The Bee’ah Headquarters project has been designed as an exemplar development that showcases class-leading environmental design and technologies while targeting LEED Gold. The aim is for the building to operate with ultra-low carbon and water consumption while minimising material use during construction. Beyond being an office development, the building and surrounding site will be used as a learning resource to demonstrate practical environmental awareness and response.
With a view to minimising both energy consumption and potable water consumption, the building has been designed to adopt and utilise local climate patterns and resources as a way of optimising the building’s environmental performance. In the milder months, the façade is operable to allow natural ventilation into the building reducing the need for energy to run fans and to provide cooling to the building. When conditioning is required it has been optimised for energy conservation via the use of ventilation energy recovery allowing high qualities of fresh air into the spaces with reduced energy impact, and the waste heat that would normally be rejected into the atmosphere from the chillers is to be harvested to provide free pre-heating of the domestic hot water supplies. The lighting design has been developed to provide lighting during the night time with minimal energy consumption through optimised layout of lights and extensive use of LED light fittings.
The active and passive energy approaches are predicted to provide a 30% reduction in energy consumption. While this is a significant achievement in itself, the power required for the building is fully generated via low and zero carbon sources, including the use of a Bee’ah facility converting municipal waste (that would otherwise decay in landfill) into energy and large arrays of photovoltaics incorporated into sand dunes on site and other structures adjacent to site. The net result of these strategies is a low carbon footprint for the operation of the building.