ADIC Headquarters - Abu Dhabi
The 25-storey Abu Dhabi Investment Council's headquarters under construction features a modern version of the mashrabiya, the carved screens used for centuries to shade Middle Eastern homes. The modern version features a skin of 2,000 elements that will open and close like parasols, providing cover or letting in light, depending on weather conditions.
Bahrain World Trade Center - Bahrain
The Manama landmark development is the first commercial project to use large wind turbines to generate energy. Three 29-metre turbines supply more than 10 per cent of the power to the twin, 50-storey towers that give the appearance of sails. There is some debate about whether the building achieves the efficiencies promised by the design, but there is no doubt it is ground breaking in its effort to incorporate wind technology.
Central Market - Abu Dhabi
The design by Foster + Partners helps to turn the modern shopping mall and the surrounding towers into a green project. The mall features garden settings and numerous shaded decks. Sliding walls and roofs help to cut energy costs by maximising ventilation and using natural light. The materials used in construction and lighting and cooling systems will help to reduce the carbon footprint.
Dubai Chamber of Commerce - Dubai
The chamber spent years developing green programmes to earn one of the first Leed certifications for a building in the Middle East. (Such certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project is environmentally responsible.) Highlights include a programme to reduce water consumption by 77 per cent and energy by 47 per cent, achieving an estimated cumulative savings over a 10-year period of Dh7.1million (US$1.9m). The chamber also implemented recycling programmes and technology to collect condensate water from air conditioners.
Masdar City - Abu Dhabi
The icon of sustainability incorporates environmental design into every crevice of the development. Buildings are oriented to reduce exposure to the sun and maximise cooling breezes. Currently, the city is fully powered by renewable energy. Masdar uses less than half the water of a typical community, thanks to smart meters and efficient systems to stop waste.
* Kevin Brass