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Global Best Projects, Award of Merit: Zayed University

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Built in 2011, this campus features 2.1 million sq ft of gender-separate facilities for 6,000 students. It was built to be technologically advanced but easily maintainable and sustainable in an environment of high winds and up to 130° F temperatures. Since the 100-person global design team hailed from places as far away as India, Scotland and New Zealand, daily video conferencing, sketch pads and shared screen collaboration were key strategies to foster communication. There also were 3,500 construction workers from many nations. A judge noted "excellent design that accommodated nuances" of building in the region.

Location Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Project Team

Owner Mubadala Development Co., Abu Dhabi

Architects Pascall+Watson Architects Ltd., U.K.; BRT Engineering, Germany

General Contractor Al Habtoor-Murray & Roberts JV/Parsons Intl. Ltd., U.A.E.

Engineers JBA Consulting Engineers, U.S. (MEP); Cansult Maunsell/AECOM, Abu Dhabi (Civil); Robery Bird Group, Dubai, U.A.E. (Structural)


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