05

Parametric Facade

by Jiayi Wu, Quyen Do Dao & Jan
2020
The Al Bahar towers was one of the buildings implemented by the Abu Dhabi council to redirect the country towards a sustainable future. In 2007 the council’s competition brief for Al Bahar did mention sustainable initiatives however this was overshadowed by the main desire to have an impressive building and become an iconic signature landmark.
The project cost was 390 million euro, the result was a kinetic shading screen that was operated by computers and is programmed to detect the sun path and minimise glare and solar gain. The building composes of 1049 panels of mashrabiya and weight up to 1.5 tonnes over the twin towers which contracts and expands with three settings (open, half open and fully closed) during the day.
At the beginning of the construction phase, the thought of energy consumption was neglected. “the project did not get certified by any LEED rating system and Arup modified its reporting by stating that the project is designed in accordance with the US Green Building Council’s LEED rating system instead of stating that the project failed to get certified.” This claim is questionable as the council refuses to release any statistics. In an office building it should be a focused work environment, the constant movement and automated system was claimed as the most annoying part of the design because it changes without the occupant’s consent and can be quite distracting. 
Our aim was to create a static exterior façade that would still promote views and reduce direct sunlight and glare. Basing it on the sun studies of the context of the site and the original building. 
The benefits of static lourves: 
• Saves energy 
• No noise 
• No complaints of constant movement 
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