Al Bahar Tower 1

Abu Dhabi
Height
1
To Tip:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element (i.e., including antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment).

147 m / 482 ft
2
Architectural:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

145.1 m / 476 ft
3
Occupied:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest occupied floor within the building.

120 m / 394 ft
Floors
Above Ground

The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

29
Below Ground

The number of floors below ground should include all major floors located below the ground floor level.

2
1 2 3 Al Bahar Tower 1 Outline
Height 145.1 m / 476 ft
Floors 29
Official Name
The current legal building name.

Al Bahar Tower 1

Other Names
Other names the building has commonly been known as, including former names, common informal names, local names, etc.

ADIC Headquarters Tower 1, Abu Dhabi Investment Council Headquarters Tower 1

Name of Complex
A complex is a group of buildings which are designed and built as pieces of a greater development.

Al Bahar Towers

Type
CTBUH collects data on two major types of tall structures: 'Buildings' and 'Telecommunications / Observation Towers.' A 'Building' is a structure where at least 50% of the height is occupied by usable floor area. A 'Telecommunications / Observation Tower' is a structure where less than 50% of the structure's height is occupied by usable floor area. Only 'Buildings' are eligible for the CTBUH 'Tallest Buildings' lists.

Building

Status
Completed
Architecturally Topped Out
Structurally Topped Out
Under Construction
Proposed
On Hold
Never Completed
Vision
Competition Entry
Canceled
Proposed Renovation
Under Renovation
Renovated
Under Demolition
Demolished

Completed, 2012

Country
The CTBUH follows the United Nations's definition of Country, and thus uses the lists and codes established by that organization.

United Arab Emirates

City
The CTBUH follows the United Nations's definition of City, and thus uses the lists and codes established by that organization.

Abu Dhabi

Function
A single-function tall building is defined as one where 85% or more of its usable floor area is dedicated to a single usage. Thus a building with 90% office floor area would be said to be an "office" building, irrespective of other minor functions it may also contain.

A mixed-use tall building contains two or more functions (or uses), where each of the functions occupy a significant proportion of the tower's total space. Support areas such as car parks and mechanical plant space do not constitute mixed-use functions. Functions are denoted on CTBUH "Tallest Building" lists in descending order, e.g., "hotel/office" indicates hotel function above office function.

office

Structural Material
Steel
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from steel. Note that a building of steel construction with a floor system of concrete planks or concrete slab on top of steel beams is still considered a “steel” structure as the concrete elements are not acting as the primary structure.

Reinforced Concrete
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from concrete which has been cast in place and utilizes steel reinforcement bars.

Precast Concrete
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning system are constructed from steel reinforced concrete which has been precast as individual components and assembled together on-site.

Mixed-Structure
Utilizes distinct systems (e.g. steel, concrete, timber), one on top of the other. For example, a steel/concrete indicates a steel structural system located on top of a concrete structural system, with the opposite true of concrete/steel.

Composite
A combination of materials (e.g. steel, concrete, timber) are used together in the main structural elements. Examples include buildings which utilize: steel columns with a floor system of reinforced concrete beams; a steel frame system with a concrete core; concrete-encased steel columns; concrete-filled steel tubes; etc. Where known, the CTBUH database breaks out the materials used in a composite building’s core, columns, and floor spanning separately.

composite

Core
Reinforced Concrete
Columns
Steel
Floor Spanning
Steel
Height
Architectural
Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

145.1 m / 476 ft

To Tip
Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element (i.e., including antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment).
147.0 m / 482 ft
Occupied
Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest occupied floor within the building.
120.0 m / 394 ft
Observatory
120.0 m / 394 ft
Floors Above Ground
The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

29

Floors Below Ground
The number of floors below ground should include all major floors located below the ground floor level.

2

# of Parking Spaces
Number of Parking Spaces refers to the total number of car parking spaces contained within a particular building.

80

# of Elevators
Number of Elevators refers to the total number of elevator cars (not shafts) contained within a particular building (including public, private and freight elevators).

9

Top Elevator Speed
Top Elevator Speed refers to the top speed capable of being achieved by an elevator within a particular building, measured in meters per second.

5 m/s

Tower GFA
Tower GFA refers to the total gross floor area within the tower footprint, not including adjoining podiums, connected buildings or other towers within the development.

56,000 m² / 602,779 ft²

Construction Schedule
2008

Proposed

2009

Construction Start

2012

Completed

Architect
Architect of Record

Usually takes on the balance of the architectural effort not executed by the "Design Architect," typically responsible for the construction documents, conforming to local codes, etc. May often be referred to as "Executive," "Associate," or "Local" Architect, however, for consistency CTBUH uses the term "Architect of Record" exclusively.

Structural Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

MEP Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Other Consultant

Other Consultant refers to other organizations which provided significant consultation services for a building project (e.g. wind consultants, environmental consultants, fire and life safety consultants, etc).

Material Supplier

Material Supplier refers to organizations which supplied significant systems/materials for a building project (e.g. elevator suppliers, facade suppliers, etc).

Sealants
Architect
Design

Usually involved in the front end design, with a "typical" condition being that of a leadership role through either Schematic Design or Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Aedas UK
Architect of Record

Usually takes on the balance of the architectural effort not executed by the "Design Architect," typically responsible for the construction documents, conforming to local codes, etc. May often be referred to as "Executive," "Associate," or "Local" Architect, however, for consistency CTBUH uses the term "Architect of Record" exclusively.

Structural Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

MEP Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Project Manager

The CTBUH lists a project manager when a specific firm has been commissioned to oversee this aspect of a tall building’s design/construction. When the project management efforts are handled by the developer, main contract, or architect, this field will be omitted.

