As the sun goes down and its glare diminishes, the triangles turn away from the sun’s path and the sun sensor automatically controls their movement and the façade goes into “sun-set” mode. These giant shading devices drastically reduce the building’s reliance on air conditioners and minimises the use of artificial light, effectively exploiting the abundance of natural light also as a result of the complex cylindrical shape of the towers and the translucent glass façade that offers 360 degree views.
The origami-like screens positioned two metres outside the buildings’ exterior represent a high-tech version of the classic Islamic lattice shading motif called the “mashrabiya”. This nod to tradition reduces heat absorption by 50% and, together with the photovoltaic panels placed on the roofs, reduces CO2 emissions by 1,750 tonnes a year. The design was recognised as the Chicago Council On Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats Award Winner, a prestigious prize given for sustainability in tall buildings.
An array of solar panels on the south side and a green roof are another strategy for lowering indoor temperatures naturally. Entrambi i tetti generano, infine, circa il 5% del fabbisogno energetico totale.
Contract Name: Al Bahr Towers, Abu Dhabi UAE
Client: Abu Dhabi Investment Council
Main Contractor: Al-Futtaim Carillion, Abu Dhabi
Sub Contractor: Al Tayer Stocks and Royal Mega Interiors (RMI)
Contract Period: 2010 - 2012
Plot Area: 11,500 sq. m
Building Footprint: 1,960 sq. m
Gross Floor Area: 32,000 sq. m
Height: 150 m
Cost: US$ 245,000,000
But to remain somewhat closer to home, also financially, new indoor and outdoor manufacturing technologies are dramatically enhancing the performance of plasterboard panels – a hygroscopic material – in terms of improved sound-proofing, heat insulation, and moisture and mould resistance, all of which are often responsible for unhealthy living and working environments.
With validated and certified design solutions in terms of pure comfort, quality of living and safety, plasterboard can today deliver outstanding performance levels, including in earthquake resistance.