The distinguishing feature of the iconic towers is their protective skin of 2,000 umbrella-like glass elements that automatically open and close depending on the intensity of sunlight. Inspired by the 'mashrabiya', geometrically-designed wooden lattice screens that have been used to fill windows of traditional Arabic architecture since the 14th century, the 'intelligent' façade of the Al Bahr Towers is dynamically controlled by a building management system. The adjustable shades help reduce interior heat gains caused by sunlight by around 50 percent. The eco-friendly towers are one of the first buildings in the Gulf to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating.[3] They were placed second at the Emporis Skyscraper Award – the world's premier honorary event for high-rise architecture – for projects completed in 2012.