Dubai: Technal is celebrating its 40th year anniversary in the Middle East with ‘World of Technal’, a series of multi-city gathering of building and construction industry leaders, across GCC to analyse trends and developments in the industry. In Dubai the event focused on the importance of ‘User Centric Design for Tall Buildings’.
According to Sam Robinson, General Manager, Technal Middle East: “As per United Nations data, 68% of the world population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050. As urban areas get crowded the only option left is to build higher rise buildings (vertical cities) to accommodate this mass urbanisation. High rise buildings have a higher surface area of the building envelope than low rise buildings when put into a ratio with the specific ground area use. This increase of surfaces can be used to integrate more features into the building skin than before, for comfort of the occupants of buildings and also for better urban planning for city developers. ‘World of Technal’ Dubai edition addressed this transition of cities into ‘vertical cities’ of tomorrow. The core focus of the conference was on the building envelope of these vertical cities which will have to answer specific challenges of ‘compressed’ urban spaces, where more and more people will live per square kilometre.”
In his keynote speech, Sam Robinson said that exterior challenges, due to climate change are now even more severe, especially with the increase in ‘dust storms’ and ‘wind loads up to tornado scale’. Noise related reduction of ‘comfort’ is a key concern when designing purpose-built product solutions for the building skin and the shape of the building itself. He emphasized that building skin will be a key factor in the future.
“Today the skin just reduces the impact of the exterior climate on the interior environment conditions, by acting mainly as a separation layer. In the future, the building skin can also, minimise the environmental impacts of the urban ambient areas, by active and passive design measures and products. Today's building envelopes should also be designed to face threats such as fire, blast and ballistic attacks. Security for end users is of prime importance in today's tall buildings. The building envelope of tomorrow will become a “connecting layer” providing a connection to the interior with exterior whenever possible and truly enriching the ‘user living experience’ in buildings,” Robinson added.
Special highlight of the event was the global launch of Technal’s ‘TIGAL’, a revolutionary pull & slide system for buildings which gives the highest protection against noise, promotes high thermal comfort and demonstrates the highest level of tightness to prevent dust, rain and any external threats due to ever-changing weather in the region and beyond. The launch was broadcasted live from Barcelona streaming on YouTube across 20 countries. Dr Werner Jager, Director- Technal Marketing, Hydro Building Systems, and a world leading expert on aluminum system for façades, windows and doors, presented ‘TIGAL’ to the audience.
Martin Baersschmidt, Founding Partner, Edge Architects talked about the design of the brand new 1/JBR high rise residential tower in Dubai Marina and how they designed it with exceptional glazing and large format openings to give an incomparable user comfort to the residents of this award-winning tower.
Attendees listened to Agnes Koltay, Director, Koltay Facades; as she highlighted the façade engineering design and development process, including glass and stainless-steel curtain wall, glazed panoramic lift enclosure and large tension cable system in the lobby of the iconic Address Skyviews Tower.
Addressing noise pollution challenge was Bjorn Sanden, Market Development Manager, Kuraray Europe. He presented how acoustic performance of facades can be improved through acoustic interlayers in the glass. Douglas Sum, Associate, Built Environment, Aurecon; delighted the attendees with some of the façade tricks to keep the end user of the homes happy.
Another highlight of the event was an enlightening discussion about advanced façade engineering for high rise buildings in the Middle East led by Benjamin Beer, Director of Facades, Ramboll. Sreenivas Narayanan, Façade Specification and Compliance Officer at Siderise, spoke about the control of the fire development and noise across façade systems.
Robinson emphasized the following points as the main call of action from the event:
· Promote energy efficient facades: Promote the use of thermally enhanced facades to minimize the use of air conditioning, highlight BIPV integrated façade solutions and increase the usage of recycled aluminium in facades
· Protection against dust: The urgent need to build air, wind and watertight building envelopes is a necessity, this will minimize infiltration of fine particles/dust into the building
· Promote ‘user comfort’ in tall buildings as we spend 90% of our time inside buildings
· Protection against noise: Promote the use of smart operable vents in high rise buildings which can provide micro-ventilation and protection against urban noise
· Promote the use of sun protection devices, that allow natural light to enter the building without leading to glare or overheating or a change in the light colour
· Build in security features to protect against smoke and fire propagation/ spread inside the building, that could potentially spread in ‘vertical cities’ much faster than in today´s horizontal cities. Also, emphasize the need to build in burglary defense for the safety of the end-users.
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