Masdar Institute expansion begins

A second phase of construction will dramatically expand the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology campus.

ABU DHABI // A second phase of construction that will dramatically expand the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Mist) campus began yesterday.

The first phase of the 43,000-square-metre campus opened last month. Over the next 18 months, phase two will add another 82,000 square metres to include student lodgings, seven open laboratories, a conference facility, a swimming pool and a gym.

Developed by the Abu Dhabi clean energy company, Masdar, the hi-tech campus is at the heart of Masdar City, which Masdar hopes will be the world's biggest carbon-neutral development.

The Abu Dhabi developer Aldar is managing the institute project, while the construction contract has been awarded to the Arabian Construction Company.

The new building complex will sit alongside the existing campus, and will incorporate similar energy-efficient design elements such as shaded streets, natural ventilation and heat-reflecting facades. MIST was established in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to focus on clean-energy research and technological development.

Alan Frost, director of Masdar City, said the first phase of Mist will be completed in 2012. The first phase of Masdar City, including commercial, residential, and retail space, will be completed in 2015, he said.

First-phase Masdar City developmentswill accommodate 8,000 residents and up to 10,000 workers, significantly down from earlier plans to accommodate 90,000 people by 2016.