The quest to creating eco-friendly high-rises

Eco-friendly high-risesImage Credit: Supplied

The UAE is home to major skyscrapers, but Dubai has a large concentration of them. In fact, the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, is located here. The high-rises in Dubai (residential, commercial or mixed-use) are defining the city with structures competing with each other in design and height.

These towers provide a high ratio of space where more people can live, especially when the land is in limited supply, and where the population is increasing. This is true for Dubai where the populace is about 1.78 million.

Skyscrapers may be sustainable in terms of saving land space, but constant ground interaction can impact the environment. They also provide great views, like the Burj Khalifa which gives an airplane view from its apex and augments the worth of its surroundings while setting demands on neighboring places to capitalize on their prospects, too.

Research suggests that towers have a lower net-to-gross area ratio as compared to their lower density structures. Also, the distinction in carbon discharges emitted from construction materials amid high and low-density environments do not get overwhelmed by just carbon seizure.

Attempts to build environment-friendly buildings are going on. A recent summit on skyscrapers discussed the significance of such structures. In fact, recommendations for using green concrete or constructing Foamglas buildings were attributed to creating eco-friendly skyscrapers. An international architect even recommended wood as it is more economical than steel and concrete.

Towers attract strong winds and cool temperatures at its apex, which are useful for onsite energy production. Dubai’s upcoming revolving skyscraper is expected to produce renewable energy from wind turbines located on each floor. The rotation would also give additional energy usable for other buildings.

The topic on high-rise buildings providing sustainable solutions for the future is an ongoing debate. However, a balance between higher and lower density structures could be the answer. Nevertheless, the trend of high-rises in Dubai is definitely here to stay, especially in the UAE which is on its way to becoming a home to 149 skyscrapers by the end of 2015.

Handy Hints
• High-rises provide the much-needed living space for an increasing populace
• Materials used in high-rises emit carbon discharges that harm environment
• Green concrete, wood or Foamglas are seen as eco-friendly skyscrapers and building solutions

Source: Arva Shikari, Special to Properties
The writer is  a freelancer


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