GOING BIG IN ABU DHABI April 2012
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and boasts some of the finest hotels in the Middle East, including a new five-star luxury hotel, which features a host of extravagant fixtures and fittings, including a unique internal Solar Shading solution from Levolux.
The iconic hotel occupies one of five towers, scaling 280 metres in height. It accommodates 382 rooms and suites, 199 serviced residences and a variety of exceptional leisure and conferencing facilities. The hotel’s central lobby is home to a sophisticated bar and a number of exquisite restaurants and provides an enviable vantage point, overlooking the Arabian Gulf and the world-famous Corniche.
Australian based architect, DBI Design were responsible for designing the building’s exterior, interior and landscaping. Following a challenging brief, Levolux worked collaboratively with the architect and the client to develop a custom Solar Shading solution to be applied internally against the south-facing elevation of the central lobby.
With its 20 metre high, curved, fully glazed exterior, the split-level lobby is exposed for long periods each day, to a fierce Arabian sun. In this region the sun’s rays are around twice as powerful as those received in central Europe, so the application of solar control is essential just to make buildings habitable, let alone comfortable.
To combat excessive solar heat gain and glare levels, Levolux created a unique solution comprising a series of fully automated, motorised, tensioned Roller Blinds. In total, Levolux provided 50 Blinds, each measuring 1.8 metres wide, with a drop of 20 metres. The scale of the installation is all the more impressive considering that the building’s glazing is not only curved on a horizontal plane, but is also inclined outwards at an angle of 15 degrees.
The motorised Roller Blinds, which are unguided, have twin drums at high level. One drum carries the fabric and another, which is fitted with an integral tensioning spring, is used to spool stainless steel tension cables. Stainless steel cables are connected to the hem bar of each Blind and then pass back around return pulleys to maintain constant tension.
Organised into nine zones or groups, Blinds are connected to standalone programmable controllers which take account of the position of the sun on any given day. A light sensor, positioned at high level, also allows the Blinds to respond to changing light levels. These features ensure optimum control of glare and daylight levels throughout the each day.
For ease of use, a single tough-screen user interface allows authorised personnel to adjust the position of the Blinds as required, by selecting from a number of pre-programmed settings. These settings are designed to bring the Blinds together simultaneously and silently, forming an interesting pattern or simply to deploy or raise all Blinds, as required.
To maintain precise alignment between Blinds, state-of-the-art motors and laser-guided tracking devices are fitted at high level to monitor each Blind’s position. Even allowing for a drop of almost 20 metres, Levolux was able to configure the Blinds, so that the hem bars of Blinds stopped at a pre-set position are aligned with a tolerance of just 5mm.
To complement the overall scheme, all Blinds are equipped with a durable, light grey fabric, which is highly resistant to dirt and fading.
This landmark development in Abu Dhabi has a unique architectural design which sets it apart from all others. The application of motorised, tensioned Roller Blinds from Levolux will ensure that guests and visitors can enjoy a light but cool interior, while taking in the spectacular outside views.