Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has started construction of a new headquarters. The new building, named Al-Sheraa (Arabic for sail), will be the tallest, largest, and smartest net Zero Energy Building (ZEB) in the world. The Al-Sheraa building will have over a million square feet, over 200,000 square feet of land. It is being built in the heart of the Cultural Village in Al Jadaf. This latest achievement conforms Dubai’s global position as a role model for leading organisations in sustainability, innovation, and shaping the future.
The total built-up area of Al-Sheraa will be over 1.5 million square feet. The additional area comprises parking, engineering facilities, and green spaces. The building is designed to accommodate 5,000 employees, in addition to customers and visitors. The building will have over 16,500 square metres of photovoltaic solar panels to produce over 3,500 kilowatt hours (kW/h). There will be about 10,000 square metres of Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV), producing over 1,100 kWh. Total renewable energy generated by the building will be over 7,000 megawatt hours (MW/h) annually. The building will have an Energy Utilization Intensity (EUI) of 70 kW/m2 per year.
Al-Sheraa’s design was inspired by the UAE’s traditional houses, where enclosed spaces overlook an open courtyard. The courtyard will be the focal point and most prominent feature of the building. To reduce heat in the open courtyard, a sail design is used to provide shaded areas. Natural light during the day will stream through specific openings in the sail, giving sufficient light without the associated heat. The courtyard features trees, planted areas, and birds within a sustainable environment. The courtyard will give occupants and visitors an outdoor feeling in an indoor setting.
The building will use the latest technologies including Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Open Data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Robots will be used for cleaning and to provide security services. A smart app will alert the employees about the time they should leave their homes based on the traffic. The same app can be used to book parking spaces and meeting rooms. It can be also used by visitors to easily reach the building and meeting rooms.
Al-Sheraa is planned to be a Zero Energy Building (ZEB), where the total energy used in the building during a year is equal to or less than the energy produced on site during that year. DEWA’s new headquarters is targeted to receive platinum rating by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), where platinum is the highest certification. The building is targeted to use 50% less water than regular buildings. The green spaces will be almost 50% of the buildings area. To be ZEB, employees will manage their energy consumption using a smart app that informs them of the amount of energy they use to assist them in improving energy budget management. Al-Sheraa will use state-of-the-art building management tools. It will feature a control centre which will allow essential systems to operate and will shut down non-essential systems, including air conditioning and lighting.
DEWA’s new headquarters will be directly linked to Dubai Metro by a 150-metre covered bridge. This link between Al Jadaf metro station and Al-Sheraa Building will promote the use of public transportation. This reduces traffic and carbon footprint.
“DEWA’s vision is inspired by the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai a global centre for clean energy and green economy. Al-Sheraa eco-friendly building supports the long-term Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to achieve the sustainable development of Dubai. It also supports our vision to become a sustainable innovative world class utility. By building Al-Sheraa, we establish a role model in Dubai and the world to achieve a balance between development and the environment to protect the right of future generations to leave ain a clean, healthy and safe environment. This supports the UAE Vision 2021 to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world, and the Dubai Plan 2021, to make Dubai the preferred place to live, work, and visit. We will continue our efforts to improve government services and become pioneers across all areas, inspired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who once observed: ‘We always seek to be number one. In the UAE and Dubai, we are number one in terms of investment, security, quality of stable life, economic and social progress and infrastructure,’” said Al Tayer.
“Designing DEWA’s new head office like a sail enhances the UAE National identity. This supports DEWA’s strategy to promote the National identity, and ensures the protection of the authentic Emirati Values. The Sail has always been a major element of the UAE’s heritage, and a symbol of sustainability. It refers to the pearl trade and fishing boats. The Al-Sheraa Building highlights Dubai’s, and DEWA’s roles in encouraging a sustainable lifestyle, and using the latest technologies and innovative solutions. The building demonstrates our commitment towards achieving the objectives set by the DEWA 2021 strategy, which includes facilitating positive energy and providing a happy work environment. We expect the new building to enhance happiness, and improve individual and corporate efficiency,” added Al Tayer.
“In adherence to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to ensure all government policies, programmes, and services contribute towards building a positive and happy society, and to ensure that the government takes priority in creating conditions capable of facilitating happiness for individuals, families, and employees, we provide the best government services and adopt the highest international standards to achieve the happiness of people. At DEWA, we do not rest on our laurels. Instead, we constantly work, led by the vision of our wise leadership, to provide smart and sustainable services, according to the highest standards of accountability, reliability, efficiency,” said Al Tayer.
“The building will be completed and inaugurated in 2019. Al-Sheraa will include a state-of-the-art fitness centre. DEWA will also include a shaded outdoor jogging track for use by DEWA staff and the community. The building will feature a 700-seat auditorium, allowing DEWA to host its events and activities in the same building. The parking facility accommodates up to 1,500 cars, which will be parked automatically. Al-Sheraa will also have a nursery that can accommodate 80 children of up to 4 years of age. It will have a library overlooking the creek, a large cafeteria, a retail area, and other amenities that will be accessible to staff and the public. The new building will contribute to spreading knowledge and increasing the productivity of our staff,” concluded Al Tayer.
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