Faithful+Gould and Woods Bagot to build 29,000sqm Masdar City Square

Masdar City, the pioneering sustainable community and technology and innovation hub in Abu Dhabi, has announced its latest development – Masdar City Square (MC2), which will advance its contribution to the UAE Net-Zero by 2050 Strategy.

In a statement, Masdar City said that the new project will cover an area of 29,000sqm and have a gross floor area of 50,000sqm. Built in coordination with its consulting partners Woods Bagot and Faithful+Gould, MC2 will extend Masdar City’s commitment to net-zero, sustainability, technology, and wellbeing by nurturing an expanded community of businesses operating in harmony with the environment, the statement added.

Work on the development will begin this year and is scheduled for completion in 2024.

The development includes seven single- and multi-tenant office buildings and a parking facility, all reflecting innovative design, the statement continued. Six of the buildings will be built to the highest green construction specifications while the MC2 Headquarters building will be Abu Dhabi’s first net-zero energy office building, meaning it will use no more energy than it produces by integrating energy efficiency-focused design and systems and renewable energy technologies.

This contribution to net-zero is of great importance to the UAE, which in 2021 became the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to commit to achieving net zero emissions through its UAE Net-Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.

The MC2 Headquarters building will be immediately identifiable by its innovative solar photovoltaic panel canopy.

Speaking at the occasion of the groundbreaking, Ahmed Baghoum, Acting Executive Director, Masdar City, said: “Masdar City is already home to one of the world’s largest clusters of green buildings with Estidama and LEED certifications. With the completion of MC2, and its seven new green buildings, including Abu Dhabi’s first net-zero energy office building, we are further demonstrating how urban development can be both economically and environmentally sound and sustainable. Masdar City is proud to serve as a testbed for sustainable urban development and we look forward to seeing how MC2 enriches Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, and the UAE.”

The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by key representatives from Masdar, Masdar City and development partners, including Ahmed Baghoum, Acting Executive Director of Masdar City and Abdul Aziz Bin Shafar, CEO of ASGC.

Six of the MC2 buildings will be 4-Pearl Estidama, LEED Platinum, and WELL Gold certified.

The buildings in MC2 add to Masdar City’s legacy as a regional pioneer in net zero and green construction, the developer said. In 2017, Masdar City announced the completion of its Eco-Villa Project, the UAE’s first net-zero energy villa. The 405-square meter villa was the first in the country to achieve a Four-Pearl rating, using around 72% less energy and 35% less water than a conventional villa of the same size in Abu Dhabi, mitigating 63 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

MC2 will be located adjacent to Masdar City’s existing development centred around the Mohammed bin Zayed University for Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) and the Siemens Middle East Headquarters. MC2 will incorporate the existing International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Headquarters and will include courtyards, a day-care, an amphitheatre plaza, shaded pedestrian boulevards, a fitness centre, a meditation room, and more.

Faithful+Gould, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, has been awarded a project management consultancy services contract, while global architectural and consulting firm Woods Bagot will handle design and construction supervision consultancy for the MC2 project. Woods Bagot previously designed the IRENA Headquarters in Masdar City.

Masdar City, which opened in 2010, is one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments and the only planned and approved R&D cluster in Abu Dhabi. A 10 MW solar array and rooftop panels provide the City 1 MW of solar energy to meet some of its power needs. All buildings within Masdar City are mandated to achieve at minimum a 3-Pearl Estidama rating, meaning they are designed to reduce energy consumption by at least 40% and reduce water consumption by at least 40% compared to provided standards.

The City is home to over 1000 companies, dedicated to developing innovative technologies across the sectors of renewables, energy storage, artificial intelligence, health, space, and mobility. These include, among others, IRENA, the UAE Space Agency, Siemens, the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) and its two pillar entities, Technology Innovation Institute (TII) and ASPIRE, Tabreed, Honeywell, and the MBZUAI. Masdar City is also home to the leading health technology company G42 Healthcare (G42), which is known for introducing one of the world’s largest Covid-19 testing and diagnostics laboratories.

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