- Topping out ceremony held in the presence of senior officials
- Net-zero building to showcase new standards in sustainable architecture
- State-of-the-art Tesla Powerpack to supplement energy requirements
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, December 11, 2017: Bee’ah, the Sharjah-based award-winning environmental management company, has made great headway in the construction of its iconic new headquarters. The company commemorated the completion of the highest point of the structure, with a topping out ceremony held on Sunday, 10th of December, at the location of the site in Al Saj’ah.
HE Salim Al Owais, Chairman of Bee'ah; Patrik Schumacher, Principal of Zaha Hadid Architects; and Edmund Mahabir, Managing Director of Al Futtaim Carillion, signed a special concrete panel at the topmost section of the building, in recognition of the important achievement. The event marked an important occasion for Bee’ah, and the project stakeholders, indicating that the headquarters is on schedule for completion, by the end of 2018.
In alignment with Bee’ah’s growing ambition of improving the quality of life in the region, the company has created an environmentally sound structure, which will have minimal negative impact on the environment, across its lifetime. In addition to being completely powered by renewable energy, the new headquarters uses products like recycled aggregate in construction, incorporates energy and water saving fixtures, maximises the benefit of natural elements like sunlight and winds for heating and cooling, utilises native vegetation for landscaping, and ensures reuse of greywater.
HE Salim Al Owais, Chairman of Bee’ah said, “I believe that we cannot envision a future of being a sustainable city, without advancements in green architecture. At Bee’ah, as environmental pioneers, we have always driven ourselves to innovate and lead the UAE’s journey towards sustainability. Through our HQ project, we have formed partnerships with some of the world’s most renowned entities, to examine as to how we can maximise the potential for sustainability in the built environment. With its ultra-low carbon footprint, minimal water and energy usage and the efficient recycling of construction materials, this project will set a benchmark for all future green construction projects in the Gulf region. It is also a model for a green building system that can be replicated across the UAE, as the nation seeks to transition into a green economy.”
A primary feature of the headquarters is that of its zero net energy consumption. The building will be utilising photovoltaic cells to ensure complete reliance on renewable energy. To facilitate efficient use of the cells, Bee’ah signed an agreement with Tesla to utilise their advanced Powerpack battery technology. The company has acquired nine storage packs, with a total capacity of 1,890 kWhs, which will store the energy from the cells, and keep the building operational in the absence of sunlight.
The building which is expected to receive a platinum certification, by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), under its Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design (LEED) programme, is making rapid progress towards the completion of construction.
With 270 construction workers, engineers and managers on site, the steelwork for the massive structure has been completed, while the architectural concrete dome which forms the centrepiece of the project has been put in place. Mechanical and electrical fixing work is progressing rapidly across the site, while internal work is also underway. Construction on external envelopes for the roof and walls is ongoing. This structure and façade work, with its complex 3D geometrical shapes made of glass reinforced concrete (GRC), is the responsibility of specialist engineering firm BuroHappold. The main structure of the Visitors’ Centre and of the Main Dune is complete, while that of the standalone Energy Centre is 50% complete. It is a measure of the care and precision with which the project is being executed, that 1 million man hours have elapsed without an incident or injury to any site workers.
In keeping with Bee’ah’s holistic approach to sustainability, the headquarters has followed a robust sustainability strategy, right from the designing phase. In a unique representation of sustainable aesthetics, the building has been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects to resemble a series of intersecting sand dunes, enabling it to blend harmoniously into the desert landscape. The construction process has also been notable for its innovative and intelligent approach to recycling. In addition to recycling greywater and material waste generated on site, the raw building materials are acquired from sustainable sources, while concrete aggregates produced by the project itself are used in the construction of barriers. Lights on perimeter fences are solar powered and the project as a whole, has sought to benefit the wider community by encouraging site visits from engineering and architecture student groups based within the UAE. The local community has benefitted in other ways too, as the majority of the supply chain comes from Sharjah and the surrounding emirates.