Gallery: THE LIGHTHOUSE: Dubai’s 1st Low Carbon Commercial Tower


Last week, the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) announced their design for a 66-story office tower nicknamed ‘The Lighthouse.’ Conceptualized by Atkins Middle East, The Lighthouse strives to make low carbon commercial towers a reality in Dubai by reducing the total energy consumption up to 65% and water consumption up to 40%. The height and shape of The Lighthouse play pivotal roles in its goals for low energy consumption, allowing for the instillation of three enormous 225 KV wind turbines (29 meters in diameters), and 4,000 photovoltaic panels on the south facing façade.

The Lighthouse will contain over 84,000 square meters of commercial space and will also include parking, a convention center, retail, and an environmental visitor center and park connected to the DIFC central spine. Great importance has been placed on the building’s impact on local and global resources. Still only in development, plans are in place for all materials in the tower to be selected from sustainable sources. Atkins hopes that The Lighthouse will serve as a working prototype for future low carbon towers in the region, promoting more sustainable developments.

+ Atkins


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  1. majd July 18, 2012 at 8:17 am

    architects are like bicycles,to keep thier lives balanced,they have to keep moving

  2. cu do arquiteto September 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    gosto de paus grandes

  3. Arkanois 21 May 24, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Click on google and type dubai future projects and click on im feeling lucky

  4. London Tours September 22, 2009 at 5:39 am

    Dubai is a truley amazing place with the building they have built and every year I am amazed by what they are doing.

  5. Dubai November 6, 2007 at 3:37 am

    this this will be a good idea.. and other building in dubai!!

  6. scheeko October 20, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    And unless this building rotates too, there is no way the turbines can adapt to wind direction change. Unless winds are very stable and constant in Dubai, it is a very unefficient way of collecting wind energy.

    And we all know about photovoltaic…. By the time you recover the energy spent just for building them, the tower will be demolished…!

  7. Annw May 3, 2007 at 11:55 am

    i am concerned with all of the proposed things inside of the building. unless they are keeping sustainability in mind when they populate the building, they are just enabling more unsustainable activities to take place no matter how eco-friendly the structure is.

  8. Marc May 3, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Agree with John . . . cynicism is worse than irony. That said, I guess I don’t understand how a given building — any given building — can honestly be called sustainable. How do we know? We might say that it is frugal in its use of resources, for a building of its size and type, but we’d also have to asky why we need such a building. Not saying there isn’t an answer in this case, but we’d have to ask the question. My suspicion is that few endeavors could be harder to sustain over the really long haul than a major city of tall buildings in the desert. Certainly it’s more responsible to build a tall building in Dubai this way than in the way they’ve been mostly built of late. This much is true, and to be applauded.

  9. Middlelamb May 3, 2007 at 5:46 am

    It’s very nice what people try to say through this noble actions but I find them quite desperate.
    what we need to is is much more than buil a ecological building here and one there. This “save the planet” procces is too slow. that’s the irony.

  10. John May 2, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Ben, a group of responsible minded people are taking advantage of an opportunity to build an attractive and sustainable design.That’s a very good thing. It’s not the irony that will kill you but the cynicism.

  11. Ron Bourdon May 2, 2007 at 9:30 am


  12. Ben May 1, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    The irony kills me !

  13. Catherine Chandler May 1, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    That’s awesome. Good for Dubai! It’s so great seeing the craze for responsibility spreading.

  14. Bryce May 1, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    I love the look of the building and that’s a really aesthetically appealing way to integrate wind turbines into a structure.

  15. royalestel May 1, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Cool. I appreciate thoughtful, renewable resource designs.

  16. Liz Mathews May 1, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Splendid! Not only are they willing to use “sustainable” sources (I’d be interested to know what sort of materials they’re considering) but the structure itself echoes the architectural designs I’ve been playing with in my undergrad independent research. I think the future of environmentally integrated architecture will focus heavily on a particular characteristic displayed elegantly in this tower – “Building Up!”. One intrinsic problem with American development is the determination to “Build Out”, to sprawl. Occupying vast regions of ground space requires the major reconstructive surgery of land and water ways, altering the native ecologic systems, and increases the costs of all transportation. By building up we bring ourselves closer to the potentials of wind and solar power, and by introducing bio-air filters (vegetation) to higher levels of altitude we can also have at least a minimal effect on CO2 emissions which otherwise work their way up to the atmosphere. There is so much potential for designs like this.
    And this one is absolutely beautiful.

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