We attended the 4th Annual Cost-Effective Sustainable Design & Construction Summit held at Park Hyatt Dubai from March 7-10 to bring you a brief insight into the event.
Located 500m from the centre of Abu Dhabi, the 27km² Saadiyat Island is Tourism Development & Investment Company’s (TDIC) flagship development.
The project will be launched in phases between now and 2020. When complete, it is expected to become a premier destination providing leisure and tourism facilities, as well as civic and cultural institutions to around 145,000 residents.
All components of the development are required to meet sustainable objectives relating to water and energy consumption, sustainable transport, community and livability, conservation and habitat protection, enhancement of cultural heritage, materials, pollution prevention and waste management.
Furthermore, TDIC says sustainable design principles have been employed for all building typologies and community developments. A Contractors Environment Rating Scheme is being implemented. Environmental inductions and training are being provided, followed by regular internal and third-party auditing to assess compliance with TDIC regulations and the requirements of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD). In addition, a waste-management strategy has been implemented; the first component of which is the installation of a recycling facility for construction waste. An ongoing Mangrove Management Plan and operation of a mangrove nursery continues, with more than 70,000 mangroves grown to date.
A number of components make up Saadiyat Island, these include Saadiyat Cultural District, which features Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum, for which the main contract will go to tender in June and will be returned by August. Work is expected to commence in November and be completed by September 2010.
"The main contract for Louvre Abu Dhabi went to tender in March and will be returned by June. Work is due to start in September and will be completed by September 2013," says TDIC senior communications manager Sheikha Mahra Al Qassimi. "TDIC has just received bids for the substructure construction contract, which is estimated at US $1 billion. At least 14 groups prequalified for the contract, which was tendered following the completion of piling works." Five hotels will line Saadiyat Beach; Saadiyat Rotana Resort Abu Dhabi being developed by Al Nowais/Al Diya, Shangri-La Hotel developed by Al Jaber Group, St. Regis Hotel and Residences, Park Hyatt Resort and Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Residences Abu Dhabi developed by TDIC. In addition, Saadiyat Beach Villas are under construction and when complete will provide an elite residential community comprising 354 villas. TDIC has already made significant progress on the development of the island, for example Saadiyat Beach Golf Club was completed and welcomed its first visitors in January. And phase one of the island’s designated exhibition area Manarat Al Saadiyat — in the Saadiyat Cultural District — launched in November last year with the opening of Art Abu Dhabi Gallery.
Plus, phase one of Saadiyat Construction Village recently opened. The development will eventually house up to 40,000 workers employed during the construction of the island. Al Qassimi tells The Big Project that TDIC has also set aside land adjacent to the Construction Village in anticipation of future accommodation demands from subcontractors.
Other milestones include the connection of Saadiyat Island to the mainland with the opening of the Sheikh Khalifa Bridge. The main interchange of Saadiyat Link has been completed and comprises seven bridges and one tunnel. Phase one works for the landscaping surrounding the expressway are also complete, while phase two commences in quarter one of this year. In the second quarter of this year, TDIC has scheduled for ground to be broken ready for the main sewage plant to be installed. And one of the four 132kV electrical substations is complete, while the remaining three are expected to be operational by quarter four, 2010. The underground cables are being installed in sequence with the substations.
Asked whether the Saadiyat Island development had been affected by the global economic downturn, Al Qassimi says: "Were pleased to say there has been no change to the development schedule for any TDIC projects that are already underway.
"However, while we are moving ahead and on schedule with all of our announced projects, we have taken the recent challenges facing the real estate industry into careful consideration when evaluating projects that are in the pipeline. We do this by continually monitoring the markets and re-examining the feasibility of projects to ensure they will bring longterm benefits to the UAE."
Here, The Big Project provides construction updates on some of the key ongoing components of the Saadiyat Island development, based on TDIC’s Project Delivery Update April 2010 report.