An important milestone in the growth of BEEAH Group was chalked up in 2013 when London-based Zaha Hadid Architects won an international competition to design the company’s headquarters. Based in Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, BEEAH describes itself as a “sustainability pioneer” working across six key industries including waste management and recycling, clean energy, environmental consulting, education and green mobility. The new HQ would signal its expansion from a company founded to proactively tackle environmental issues in the UAE, to an international group with businesses in industries that are critical to realising a sustainable future.
Under the leadership of ZHA practice principal Patrik Schumacher, the now-completed BEEAH Group headquarters has been designed to respond to its environment, rising from the desert as a series of low-slung interconnecting “dunes” orientated and shaped to optimise local climatic conditions. “Embedded within its context of Sharjah’s Al Sajaa desert, the design echoes the surrounding landscape [which has been] shaped by prevailing winds into concave sand dunes and ridges that become convex when they intersect,” the architects say in a statement.
BEEAH Group headquarters in Sharjah by Zaha Hadid Architects
Performing the role of the group’s management and administrative centre, the facility has been built to achieve net-zero emission status. It’s powered by an on-site solar array and equipped with next-generation technologies, allowing it to operate efficiently. Ensuring all internal spaces are provided with ample daylight and views, while limiting the quantity of glazing exposed to the harsh sun, the two main “dunes” of the HQ contain the public and management departments (together with the administrative zone) that interconnect via a central courtyard, defining an oasis within the building which is integral to its natural ventilation strategy.
Visitors enter beneath the 15-metre-high dome which further enhances natural ventilation and allows passive daylight to enter the building. In addition to the central courtyard and open-plan office, the headquarters incorporates smart meeting rooms, an immersive visitors centre and an auditorium. The employee experience includes contactless pathways, a virtual concierge, smart meeting rooms and a companion app that automates day-to-day tasks. The building’s smart management system automatically adjusts lighting and temperature depending on occupancy and time of day. The rooms are also equipped for remote and hybrid work scenarios with powerful collaboration tools.
The 9000-square-metre BEEAH Headquarters has sustainability at its core with a high percentage of locally procured materials and is equipped with future-ready technologies to enable operations with minimal energy consumption. Glass reinforced fibre panels reduce solar gain while slab and glass cooling regulate interior temperatures for optimum comfort. On-site water treatment filtrates waste-water to minimise consumption and the “solar farm” charges Tesla battery packs to meet the building’s energy demand each day and night.
“The headquarters is the latest milestone for BEEAH Group as it continues to pioneer innovations for Sharjah and across the globe, establishing a base of operations for the group to diversify into future-critical industries,” the Zaha Hadid Architects team says. “With their new headquarters, BEEAH demonstrates how technology can scale sustainable impact and ultimately serve as a blueprint for tomorrow’s smart, sustainable cities.”
ZHA delivered the BEEAH headquarters in collaboration with sustainability engineers and consultants Atelier Ten and Buro Happold, project managers Matthews Southwest, construction contractor Al Futtaim Construction, and MEP engineers Al Futtaim Engineering. Smart building technologies by Microsoft, Johnson Controls and EVOTEQ, a BEEAH Digital venture.
Embedded within its context of Sharjah’s Al Sajaa desert, the design echoes the surrounding landscape, shaped by prevailing winds into concave sand dunes and ridges.