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Aldar Headquarters

The first spherical building in the Middle East, the Aldar Headquarters was William Hare’s first BIM (Building Information Modeling) engineering project on civil structures in the area. Engineering and model data were used at the earliest stages of the project to take full advantage of early procurement and optimized use of material.

BIM at the earliest stage

Chosen as the best Steel project in Tekla BIM Awards 2009 competition and voted as the Best Futuristic Design 2008 by the Building Exchange Conference, Aldar HQ represents a striking addition to the Abu Dhabi skyline, whilst providing flexible office accommodation to the most astute of corporate occupiers.
In addition to the distinctive design of its structure and finishes, its floor plates retain a high level of efficiency and provide functional, open plan office space capable of accommodating a multitude of fit-out options. Set upon an elevated peninsula affording spectacular views of the city, canal and sea, the building’s location provides proximity to leisure and retail outlets located in Al Dana and throughout Al Raha Beach.

Full advantage of early procurement

William Hare uses Tekla's BIM software to develop their clients’ designs, maximize efficiency, and engineer practical solutions to manufacturing facilities. Engineering and model data were used at the earliest stages of the Aldar HQ project to take full advantage of early procurement and optimised use of material. As a group, William Hare has used Tekla software for the last 10 years. On petro-chemical projects BIM is a routine process for the company, but for civil structures, the Aldar HQ was the first BIM project for them in the Middle East. The challenge in the project was to absorb minor details from the engineer’s and architect’s design, for which more integrated model checks had to be carried out with other trades’ modeling solutions.

20% Savings in Detailing

“In initial engineering, a 5% time saving was achieved by utilizing the architect/consultant’s model with similar levels of accuracy. Greater time savings in engineering were achieved by importing data from follow-on trades, which interfaced with the steel structure. If we had been required to use 2D information on follow-on trades, it would have added another 20% to the detailing of the project,” says Andy Gleaves, Engineering Director at William Hare.

“In the fabrication stage, drawing details derived from the Tekla model were seamlessly used with our in-house fabrication data package to produce NC files for use with our CNC machines and to manipulate bill of material data. During erection, the drawings and reports along with the Tekla Web Viewer models were utilised to allow a wider coverage for those disciplines concerned to access and understand the structural details.” Andy Gleaves says.

Dramatic savings in workshop hours

A varying number of detailers worked on different stages of the project at William Hare. However, only the peak point required a maximum of 40 detailers. The company estimates to have saved approximately 25% in time compared with a traditional process of client and sub-trade drawing issuance. Because of using a sub-assembly concept, the company estimates having achieved 20% cost savings for the project in drawing editing. Producing individual component drawings with the sub-assembly concept enabled dramatic savings in workshop fabrication hours, in addition to de-skilling some of the component manufacture. 
Aldar’s new HQ is the first spherical building in the Middle East, standing at approximately 110 meters in height with 23 floor levels. The building has a diameter of 120.9 meters; its width varies from 10 meters at ends to 36.4 meters in the middle. Its structural design consists of a central concrete core for transferring environmental lateral loads, with peripheral diagrid support columns forming the building’s envelope. The building comprises 6400 tons of steel; 55,000 square meters of decking panels; and 25,000 cubic-meters of concrete, and has an area of glass of 25,000 square meters (3200 panels of glass). It will have a total gross floor area of 61,900 square meters and a total net area of 51,361 square meters. It includes many complicated elements, such as peripheral diagrid columns, an outer ring, internal ring, central ring columns, diagrid nodes, and an in-plane truss connecting the outer, internal and central columns at all floor levels. The roof is an integral part of the building with primary beams in line with the columns.
William Hare benefits from a significantly high proportion of repeat business in all the major structural market sectors. This includes oil & gas, petrochemical, pharmaceuticals, power, nuclear, civil, bridgework, airport, infrastructure, commercial and retail developments. They export and erect fabricated steelwork throughout the world and are committed to providing a fully integrated fabricated structural steel service across all structural disciplines. William Hare was formally incorporated in 1945 and is now the leading independent steel fabrication company in the UK with an annual turnover in excess of £180 million with the ability to finance projects up to £50 million. More information at