Samir Al-Azri

Structural Option
G.Muttrah Residential and Commercial Complex
Muscat, Sulatante of Oman

This is a student-generated Capstone Project e-Portfolio (CPEP) produced in conjunction with the AE Senior Thesis e-Studio.

Building Statistics


Building Name

G.Muttrah Commercial and Residential Complex

Location and Site

Plot No. 320 at MBD east G.Muttrah, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

Building Occupants

Mixed use: Residential, Offices and Retail


25900 m2 (280,000 Square feet)

Number of Stories

9 Floors (1 below grade for Parking)


Salim Alshanfari
Jamal Alshanfari


Engineering Studies office


Engineering Studies office

Construction Management

Al Rawahi International Company LLC

Geotechnical Engineer

Oman Drilling & Soil Technology Co. LLC

Construction Dates

Sept 2009-Sept 2011

Project Construction cost

6M R.O ( $15.5M)

Project Delivery Method



Design & Function
            G.Muttrah Commercial & Residential Complex is a mixed use building in a commercially developing region in the city of Muscat. Previously known as a tourist attraction, the Great Muttrah area has grown into one of the city’s busiest commercial district. The G.Muttrah Commercial & Residential Complex is one of the many mixed used building in construction at moment. The building will include retail in the ground floor, offices in the second floor and 96 apartments in the rest of the 6 floors. The building sets back about 9m from the north side from the third to the eighth floor. A parking garage in the basement will serve 115 slots for the tenants due to the limited parking spaces in the area. Tenants on the 8th floor can be lucky enough to get a view of the ocean.

The architecture in Oman is different compared to the surroundings countries, especially United Arab Emirates. The government boasts in the fact that Oman is able to keep its traditional architecture. Certain features are enforced to be incorporated into the building in order to unify the architecture of the city.  One of the features is the arch which the G.Muttrah Complex has used in its façade to distinguish the commercial from the residential floors.

Zoning and Building Codes
          Municipality of Muscat Building Code: The G.Muttrah building is located in Muscat meaning it complies with the codes provided by the Municipality of Muscat, which cover the design and general building codes. However, the structural design in governed by the British codes, typically BS8110 (The design and construction of reinforced and prestressed concrete).

            The zoning of the Great Muttrah area is regulated by the Ministry of housing, where the maximum height is restricted to 27 meters (88.5 feet) above grade. Restrictions on the number of floors also exist at 8 levels above grade. There are no setbacks since the plot is only surrounded by service roads but a 3 meter deep arcade on the first floor along the perimeter of the building is required.

Historical Requirements
            Other than the architectural features that have to be included in the building, there are no historical requirements for the G.Muttrah Complex.

Building Envelope

            The majority of the façade consists of Omani marble wall cladding that is mechanically fixed and painted with sand mortar and colored grout to match different parts of the building. The marble in the corners of the building is painted to match the windows to create an appearance of a full glazed wall. Reinforced Glass concrete is also used as a façade in two strips running down the building which can be seen in the front elevation.
            The roofing of the building consists of the typical concrete slab followed by 70mm of average inclination screed, 50mm thick heat insulation, 4mm thick water proofing, 20mm thick mortar and topped with 30mm thick cement tile. Notice that a thick heat insulator is provided due to the fact that the climate in Oman is very dry and temperature averages over 110 degrees during the summer.

 Sustainable Features

            The Sultanate of Oman does not boast sustainable technology compared to the rest of the world. The only sustainable feature that could apply to the G.Muttrah is the use of local materials. Oman produces different kinds of local stones and marbles, while steel mills and cement manufactures are located within a 100 km of the city.

Mechanical System

            The commercial and office floors (first and second) are cooled using Horizontal Fan Coil units. These units range from approximately 750 cfm to 4400 cfm. Chilled water for the units is supplied from the roof top by two 2.5m x 8.5m chillers connected to three Chiller pumps, one of which is on standby for emergency pump. The rest of the floors (residential) are cooled using wall or duct mounted spilt air conditioning units. Ventilation is regulated using extract fans which are also mounted on the walls and ducts. Notice that the mechanical system only consists of a cooling system, which is due to the fact that the winter temperatures in Oman average between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. 


