The master plan review highlighted the achievements at Masdar City to date, including the completion of the first six buildings of the Masdar Institute (students and faculty having moved into the new facility in September 2010), residential units that use 54% less water and 51% less electricity than the UAE average, 30% of electricity demand provided by rooftop photovoltaic panels and 75% of the buildings’ hot water provided by rooftop thermal collectors. The review also confirmed the need for a phased approach to the development to allow for new technological innovations to be incorporated as building progresses.
“From the beginning, Masdar has been engaged in a journey of discovery to create a blueprint for the future of sustainable cities. Our steady progress is being built on our ability to discover the best technologies and approaches to sustainable urban living and bring them most effectively to Masdar City,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar.
“As the construction phase progresses, we will be continually learning, adjusting and moving forward towards our vision for Masdar City. As technology and the market evolves so will our plan. The key is to be flexible and adaptable rather than rigid and dogmatic. By doing so we can constantly apply the knowledge captured during our development to the delivery of our Master Plan. We will continually review and update our thinking so Masdar is always at the cutting-edge of global clean technology,” said Dr. Al Jaber.
Masdar’s review of the City’s Master Plan detailed key updates to the project’s build-out timeline, sourcing of renewable power and transportation and building infrastructure. Key revisions include:
* Limiting of the Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) system to an ongoing pilot project within the Masdar Institute facilities, while allowing for the possibility of alternative electric vehicle technologies and transport system to be rolled out in the City.
* Limiting the 7.5m podium and service trench to the Masdar Institute.
* Revised delivery timeline, with the one million square meter Phase 1 now scheduled for completion in 2015 and final build-out by 2020-2025.
* The exploration of new potential sources of power – such as geothermal energy and solar thermal cooling – with a number of pilot projects already underway.
* While still aiming to eventually be powered 100 percent by renewable energy, Masdar City will no longer rely solely on on-site clean energy sources. Instead, the purchase of renewable energy from off-site locations may also be utilized as energy demands increase over the project’s lifetime.
Masdar now says the podcar system will be limited to an "ongoing pilot project," and that other types of electric vehicles may be allowed in the future. The developer has also limited plans for a city-wide network of electric cars, which were designed to shuttle residents between their homes and offices.
Alan Frost, Director of Masdar City, said, “By its very nature, research is discovery. As Masdar City moves forward over time, many new discoveries will shape the future direction of our journey. The effective capture and implementation of this knowledge, built on our experiences, will prove to be key to our long-term success.”
“Sticking firmly to the scale of our original vision, Masdar is proactive in reviewing and revising our forward plans to embrace new thinking and changing realities across technology advancement, commercial feasibility and the global market,” said Mr. Frost.
“Technology is constantly advancing; we are in the new technology business. At every step of our journey we are tapping into these new solutions and incorporating them into our future plans. Masdar is showing we combine forward thinking with flexibility as we make real progress towards delivering on our vision.”
Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions. The company serves as a link between today’s fossil fuel economy and the energy economy of the future – developing the “greenprint” for how we will live and work tomorrow. Backed by the stability and reputation of the Mubadala Development Company, an investment vehicle of the government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the emirate’s long-term vision for the future of energy.
Masdar City is an emerging clean-technology cluster located in what aims to be one of the world’s most sustainable cities. This special economic zone in Abu Dhabi seeks to become a global centre for innovation, research, product development and light manufacturing in the fields of renewable energy and sustainable technologies.
Leading multinational companies in the cleantech sector, as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurial start-ups will locate R&D labs, marketing offices and headquarters in the city. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will base its headquarters in the city, while GE will build its first Ecomagination Centre at Masdar City.