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Issue
Nine

Climate crime?

According to Professor Susan Roaf, the Burj Kallifa in Dubai is a “climate crime” which represents a backward step in modern architecture.  At 828 metres high, the world's tallest building is also the world's “first gigawatt building,” says Roaf…


According to Professor Susan Roaf, the Burj Kallifa in Dubai is a “climate crime” which represents a backward step in modern architecture.  At 828 metres high, the world's tallest building is also the world's “first gigawatt building,” says Roaf, and Dubai does not even produce enough energy to run it and keep it cool when fully occupied – in summer temperatures that can reach 50 degrees centigrade.  The cost of the building was also so high that it had to be rescued by foreign investors.

Compared to this, another new development called Masdar in nearby Abu Dhabi is a brand new car-free city in the desert with walk-up homes for 50,000 people, plus 1,500 new businesses and an Institute of Science and Technology (with links to MIT).  Designed by a new generation of architects and engineers who have incorporated many traditional features, the whole place is planned to run on renewable energy, including solar power, wind farms, geothermal and hydrogen power.

Unlike the Burj Kallifa, which is not connected to the city’s sewage system and dumps all its waste into tankers that dump it 20 miles away in pits in the desert, the city of Masdar will recycle all its water and biological waste for irrigation and fertiliser, etc. 

“If we want to future-proof our homes and our cities, we need such paradigm shifts in design,” says Roaf, “and Masdar is the model to inspire us – not the increasingly Fawlty Towers of Dubai or Las Vegas.”

 

 

 

 

"Climate crime?". Science Scotland (Issue Nine)
Printed from http://www.sciencescotland.org/feature.php?id=79 on 29/05/17 03:00:33 AM

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