            A high tension 11 KV line is fed from the main supply line (provided by the ministry of Housing, Electricity and Water). The line feeds 11 KV Ring Main Units (RMU) erected in the two substations. Substation 1 holds two 100 KVA, 11KV/433V transformers with one RMU. Substation 2 on the other hand, holds three 100 KVA, 11KVA/433V transformers with two RMU’s.
            The low voltage electricity starts from the five feeder pillars which are connected to fifteen main distribution boards. Each MDB is designed as per the load requirement in each floor.  KWH meter have been provided in each feeder pillar to calculate the total consumption of the building.  More individual meters are connected to the distribution board to calculate the consumption of individual circuits.
            As for the lighting, the basement consists of two 36W fluorescent fixtures which are surface mounted, weather proofed with GRP body and acrylic diffuser. The first and second floor mainly consist of two 36W recessed fluorescent fitting with powder coated sheet steel body, injection molded P5 paralite louvers made of retardant polystyrene (FRP) and highly reflective surface.  Finally, the residential floors are provided with four 18w recessed fluorescent fitting (IP20 Rating) for the hall ways, and 18W recessed down lighter or 28W 2D ceiling mounted for the apartments.


            The project delivery method is a design-bid-build, while the construction manager on the site will be Al Rawahi International Company LLC. Excavation is scheduled to start in September 2009 and the construction phase is expected to last 24 months. More detail will be provided as the construction continues.


            The G.Muttrah Commercial & Residential Complex consists of a reinforced concrete frame, shear walls and a combination of reinforced concrete flat plate slabs on some floors and typical two way slabs on beams frame system on the others. The typical roofing/floor system span is between 3m and 9m. The material strength used is approximately 5,700 psi strength concrete and 65,000 psi steel strength.
The lateral system consisits of shear walls. Major shear walls are located around the perimeter of the building, while nine more walls are located in the interior spans of the building. The walls start at a thickness of 355mm at the basement and decrease to 203mm as they reach the roof.
The plate flat plate slabs with drop panels have a thickness ranging between 254mm's and 355mm’s. Two-way system slab-system is used for the majority of the building with a thickness between152mm’s and 203mm’s supported by beams ranging from 152mm x 508mm to 812mm x 508mm.    
Finally, the roof of the building is a 152mm slab that only has to carry the loads from the mechanical equipment on the rooftop. There are no snow loads for this building since the weather statistics show that the chances of snow in Oman are slim to none.

Fire protection

            Fire protection in Oman is governed by the Civil defense division of the Royal Police of Oman. The building is equipped with a sprinkler system where the sprinkles are spaced no more than 8 m and all the exits have a 1-hr fire rating. Smoke detectors are distributed throughout the first two floors and basement, while heat detectors are enforced in the kitchens of the residential floors. Two wet risers are located at the two front entrances of the building, which are about 46m apart. The main fire alarm control panel is located at the residential residence entrance.


            There are four elevators and three stair wells that service the building. Two main elevators are located at the residential entrance in the middle of the building facing the north side. The other two elevators are located at the west and east side of the building about 18 meters away from the edge of the building. All elevators are 1.5m x 2m inside cab dimensions, and they all run from the basement garage to the eighth floor. Exact mechanical information on the elevators is not available at the moment.
            The main stair well is also located at the residential entrance and runs from the basement to the eighth floor. Two more stairs are also provided, one at each side of the building next to the elevators. These stairs run from the basement all the way to the roof.
            As for the basement parking, there are two ramps used as a vehicular passageway. They are located opposite each other at the North-East and South-West corners of the building. The ramps are 4m wide and have a slope of 1:7.


            Two 100mm diameter PVC ducts hold the telecommunication wires from the service provider. The ducts connects the wires from the provider outlet to the Electro-Mechanical room in the basement, where it is then distributed to the rest of the building.

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