Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre listed among top sustainable projects worldwide
Now in its fifth year, the WAN Awards have evolved into the world’s largest architectural awards programme. The awards’ judging panel features international experts with a wealth of experience, looking at more than 1,300 entries across the globe in several categories. The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre, which features various energy-saving and environmentally-friendly technologies, was shortlisted in the Sustainable Building of the Year category along with five other prestigious entries.
Ghanim Al Hajeri, Director-General of the Zoo and Aquarium Public Institution in Al Ain, commented, “The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre is a symbol of national pride, one that continues to drive the late Sheikh Zayed’s vision of wildlife preservation, and celebrates the history of the desert environment and how people can and have adapted to it. We are honoured to be shortlisted in this category, following the Centre’s recognition earlier this year as the National Winner, U.A.E., of the “Social Project of the Year Award’ by the prestigious MEED Quality Awards for Projects 2013.
“The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre is a leading example in sustainable design, and falls directly in line with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 to develop Abu Dhabi as a sustainable Emirate. With the support of the ZAPIA Board of Directors – under the chairmanship of Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre will showcase the conservation heritage of the late Sheikh Zayed and help chart a sustainable future for desert living.” The Centre is in the process of applying for LEED Platinum certification, an international rating that assesses the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The Centre has also received the five pearl rating of the Estidama Pearl Rating System (PRS) in the design phase, making it the first U.A.E. government development to attain this high a rating for sustainability.
Set against the backdrop of Jebel Hafeet, the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre has been beautifully sculpted to mirror its breathtaking surroundings. The Centre complements the conservation efforts of Al Ain Zoo, and is set to offer a museum, gallery and a science facility to promote environmental preservation and sustainability through interactive and interpretive exhibits.