the facades in the UAE, and when a few fires broke out that summer it compounded my concerns.
I’ve quizzed experts on what has prompted the cladding façade trend in the UAE and I have been met with various responses, from being a cost factor to quicker build times and better aesthetics.
I moved from there the following year after my tenancy contract came to an end. The new apartment building I moved into, which had 28 storeys, had a concrete façade. It never struck me until I moved in and sat in the balcony with a cup of tea one evening.
Personally, I felt safer knowing that I’m secure in a building that’s devoid of cladding.
However, new regulations by the UAE Civil Defence through its Fire and Life Safety Code forbid the use of certain sorts of aluminium composite in cladding panels.
This is great news for the entire real estate sector – developers, investor confidence, tenants, FM operators and nervous bunnies such as me.
We have seen from past examples of how a fire can be contained with the right sort of cladding in place. This is best illustrated in the fire incident that broke out at the Trump Towers in New York in 2018, where the fire was confined and did not spread.
A developer that opts for cladding need not be looked at as a deterrent when an FM company is looking to bid for a job.