Sustainable solutions with AHR

Glazed towers rise high above Abu Dhabi – but are they really a sustainable solution in such a harsh environment? AHR Architects operate at the confluence between sustainable design and technology, to create ecological buildings with efficient internal environments.

Gurminder Sanghera, Regional Director at AHR, guides us through some of their work – including the use of reactive façade systems to regulate light penetration.

Sustainable credentials (next slide)

Publicly display your green credentials, says Gurminder. The next slide shows major accreditations, from BREEAM and LEED, to WELL in the USA, Japan’s CASBEE and Australia’s Green Star.

Image info

Pictured is Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi, two 29-story towers designed by AHR, which employ a reactive façade to regulate light penetration.


Taking responsibility Gurminder Sanghera, AHR Architects

Reactive façade

Al Bahr Towers

Solar gain and glare are powerful adversaries in
the harsh, exposed setting of Abu Dhabi.

AHR drew on biomimicry and the mashrabiya of
Arabic heritage to create a moving skin that
tracks the movement of the sun, and realigns
itself to protect the internal environment.

Case Study – AHR

How it works There are sensors placed around the two Al Bahr towers, which track the position of the sun at any time in the day. This allows parts of the façade to open and close for daylight penetration and views.

Oastler building

University of Huddersfield

Back in the UK, the University of Huddersfield struggled with the disruption caused by glare to its learning spaces, and invested heavily in preventative measures like blinds.

Appointed to design the University’s new landmark building, AHR proposed a boomerang shape to maximise daylight penetration, along with fin-like structures to its east and west faces to combat glare.

Atrium (next slide)

An atrium in the heart of the Oastler building uses skylights to maximise natural light inside communal spaces. See the BIM-generated image on the next slide for an illustration.

Smart technology for better collaboration Gurminder Sanghera, AHR Architects

What’s Next?

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Many thanks to Gurminder Sanghera, and the team at AHR Architects.