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Masdar City Won’t be Powered only by on-Site Renewable Energy – The Project to be Delayed

Middle East : 11 October 2010

Conclusions of the thorough review covering the UAE’s sustainable development at Masdar City were recently released.  Constructed just outside of Abu Dhabi, Masdar City is an ambitious clean technology center.

The review commenced early in the year and was put in place to ensure current market conditions and technological developments kept the master plan up to date.

It was specifically initiated to review the knowledge gathered over the last three years of construction and during the completion of first buildings, combined with the changes in the markets and technology.

CEO of Masdar Dr. Sultan Al Jaber noted that the development is dedicated to discovery and aiming to form a sustainable city blueprint.  The progress thus far has been because of the commitment to uncover the most advanced technology and urban sustainability practices and weave them into Masdar City.

Dr. Al Jaber noted that the construction is a continual progression of learning, adjustments and forward movement headed towards the Masdar City vision.  The plan is supposed to evolve and flexibility and adaptability are more important that being rigid or dogmatic.  With these characteristics, developers can capture and apply current knowledge into the master plan.  Continual reviews and updates will keep Masdar City at the leading edge of global clean technology.

The Masdar Master Plan review focused on important updates to build-out timeline of the project, renewable power sources and building and transportation infrastructure.

Important revisions were made with the PRT (Personal Rapid Transport) system, which was limited to the Masdar Institute facilities as a pilot project.  Technology for an alternative electric vehicle and transportations network is a possibility within the City.

The Masdar Institute’s podium and service trench sized at 7.5m will be limited.  Exploring for alternative sources of potential power has begun through pilot projects, including geothermal energy as well as solar thermal cooling.

The timeline for delivery has also been revised.  Phase 1, sized at one million square meters, is slotted for completion in 2015, while the final build-out should be finished between 2020 and 2025.

Although Masdar City is still on track to be completely powered by renewable energy, the clean energy will no longer be sourced on-site.  Now, some off-site renewable energy may be purchased and used for increasing energy demands over the lifetime of the project.

Director of Masdar City Alan Frost commented that research is, by nature, discovery.  Frost feels that long term success will be based on the ability to harness those discoveries and implement them within Masdar City, moving the development into the future.

Frost noted that the original vision for the project is always firmly undergirding changes and that Masdar’s review and revisions are proactive in moving plans forward to connect with advancements and changes in technology, commercialism and the global markets.

Masdar City is based in the technology market and as technology advances so must the project, according to Frost.  In their journey, developers are discovering solutions and with flexibility and incorporation are staying true to and delivering on the initial vision.

The review also covered Masdar City’s achievements to date, such as the construction of the initial six buildings at the Masdar Institute.  Both students and faculty are established in the new buildings as of September of this year.  Within the city there are residential buildings that are recording 54 per cent less water usage and 51 per cent lower electricity usage than the national average.  Also 30 per cent of the electricity demand is being generated by photovoltaic panels on the roofs and the provision of 75 per cent of the hot water supply for these buildings falls on rooftop thermal collection units.

It was confirmed in the review that a phased development approach is required as new technological advancements are incorporated into the project throughout the progress of construction.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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