Sowwah Square economically viable at LEED Gold

sowwah square Tower 1 lobby

Sowwah Square, Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District, did not apply for LEED Platinum because of the “point of diminishing returns”, according to its architects.

“When you get to LEED Platinum in this particular instance, there’s a point of diminishing returns. You can keep dialling in things but it’s going to cost a lot of money,” explained Steven Nilles, partner, Goettsch Partners.

Nilles told Middle East Architect that the firm, which is behind the design of the Mubadala development in Sowwah Island, creates projects that are economically sustainable.


“Every project has got its potential. Every project that Goettsch Partners designs is not only environmentally sustainable, but is economically sustainable, which hasn’t really been the case before the bust,” said Nilles.

“And there’s a lot of what we call ‘irrational exuberance’ in the marketplace with architecture that you’ve seen in many market sectors all over the world,” he added.

He added the firm creates a “value-driven solution”, where the project turns out to make money as well.

“At the end of the day, we stack up all the points and possibilities, price all the options and figure out what’s best for our client and what’s best for the project, and what’s economically viable,” he concluded.

The project, which is seen as Abu Dhabi’s answer to London’s Canary Wharf, has a LEED Gold certification.

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