February 27, 08
World's First Large-Scale, Mixed-Use "Positive Energy" Building

Masdar has announced that it has chosen Chicago architecture firm Adrian Smith +Gordon Gill Architecture to design its headquarters in Abu Dhabi's Masdar City, the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste city fully powered by renewable energy. The headquarters will be the world's first large-scale, mixed-use "positive energy" building, producing more energy than it consumes. In addition to being the location of Masdar Headquarters, the building will accommodate private residences and 'early bird' businesses starting up in the city.

AS+GG teamed with Chicago-based MEP engineers Environmental Systems Design and structural engineers Thornton Tomasetti on the design, which includes numerous systems that will generate a surplus of the building's energy, eliminate carbon emissions and reduce liquid and solid waste. The complex will utilize sustainable materials and feature integrated wind turbines, outdoor air quality monitors and one of the world's largest building-integrated solar energy arrays. Compared with typical mixed-use buildings of the same size, the Headquarters will consume 70 percent less water.

"In line with the Abu Dhabi 2030 Development Plan, Masdar is choosing to emphasize sustainability over height. We hope and expect this will set a new direction for worldwide competition in sustainable design," Dr. Al Jaber continued.

In addition to being the first mixed-use net positive energy building in the world, AS+GG's Masdar Headquarters will:

• Be the lowest energy consumer per square meter for a modern class A
office building in an extremely hot and humid climate
• Feature one of the world's largest building-integrated photovoltaic
• Employ the largest solar thermal driven cooling and dehumidification
• Be the first building in history to generate power for its own
assembly, through development of its solar roof pier before the
underlying complex

"We're thrilled to be working on a project of this importance and magnitude. Masdar Headquarters is one of the most significant developments of our time," said Adrian Smith, partner, AS+GG. "As a positive energy complex, the project will have a far-reaching influence on the buildings of tomorrow."

"Masdar Headquarters will set a new paradigm for the way buildings are designed, constructed and inhabited," said Gordon Gill, partner, AS+GG. "The project represents the perfect integration of architecture and engineering, resulting in a dynamic, inviting building that outperforms any other structure of its type in the world."

Construction of Masdar City commenced with a formal ground-breaking ceremony on February 9, 2008. The City 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.

The design competition for Masdar's headquarters was managed by the Louis Berger Group and began with a field of 159 participants, which was narrowed down to 15 architecture and design firms. The criteria for selection of the 15 included building functionality, water and wastewater efficiency, indoor environmental quality, zero carbon emission, carbon footprint reduction and firm experience. Four global leaders in sustainable architecture and design were then chosen to submit final proposals.