Al Wasl Properties leads the way with first Stratavault installation in the UAE
by Sally Cameron
Leading developer, Al Wasl Properties, has set a new standard in innovation by being the first developer to implement Citygreen’s Stratavault™ solution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A public space within a medium-rise but high density development, the project in Muhaisnah – a region of Dubai close to Sharjah – is yet to be completed but has already caused a stir in the design and construction communities.
Laith Wark, Founding Partner at Verdaus Landscape Architects, says, “This is a complex of 3000 apartments, offering affordable housing. The client wanted to provide a quality park for future residents, with large trees needed to provide shade and privacy between the apartment blocks. Shade will increase the duration that outdoor spaces will be useable, which is especially important for the children who will live in these apartments and would otherwise have little access to quality outdoor space.
“Planting large trees was therefore very important, but there was restricted space so trees needed to be planted in the pavement. The challenge was finding a solution that would provide the required soil volume and prevent trees from damaging surrounding infrastructure. The developer was keen to embrace an innovative solution, so Stratavault was selected due to a combination of good performance and because it was less expensive than Stratacell.
“Nine matrices of 3.6 x 3.6 x 1.22m (LWD) will house one tree each, two matrices of 19.35 x 3.6 x 1.22m will house four trees each, and one matrix of 8.1 x 3.6 x 1.22m will house two trees. Tree species include: Azadirachta indica, Zizihus spina-christi, Ceiba speciose, and Cassia roburghii. This is the first Stratavault installation in the UAE, so there’s a lot of excitement around the people involved in design and construction, and pride in being part of creating something that’s truly innovative with long-term value. The construction crews, consultants, and client had never seen this kind of technology being used previously.
“Whilst the project isn’t yet complete, we expect to see larger, longer lived trees, and better quality outdoor space. This will create a clear point of difference between this development and other affordable housing developments. In this market, rental rates are fixed by a central authority, so clear points of difference – such as large healthy trees – will give this development a competitive advantage over others.”
James Palmer, Sales Manager Landscape at W T Burden agrees, saying, “This is the first installation of Stratavault in Dubai and shows a growing appreciation for trees and the space they require for growth. Previous projects in the region have given little consideration for trees and the space they require, so hopefully this is the beginning of a change in attitude towards trees and their role and potential in the landscaping of projects.
“Overall, working with Citygreen was simple and easy, and there is a clear application for their products. They have global project references, with proven results, and great knowledge and technical support. They also assisted with site visits and provided installation supervision during the initial construction phase.”
With this first project drawing to a successful close and praised for leading the way in innovative urban tree design, we hope to see many more similar projects in the UAE. Stay tuned.