Zayed University, located in the new administrative district of Abu Dhabi, is a university campus which can comfortably accommodate 10,000 students. The most striking feature of this project is the 400m-long, steel-framed, aluminium-clad architectural roof which envelopes the university building facilities below. Robert Bird Group’s role across this challenging project included value engineering and alternate concept development across all buildings. We undertook design and construction methodology reviews of the feature roof and detailed design of the central library, convention centre, administration and ancillary service buildings.

Year Completed
Building Metrics
Total Area: 213,000m²
Al Habtoor Leighton / Murray & Roberts JV

Primary Contractor:
Al Habtoor Group
Hadi Teherani
Robert Bird Group Services:
Structural Engineering
Civil Engineering

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

Structural Features

This fast-tracked project has required a design and documentation process focused on delivery, which we achieved by working with our talented site team and staff in Australia and UK Operations.

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