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DUBAI: The world’s first air-conditioned office building produced by a 3D printer has just opened in Dubai.

The 250m² structure, dubbed the Office of the Future, was built using a 3D printer measuring 20ft high x 120ft long and 40ft wide. It has been erected near the Emirates Towers in Dubai and will house the temporary office of the Dubai Future Foundation.

The 3D-printed office was constructed using a special mixture of cement and a set of building material designed and made in the UAE and the USA. The materials are said to have undergone a range of tests in both China and the UK to ensure their reliability. An arc shape was adopted for the building for safety purposes and to ensure the stability of the building.

The building technology with access control and surveillance systems was provided by Siemens and is integrated into a central building management platform. The technology ensures low operating costs and reduced energy consumption.

“We are proud to be participating in this pioneering project and supporting Dubai’s Smart City strategy by providing state-of-the-art technology for intelligent, digitalised building automation and controls,” said Matthias Rebellius, CEO of the Siemens Building Technologies Division.

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This photo and top: ©Dubai Future Foundation

The key components of the Office of the Future are integrated with the help of Siemens’ Desigo CC building management platform. The platform enables the control and optimisation of the building’s technical infrastructure, surveillance, air conditioning and access control systems from a central location. A customised platform displays the status of the various systems in real time, enabling operators to accurately monitor and control the building’s performance.

The Office of the Future concept uses a Siemens video surveillance system with high-definition cameras and web-enabled access via apps and web clients, and an access control system based on biometrics and smart cards. Siemens also supplied fire protection technology for detection, alarms and control, including multi-sensor detectors which can adapt to changing environments, analyse signals for false alarms and protect against hazards such as the presence of carbon monoxide. The system can also be analysed, evaluated and diagnosed remotely for more efficient maintenance.

Innovative features have been adopted in the office building to reduce energy consumption such as window shades to offer protection from direct sunlight and keep the building cool.

The labour involved in the printing process included one person to monitor the function of the printer, a group of seven people to install the building components on site and a team of 10 electricians and specialists to take care of the mechanical and electrical engineering. As a result, the labour cost is said to have been cut by more than 50% compared to conventional buildings of similar size.

In order to manage the execution of the project, additional mobile printers were located at the construction site. Advanced computers were also used to help ensure quality control and facilitate the printing processes.

The full model took only 17 days to print after which the internal and external designs were adopted. The office was installed on site within two days, significantly faster than traditional construction methods involving A category office buildings in such an innovative project.