LIV­ING SUS­TAIN­ABLE

A look at Bee’ah’s new Shar­jah HQ and all of its sus­tain­able facets

Facilities Management Middle East - - FRONT PAGE - WORDS BY OS­CAR ROUSSEAU PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY FRITZ ASURO

UAE-head­quar­tered waste man­age­ment com­pany Bee’ah is build­ing its new head­quar­ters in Shar­jah — a project that it says will “push the bound­aries of sus­tain­abil­ity”. Ac­cord­ing to Bee’ah of­fi­cials, the of­fice, which is de­signed by Zaha Ha­did Ar­chi­tects, in­volves a tremen­dous feat of en­gi­neer­ing, de­sign, and en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­fi­ciency, and will be­come the most sus­tain­able of­fice in the emi­rate upon its com­ple­tion in 2019.

“Bee’ah has as­pi­ra­tions to push the bound­aries of sus­tain­abil­ity, and the new head­quar­ters is part of that am­bi­tion — to open up the road for oth­ers to de­mand more from their build­ings and the en­vi­ron­ment,” di­rec­tor of civil and ar­chi­tec­tural projects at Bee’ah, Nada Taryam, tells sis­ter ti­tle Con­struc­tion Week.

“We re­cy­cle all of the water we use on site. All of the fit­tings and fix­tures we use are water- ef­fi­cient, and all the light­ing is LED. We have ef­fi­cient air- con­di­tion­ing and trench cool­ing that helps to limit the ef­fects of façade and glass heat­ing,” she ex­plains.

“We also have slab cool­ing in the lobby ar­eas of the build­ing, which means the en­tire space does not need to be cooled with air- con­di­tion­ing and this, of course, helps to lower the to­tal en­ergy con­sump­tion of the build­ing.”

Lo­cated in Al Saj’ah, the underconstruction of­fice sits on a to­tal builtup area of 7,450m² and will be the place of work for 170 staff, with suf­fi­cient room for 200 peo­ple. It will have an open-plan of­fice lay­out, and will house a café, an art gallery, a vis­i­tors’ cen­tre, an au­di­to­rium, a con­trol room to mon­i­tor Bee’ah’s bins and ve­hi­cles, and a re­search lab. The fa­cil­ity will also in­cor­po­rate water fea­tures, a car park, eight meet­ing rooms, and an 18m-tall domed roof.

RE­DUCE, RE­USE, AND RE­CY­CLE

The build­ing will drive Bee’ah’s waste re­duc­tion, re­new­able en­ergy, and sus­tain­abil­ity tar­gets, with en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sid­er­a­tions woven into all el­e­ments of the fu­tur­is­tic of­fice’s de­sign. A pho­to­voltaic farm with ap­prox­i­mately 3,000 so­lar pan­els is be­ing built to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity for the of­fice.

It will even­tu­ally pro­duce enough clean en­ergy to power the head­quar­ters, help­ing it be­come a net-zero car­bon build­ing. Tesla’s power-pack tech­nol­ogy will be used to store the so­lar farm’s en­ergy – the nine stor­age packs it has ac­quired from the US firm boast a to­tal ca­pac­ity of 1,890kWh.

Bee’ah is also build­ing a wa­tertreat­ment plant on site that will re­cy­cle water for toi­let flush­ing.

Tesla’s tech­nol­ogy and the so­lar farm are in line with Bee’ah’s goal of se­cur­ing for its head­quar­ters a Leed Plat­inum rat­ing, de­vel­oped by the US Green Build­ing Coun­cil. Taryam says there are no Leed Plat­inum-rated build­ings in Shar­jah as yet, which would make Bee’ah’s build­ing the first such fa­cil­ity in the his­tory of the emi­rate.

The con­struc­tion team on site is us­ing re­cy­cled steel, con­crete, ag­gre­gate ma­te­ri­als, and grey water to en­sure the build­ing’s en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­fi­ciency tar­gets are met. Raw build­ing ma­te­ri­als have been ac­quired from sus­tain­able sources, and light­ing on the perime­ter fenc­ing of the project, which cov­ers more than 93,000m², is so­lar pow­ered. The lon­gi­tu­di­nal shape of the struc­ture was de­signed to max­imise the nat­u­ral heat­ing and cool­ing ben­e­fits of wind and sun­light.

“There are lots of as­pi­ra­tions for the project,” ex­plains Taryam. “When we first started work­ing on the build­ing, it was mostly about the ar­chi­tec­ture, but there are big­ger as­pi­ra­tions now. This is an of­fice of the fu­ture; it is go­ing to be a lead­ing smart build­ing, and it will em­ploy a lot of the lat­est tech­nolo­gies for modern of­fices.

“We are work­ing with lead­ing com­pa­nies to make this build­ing smart, so it has a soul of its own. It is not just the ar­chi­tec­ture that makes this build­ing spe­cial, it is the tech­nol­ogy that goes into it, too.”

TECH­NOL­OGY TAR­GETS

Taryam says that the most ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies will be de­ployed to make the head­quar­ters a fu­ture-ready of­fice.

