Masdar City Square to feature Abu Dhabi’s first net-zero energy office building

Development will contribute to the UAE's initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 2050

Masdar City will soon be home to the capital's first net-zero office building. Photo: HK Strategies
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Masdar City, the sustainable community in Abu Dhabi, is to be home to a new development that will include the capital's first net-zero office building.

Masdar City Square will cover 29,000 square metres and feature seven single and multi-tenant office buildings, plus a parking facility, enhancing Masdar's contribution to the UAE's net-zero by 2050 strategy.

Work on the development will begin this year and is scheduled for completion in 2024.

The building will use no more energy than it produces by integrating energy efficiency-focused design and systems, and renewable energy technologies, Masdar said.

"The MC2 Headquarters building will be immediately identifiable by its innovative solar photovoltaic panel canopy," it said.

The groundbreaking ceremony for Masdar City Square. Courtesy Masdar

Six of the buildings will be 4-Pearl Estidama, LEED Platinum, and WELL Gold certified. LEED Platinum is the highest certification provided by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design programme, used to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design.

Masdar City Square will be located adjacent to Masdar City’s existing development, which is centered around the Mohamed bin Zayed University for Artificial Intelligence and the Siemens Middle East Headquarters.

The new development will incorporate the existing International Renewable Energy Agency headquarters and will include courtyards, a daycare, an amphitheatre plaza, shaded pedestrian boulevards, a fitness centre, meditation room, and more.

Faithful+Gould, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, has been awarded a project management consultancy services contract, while global architectural and consulting firm Woods Bagot will handle design and construction supervision consultancy.

Masdar City opened in 2010. All buildings within it are mandated to achieve at minimum a 3-Pearl Estidama rating, meaning they are designed to reduce energy consumption by at least 40 per cent and reduce water consumption by at least 40 per cent, compared with regular buildings.

What is the UAE's net-zero initiative for 2050?

In October, the UAE announced an ambitious strategic initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 2050, with the country investing Dh600 billion ($164bn) in clean and renewable energy sources over the next three decades.

The UAE enjoys the world’s lowest-cost solar power and is home to three of the largest solar facilities in the world. It is also the first Arab country to develop a peaceful nuclear energy programme.

The Barakah nuclear plant will reduce gas consumption by about 1,000 million cubic feet per day — the equivalent of 205,000 barrels of oil — with savings estimated at $7.4bn per annum in terms of oil barrels, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said, citing a recent report by S&P Global.

Earlier this week, work started to load fuel into Barakah's third reactor, in the latest step towards it becoming fully operational.

The first two units are already operational and provide clean energy to the national grid for homes and businesses across the country.

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Updated: June 24, 2022, 7:52 AM
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