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The Pearl Rating System (PRS) is the Abu Dhabi certification scheme for the design, build, and operation of energy-efficient and green buildings. EcoConsulting employs Pearl Qualified Professionals (PQP) who assist our clients to obtain the desired PRS certification rating.




Background to the Estidama Pearl Rating System

The Pearl Rating System™ (PRS) is a key component of Estidama, an initiative developed and promoted by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) to promote a more sustainable urbanisation. It deals specifically with the built environment and its performance in relation to economic, environmental, cultural, and social aspects. The scheme has been inspired by the UK-equivalent BREEAM scheme created in 1990 and the US-equivalent LEED scheme created in 1998.

As of September 2010, the PRS became a mandatory sustainability evaluation methodology for any newly built villas, buildings, or communities in Abu Dhabi. As such


          Any new community must achieve at least one Pearl

          Any new private building or villa must achieve at least one Pearl

          Any government-led project must achieve at least two Pearls

About the PBRS Scheme

The Pearl Building Rating System (PBRS) assesses new buildings against a wide range of environmental and sustainability issues, covering the following 7 categories:


     - Integrated Development Process
     - Natural Systems
     - Liveable Buildings

     - Precious Water

     - Resourceful Energy

     - Stewardship Materials

     - Innovating Practice


For each issue, one or more ‘credits’ are available when specific levels of performance or processes are achieved. In addition, some pre-requisite credits are mandatory for any level of PBRS certification.


Overall, the PBRS certification contains 177 points or credits, in addition to 3 ‘Innovating Practice’ (Bonus) points. The final Pearl Rating is determined as described in the table below:


  Requirement                                     Pearl Rating Achieved

  All Mandatory Credits                                 1 Pearl            
  All Mandatory Credits + 60 Credits             2 Pearl          
  All Mandatory Credits + 85 Credits               3 Pearl            
  All Mandatory Credits + 115 Credits             4 Pearl            
   All Mandatory Credits + 140 Credits             5 Pearl     


The PBRS assessment process is currently characterized by two distinct phases:

1) The Pearl Design Rating which rewards any environmentally friendly measures undertaken during the design development

2) The Pearl Construction Rating which ensures that the commitments made for the design rating have been implemented


Currently, only following these two reviews phases, can the Certification be granted. However a third phase - the Pearl Operational Rating – is currently under development and might become mandatory. This phase review assesses the built-in features and operational performance of an existing building and ensures that the building is operating sustainably.


How EcoConsulting can Help
For more information about undertaking a PBRS assessment, or on detailed advice on how to achieve a target rating, please contact us.
Our team can also assist on designing an energy-efficient building through Dynamic Thermal Modelling and 3D Daylighting Simulations, thus maximizing the number of ‘Resourceful Energy’ credits




Pearl Rating System













 "Estidama means ‘sustainability’

 in Arabic and was introduced

in 2007 in the form of Plan

Abu Dhabi 2030 which aimed

to define how a contemporary, sustainable Arab Capital should

look and how it could live."

Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council


EcoConsulting   -   London, UK   -   Beirut, Lebanon l t I +961 (0) 1 971266   -   Information l e l

    The Estidama Pearl Rating System name and logo are registered trademarks by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).