Masdar City (Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates)
Masdar City (Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates)
The project for Masdar City was launched in 2008 with the aim of developing the most sustainable eco-city in the world. Situated in a strategic location, it is only 20 minutes away from downtown Abu Dhabi, and 40 minutes from Dubai.
With the increasing challenges of climate change and the shifting paradigm of the energy consumption models from oil-based systems to clean-tech solutions, Masdar City wants to position itself as a “greenprint” for other cities to replicate.
Combining traditional Arabic architecture with modern technology, the city’s buildings are extremely energy efficient in active and passive ways (e.g. the design and high insulation of the façades and the construction materials that are used minimise direct solar absorption, making the perceived temperature lower and reducing the need for air-conditioning). Masdar City also uses renewable energy sources all over the urban settlement to improve energy consumption patterns: rooftop solar technology and a photovoltaic power plant produce electricity for the whole city.
Research and Development activities are ensured by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an institution dedicate to the development of innovative solutions in the fields of sustainability, energy, and environment. The Masdar Free Economic Zone enables an easy set up for any kind of business, attracting start-ups, SME’s and large companies to this technology cluster.
The city already has a wide range of businesses, schools, cafés, restaurants, and residential apartments fully functioning, with a few thousand people living and working there.
Improved solid waste management;
Improved Bio-Waste management;
Improved Water management;
Improved Energy management;
Improved Intelligent Transport Systems;
Improved Education and Training;
Improved supports for business.
Description of the specific objectives:
- Become a “greenprint” for cities that aim to address rapid urbanisation issues, improve energy and water consumptions, reduce waste production, and lower CO2 emissions;
- Boost the clean-tech energy industry in Abu Dhabi to be a catalyst for the economic diversification of the Emirate;
- Be an emerging technology ecosystem and attract businesses to further develop the local economy.
Masdar (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Government’s Mubadala Investment Company).
- The effects of climate change represent a challenge in cities like Abu Dhabi, where weather already is an issue;
- For years the United Arab Emirates have been relying on the oil business to sustain economic growth. Creating a sustainable business model for the transition to a clean-tech paradigm is crucial to their development.
High performance buildings with intelligent architecture and design:
- Energy and water demands are 40% lower than average;
- Minimum Estidama Pearl Building Rating System certification of three pearls (comparable to LEED Gold);
- Built with low-carbon cement and 90% recycled aluminium.
- Smart network of transportation options;
- Low-carbon public transportation;
- Driverless Personal Rapid Transit (PRT);
- Car-sharing programme using electric vehicles;
- Easily accessible and strategically positioned car parking lots;
- Metro Line and Light Rail Transit (LRT) to Abu Dhabi (in the future).
- Masdar City Solar Photovoltaic Plant (10 MW);
- Highly efficient appliances, low-flow showers, smart water metres, a water tariff, and treated wastewater (recycled for irrigation) allow improved water conservation.
- There is already a community of people living and working in Masdar City’s 6,000,000 square metres total site area;
- Several companies have offices in the city: Etihad Airways, General Electric, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Headquarters, Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Schneider Electric, and Siemens;
- Some of the most remarkable buildings in the city are up and running: the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (with residential units that house 287 students, over 100 faculty members and researchers, and four research centres of excellence); Siemens Middle East Headquarters; International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Headquarters; the Incubator Building; the Knowledge Centre; Masdar Institute’s Laboratories;
- Some research and development projects that are ongoing include: Masdar Solar Hub (Photovoltaic Test Centre, CPV Testing Facility, and Masdar Institute Solar Platform); Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) / Food and Biofuel; Electric Energy Storage Solutions Hub; Masdar City Eco-Villa Prototype; Smart Home Energy Management System (SHEMS); Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) System; Masdar City Construction Waste Management; Masdar Institute for Science and Technology Field Station; and Feasibility of District Cooling powered by Geothermal Energy.
- Masdar City is designed to capture winds and offer naturally cooler outdoor public spaces than elsewhere in Abu Dhabi (reducing the need for air-conditioning): 10 ºC reduction in perceived temperature;
- The buildings consume 40% less energy and water;
- A 10 MW solar power plant and 1 MW solar rooftop system in Masdar City ensure clean energy provision: the plant produces 17,500 MWh of clean electricity per year and avoids 7,350 tonnes of carbon emissions per year;
- About 35% of Masdar City’s planned development will be completed until 2022, and nearly 30% consist of dedicated area for private homes, schools, hotels, and office space. There is a growing market demand for space in the city;
- More than 450 companies (from start-ups to multinationals) from six continents are located in Masdar City;
- Around 50,000 people will live in Masdar City when the project is completed, with up to 40,000 people working and studying there every day;
- Prospering business environment: 5 days is the average time needed to set up any kind of business in the city; Masdar Economic Free Zone was named the best free zone in the world for R&D partnerships by fDi Magazine (Financial Times) in 2016; Masdar Free Zone’s One-Stop Shop team provides a comprehensive set of business support services;
- Strong knowledge and commerce environment: 14 US patens issued and more than 70 patent applications filed at Masdar Institute; 5 tech-based start-ups launched to date by Masdar Institute Alumni; 15 PhD and 532 Masters Graduates from Masdar Institute in 2015 and 2016.