A daring development in Doha
Situated in the very heart of Doha, Qatar’s capital and economic powerhouse, this ambitious urban redevelopment project encompasses 600,000 m2 and represents the royal family’s vision for their city. Marrying modern design with traditional Arabian architecture, the Msheireb will create sustainable urban living that reflects the city’s deep-rooted cultural heritage.
The BuroHappold Engineering team is providing integrated engineering consultancy throughout phases 2 and 3 of this project, which will support the design and construction of hotels, a retail galleria, a mosque, and extensive commercial and residential accommodation. Throughout this project we are referencing traditional Qatari building methods and fusing them with modern, energy efficient engineering solutions to create cohesive designs that can be applied easily and effectively across the development.
Keen to dispel Qatar’s reputation of having one of the world’s worst carbon footprints, our client wanted to achieve a sustainable regeneration project that prioritised both quality of design and conservation of resources. This, combined with the harsh environment in the country, provided a number of challenges for our team.
Another key aim for this project was to address the move toward a society dominated by the car and instead create a pedestrian orientated, people friendly quarter featuring walkways, piazzas and arcades, all set within beautiful landscaping.
To respond to the challenges posed by the Qatar climate, we used state of the art computer software to model and analyse a number of ancient building strategies to see if and how they could work within the new design. This informed our plan to direct cooling winds through the development, creating a gentle breeze and permeating buildings to provide natural ventilation wherever possible. The streets were staggered east to west to give intermittent patches of sunlight and shade, providing welcome relief from the searing summer heat.
Further adding value, we also implemented a storm drainage attenuation scheme that was designed to mitigate the potential for flash flooding that has become more prevalent in the region in recent times. Using a method common in the Western world and applying it to solve this Middle Eastern problem, we used storage tanks to hold storm water and then release it at a controlled rate so as not to flood the system. This ensured the prescribed targets for the discharge of storm water into the existing public drainage network were met, and contributed to the attainment of our client’s ambitious environmental credentials.
To achieve the client’s aim to create a development that depended less on car transport, considerable space needed to be reclaimed above ground. Our team engineered deep basements in the rock beneath the new buildings, making space for underground car parks that would reduce the number of vehicles at street level and instead allow room for these public areas, which include a galleria that can accommodate a stage and equipment for concerts and events
Sarah Prichard, UK Managing Director
By combining the old with the new while applying our worldwide expertise in unexpected but effective ways, we found solutions that reduced the energy consumption of the development, and subsequently its running costs and carbon emissions.
Using the past as a foundation for the future, we worked closely with the architects and other consultants to provide solutions that offer economic, social and environmental sustainability without compromising the visual heritage of the city. The true success of the project will become apparent in the future as the development is integrated with the wider city, becoming an iconic model in city centre regeneration for future projects around the world.
Services and approach
When we integrate our specialist teams around an approach, the benefits to the client multiply