GE’s new Abu Dhabi office demonstrates sustainable design for the cities of the future
One of the challenges of sustainable design is balancing environmental benefits with building an office that is well designed functionally and aesthetically. As more and more people live in cities, being able to overcome this challenge will define what cities of the future will end up being like.
Through its new office in Abu Dhabi, GE demonstrates how sustainable design can be implemented well by using recycled, renewable and sustainable materials. The company’s new green and contemporary office is located in Sowwah Square, the commercial business district development and a central component of Mubadala Real Estate & Hospitality’s flagship development, Al Maryah Island.
The new GE office is spread over 3,800 sq m (40,899 sq ft) across two levels in Sowwah Square, which features innovative architecture and integrates sustainable design leading to LEED Environmental Pre-certification, a rating that reflects the environment-friendliness of the development. The office has been designed by AK Design, a multi-disciplinary architectural and interior design firm, with a focus on openness and transparency.
GE has long history of partnership with Abu Dhabi, and has also joined hands with Mubadala Development Company to promote collaborations in commercial finance, clean energy research and development, aviation, and corporate learning. The new office is a clear testament to a long-term growth outlook for Abu Dhabi and GE’s commitment to support the Emirate’s Economic Vision 2030 with a focus on promoting a sustainable urban development framework.
The new GE office combines four office sites of the company in Abu Dhabi, with total employee strength of nearly 300. Offering a spacious 13 sq m (139 sq ft) of office space for every individual staff member, the Sowwah Square office will have the largest contingent of GE Energy and GE Oil & Gas teams – in line with the company’s operations in the Emirate, one of the world’s largest producers of oil & gas. Nearly 78 percent of the office follows an open plan, aimed at further enhancing employee welfare.
The GE office builds on the LEED Environmental Pre-certification of Sowwah Square by reflecting the same high standards in sustainability in its interiors. With a focus on enhancing energy efficiency, the office is aesthetically designed to roll out one of the best work environments for employees. The design also takes into consideration enhanced light penetration and maximizes external views of Al Maryah Island, a picturesque location, easily accessible from the heart of the city through an advanced network of roads and bridges.
All the products used in the design have been chosen for their recycled content, sustainability and minimal impact on climate change. Daylight control sensors as well as motion sensors have been deployed to maximize energy use efficiency. All appliances and lighting are from GE’s own portfolio, and have been selected for their environmental friendliness.