Sustainability possible in tall buildings

Sustainable philosophies should be incorporated into the design of tall buildings from their inception and can make a positive difference according to several industry experts.

Al Marashi: Sustainability is the duty of all.
Al Marashi: Sustainability is the duty of all.

Sustainable philosophies should be incorporated into the design of tall buildings from their inception and can make a positive difference according to several industry experts.

"Tall buildings offer significant challenges regarding the implementation of sustainable priorities because of their size and relatively small footprint," stated Ken Dalton, chief executive of AECOM Europe. "However, they offer a more sustainable approach if a broader picture of urban development is considered. I think Dubai is on the right track on this issue," he added.

Speaking at the recent Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat (CBTUH) 8th World Congress in Dubai, Dalton was among several speakers promoting the implementation of sustainable design in high-rise buildings. Entitled 'Tall and green: Typology for a sustainable urban future', the event covered issues ranging from design to social issues and the financial aspects of building tall.

Habiba Al-Marashi, co-founder and chair of Emirates Environmental Group, discussed the urban challenges facing Dubai due to the current construction boom: "Adopting the cause of sustainable development is a big task.

The Government of Dubai has done its duty and provided the necessary impetus for strengthening the future of the Emirate, now it's the duty of private developers and community-based organisations to lead the way forward and make this dream a reality," she stressed.

Andy Davids, technical director - structures with Hyder Consulting Middle East added that the cost of construction in the Gulf is lower compared to other regions of the world. The construction methods, lower cost of importing building products and labour costs were all cited as reasons for this advantage.

"Great care must go into the design and execution of a landmark tower because it speaks to the viewer about...its owner and its country," warned Adrian Smith from Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture and Burj Dubai designer.

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