Masdar's eco-city eyes sustainability, quality

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Masdars eco-city eyes sustainability, quality
Masdar City Project Plan Scale Model display at the 10th CityScape Exhibition held at ADNEC Exhibition Center in Abu Dhabi,

Abu Dhabi - around 35 per cent of the planned built-up area for Masdar City will be completed over the next five years

By Silvia Radan

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Published: Tue 12 Apr 2016, 6:33 PM

Last updated: Tue 12 Apr 2016, 11:21 PM

This time next year the first residents may start moving into Masdar City. Abu Dhabi's renewable energy and sustainable development company - Masdar - announced on Tuesday that the first 500 apartments will be key ready in 2017 in Masdar City, followed by another 500 in 2018.
Altogether, around 35 per cent of the planned built-up area for Masdar City will be completed over the next five years - up from five per cent today - and nearly 30 per cent has been committed to, including private homes, schools, hotels and more office space.
"The Phase two of Masdar City has been approved as a result of joint efforts of Masdar and the Urban Planning Council and construction of targeted four Pearls Estidama buildings will start as soon as we leave from here," said Yousef Baselaib, senior advisor to the CEO of Masdar.
Phase two of Masdar City involves a cluster built around some of the existing pilot research projects, including 2,000 apartments, a Gems Education school, restaurants, cafés and a parkland.
Following Phase two, Phase five will add more residential homes, this time villas and townhouses surrounded by recreational amenities and green open spaces. When all completed, by 2021, there will be seven neighbourhoods of apartments and one neighbourhood of villas and townhouses.
Phase one, which started in 2006, when Masdar City was first announced to the world as a highly ambitious zero Carbon city - first in the world - is still going.
"About 20 per cent of construction of phase one is completed and 80 per cent are done deals by us and third parties investors," pointed out Anthony Mallows, executive director of Masdar City.
According to him, the long 10 years gap between Phase one and two was partly due to the financial crises and partly due to work on design concepts put together by Masdar and the Urban Planning Council, as well as third party investors getting their land ownership titles in Masdar City.
When all construction is done, the 600 hectares Masdar City will have 3.7 million square meters built up area, 40,000 residents and 50,000 jobs.
The zero-Carbon city is not achievable, but Mallows hopes to keep the carbon footprint as low as possible, particularly since the buildings are targeted to be four Pearls Estidama, one of the highest sustainability rating established by the Urban Planning Council, the highest being five Pearls, only achieved so far by the International Renewable Energy Agency building, also located in Masdar City.
A four Pearls, not yet achieved by any government or private building in the emirate, would mean over 50 per cent saving in water and energy consumption, highly efficient and minimum waste. It would also mean construction materials sourced locally, rather than imported.
"This will be one of the world's first eco cities. Highly sustainable, more pedestrian-friendly, it will be more attractive to live in," added Yasmeen Al Rashedi, senior manager at Estidama. The apartments will be available for sale to UAE and GCC nationals only, other expat communities having rent options only. -

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