Dubai's striking O-14 development has solid solar credentials
By Karen Sprey
June 9, 2009
Dubai can lay claim to some of the world’s most outlandish buildings with more on the way, and many are also at the forefront of innovation in eco- and- environmentally friendly design. Joining their ranks is the 0-14 (‘oh-14’), a 22 storey, 300,000 square-foot commercial building perched on a two-storey podium in Dubai’s Business Bay. It's defining feature - a lace-like concrete exoskeleton peppered with more than 1,000 holes - provides both the building’s structure and its facade, delivering shade, light and air, plus stunning views of the Bay and skyline.
The O-14 was created using high-strength, self-consolidating concrete cast around steel mesh reinforcement. The holes are achieved by introducing computer numerically cut polystyrene void forms into the reinforced steel mesh matrix. The holes, are modulated according to structural requirements, views, sun exposure and luminosity.
According to creators RUR Architecture of New York and the Creek Side Development Company of Dubai, the concrete shell provides an efficient structure that frees the core from the burden of lateral forces and creates highly efficient, column-free open spaces in the buildings interior.
The lack of conventional columns and walls also allows maximum flexibility in the 21 stories of custom-designed office spaces and an open public space has been created at the base of the tower for some welcome relief from the harsh Dubai sun.
Between the shell and the glazing is an almost one meter deep space which acts as a ‘chimney’, allowing hot air to rise and effectively cooling the surface of the window wall behind the shell. This passive solar technique reduces energy consumption by 30 per cent.
Upmarket shopping will link the O-14 to the Waterfront Esplanade at promenade level and the four levels of parking for over 400 cars is below ground.
The project has generated international interest because its innovative design stands out among the generic office towers built in Dubai’s current building boom, but with everything from rotating skyscrapers to seawater vertical farms on the agenda, O-14 will certainly face some stiff competition on that front.
The O-14 is scheduled for completion in Spring 2010.