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IRENA Headquarters

Nick Turbott


“The IRENA Headquarters building is a model example of energy-saving commercial architecture, accomplishing demanding sustainability targets in spite of extreme climate conditions.”

An advanced superstructure 

The superstructure is a 6-storey structural steel frame braced structure. Floor to floor height throughout the structure averages at just over four metres, while the ground floor level is 5.6 metres in height. The floors are each formulated of a metal deck reinforced composite structural beam system. The composite second steel beams are supported by primary beams which are, in turn, supported by columns of structural steel. The columns emanate from reinforced ground beams which bear on piled suspended slab foundations. 

A complex, rigid diga-grid steel frame, coordinated by BSBG, is designed to resist lateral dynamic loads, and is a hugely robust lateral resisting system, very rarely seen in commercial office buildings. In addition to highly technical aspects of design and construction, BSBG was also engaged to carry out the full interior design fit out of the IRENA Headquarters, which occupies one entire building of the three that make up the development.   

The most sophisticated sustainable complex in the UAE

Achieving both a LEED® Gold and an Estidama 4 Pearl rating requires a considered and hugely involved approach to every component of the building design. By implementing an integrated and holistic design and construction methodology, the project team was able to exceed KPIs across all facets of the design. The following are some highlights of the project’s sustainability initiatives:

Sustainability Features 

- Energy demand reduction of 50%
- Provision of renewable energy - 20% city-wide delivery
- Water demand reduction by 30%
- Construction waste diverted from landfill by 90% 
- Reduction in embodied carbon in materials by 30%
- Air-leakage rate less than 5.0m3/hr.m2
- Use of over 70% native and adaptive drought and/or saline tolerant species for over 10 types of plant
- Installation of bicycle racks to minimise GHG emissions, improve connectivity and encourage bicycle use
- Potable water use reduction by over 53.9%
- 100% landscape irrigation supplied from TSE
- Reduction of landscaping water demand through plant species selection and efficient drip-irrigation system
- Reduction in energy demand by over 50% when compared to a benchmark Abu Dhabi commercial office building
- Utilisation of demand-controlled ventilation 
- 54.6% reduction of building’s cooling demand through the incorporation of passive design strategies
- Electric charging points for electric vehicles
- 1,000 m2 of rooftop photovoltaic solar panels supplying electricity to the building and a Solar Hot Water system
- Over 20% of materials manufactured within 500km radius of the project

Project Team

Scott Orwin

Senior Partner

Nick Turbott


Alistair Bradley

Associate Director

Gabrielle Robles

Lead Architect


Sustainable Construction Project of the Year | BGreen Awards

Award, 2018

LEED® Gold Rating


Estidama 4 Pearl Rating


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