DEWA awards $267mn contract for construction of new HQ

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced it has awarded a contract worth $267 million to a consortium comprising of Ghantoot Transport and General Contracting and Ghantoot Gulf Contracting, for the construction work of its new headquarters.

Known as Al-Shera’a – Arabic for Sail – the construction of the new venue is expected to be completed within 30 months, a statement from DEWA said. It will be built in the Jadaf area of Dubai and will be the tallest, largest and smartest government Zero Energy Building in the world.

The authority had previously awarded the first phase of construction – worth $12.5 million – to DUTCO Balfour Beatty. This brings the total cost of the building’s construction to more than $272 million, the statement added.

DEWA explained that total energy used in the building during a year will be equal to or less than the energy produced on site during that year. The new headquarters has been designed to receive a platinum rating by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and a silver rating from the WELL Building Standard.

The authority will later announce two more phases to implement work on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the photovoltaic solar systems for the building.

“By building Al-Shera’a, we establish a global benchmark for buildings that achieve a balance between development and the environment, to protect the right of future generations to live in a clean, healthy and safe environment. This supports the UAE Vision 2021 to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world, and the Dubai Plan 2021, to make Dubai the preferred place to live, work, and visit,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

Al-Shera’a’s built-up area is over 2 million sqft, he added. The building will have 15 floors, a basement and four floors of car parking. It can house more than 5,000 people, and facilities include a 500-people auditorium, training halls, a creativity centre, an exhibition hall, a nursery for the children of female employees, and a gym, amongst others.

The building will have over 20,000 sqm of photovoltaic solar panels rated to over 4,000 kilowatts. There will be 1,000 sqm of Building Integrated Photovoltaics. The building will generate over 6,500 megawatt hours (MW/h) a year of renewable energy.

Inspired by the design of the UAE’s traditional houses – with enclosed spaces overlooking an open courtyard – Al Shera’a’s courtyard will be the focal point and most prominent feature of the building. To reduce heat in the open courtyard, a sail design is used to provide shaded areas. Natural light during the day will stream through specific openings in the sail, giving sufficient light without the associated heat.

The courtyard will have sustainable gardens, giving occupants and visitors an outdoor feeling in an indoor setting. The building will use the latest technologies including IoT, Big Data and Open Data, AI, and the latest smart-building management technologies. The building is intended to use 50% less water than regular buildings.

DEWA’s new headquarters will be directly linked to Jadaf metro station by a bridge. This will encourage the use of public transport, to reduce traffic and the carbon footprint, the statement added.


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