Masdar City in Abu Dhabi Will Have No Light Switches or Water Faucets, Cutting Both Electricity and Water Consumption by Over 50%
The Masdar City is an incredible architectural city project that is currently underway in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology has been operating within the city since 2010
The city project was started in 2006 and covers an area of approximately 2 square miles. Construction began in 2008 and the first 6 buildings were completed and have been occupied since October 2010.
The goal of the project is to create a central hub for many clean technology companies as well function as the headquarters for the International Renewable Energy Agency. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology has already been operating within the city since since September 2010.
The final completion stage is set to be completed between 2020 and 2025 with development costs between $18 and 19 billion, mainly funded by the government of Abu Dhabi.
A glimpse into the future of renewable energy
What is incredible about this city is that it is a glimpse into the future of renewable energy, partly because it is going to be powered by a 54-acre field of over 80,000 solar panels, as well as additional solar panels on the roofs buildings.
The city itself will have no light switches or water taps because the flow of electricity and water will be controlled by movement sensors in an effort to cut electricity and water consumption by over 50%.
The lead architect is Gerard Evenden, working with Foster and Partners, a British international studio for architecture and design with headquarters in London. The core of the city will be built by Masdar along with the Mubadala Development Company.
Engineering new technology for using solar panels in the desert
Masdar has been working alongside with other companies to help engineer new technology that will allow for a more efficient use of solar panels in the desert to get around some of the problems such as sand being blown into the panels. They hope to engineer surfaces with pores that are smaller than the sand particles so that they are able to stop them from attaching to the panels. They are also working on different types of coatings that will be able to effectively repel the sand.
If all else goes wrong, here are the architect Gerard’s plans for using solar panels in the desert:
“When we started this project, nobody had really looked at doing projects of this scale. Then you realise it’s much more efficient to build your solar field on the ground in the middle of the desert. You can send a man to brush them off every day, rather than having to access everyone’s buildings individually, and you can make sure that they are running at their absolute peak. It’s much better than putting them on every building in the city.”
Incredible water management set up to recycle even wastewater
Something else that they are looking at is water management, where 80% of the water used in the city will be recycled, and even waste water will be reused as many times as possible for things like crop irrigation.
Another eco-friendly part of this architectural design setup is that the some of the exterior wood that is going to be used in constructing the buildings throughout the city is known as palmwood or coconut timber, which is a sustainable substitute for hardwood that was developed by Pacific Green Industries, a manufacturer of furniture and architectural products. They create this palmwood using coconut palms that have stopped producing fruit.