Incredibly Slender and Yet Sustainable: The Story of a 470m Supertall Innovation in Dubai

Shaun Killa
Design Partner
Killa Design, Dubai

This presentation outlines the collaborative multi-discipline engineering approach required to develop a LEED Platinum building, which embraces a holistic concept of reducing the building’s energy consumption in operation, while harnessing the available renewable energy generated by wind and solar. The project shifts current boundaries to new benchmarks in many areas, including architecture, sustainability and technical disciplines such as structure, MEP and vertical transportation.

On a tight plot of 30 by 30 meters, the tower of 111 stories, with an open-air, 360-degree viewing deck at the top, stands at 460 meters tall. The slenderness ratio of 1:15 could only be achieved by utilizing a structural diagrid system on the building’s perimeter, where the composite diagrid columns protrude up to 2.5 meters beyond the plot limit to maximize the tower’s lateral stiffness. These local protrusions beyond the façade line, as well as their non-uniform distribution in elevation, “confuse” the wind, which, complemented by two double-height garden floors at levels 50 and 75, provides a quality outdoor space for the occupants and significantly reduces the governing wind loads. The protruding columns serve further purposes by a) liberating the floor plate and increasing the overall leasable area to achieve an efficiency of close to 80 percent and b) shading the façade to reduce the solar heat gain and hence the cooling load demand, which, combined with high-efficiency magnetic bearing chillers, significantly reduces the building’s energy consumption. Two 31-meter-diameter wind turbines are integrated at the tower crown, and high efficient Mono-PERC PV panels will be installed on the spandrel panel of the façade.