Masterplan Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Masterplan Masdar City

Masdar city aims to achieve all 10 sustainability goals defined by WWF One Planet Living; these are - zero carbon, zero waste, sustainable transport, sustainable materials, sustainable food, sustainable water, habitats and wildlife, culture and heritage, equity and fair trade, and health and happiness.

The city will house approximately 50,000 people and up to 1,500 businesses focusing on sustainable products and services. Globally, the city strives to become an example of a holistic sustainable development and create a path for others to follow; locally, it improves the quality of human life and enhances biodiversity.

Transsolar’s climate concepts are inspired by the local ancient architecture and learning from the natural adaptation strategies of the local flora and fauna in response to the harsh local environmental conditions and are optimized by rigorous mathematical modelling, computational simulations, and mockup tests. They integrate the philosophy of energy demand reduction, system optimization, and renewable energy generation in the architectural design and people’s lifestyle for achieving zero energy, carbon neutral design for the city.

The cityscape designed in response to Transsolar’s proposal protects the city from hot daytime wind and high solar radiations while passive cooling is achieved through night breezes. Combination of passive engineering solutions (e.g. strategically located “wind towers”, evaporative cooling, etc.) and passive design features (e.g. self-shading, operable shading, thermal mass, surface reflectivity, etc.) create exceptionally comfortable outdoor, semi-outdoor, and indoor environments. Transsolar also designed and evaluated various passive and active indoor climate-control strategies and collaborated with the design team for developing concepts for energy generation, distribution and supply to ensure net-zero energy operation within the city’s footprint.

Masdar City is designed to require only 20% energy compared to Abu Dhabi; this energy will be provided by onsite renewable energy production systems making the city a truly net-zero, carbon neutral, sustainable development. Onsite measurements have confirmed improved comfort conditions in the city by as much as 20°C (38 °F) compared to central Abu Dhabi.