[FIRST LOOK] Work has finished on this Sheppard Robson-designed HQ for Siemens in Masdar, Abu Dhabi
The 22,800m2 building has achieved LEED Platinum, which is claimed to make it ‘it one of the most sustainable buildings in the Middle East’.
The office floors shade a public plaza beneath, which steps down from an existing podium level to a formal square.
The building features a highly-insulated airtight façade surrounded by a lightweight aluminium external shading system, designed to reduce thermal conductivity while minimising solar gains.
Each of the building’s floor plates measure 4,500m2 and are punctuated by nine atria. By using an innovative structural system the office spaces were kept column free while construction material was reduced by 60 per cent.
The architect’s view
‘This building establishes a new benchmark for sustainable office buildings in the Middle East. The structure, which floats above a new public plaza, is the result of a stringent brief and creates a building that is truly optimised for its purpose, delivering the most sustainable building possible for the same cost per square metre as a typical headquarters in the UAE.
‘The HQ is one of the first buildings in the region to achieve LEED Platinum. The sustainable credentials were achieved through combining traditional design and parametric analysis to deliver an efficient and compact form that uses less material and minimises embodied carbon.
‘The reception of the building, both locally and internationally, has been fantastic with many recognising the potential for applying the findings from the project to other schemes in the Middle East and beyond.
We didn’t approach the project with a predetermined aesthetic
‘We didn’t approach the project with a predetermined aesthetic; instead, we worked from the inside-out to investigate the best way of creating a truly sustainable solution for the building. This process-driven approach has resulted in an incredibly environmentally efficient structure that is also commercially rigorous.’
Location Masdar City, Abu Dhabi
Type of project office
Architect Sheppard Robson
Start on site date December 2011
Completion date January 2014
Gross internal floor area 22,800m2
Specific environmental targets LEED Platinum
Energy savings 46 per cent
Reduction in energy demand 65 per cent
Reduction in water demand 50 per cent
Embodied carbon reduction 30 per cent
Previous story (21.12.11)
Work starts on Siemens’ Masdar HQ by Sheppard Robson
Construction has started on this 20,000m² headquarters building for Siemens at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi designed by Sheppard Robson.
The practice won the competition for the building within the Foster and Partners masterplanned sustainable city earlier this year and on the back of he victory opened a new office in the city - the company’s first overseas outpost (AJ 20.04.2011).
Due to complete late next year (2012), the Siemens scheme is being billed as a ‘new model for sustainable office buildings in the Middle East’ and could be among the first buildings in the UAE to achieve an LEED Platinum environmental rating.
The architect’s view
Parametric facade design
The building envelope was conceived as a box within a box: an inner highly-insulated, airtight facade designed to reduce thermal conductivity, and a lightweight aluminium external shading system which minimises solar gain while maximising daylighting and views from the building. The variation in the form of the shading systems was designed to offer legibility to the architectural expression with each facade tailored to suit its solar orientation. Lightweight aluminium with a low thermal mass and high albedo function further reduces solar radiant heat transfer while maximising indirect daylight penetrating the floors.
Ultra efficient floorplates
The office floorplates, each of 4,500m², have been optimised for efficiency, daylight and flexibility using parametric modelling and achieve over 90% efficiency. They are punctuated by nine atria and served by six perimeter cores. Completely column-free floorplates incorporate 15m spans by using an innovative post-tensioned flat slab with integrated void-forming technology. This reduces the material used by approximately 60% and provides maximum flexibility for the office space planning. The arrangement enables each of the floors to be subdivided into a combination of various space sizes and therefore creates flexibility for the building to be remodelled over time to accommodate between one and 32 tenants.
Permeable public plaza
The office floors float above a fully shaded public plaza which connects the level change between the existing adjacent podium and the more formal square with its Light Rail Transport station. The plaza has been conceived as a terraced extension of the existing public realm and encourages pedestrian movement within the heart of the site. The introverted nature of the shared public realm is further enhanced by a series of external rooms, retail units and two fully glazed office receptions.
Optimised building performance
In addition to maximising efficiency of all aspects of the built form, the integrated engineering systems have been optimised to complement the building’s function and low carbon design. Rigorous energy modelling has ensured that the building performs 44% better than the baseline ASHRAE energy model. The building was designed from the inside out – led by the ambition to achieve efficiency, rather than a predetermined aesthetic, the resulting building is both commercially successful and environmentally sound: a truly sustainable solution.
Client: ADFEC (Masdar)
Construction value: 170m AED