The construction building materials market is moving increasingly towards environmentally friendly products and the availability of information means their green credentials must be made plain according to an analysis by UK-based low energy design advisors Sustainable Solutions.

The importance of using ecological building materials on projects throughout the GCC was a key item on the agenda of a summit conference, held to celebrate the 350th anniversary of French-based materials supplier Saint-Gobain.

“The market place is evolving from traditional to sustainable,” said the group’s senior consultant Dr Shamir Ghumra. “And in a broader sense this is not just about cutting carbon emissions or recycling.

“It concerns social values – the construction of a good place to work or live with walls which are not seeping out chemicals.

“Product data needs to be transparent so people can see what has value in the way of sustainability. The inherent quality of products means that manufacturers do not need to be the cheapest on the market to be the one of choice.”

Ali Ahmad Elian is head of engineering materials at Dubai Central Laboratory. He said: “We undertake our own tests on materials which are not governed by international standards or where we feel that international standards are not appropriate for local conditions or materials.”

Elian outlined the targets set by Dubai’s authorities for the next few years which are an increase in cost of materials of just 5%, a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emission, a 20% saving in energy, a 15% reduction in water use and waste reductions of 60% during the use of a building and 50% in its construction stage.