29 July 2014

A Glimpse of the Future at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Whenever I watch science-fiction movies, it makes me wonder if I would see one of those futuristic concepts in my lifetime. Fortunately, I just did when we visited Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, UAE. 

Masdar City only uses solar and renewable energy. It has a school, residential buildings, offices and restaurants. It is generally around 15 to 20°C cooler than the desert that surrounds it. As the brochure explains, this is attributed to Masdar's unique construction. The design of the buildings has helped reduce demand for air conditioning by more than half its supposed consumption. 

Sustainability Fact
The aluminium sheeting used on the residential buildings has 6.7kg of embedded carbon per square metre of 2mm-thick sheeting compared to conventional aluminium sheeting, which has 56kg of embedded carbon per square metre. (info from Masdar City website)

There are no light switches or taps.  They have movement sensors that again cuts light and water energy consumption. 

Sustainability Fact
With walking encouraged to reduce energy use in Masdar City, stairs are always prominently featured, while elevators are hidden – the reverse of conventional buildings, where stairs are often hard to find. (info from Masdar City website)

And the kid's favorite part of the tour.. The Personal Rapid Transit - the driverless cars. 4 passengers can occupy the car. They take you from one building to another and are located beneath the city.

Masdar City Trivia
Hanging from the ceiling of the PRT station are numerous glass-reinforced concrete panels. Copper pipes carrying chilled water run through the panels, cooling the concrete, which in turn provides highly efficient radiated cooling to the station.

 The legendary Italian automotive and design house Zagato, which has designed cars for Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar and Aston Martin, designed the Masdar City PRT vehicles. 

Masdar City Miniature Model

Entrance, brochures and the ride with the PRT are all free.  There are restaurants and coffee shops around. You can take the tour at your own pace. 

It is truly an opportunity to visit this beautiful environment that is committed to  clean air and technology.


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