Siemens HQ, Abu Dhabi

27 Sep , 2016  

Sheppard Robson International selected AECOM to provide mechanical, electrical and plumbing; structural; sustainability; architect of record; and cost consultant services to deliver a cost-effective, optimized sustainable design and low-carbon construction for the new Siemens Headquarters in Masdar City, an emerging clean-technology cluster. Bluehaus Group undertook the Interior Design, and Bluehaus Engineering undertook the MEP Design Consultancy for the interior.

A parametrically designed external shading system together with air-tight construction, and low embodied carbon materials were used to ensure that the building’s envelope met the client’s high-performance goals regarding wind resistance, daylighting and water tightness. To deliver an air-tight building, two pressurization tests were conducted during the construction phase in accordance with the requirements of the Air Tightness Testing and Measurement Association’s Technical Standard 1, resulting in a 25-percent improvement over the Masdar air permeability standard.

High recycled content concrete — an inexpensive, strong and versatile material — was selected as the prime material, together with ground granulated blast-furnace slag, a byproduct of iron smelting used to reduce the material embodied carbon and increase resistance to harsh chemicals such as chlorine that exist in Masdar’s environment.

The team also specified EPS Neopor insulation to produce significant carbon reduction and more than 35 percent in weight savings compared to a traditional flat slab system. The building specifications required that at least 80 percent of all reinforcing steel (by weight) had a 90-percent minimum amount of post-consumer recycled content, and that at least 50 percent of all structural steel (by weight) had a 25-percent minimum amount of post-consumer recycled content.

“Despite challenges such as a tight schedule and strict building specification targets and guidelines, we delivered a low embodied carbon building that achieved a LEED Core and Shell Platinum certification, met all Masdar sustainability key performance indicators, and is on target for receiving an Estidama PBRS 03 Pearls certification,” said Gonzalo Seminario, sustainability team leader, buildings places. “And with safety playing a paramount role in AECOM’s success, we are also excited that we achieved 3,300,000 man hours without any lost-time injuries, managing up to 2,000 workers on site during the peak months of construction.”

By the numbers

  • First building in the United Arab Emirates certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED V3.0) Core and Shell Platinum
  • 98% construction waste diversion from landfill
  • 50% reduction in water demand (EPA Baseline)
  • 46% reduction in energy demand (ASHRAE 90.1_2007 Baseline)
  • 30% reduction in embodied carbon (over Masdar Baseline)


  • AECOM Impactus Award 2012
  • MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards 2012 (in the Offices category)
  • Middle East Architects Awards 2012 Sustainable Project of the Year
  • Middle East Architects Awards 2012 Commercial Project of the Year
  • International Property Awards Arabia 2012, best office architecture 2012 award
  • MEED Quality Awards for Projects 2013, U.A.E. Sustainable Project of the Year
  • MEED Quality Awards for Projects 2013, GCC Sustainable Project of the Year
  • Cityscape Global Awards for Emerging Markets 2013 Sustainable Development – Built
  • Iconic Award for Corporate Architecture 2013 by the German Design Council.


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