Zaha Hadid's sustainable Bee’ah HQ rises out of the desert like a sand dune
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has released some preliminary details concerning a new planned headquarters for Bee'ah, a Middle East environmental waste management company. The LEED Platinum-seeking project will run solely from renewable energy sources, and also serve as a learning center to promote environmental awareness in the area.
Situated on a large 90,000 sq m (968,751 sq ft) plot in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, the Bee’ah headquarters measures 7,000 sq m (75,347 sq ft), and is oriented to make the most of the prevailing breeze for natural ventilation.
Judging by the renders, Hadid's familiar flowing style looks well suited to the surrounding landscape, and the headquarters rises to a height of 18 m (59 ft) like a series of large futuristic sand dunes. The building also features a large courtyard, which is likened by ZHA to a desert oasis.
ZHA is aiming for LEED Platinum Certification: a green building certification system developed by the US Green Building Council that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices.
All of the building's operational energy needs will be met by renewable sources. A large solar panel array will provide electricity, and some energy will also derive from recycled waste, which will be converted in a nearby waste processing plant owned by Bee'ah.
As of writing, we've no additional information available on how the latter will work. We've requested more details, but we're guessing that it might be something similar to Edmonton's Waste-to-Biofuels complex we covered back in 2010.
The new headquarters will feature an operable facade that allows air into the building in cooler months. When air-con is required, an energy-efficient exhaust heat recovery system will channel waste heat to pre-heat the domestic hot water.
ZHA also reports that a significant portion of the building will be constructed from materials recovered from local construction and demolition waste.
The expected constructed date, budget, and completion date of the new Bee'ah headquarters are yet to be announced.
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If architects focus on the style and leave the infrastructure short, it will only hurt their reputation. Many artists also end up doing what worked for them over and over in their careers, but unfortunately, the work becomes predictable and loses appeal. Design of lasting aesthetics certainly is not easy, but there is a better chance of success with: "Less is more".