Sponsored: Building envelope design is a vital part of any architectural project, according to CVTEC Consulting Engineers.
But the Dubai firm said it is also hugely important that a building fits into its context, as part of its holistic approach to creating a liveable urban environment.
CVTEC has around 6o projects on the go in the region – including some major hospitality developments – and takes as a basis the RIBA Plan of Work.
The company, which is based in Ontario Tower, Business Bay, offers multi-disciplinary architectural and engineering services from master-planning to MEP and site management when it takes on a development.
This integrated design delivery approach has three advantages, according to general manager Adnan Sayyed Darwish.
“It gives much better co-ordinations over the project as a whole, which increases cost efficiency by adapting value engineering from the early stage of project cycle,” he said. “This, in turn, maximises client profits.
“And we also can achieve a balance between aesthetics and return on investment by looking at a project in its entirety.”
Amjad Alkoud is principle architect at the firm and balances his work in the UAE with his PhD studies in the evolution of Dubai’s urban landscape at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.
“It is important to balance the different aspects of design as well as client’s requirements at an early stage of any project so that you can be in a position to educate the client and guide him towards the optimum scheme.
The contextual setting out of the building form needs to be finalised at an early stage as well, according to CVTEC.
Proper orientation can achieve a passive cooling strategy and the angle of the sun’s rays at different times of the day can be counteracted by shading.
Alkoud said looking at the designs of the past is a way in which this can be achieved.
“Every city has its own vernacular,” he said. “Cultural aspects of design are very important. For instance the use of shaded courtyards in the centre of a building is important in the Middle East. When you look at high rise now you can see rethink how this typology can be incorporated in a vertical form.”
The company said it is responsive to Dubai Municipality’s vision of a greater level of sustainability and interconnectivity – from masterplanning to individual buildings.
But Alkoud said all parties need to work together to achieve this aim.
“The main stakeholder and the developer – they need to take this concept on board and consider it when setting a budget. Otherwise, as architects we are handcuffed,” he said.
“The city [of Dubai] wants to be green. But to a large extent the technology to achieve sustainability was developed in a western country which has climatic conditions very different from those experienced in the Middle East.
“And this has been achieved after decades of research. We are still relatively in the early stages here.”