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The Masdar Institute: A Lesson in Sustainable City Planning and Implementation Nikita Jayswal & Brian Warshay, The Masdar Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Background  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) derives a large portion of its GDP from oil revenues & recognizes that oil is a dwindling resource.  To maintain its place among world energy leaders, the UAE decided to develop a human capital and technology renewable energy research hub.  Masdar City is budgeted at over USD $20 billion.  Masdar consists of three business units and one investment arm:  Masdar Carbon  Masdar City  Masdar Power  Masdar Venture Capital  Masdar City designed to be the world’s first zero carbon, zero waste city powered by 100% renewable energy, a ‘living laboratory.’  The Masdar Institute, Phase 1A of Masdar City, is a graduate institution started in 2009 that presently includes over 150 students from more than 30 countries studying in the various components of renewable energy and sustainability engineering technology and policy.

Masdar City Master Plan

Design for Masdar Company HQ

Progress  The first phase of the Masdar Institute is completed, which includes ~80 apartments, laboratories, library, classrooms, administration offices, retail shops, and a gym.  Students moved into the Masdar Institute in September, 2010 and have begun the second year of classes and research.

The Masdar Institute, with apartments in orange, labs in silver, and wind tower rising above campus

Masdar Institute Labs designed with material to minimize cooling load and allow daylighting without obscuring workspace

Wind tower that facilitates natural air flow throughout campus

Masdar Library and Atrium inside of the campus

Design Goals  Develop a sustainable city that generates its own energy and reduces resident energy and water demand.  Recycle or reuse construction debris and source low-carbon building materials locally .  Take advantage of the climate of the UAE to minimize cooling load, lighting, water use, and waste.  Replace fossil fuel intra-city transport with sustainable personal rapid transport (PRT) system.  Provide sustainable residences for 40,000 inhabitants before the end of the decade.

Preliminary Results  10 MW photovoltaic array generates a portion of the Institute’s electricity.  3,156 photovoltaic panels cover the rooftops generating 1 MW of power.  90% of construction debris has been recycled.  Campus initiatives include a Sustainability Club, 350.org Club, Sustainable Urban Gardening Club, and D-Lab Class providing renewable energy engineering support to developing nations.  Smart appliances in apartments will test resident responses to experimental market incentives to reduce energy & water consumption.

Masdar Sustainability Project  

The Masdar City, Abu Dabai is a unique project to be carbon neutral, the university is a place to live and study in a completly planned new...

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