Main image: ZHA BEEAH HQ Sharjah UAE ©Hufton+Crow
BEEAH Group’s new headquarters in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), was opened on Wednesday, 30 March, by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah.
Powered by a solar array and next-generation technologies
The head office has been designed to mimic the desert dunes of the UAE and is poweredby a solar array – thus solar cells that are grouped together to make solar panels, called an array. It is equipped with next-generation technologies for operations at LEED Platinum standards. The new headquarters has been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) to achieve net-zero emissions and will be the group’s management and administrative centre that sets a new benchmark for future workplaces.
With their twin-pillared strategy of sustainability and digitalisation, BEEAH Group works across six key industries that include waste management and recycling, clean energy, environmental consulting, education and green mobility.
A blueprint for tomorrow’s smart, sustainable cities
The headquarters is the latest milestone for BEEAH Group, as it continues to pioneer innovations for Sharjah and across the globe, establishing a base of operations for the group to diversify into new, future-critical industries. With its new headquarters, BEEAH demonstrates how technology can scale sustainable impact and ultimately serve as a blueprint for tomorrow’s smart, sustainable cities.
Embodying these principles, the headquarters’ design responds to its environment as a series of interconnecting “dunes” orientated and shaped to optimise local climatic conditions. Embedded within its context of Sharjah’s Al Sajaa desert, the design echoes the surrounding landscape which is shaped by prevailing winds into concave dunes and ridges that become convex when they intersect.
Natural ventilation strategy
All internal spaces are provided with ample daylight and views while limiting the quantity of glazing exposed to the harsh sun. The headquarters’ two primary “dunes” house the public and management departments together with the administrative zone that interconnect via a central courtyard, defining an oasis within the building which is integral to its natural ventilation strategy.
Visitors enter beneath the 15-metre-high dome, which further enhances natural ventilation and allows passive daylight to enter the building. In addition to the central courtyard and open-plan offices, the headquarters incorporates smart meeting rooms, an immersive visitors’ centre and an auditorium.
Focus on sustainability
The 9 000m² BEEAH Headquarters has sustainability at its core, with a high percentage of locally procured materials. It is equipped with future-ready technologies to enable operations at LEED Platinum standards, with net-zero emissions and minimal energy consumption.
Glass-reinforced fibre panels reduce solar gain while slab and glass cooling regulates interior temperatures for optimum comfort. A construction with glass fibre is cooled using a thermally activated building system and has air cavities to reduce solar heat gain. On-site water treatment filtrates wastewater to minimise consumption; and its solar farm charges Tesla battery packs to meet the building’s energy demand throughout each day and night.
The employee experience includes contactless pathways, a virtual concierge, smart meeting rooms and a companion app that automates day-to-day tasks. The building’s smart management system automatically adjusts the lighting and temperature, depending on the occupancy and time of day. The rooms are also equipped for remote and hybrid work scenarios, with powerful collaboration tools.
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Manifesting BEEAH’s twin pillars of sustainability and digitalisation, the new headquarters by ZHA is an important achievement for BEEAH Group. It is signalling its growth from a company founded to proactively tackle environmental issues in Sharjah, UAE, to an international group with businesses in industries that are critical to realising a sustainable future.
Following the 2013 international design competition, Zaha Hadid and her team at Zaha Hadid Architects were commissioned by BEEAH to design their new headquarters. It would realise net-zero emissions and be integrated with next-generation technologies to achieve a new standard for employee convenience and collaboration.
ZHA delivered the BEEAH Headquarters in collaboration with sustainability engineers and consultants Atelier Ten and Buro Happold, project managers Matthews Southwest, construction contractor Al Futtaim Construction and MEP engineers Al Futtaim Engineering. The smart building technologies are by Microsoft, Johnson Controls and EVOTEQ, a BEEAH Digital venture.
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