Green Build Congress sparks fresh debate

Running alongside The Big 5, last month’s Green Build Congress in Dubai gathered some of the region’s key players in the green building movement.

One of the highlights, and certainly the best attended session, was a keynote speech from skyscraper supremo Adrian Smith, partner, AS + GG Architecture.

Speaking  on the subject ‘sustainable landmark buildings’, Smith ran through the sustainable elements in his impressive portfolio, including Burj Khalifa and the Kingdom Tower. As a specialist in high rise design, Smith noted that tall towers are now a fact of life. “60 million people a year are moving into urban areas – there is a great deal of pressure on cities to grow and to grow vertically.

“By 2050, it is estimated that 60% of the global population will live in cities. High density is a part of the present and the future. I think it will get even denser as we move into the 21st century.”

He also outlined an upcoming eco project for a hotel which adjoins the famous Willis Tower (former Sears Tower) in Chicago. The hotel contains a solar deck, solar hot water, wind turbines, all integrated into an existing icon.

Accordingly Smith emphasised the need to ensure that existing buildings are energy efficient. “Our immediate aim is to address the existing stock,” he concluded.

The following day was billed as an ‘Action Forum’, which included a six-person panel discussion on the subject of Why are buildings in the Middle East not sustainable enough?

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