Unique and Beautiful new approach to architectural shading in Abu Dhabi
When Ecospecifier Consulting assisted Abu Dhabi Urban
Planning Council to develop and launch the Estidama 'Pearl' green
building rating system, we also assisted in developing
the mandatory 1-2 Pearl requirements within the Abu Dhabi
Building Code. These created comparatively high levels of mandatary
energy performance and for high rise projects,
required external shading of glass on critical facades. The
reason for this was we found that even at 9.00am in mid-winter when
the external temperature was only 27oC, the skin
temperature of a tinted glass building in Abu Dhabi was
70oC inside surface of the double glazed facade was
35oC even in contact with the air-conditioned air. The
case for external shading was very strong (You dont have to think
very hard to see the relevance of these temperates for Australian
When we floated these requirements, we had some idea how the UAE
market would respond, but we had no idea that such creative,
beautiful, practical and variable designs could flow from these
innovation but highly important changes to UAE regulation.
We have reproduced here a recent article from Springwise.com,
recently featured in the Vertilux newsletter.
Watch the amazing video on the Aedas
website who were the architects for the project.
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While most buildings in the region of Abu Dhabi use tinted
windows to mitigate the sun's harsh glare, this often results in an
increased use of artificial interior lighting. That's why the newly
developed Al Bahar Towers have taken a step further in keeping
their buildings cool - by featuring solar-responsive external
screens that open and close to let in daylight while reducing solar
gain at peak hours.
These innovative window coverings are computer-controlled
sunscreens that sit two metres out from the building's exterior,
essentially creating an umbrella of coated fibreglass over each
window. They will open when facing the sun, and close as the sun
moves along its daily course.
The shades will be powered by photovoltaic cells on south-facing
roofs, which have the potential to supply 5% of the building's
Better yet, the screens are certainly not an eye-sore for the
sleek building but rather offer texture and cultural reference to
the building's exterior. The screens are positioned like origami
triangles jutting from the building's cylindrical frame, resembling
the shape of traditional 'mashrabiya', a shading lattice pattern
common in Middle Eastern architecture.
Click here to read more about Aedas' new
design that's both environmentally and culturally appropriate for