While de­tails about the spe­cific

BEE’AH HAS AS­PI­RA­TIONS TO PUSH THE BOUND­ARIES OF SUS­TAIN­ABIL­ITY AND THE NEW HEAD­QUAR­TERS IS PART OF THAT AM­BI­TION – TO OPEN UP THE ROAD FOR OTH­ERS TO DE­MAND MORE FROM THEIR BUILD­INGS AND THE EN­VI­RON­MENT. NADA TARYAM, BEE’AH

IT IS NOT JUST THE AR­CHI­TEC­TURE THAT MAKES THIS BUILD­ING SPE­CIAL, IT IS THE TECH­NOL­OGY THAT GOES INTO IT, TOO. NADA TARYAM, BEE’AH

tech­nol­ogy tools that will be used have yet to be dis­closed, Taryam says that an in­te­grated soft­ware will be de­vel­oped as part of the process. This smart plat­form will be linked to the head­quar­ters’ build­ing man­age­ment sys­tem to pro­vide live data on the sus­tain­abil­ity and en­ergy- ef­fi­ciency of the build­ing.

“We are still work­ing on all the tech­nol­ogy at the mo­ment, and right now [the prospects of ] what we can do are vast – but we need to tai­lor it to make sure what we have suits the needs of the build­ing and the em­ploy­ees,” Taryam says. There are ma­jor mile­stones that need to be com­pleted be­fore this fu­tur­is­tic tech­nol­ogy can be used to man­age what Taryam de­scribes as an “of­fice of the fu­ture”. Con­struc­tion teams on site are cur­rently work­ing to fin­ish the en­ve­lope of the build­ing, as well as test­ing and com­mis­sion­ing the head­quar­ters’ me­chan­i­cal, elec­tri­cal, and plumb­ing sys­tems.

BUILD­ING PROGRESS

Con­struc­tion work started on the site in 2016, when AFC was ap­pointed the project’s main con­trac­tor in May. While the project has faced some chal­lenges be­yond its con­trol due to the col­lapse of Car­il­lion in the UK, work is ad­vanc­ing at pace and as sched­uled.

The build­ing’s su­per­struc­ture and con­crete dome have been com­pleted, and work on the stand­ing seam en­ve­lope and glaz­ing steel is on­go­ing. Ex­ter­nal work for the un­der­ground fa­cil­i­ties, such as drainage and pip­ing, is also un­der way.

The project’s de­vel­op­ment is pro­ceed­ing at a good pace, with ap­prox­i­mately 350 work­ers cur­rently on the site, but Taryam ad­mits that the com­plex ge­om­e­try of the struc­ture can pose ad­min­is­tra­tive and lo­gis­ti­cal

chal­lenges that might worry other builders. “Be­cause of the com­plex­ity of the forms, ev­ery­thing needs to be co­or­di­nated prior to in­stal­la­tion,” she says. “All the parts come to­gether seam­lessly, but this build­ing is not a box. Ev­ery­thing is curved and has its own form, so you have to en­sure that ev­ery­thing down to the light switches is co­or­di­nated and fits nicely within the in­te­rior.”

AT­TEN­TION TO DE­TAIL

The chal­lenge for the in­te­rior of the one-storey build­ing is in cre­at­ing a seam­less de­sign that re­flects the nu­ances of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. While most of the open-plan of­fice will fea­ture monochro­matic hues of grey and white, the man­age­ment suite will have a “richer feel” than the rest of the build­ing, Taryam says. Lo­cated on the first floor, the in­te­rior de­sign of the man­age­ment of­fices will fea­ture tim­ber ve­neer to give the area its “own char­ac­ter”.

The out­door ar­eas and break­out spa­ces, which Taryam calls the “lungs” of the build­ing, will in­clude two water fea­tures and a wealth of lo­cal veg­e­ta­tion. Self- sus­tain­ing plant va­ri­eties that do not re­quire in­ten­sive main­te­nance will be in­cor­po­rated. Bee’ah is look­ing to pro­mote lo­cal bio­di­ver­sity, us­ing na­tive plants to re­store the desert land­scape to help re­v­erse the trend of species loss.

The land­scape in which the head­quar­ters is lo­cated in­spired the build­ing’s form, which was de­signed in 2012 and re­sem­bles rolling desert dunes. The com­plex, curv­ing dome poses var­i­ous en­gi­neer­ing and de­sign chal­lenges. Glass-re­in­forced con­crete was se­lected for the out­er­most layer of its façade, since it is sig­nif­i­cantly lighter than pre­cast steel. Due to its re­duced weight, it is also more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly than other ma­te­ri­als, such as pre­cast con­crete.

Hav­ing cho­sen sus­tain­able and re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als such as steel, con­crete, and ag­gre­gate ma­te­ri­als; us­ing grey and re­cy­cled water; and build­ing an on- site so­lar farm and water treat­ment fa­cil­ity for its new head­quar­ters, Bee’ah is tick­ing many of the boxes re­quired for Leed Plat­inum cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Com­bined with the tech­nol­ogy that will make this an of­fice of the fu­ture, Bee’ah’s new build­ing ap­pears set to be­come an iconic ad­di­tion to Shar­jah’s ar­chi­tec­tural land­scape — and to live up to its prom­ise of re­defin­ing sus­tain­able de­sign in the emi­rate.

The un­der-con­struc­tion of­fice sits on a to­tal built -up area of 7,450m². No­table Abu Dhabi de­vel­op­ments, in­clud­ing Fer­rari World, are a part of TSES’s port­fo­lio.

The first floor of the of­fice will house Bee’ah’s man­age­ment suite.

Nada Taryam, di­rec­tor of civil and ar­chi­tec­tural projects at Bee’ah.

Teams on site are work­ing to fin­ish the en­ve­lope of the build­ing.

Once com­plete, the open-plan of­fice will have a monochro­matic aes­thetic de­sign.

Bee’ah says its new HQ will be Shar­jah’s first Leed Plat­inum-rated build­ing.

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