Work on Dubai's first low-carbon building set to get under way


Construction work on Dubai's first low-carbon building, Lighthouse Tower, is scheduled to begin soon in order to have the property – which includes wind turbines on its roof – delivered by 2010.

Faithful+Gould – part of the Atkins Group that was appointed to provide architectural, structural, MEP engineering and sustainable design services for the tower – said it has completed cost estimating for the project as well as preliminary design works, though officials were unwilling to disclose how much the building will cost.

The 400-metre commercial tower will be built near the Dubai International Financial Centre and will located adjacent to The Gate building at the heart of the 110-acre freezone envisaged to be the world's newest international financial centre.

The Lighthouse Tower, originally launched in April 2007, will be characterised by a number of environmentally features that seek to reduce the carbon footprint of both the building process as well as residents once they move in. To achieve this green goal, design features include low-energy external lighting, features to create renewable energy and energy and water saving fixtures.

The 66-storey development will be made up of 64 floors of office space, a visitor's centre and viewing deck, a two-storey podium, a leisure deck and space for cultural events.

In order to produce energy for the building's consumption, the top 120m of the tower will accommodate three horizontal-axis wind turbines of 29m diameter each, fully integrated into the facade. The turbines will be designed to harness the predominant northwest wind and to be a source of clean, renewable energy.

Overall, the project's designers aim to reduce its total energy consumption by up to 65 per cent and water consumption up to 35 per cent compared to traditional towers. To achieve the goal, in addition to the wind turbines, the tower will be outfitted with passive solar systems, and low energy and low water flow fixtures.

Materials used to construct the building, sources added, have also been chosen from sustainable sources.

Nigel Sale, regional director at Faithful+Gould, spoke to Emirates Business about how the Lighthouse Tower hopes to distinguish itself from the crowd of building projects in the emirate and the company's operations in the Middle East, India and North Africa.

"We combine in-depth knowledge of the region with the ability to draw on our international resources, and that of our parent group Atkins – one of the world's leading providers of professional, technology-based consultancy and support services – to deliver the most challenging of projects. "We provide leading-edge services, which reflect international best practice and are tailored to suit local needs. Today Faithful+Gould is one of the world's largest project and cost management companies. With a turnover in excess of Dh1.17 billion Faithful+Gould employs more than 2,200 staff and has an expanding office base in the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, UAE and Asia Pacific regions."

Some of the firm's ongoing projects in Dubai include the Jumeirah Lake Towers, Jebel Ali Downtown project and the International City.