DIFC launches the first low carbon tower

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The first low carbon commercial tower in Dubai will be built in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Atkins Middle East is currently undertaking the concept design for the 400m, 66-storey office tower known as 'The Lighthouse Tower', located in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Atkins is aiming to set a new benchmark in green building by reducing total energy consumption in the tower by up to 65% and water consumption by up to 40%.

This will be achieved through the use of passive solar architecture, many low energy, low water engineering solutions, recovery strategies for both energy and water and building integrated renewables – including large scale wind turbines and photovoltaics.

This unique building, with a total construction area of 140,000 sq m, will become a working prototype for low carbon towers within the region and a model for more sustainable developments in the future.

The building will generate active energy through three integrated 225 KV wind turbines, 29 metres in diameter. In addition, 4000 photovoltaic spandrel panels will be incorporated on the south facing vertical façade of the building.

A number of water and energy recovery strategies will also be incorporated in the building which will feature 84,000 sq m of commercial space as well as basement and podium parking, convention centres, retail, an environmental visitor centre and a park connecting to the DIFC central spine.

The building's impact on global resources will be controlled, as all materials used in the tower will be selected from sustainable sources.

A steel frame is currently being considered for the tower's structure. Also being considered for the tower are interconnecting vertical gardens, and floor plates connected by micro-atria, which would enhance the social aspects of the building.

From the early stages of the project, Atkins will work closely with DIFC to establish and rigorously evaluate options for achieving a low carbon building before making final recommendations.

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