The Siemens Headquarters by architects Sheppard Robson in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi is anticipated to be the first LEED Platinum office building in the Middle East, and it could set a new standard for sustainable building practices in that region. The headquarters is part of a strategic partnership between Masdar and Siemens to develop and utilize key energy-efficient technologies. Masdar City, a new area in Abu Dhabi designed by Foster and Partners, is envisioned as a hub for sustainable urban development, renewable energy and other clean technologies – and the Siemens Headquarters is a perfect anchor project for it.
The overarching principle behind the building is to maximize efficiency and was designed from the inside out, rather than striving for a predetermined form and aesthetic. The plan was created to maximize efficiency, daylight, views and wall to floor ratios. The exterior shading system was developed to maximize daylight, mitigate solar heat gain and maintain a view from all parts of the floor. Together with the building envelope, its mechanical and plumbing systems are projected to reduce energy consumption by 45% and water consumption by 50%.
The floor plates are punctured vertically by nine atria and six perimeter service cores. They are completely column-free, allowing for maximum flexibility, which is a core tenet of sustainability. The concrete floor plates are constructed with a special void-forming technology that reduces the material used by approximately 60%.
Not only is the building itself extremely green, but its siting and the way it connects with the city on a pedestrian and transit level is also well thought-out and a part of the overall sustainable strategy. The building floats above a fully-shaded public plaza which connects an existing podium with the building’s more formal square and the nearest Light Rail stop. The formal plaza is designed as a terraced extension of the existing public realm, bridging the gap between the building elevation and the street elevation, encouraging pedestrian activity into the heart of the site.