RISING FROM THE DESERT on the edge of the city of Sharjah, the remarkable new headquarters of Bee’ah—a leading environmental management company—will be one of the most sustainable and architecturally ambitious buildings in the Middle East. It is on course to open by the end of this year.
Designed by the internationally renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, its shape mirrors the surrounding sand dunes and has been positioned to take full advantage of the prevailing shamal winds. A series of “dunes” are connected by a central courtyard that forms an oasis inside the building. This enhances the natural ventilation, reducing the need to cool the building in milder months and also provides daylight while limiting the amount of glazing exposed to the sun. The exterior finishes have been chosen to reflect the sun’s rays and further reduce energy use. Outdoor areas and breakout spaces will include native plants and water features to reflect the local environment.
Zaha Hadid Architects says that Bee’ah “aims to set new standards in the UAE through utilising 100% 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.”
All water on the site will be recycled and the ultra-low-carbon building will be powered by converting municipal waste into energy at Bee’ah’s pioneering waste-management centre along with photovoltaic cells which are situated among the site’s landscaping.
Bee’ah describes it as “an office of the future.” It will be the first building in the region to have advanced artificial intelligence which will use robots to help host meetings, book appointments and deal with visitors, as well as monitor aspects of the building such as energy consumption.
Bee’ah aims to create a “greener future generation” by helping children to understand that they have a responsibility to protect the environment. The company already runs a series of educational programmes for over 200 schools across the emirate and, when the new building is open, the local community will be able to visit its educational facilities and exhibition spaces. —Helen Jones
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