DIFC Lighthouse Dubai, Building, Property, Image, Architect, Development, Holcim Award
DIFC Lighthouse : Dubai Skyscraper
High-rise Architecture in UAE – design by Atkins, architects
19 Nov 2008
DIFC Lighthouse Dubai
Lighthouse Tower, UAE
Atkins wins prestigious global honour from Holcim for Lighthouse Tower
The Holcim Foundation, one of the premier foundations for sustainable building design and construction has honoured Atkins at an awards ceremony in Marrakech on 13th November.
Winning the “bronze award” for the iconic, 400m tall Lighthouse Tower in Dubai, judges commended Atkins for demonstrating that high-rise buildings also have significant potential to be designed and constructed to meet sustainability targets. It was one of 11 projects from the Middle East and Africa region honoured during the ceremony, all of which illustrated the broad scope for applying sustainable construction approaches to the built environment.
Incorporating ingenious mechanical and electrical systems to reduce energy needs of the building, the 64-storey building also uses active chilled beams, optimizes use of daylight and will include photo-voltaic panels. The design, a blue-print for the next generation of high-rise buildings, is set to be Dubai’s first low carbon commercial tower aiming to reduce its total energy consumption by up to 40% and water consumption by up to 40%, compared to a typical Dubai design.
This design hasn’t just happened overnight but has taken some brilliant minds many months to ensure a unique concept can in fact become reality. The sustainability and technical teams making the savings possible included those led by Srinivas Reddy (Mechanical), Roslina Rahim (Electrical) and Nicholas Lander (Sustainability) plus Professor Francis Yik at Hong Kong Polytechnic; Professor Phil Jones and Mr Don Alexander at Cardiff University.
The Holcim Awards is an international competition of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction and is conducted in parallel across five regions of the world and saw almost 5,000 projects from 90 countries entered the competition.
The Marrakech event was the fourth of five ceremonies featuring a diverse and international group of project teams, all demonstrating that sustainable construction is truly of global concern. The results for Europe, North America and Latin America have also been announced, and the results for Asia Pacific are still to be celebrated in New Delhi.
Gold, silver and bronze prize winners from each region automatically qualify for the global Holcim Awards competition. The projects will be further evaluated by a global jury and the winners proclaimed in Switzerland in 2009.
DIFC Lighthouse Dubai, UAE: Atkins
Features Low-carbon, sustainable development comprising a 400m high office tower accommodating 64 office floors, visitor’s centre and viewing deck, two storey podium, retail outlets, leisure deck and cultural spaces
Size 172,600 sq m total built-up area
Status Detailed design
Atkins was appointed to provide architectural, structural, MEP engineering and sustainable design services for the 400-metre DIFC Lighthouse tower, located at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
DIFC is a 110 acre free-zone envisaged to be the world’s newest international financial centre serving the vast region between Western Europe and East Asia, and catering for international financial and blue-chip organisations from around the world.
The distinctive architecture responds to the client’s aspirations for a beacon in this upcoming financial centre. The “Lighthouse” concept reflects the energy and kinetics of an international financial centre. Its form draws inspiration from the rectilinear context and minimalist lines of the existing DIFC precinct.
The 400 metre tower accommodates prestigious offices over 64 floors which sit above a two storey podium and a leisure deck with health club, swimming pool, executive lounge and cultural spaces.
The tapering shape of the building as it rises in height is a unique feature, with the area reducing from approximately 88m x 30m at the base to 46m x 10m at the top. It is proposed that the primary central structure will be framed, to help achieve a speedy construction as well as maximum strength. The tower will be made from reinforced concrete, with a steel structure being used for the top 120m. A combination of clear and light green tinted glass and solar reflecting white aluminium panels will make up the façade.
In setting a new benchmark for Dubai, the design aspires to be a LEED platinum rated low-carbon commercial building which will aim to reduce its total energy consumption by up to 65% and water consumption by up to 35% compared to the current Dubai standard design. Atkins was commissioned to carry out a separate sustainability design study to identify innovative ways of achieving this goal.
Design provisions include passive solar architecture, many low energy, low water engineering solutions, recovery strategies for both energy and water and integrated renewables and photovoltaic panels within the façade. For example
a digital lighting system is proposed with daylight and movement sensors to reduce energy consumption
grey water recycling to service the irrigation needs of the landscaped areas
flow restrictors on taps and showers as well as low flushing WCs along with waterless urinals
150 solar water collectors to meet the hot water requirements for the whole building
The entrance lobby is a triple height volume space defined by a bold shard like floating glass canopy suspended from the tower above. Seven levels of parking are provided over the podium, ground floor and 5 basements to offer 1706 parking spaces. The first floor houses a 250 seat restaurant. A swimming pool sits on the third and fourth floor with a fully equipped gym, clad in a bubble like structure made from glass and metal floats above the pool deck.
Currently in the detail design stage, this integrated design process will make DIFC Lighthouse a milestone for all future low carbon, sustainable developments within the region.
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