Mace Limited
Contractor
Main Contractor

The main contractor is the supervisory contractor of all construction work on a project, management of sub-contractors and vendors, etc. May be referred to as "Construction Manager," however, for consistency CTBUH uses the term "Main Contractor" exclusively.

Al-Futtaim Carillion
Other Consultant

Other Consultant refers to other organizations which provided significant consultation services for a building project (e.g. wind consultants, environmental consultants, fire and life safety consultants, etc).

Wind
BMT Fluid Mechanics Ltd.
Material Supplier

Material Supplier refers to organizations which supplied significant systems/materials for a building project (e.g. elevator suppliers, facade suppliers, etc).

Sealants
Steel
William Hare Group Limited

CTBUH Awards & Distinctions

Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa 2012 Award of Excellence

2012 CTBUH Awards

Innovation Award 2012 Winner

2012 CTBUH Awards

CTBUH Initiatives

Al Bahar Towers Chosen as Featured Building

1 January 2013 - Featured Building

Awards Symposium Puts Spotlight on Achievement, Future

19 October 2012 - Awards

Videos

18 October 2012 | Abu Dhabi

Best Tall Building Innovation Award: Al Bahar: Innovating the Intelligent Skin

Al Bahar Towers’ innovative dynamic façade opens and closes in response to the movement of the sun, creating a more comfortable internal environment for occupants...

Research

25 April 2019

What Makes for Tall Building Innovation?

Daniel Safarik, CTBUH

In this paper, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat seeks to define “innovation” in terms of the potentially transformative technologies and practices for...

About Al Bahar Tower 1

While many buildings in the Middle East have attempted to deal with the consistent issue of solar gain in such a hot, arid climate, Al Bahar Towers has taken a dramatic approach to addressing the issue. The towers themselves are simply clad curtain wall buildings, but instead of relying on tinted or highly reflective glazing to mitigate solar effects, they utilize an intricate and dynamic external shading system referred to as the “mashrabiya.”

In designing the two towers, the approach considered the renewed interest in energy efficiency in Abu Dhabi, as well as the desire to use modern technology to meet their goals. A circular form was proposed for its efficiency of wall-to-floor area and reduced amount of surface area, which was then refined iteratively to get the final form. The towers taper at the top and bottom and widen toward the middle, and was generated from a pre-rationalized geometry derived from the Islamic composition. This process was undertaken by means of parametric and algorithmic computer studies.

To fully combat the effects of solar glare and heat gain, the team looked for a method to shield the glazed towers in a unique and creative way. By studying the traditional and vernacular architecture of the area, the “mashrabiya,” a wooden lattice screen used predominantly in Islamic architecture, became the inspiration for the towers’ active skin.

The façade’s moveable components are semi-transparent PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) panels, which are combined in arrays much like umbrellas. Each array opens and closes in direct reaction to the sun’s position, allowing indirect sunlight to enter the building while blocking the strongest rays to prevent glare and heat gain. While the system improves the comfort and light in the spaces inside, it also reduces the need for artificial lighting and overall cooling loads. This innovative external shading system is also being recognized as the inaugural winner of the CTBUH “Innovation” award.

Internal sky gardens exist along the southern façade of the building which, in addition to the exterior shading, help alleviate the effects of solar exposure. These areas also serve as an amenity to users, who utilize the spaces for meetings or breaks.

The façade system challenges the typical high-rise typology of the area, suggesting that more responsive and dynamic solutions to climactic conditions are more appropriate than attempting to statically handle them through designs based on non-regional traditions. Al Bahar Towers seeks to provide both a contextual and culturally sensitive design while also utilizing modern technology to meet higher standards of efficiency.

The podium accommodates a range of shared facilities including prayer rooms, restaurants, and an auditorium, while enabling segregated access to be achieved for various categories of users including members of the public, staff, and VIPs who are provided with discreet access from the upper landscaped deck. There are two levels of basement parking and a mezzanine area is provided within the podium as a meeting point for staff.

The design of Al Bahar Towers may also be seen as a response to a number of other initiatives that were being launched within the Emirate at the time of their conception, including publication of the Abu Dhabi 2030 Plan, comprising a comprehensive development framework based upon the principles of cultural and environmental responsibility, together with development of the Estidama environmental management standard and promotion of the Masdar initiative on renewable energy.

CTBUH Awards & Distinctions

Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa 2012 Award of Excellence

2012 CTBUH Awards

Innovation Award 2012 Winner

2012 CTBUH Awards

18 October 2012 | Abu Dhabi

Best Tall Building Innovation Award: Al Bahar: Innovating the Intelligent Skin

Al Bahar Towers’ innovative dynamic façade opens and closes in response to the movement of the sun, creating a more comfortable internal environment for occupants...

18 October 2012 | Abu Dhabi

Interview: Al Bahar Towers

As the inaugural winner of the Innovation Award, Peter Chipchase & Peter Oborn discuss the highly technical aspects of the Al Bahar Towers' dynamic shading...

05 February 2010 | Abu Dhabi

Dynamic Facades and Parametrics: Creating a New Vernacular?

Aedas presents their competition winning proposals for a new headquarters building for the Abu Dhabi Investment Council. The concept is derived from an algorithmic composition,...

1 January 2013

Al Bahar Towers Chosen as Featured Building

In looking to innovate high-rise design, nature and culture are the most resilient sources of inspiration.

19 October 2012

Awards Symposium Puts Spotlight on Achievement, Future

2012 CTBUH tall building award winners, finalists and lifetime achievement award winners were not attending the annual symposium to talk about record heights and flashy designs.