Sheppard Robson's design for Siemens' headquarters at Masdar City has established a new model for sustainable office buildings in the Middle East and is one of the first buildings in the region to achieve LEED Platinum. The design began with a simple and over-arching ambition: to maximize efficiency and build more with less. An iterative process of traditional design and parametric analysis resulted in an efficient and compact plan form that has reduced material and embodied carbon.
The building envelope was conceived as a box within a box: an inner highly-insulated, airtight facade designed to reduce thermal conductivity, and a lightweight aluminum external shading system which minimizes solar gain while maximizing daylighting and views from the building. The variation in the form of the shading systems, characterized by lightweight aluminum fins, creates a strong architectural language for the building, with each facade tailored to suit its solar orientation.
The office floorplates, each of 48,400 square feet, have been optimized for efficiency, daylight, and flexibility using parametric modeling and achieve over 90% efficiency. The floor plates, punctuated by nine atria and served by six perimeter cores, are completely column-free. An innovative structural system reduces the material used in construction by approximately 60% and provides maximum flexibility for the office space planning.
In addition to maximizing efficiency of all aspects of the built form, the integrated engineering systems have been optimized to complement the building's function and low carbon design. Rigorous energy modeling has ensured that the building performs 46% better than the baseline ASHRAE energy model.
Siemens Middle East Headquarters was designed from the inside out, led by the ambition to achieve efficiency, rather than a predetermined aesthetic. The resulting building is both commercially successful and environmentally sound: a truly sustainable solution.