Designing solar protection façades for student residence buildings on the campus of Education City in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, presented a special challenge for the Burns & McDonnell architectural firm (Kansas City,USA). And not just because the emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula has temperatures of up to 50 °C in the shade: in addition, the student residence facilities have completely glazed façades, the buildings are to correspond to LEED certification (platinum), the solar protection façades must withstand the enormous wind loads typical of the country and, last but not least, convey messages through their design.
The material of choice was Omega 1520 stainless steel mesh – as an integral part of a sophisticated combination of energy saving and generation measures. Furthermore, the mesh was given a special surface treatment: using the etching technique, Arabian patterns were added that span the whole of the mesh façades.
280 mesh panels measuring up to 13.5 meters high and up to four meters wide stretch across an area of 7,000 square meters, providing targeted shading while also granting a high level of light transmission and allowing unhindered views from the building interior. What's more, the stainless steel mesh boasts a virtually unlimited service life.
Project name: Male/Female Student Housing
Location: Doha, Qatar
Architect: Burns & McDonnell