by Handsome Matt
The press and drama surrounding Dubai is amazing. Just amazing, it seems that the sky is the limit in Dubai. And they recently reached it with the Burj tower recently
I understand that there are certain misgivings when Dubai, or any other wealthy Arab country is mentioned. However, a good idea is a good idea, and should be celebrated as such.
Large Reserves, Large Checks, Large Buildings
The secret to Dubai’s success is simple: oil and gas. Lots of it. This translates into money. Lots of it.
Lots of it…
This spike in income, has allowed the UAE to fuel tremendous advances in growth and development. A large amount of development has occurred in the architecture and building sectors.
O14 is one of many luxury buildings going up in Dubai, right now. However, its design and build is somewhat revolutionary. Instead of building the support structure inside the building, the architectural firm Reiser- + Umemoto designed O14 with an exoskeleton. Simply put, the internal support structure is now an EXTERNAL support structure.
This is innovative and environmental for one big reason: Energy savings. By placing the supports as an exoskeleton, a chimney is created between the external and internal walls. This allows air to rush past the windows of the building, cooling it. Furthermore, the entire structure is shaded from the sun.
Second example is the Rotating Tower, by Dynamic Architecture.
Ridiculous! By allowing the floor to rotate independently, solar panels placed on the roofs power each floor. Furthermore, the wind turbines placed between each section captures the winds that are common in Dubai. The goal is to create a self powered building.
Often times, innovation is housed and showcased in an over the top package. Concept cars rarely become production models, and most of us couldn’t afford to live in either O14 or Dynamic Tower. However, much of the technological breakthroughs from high-end developments filter through and trickle down to our everyday lives. One needs only to look at the list of standard features of a car built today with a car built twenty years ago to see that is the case.
The technology and innovation showcased in Dubai could be used and adapted around the world. Winds blow around skyscrapers, why not harness that energy? The sun shines, roofs are effectively wasted space place solar panels to help offset electrical demands. Buildings in the Sun Belt of the US could look at exoskeletons as an effective means of passive cooling.
Ultimately, we’re limited only by ourselves and what we believe is possible.
Check it yourself:
RUR Architects – Reiser + Umemoto, designers of O14
O14 – Homepage for the O14 building
Dynamic Architecture – The firm that designed the Rotating Tower.