by Cate Trotter
Not settling for mere zero-energy, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill’s Masdar Headquarters are setting new design standards for green building, with their scheme that generates more energy than it consumes. The Masdar Headquarters building outside of Abu Dhabi is also the first building in history to generate power for its own assembly, using a solar roof pier that will be built first to power the rest of the construction.
The building’s sustainability gave it the edge to beat 159 others in the international design competition. The $300 million, 1.4 million square foot headquarters will serve as the stunning centerpiece of the super-green, car-free Norman Foster-designed Masdar City, the $22 billion development just outside Abu Dhabi.
The building’s aggressive approach to sustainability enables it to offer the lowest energy consumption per square meter for its class, one of the world’s largest integrated photovoltaic systems and the world’s largest solar thermal driven cooling and dehumidification system. The complex will utilize sustainable materials and feature integrated wind turbines, outdoor air quality monitors. Compared with typical mixed-use buildings of the same size, the Headquarters will consume 70 percent less water.
In addition to serving as the Masdar Headquarters, the building will accommodate private residences and ‘early bird’ businesses starting up in the city. The Masdar development will be constructed over seven phases and is due to be completed by 2016. Masdar’s headquarters is part of phase one and will be completed by the end of 2010. We can’t wait to see this futuristic scheme come to life!