KAPSARC by Zaha Hadid Architects
KAPSARC by Zaha Hadid Architects

MEA Awards 2018 shortlist: Sustainable Project of the Year

We are pleased to announce the shortlist for the MEA Awards 2018, which will take place on Wednesday, November 21 in Dubai. This year, we have received 361 submissions across the 13 categories from 132 companies throughout the region.

The shortlist was created by the Middle East Architect editorial team and will be passed on to this year's judges for review and winners selection.

Here are the shortlisted nominees for Sustainable Project of the Year.

Abwab Pavilion by Fahed + Architects

The 2017 Abwab Pavilion, designed by Fahed + Architects who worked with UAE waste management company Bee’ah, was made of recycled materials, including bed springs and concrete. The space in Dubai Design District (d3), which exhibits projects from designers across the Middle East, also aimed to highlight values like recycling, conservation and technology. The idea was to erect a structure that floats like a cloud between the volumes of d3 and facilitate the viewing of various products. The Abwab Pavilion also sparked dialogue regarding the meaningful transformation of recyclable materials. The bedsprings act as a coil mesh, distilling the light that passes through it to reveal interesting patterns on the ground. Drawing from the shapes of cotton candy or coral cluster in a reef, the structural system illustrates a series of interconnected posts to support the clouds of mesh. 

The Block by desert INK

The Block is an urban park designed by desert INK for Dubai Design District, and consists of 700 repurposed 30-ton concrete blocks left over from the canal construction. Featuring recycled materials, countless play areas for children, an outdoor gym, sports facilities and food and beverage outlets, the park invites visitors to explore, play and rest. While the right side of the park features volleyball nets, table tennis stations, an outdoor gym and an urban beach, the centre and left side of the park include a plaza, enclosed rock-climbing zone, skate bowl and basketball court. Spanning the 400m site, native plants populate the sandy patches, including date palms and Leptadenia – the latter of the two has not yet been widely seen in urban settings across the GCC.

Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel Atelier and BuroHappold Engineering

Louvre Abu Dhabi in the UAE was designed and built to high environmental sustainability standards, meeting two rigorous green building requirements: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Estidama Pearl. It received LEED Silver Certification in July 2018, has a 3-Pearl Estidama Design rating, and is targeting a 3-Pearl Estidama Construction rating. The 180m diameter dome demonstrates the seamless integration of sustainability. Covering most of the museum, it eliminates up to 98 percent of solar heat gain, creating a pleasant microclimate for visitors. Other construction best practices and passive energy-efficiency technologies include highly-insulated building envelope elements (walls, roof and windows) with a wall U-value of 0.217 W/m2K and glazing U-Value of 1.375 W/m2K; and exposed thermal mass, like stone flooring, to benefit from night cooling. While using the latest active energy-efficiency technologies, such as heat recovery air handling units, variable speed pumps and fans, daylighting with dimmable LED and smart lighting controls, Louvre Abu Dhabi also features unique systems like highly efficient chilled ceiling and chilled beam systems, and demand control ventilation in high occupancy areas. Only ‘energy star’ appliances have been used in the museum’s operations. BuroHappold Engineering was engaged to bring Jean Nouvel’s vision to life and used highly complex engineering design. BuroHappold was responsible for the museum’s engineering including structural, MEP, fire engineering and sustainability.

Tashkeel Zen Garden by Loci Architecture & Design

Designed by Loci Architecture & Design, the Tashkeel Zen Garden in Dubai, UAE centres on the natural elements of earth, fire, wind and water, evoking the concept of harmony, space, reflection and the human self. The design incorporates the textures of sand grains, wooden boards, plant leaves and stones, reflecting each material’s natural characteristics. The garden landscape includes different varieties, textures and size of desert vegetation suitable for Dubai’s warm climate, complementing each other in their composition. All elements of the garden are displayed in their essential shapes and forms: dunes, grasses, trees and stones reflect their natural state. Outlining the garden and identifying its surrounding neighbourhood, a local stone wall was designed from handpicked stones from Ras Al Khaimah’s mountain base, ensuring that the colours matched the sand-filled, back-lit multipolycarbonate “windows” in the walls, breaking down its rigidity to create moments of light.

Swiss International Scientific School by U+A

Located in Dubai Healthcare City, the Swiss International Scientific School by U+A opened the doors to phase 3 in late 2017. The four storey extension and new buildings, including a middle and high school, dining halls, auditorium/theatre and boarding houses for 300 students, were designed to Minergie standards providing highgrade, air-tight building envelope with a continuous renewal of air in the building using an energyefficient ventilation system. Minergie is a Swiss registered label for low energy consumption buildings. According to the architects, building to Minergie standards means providing high-grade, air-tight building envelopes and the continuous renewal of air in the building using an energy-efficient ventilation system. Specific energy consumption is used as the main indicator to quantify the required building quality, in this way, a reliable assessment can be assured therefore only the final energy consumed is relevant. In order to be Minergie compliant a target of 30KWn/m2/yr needed to be achieved.

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

Located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) is a non-profit institution for research into the most effective use of energy for social wellbeing. The 70,000m2 KAPSARC campus incorporates five buildings: the Energy Knowledge Centre, the Energy Computer Centre, a conference centre with an exhibition hall and 300-seat auditorium, a research library with archives for 100,000 volumes, and the musalla, a place for prayer and contemplation. The centre is designed in response to the environment of the Riyadh Plateau to minimise energy consumption. Hexagonal prismatic honeycomb structures use the least material to create a lattice of cells within a given volume. This principle determined KAPSARC’s composition as an amalgamation of crystalline forms that emerges from the desert landscape, evolving to best respond to the environment. Presenting a solid, protecting shell to the harsh sunlight from the south, the campus opens to north and west; encouraging prevailing winds to cool the campus during temperate months via a series of sheltered courtyards that bring softly-controlled daylight into the interior. Orientated for the sun and wind conditions, the crystalline forms of the prismatic cells gain in height towards the south, west, and east to shield internal spaces from direct sunlight. ‘Wind-catchers’ integrated within the roof profiles catch the prevailing winds from the north, cooling each courtyard. KAPSARC was awarded LEED Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) through its application of passive and active solutions.