Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Design: Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
Site Area: 90,000 sq. m.
Floor Area: 7,000 sq. m.
Bee’ah, the Middle East’s leading fully integrated environmental and waste management company has commissioned Zaha Hadid Architects to build its new Headquarters Building in Sharjah, UAE, following the 2013 international competition.
Educational facilities and exhibition spaces within the new Headquarters Building will enable Bee’ah to further its community engagement programs and outreach initiatives.
Bee’ah, as an organization, is converting waste from being something that is a consumptive byproduct of society to something that can be core to society’s future. This has been achieved by transforming both materials (though recovery and energy generation) and society (via social outreach and educational programs) to create a holistic ecosystem for the future.
The Bee’ah Headquarters Building embodies these principles by providing the company with a a dministrative centre of sustainable construction of LEED Platinum Certification, with ultra-low carbon and minimal water consumption in operation and minimised material consumption in construction. The new building and site will also be used as a learning resource to demonstrate practical environmental awareness to the wider community.
Bee’ah aims to set new standards in the UAE through utilising 100% green renewable energy sources to power its new Headquarters and ensuring that the maximum amount of recycled materials recovered from waste are used in its construction.
The Headquarters Building has been designed with environmental considerations woven into every aspect of the design using a hierarchical approach to first limit the need to consume resources; where resources are required – to minimise their consumption; and finally to offset consumption of resources through the harvesting of renewable systems.
Designed in response to its natural environment to provide comfort for its occupants alongside minimizing energy and resource consumption, the formal composition of the new Bee’ah Headquarters Building has been informed by its desert context as a series of intersecting dunes orientated to accommodate the prevailing Shamal winds, and developed to ensure the internal spaces are provided with ample high quality daylight and views whilst limiting the quantity of glazing exposed to the harsh sun.
The 7,000 sq. m. Bee’ah Headquarters is located on a 90,000 sq. m. site adjacent to the Bee’ah Waste Management Centre. The large site enabled the development of the design as an array of dunes within its desert landscape leading to the two central dunes of the Headquarters Building.
The two primary dunes of the Bee’ah Headquarters Building house the public and management section (entrance lobby, auditorium, visitors education center and gallery, and management offices), and the administrative section (departmental offices and staff café). The two dunes intersect and connect via a central courtyard that forms an ‘oasis’ inside the building – enhancing the natural ventilation and maximizing indirect sunlight to the public and administrative spaces within.
The building systems of the new Headquarters have been developed in conjunction with Atelier Ten to minimize both the energy required for cooling and the need for potable water consumption. In milder months, the façade is operable to allow natural ventilation – minimizing the need to provide cooling to the building. When conditioning is required, it will be optimized for energy conservation via the use of ventilation energy recovery – allowing fresh air into the spaces with reduced energy impact, and the waste heat that would normally be rejected from the chillers into the atmosphere is to be harvested to provide free pre-heating of the domestic hot water supplies.
The exterior finishes of the building have been selected to reflect the sun’s rays and help to further reduce energy consumption by providing a local heat profile that is akin to the natural desert environment rather than the high heat profiles associated with conventional roofing systems.
These active and passive energy approaches are predicted to provide a 30% reduction in energy consumption. All power required for the building will be generated via low and zero carbon sources, principally from the adjacent Bee’ah Waste Management Centre’s conversion of municipal waste (that would otherwise decay in landfill) into energy, together with large arrays of photovoltaic cells incorporated within the site’s landscaping.
The building’s structure has been developed in conjunction with Buro Happold to minimize material consumption through architectural and structural integration. Individual elements of the building’s structure and skin are of standard orthogonal dimensions, enabling significant portions to be constructed from materials recovered from the local construction and demolition waste streams managed by Bee’ah, minimizing demand for new materials.