Green for go

Identity - - SUSTAINABILITY - TEXT: STEVE HILL

The UAE is to be­come home to an eco-tourism project pow­ered by 100 per cent clean re­new­able en­ergy; used cook­ing oil is be­ing re­cy­cled into biodiesel, help­ing to fuel the con­struc­tion of new build­ings in phase two of Sus­tain­able City; and con­cept plans have been re­vealed for the first wooden sky­scraper in Africa.

CEN­TRE OF AT­TEN­TION

Plans have been re­vealed for an eco-tourism project in the UAE that will be pow­ered by 100% clean re­new­able en­ergy.

Lon­don-based Ba­ha­rash Ar­chi­tec­ture has de­signed the Biodomes scheme in the eastern Al Ha­jar Moun­tains which will fea­ture fa­cil­i­ties for a wildlife con­ser­va­tion cen­tre along with an ad­ven­ture-based wilder­ness re­treat.

Some 45 mil­lion vis­i­tors a year are ex­pected in the UAE by 2021, some of whom will want to ex­pe­ri­ence the coun­try’s stun­ning moun­tain scenery.

It is hoped that Biodomes will raise aware­ness of the im­por­tance of bio­di­ver­sity in this land­scape and lessen the im­pact of un­con­trolled con­ven­tional tourism which can lead to in­creased pol­lu­tion, soil ero­sion and the loss of nat­u­ral habi­tats and en­dan­gered species.

Three self-sus­tain­ing Biodomes have been pro­posed, to be con­structed from pre­fab­ri­cated com­po­nents in or­der to min­imise dis­rup­tion to the site and al­low fast as­sem­bly.

The semi-sub­ter­ranean ty­pol­ogy pro­vides pas­sive cool­ing ben­e­fits and is “in har­mony with na­ture,” said Ba­ha­rash Baghe­rian, De­sign Di­rec­tor and Founder of Ba­ha­rash Ar­chi­tec­ture.

He added: “The bio­cli­matic in­door en­vi­ron­ments will pro­vide vis­i­tors with ther­mal com­fort, restora­tive and ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits.”

Vis­i­tors will be able to en­joy or­ganic lo­cal cui­sine in a res­tau­rant, along with views of the land­scape.

And the project, along with its re­new­able en­ergy com­po­nents, will re­cy­cle waste wa­ter on site for ir­ri­ga­tion and will also fea­ture on-site waste man­age­ment so­lu­tions.

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