Sustainable design strategies have been integral to the development of the concept of the Oasis of Knowledge and will continue to be critical through construction and occupancy.These strategies not only provide healthier environments for occupants but also ensure more efficient means for building operation.A variety of concepts focused on the creation of an environmentally friendly and cost-effective campus have been employed.
Massing and Orientation
Sustainability at the scale of the campus site can make dramatic changes to the comfort and functionality of the campus buildings.Thus, thesitingof the buildings was carefully analyzed to provide a campus that responds to natural elements, most importantly sun, wind, and sand.The overall massing of the complex minimizes effects of harsh western light by allowing the buildings to shade one another in the late afternoon sun.South-facing glazing has been minimized to reduce solar gain, while northern-facing windows flood the Gallery with light.The building mass additionally responds to capturing the cool sea breezes from the northwest and buffering from hot landside winds from the southeast.The form of the boundary wall, and the protective curvilinear roof of the buildings will alleviate the effects of sandstorms.The Oasis itself is shielded by the protective wrapping of the building mass.
The landscape design for the campus fully integrates sustainable practices in a multifaceted approach involving plantings, shading strategies, and water reduction and reclamation.By reducing the area that must be irrigated through the use of native vegetation and xeriscaping, the water demand will be greatly reduced.Strategically placed shade trees along pedestrian walkways and uncovered carparks provide relief, while not overtaxing water resources. Trees offer shading to the buildings along facades adjacent to the entry courts.Within the lush respite of the Oasis, evaporative cooling provided by bodies of water will enhance comfort during warm weather.The gray water reclamation system used for irrigation also minimizes water consumption from public utilities providing cost and energy savings.
The shading strategies of the campus were conceived to provide both intricate lighting patterns as well as wholesale energy savings.To reduce cooling loads for the college and support buildings, a shading trellis stretches over each structure effectively reducing the amount of direct sunlight that ever reaches the building.Comprised of an aluminum-perforated screen, the trellis will reflect sunlight and allow ventilation in the air cavity shaped by its underside and the structure of the campus building.The trellis continues past the campus buildings and over the adjacent parking structure.Through the perforations over the carpark, direct sunlight is cast in elaborate patterns inspired by Islamic geometries.
Additionally, each campus building is fitted with terracotta shade screens that wrap the facades facing the entry courts and portals.Similar to the trellis, these terracotta screens deflect direct heat gain by absorbing sunlight.This strategy of sunlight absorption is important at the pedestrian level to prevent reflective glare and heat within the entry courts.Air space behind this shade screen provides ample ventilation as well as enables windows to be set deep within the shaded space to prevent excessive heat gains.
The heating demands of the new campus will be minimal in the desert climate.However, to minimize the effect of diurnal swings on interior conditions, the feature wall that runs along the southern edge of the Gallery will provide thermal mass.This will permit heat collected in the wall during the day to gradually dissipate into the Gallery after sundown to passively heat the space.
Daylighting The spiral geometry shaping the campus allows for a predominately north-facing curtain wall that offers generous illumination of the Gallery.Well-shaded windows in offices and classrooms enable daylight to enter the buildings while preventing direct solar gain.These glazing strategies maximize day lighting to reduce lighting loads.
Through the design of a dual-zoned mechanical system, much of the public spaces of the building can be naturally ventilated through temperate parts of the year.The Gallery is fitted with operable glass walls to enable the space to be opened to the Oasis in winter and closed in summer to be fully conditioned.When open, the gallery will be naturally ventilated.Additionally, natural ventilation provides a key role in preventing heat from reaching the buildings by flushing the cavities between the building and the roof trellis and wall shade screen.
Quality of the Interior Environment
Indoor environmental quality conditions affect the health, happiness, and productivity of its occupants.In order to create an elite campus, enhanced indoor air quality, lighting conditions, noise control, and comfort levels must be attained.Strategies include using low off-gassing interior finishes, utilizing effective ventilation, maximizing daylighting while reducing glare, and controlling acoustics.
Locally available materials will reduce not only cost but also the impact of the material on its environment by decreasing life cycle costs associated with material transport.Additionally, readily renewable, recycled, and recyclable materials will be used for finishes.Natural materials including stone, wood paneling and terracotta provide the basis for sustainable material selection at the University of Dubai.
Smart Building Technologies
Smart building systems will be employed throughout the campus including: state-of-the-art building automation systems to operate mechanical equipment and reduce energy consumption and occupancy detectors to monitor and control lighting.
Minimizing Water Use
Low-flow fixtures throughout the campus will minimize water needs as a whole.Additionally, irrigation needs will be accommodated through the use of gray water reclamation, which also greatly reduces the intake of water from the public utility.Ponds located near the Gateway act as both landscaping features and sources of effective gray water filtration.
The use of commissioning for all building systems will ensure design intent is achieved and will provide the University of Dubai with a comprehensive facility operation plan.The highest and most efficient performance of all equipment will also be assured through the commissioning process.
The security measures of the new University of Dubai will be both effective and unobtrusive.The boundary wall and gated entrance of the campus provides the immediate needs of regulating entry onto the site.Within the site itself, safety is maintained through both high-tech and low-tech strategies. The campus will be equipped with a closed-circuit television network to monitor security.Individual access cards will control after-hours entry into buildings.Additionally, the campus design lends itself to the development of a secure environment through its focal point on public spaces; views and building orientations create a watchful environment of passageways and gathering spaces.The close proximity of the parking areas to the portals also ensure short walks to the in-doors.
Construction Phasing and Future Growth
Careful consideration had been made for the phased construction plans for the campus development.To ensure that the campus is perceived as an intact and substantially complete community, the aluminum roof trellis will be constructed over the entirety of the building spaces.By doing so, such components as the Health and Fitness Building, Emirates School of Management and Professional Development, and the College of Law,
Mediation, and Arbitration can be expanded upon or constructed later.The lightweight modular trellis system would allow for easy disassembly to accommodate the construction of these buildings.This strategy will provide ample on-grade covered parking in these areas while maintaining the integrity of the architectural form.
Future growth of the campus can be accommodated in three distinct strategies in anticipation of the variety of growth needs of the University of Dubai. The first two strategies will account for space expansion needs for existing colleges or support buildings.Initially space can be appended to existing buildings by maximizing available area already beneath the roof trellis.After this area has been occupied, colleges and support buildings can grow by expanding into existing parking beneath the trellis, thereby utilizing the parking slab already constructed.
To accommodate additional campus buildings, future growth would occur as a natural extension of the spiral mass to the western boundary of the site below the athletic field.This extended campus would still offer close proximity to parking as well as key common areas, such as the conference center and library.
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