As sustainable waste management becomes an increasingly important issue on the global agenda, it’s of no surprise that the architecture that surrounds it is also receiving more attention. In Copenhagen construction steams ahead on BIG’s ambitious Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant, while over in the United Arab Emirates a new waste management project is in the works.
Following an international competition in 2013, UAE environmental and waste management company Bee’ah, has enlisted the architectural might of Zaha Hadid to design an awe-inspiring 7,000 sq m headquarters in Sharjah that will help to realise the company’s admirable environmental goals.
Informed by its 90,000 sq m desert site, Hadid has envisioned the headquarters as a fleet of sweeping ‘sand dunes’ orientated to optimise the prevailing Shamal winds and limit the quantity of glazing exposed to the harsh sun. Two primary dunes, that house the public, management and administrative sections, intersect and connect via a central courtyard ‘oasis’ inside the building – a feature that’s designed to enhance natural ventilation and channel indirect sunlight into the building's cathedral-like interiors.
Weaving environmental considerations into every aspect of the design, Hadid worked with environmental design consultants Atelier Ten to develop active and passive building systems that will reduce the building’s energy consumption by 30% and has developed the building’s structure in conjunction with enginners Buro Happold to minimise material consumption.
Power, meanwhile, is generated by converting municipal waste - that would otherwise decay in landfill - from Bee’ah’s adjacent Waste Management Centre into energy, while large arrays of photovoltaic cells and solar thermal arrays for hot water generation are incorporated within the site’s landscaping. With completion slated for 2017/18, Bee'ah's headquarters promise to be a striking jewel in the UAE's architectural crown.