Green Building Solutions International

Building Envelope Performance Testing in Complex and Uniquely Shaped Spaces

Recently honored with the Innovation Award in this year's best tall buildings category, from the Chicago based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Al Bahar Towers, the new headquarters for the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, is both a technological step forward and promises to be one of the most sustainable commercial buildings in the UAE.

Covered in a unique motorized shade system, the system provides adjustable shading to move with the sun, opening and closing to regulate the intensity of the direct sun striking the window surface, greatly moderating the solar heat gain.

As a part of the Al Bahar Towers’ sustainability specifications, the building was required to pass air tightness tests at twice the UK standard requirement. GBSI conducted over 15 tests on individual and unique areas of the building to give the client confidence that this innovative façade would not be a source of leaks of expensive air-conditioned air.

GBSI conducted several types of tests commencing with a test of the critical junction between the façade and steel mounting pins for the shade system, which punctured the building at nearly 1,000 points. Tests of typical floors and unique spaces such as the three-story atrium crown space at the top of each tower, raised floor plenums in the data rooms and the volume of the connecting podium between the two towers were also conducted.

GBSI helped ensure the success of the final pressurized air tightness tests through pre-test inspections and interaction with the design and construction team. In addition to testing qualifications, GBSI personnel bring 30 years of experience in building design and construction to provide meaningful contributions as the project moves from the design and construction phase to completion.

Fan placement diagram created by GBSI for a complex building air tightness test
Smoke placement during fan pressurization
Infrared and smoke testing
Fan placement in multi fan testing