It's Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and we're looking at the coolest sustainable architecture in the Gulf. These buildings are specifically engineered to save energy and respond to the region's harsh climate and terrain -- vast deserts, glaring sun and temperatures reaching up to 50 C (122 F).
This building with organic-looking pillars that resemble the branches of a tree is the Qatar National Conference Centre, which opened in 2011. Natural light in the $720 million building reduces energy consumption and automated shades reduce air-conditioning, according to the center.
Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and during the 2010 bid, the oil-rich country unveiled its stadium designs. This computer-generated image shows the planned Al-Shamal stadium. Its shape is based on the dhow, the traditional fishing boats used in the Gulf. To combat Qatar's very hot climate, the stadiums will be cooled using solar energy, according to architects AS&P.
Green Buildings in the Gulf —
This photo shows Saudi Arabia's first mixed-gender university, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, open since 2009. Its buildings are, according to the university website, constructed to utilize natural light and ventilation, to save on electricity and air conditioning.
Courtesy JB Picoulet/HOK
Masdar City, is a new city in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, which builders The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company they say will be an entirely "green," using only solar and other sustainable energy sources. Cars will be banned -- people will be able to travel around the city in personal rapid transit system podcars. Masdar will be completed around 2020, they say.
The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi was established in 2007. According to the institute, the buildings are engineered to require 75% less cooling by using shades and a special material in the walls and ceilings that absorbs heat. It says they also save 70% more on electricity and drinkable water than buildings of a similar size.
Courtesy Nigel Young/Foster&Partners
This photo shows shoppers browsing Abu Dhabi's rebuilt central market -- ventilation in the market is controlled by sliding roofs and walls.
Courtesy Nigel Young/Foster and Partners
The Bahrain World Trade Center, built in 2008, is 50 floors high, and, uniquely, giant wind tubines connect the building's two towers. The turbines generate for 11-15% of the power required by the building when fully operational, according to architect Atkins.
This is an artist's impression of part of Doha, Qatar's new downtown, slated to be finished by 2016. Msheireb Properties, the company behind the $5.5 billion development, say it will revive the old commercial heart of the city. The development will reduce the city's carbon footprint by minimizing cars and using microclimatic effects to keep the environment cooler.
Courtesy Msheireb Properties
This artist's impression shows the trefoil shape of the new terminal at Kuwait International Airport. The three wings will have a roof that incorporates a large expanse of panels to harvest solar energy, according to architects, Foster and Partners. The $3.2 billion terminal will be ready in 2016, according to Kuwait's Ministry of Public Works.
An artist's impression of Abu Dhabi's new parliament building. According to Ehrlich Architects, light will be filtered through the screen of the dome, creating a microclimate and increasing energy efficiency. The building is still in phase one of the development, they say.