Special Reports
Zero Net Energy City - Masdar Development

By Myles Huddart
Just Cause
July 5, 2008

The first zero waste, zero carbon emission city is to be constructed in Abu
Dhabi, UAE. Masdar City, a $22 billion complex designed by Sir Norman Foster +
Partners, will be kicked off with the completion of a mixed-use positive energy
headquarters building, the first of its kind in the world. Designed by Chicago
architects Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the headquarters, which
includes commercial and residential spaces, is scheduled for completion in 2010,
with the city complex to be completed in 2023. As a positive energy building,
the building is designed to produce more energy than it consumes.
From the Melange article:

In addition to being the first mixed-use net positive energy building in the
world, Masdar Headquarters will:

Be the lowest energy consumer per square meter for a modern class A office
building in an extremely hot and humid climate

Feature one of the world's largest building-integrated photovoltaic arrays
Employ the largest solar thermal driven cooling and dehumidification system
Be the first building in history to generate power for its own assembly,
through development of its solar roof pier before the underlying complex.

Every aspect of this project is dedicated to sustainable practices in building
construction and subsequent use and occupation of the city complex. The massive
complex of solar panel arrays that make up the primary roof of the headquarters
will be constructed first and used to generate power for continuing construction
of the building, another first in a series of firsts relative to the
construction of this ambitiously conceived building and city complex. The
headquarters building will include solar power for cooling and water
desalination, sustainable building materials, wind turbines for further power
generation, grey water capturing for irrigation of the landscaping, all of which
will contribute to significant reductions in water use and energy consumption.
Here is a stunning work of animation depicting the exterior and interior
environment of the Masdar City headquarters.

For now, perhaps the most interesting thing about this project is that it is
being planned and executed in an oil rich and extremely hot part of the world,
and will be a self-sustaining, car-free development containing numerous
educational and research facilities. This will be widely considered as a model
development for future community developments all over the world. Even if only a
portion of the goals conceived for this project are accomplished over the course
its construction and development, there are many lessons to be learned.


Promoting Green Building Design, Construction and Operation, Sustainable Living,
Clean Technology, Renewable Energy Resources and Energy Independence