Look: New ‘green’ mosque in Abu Dhabi uses 50% less energy, conserves 48% water

The building adheres to the highest international sustainability standards and can accommodate 335 worshippers for each of the five daily prayers


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 19 Jan 2024, 1:26 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 Jan 2024, 4:31 PM

A new eco-friendly mosque has been opened in Abu Dhabi with a focus on community and the environment.

Masdar City, UAE’s sustainability and innovation hub, inaugurated its first mosque called Estidama Mosque. The new 500sqm domed structure in Masdar Park has been designed to use more than 50 per cent less energy than conventional mosque buildings. Solar photovoltaic panels, which are installed on the nearby car parking shades, produce a portion of the building’s remaining energy requirements.

The mosque also conserves about 48 per cent of its water. A water treatment unit allows grey water to be used for the irrigation of plants in the garden surrounding the mosque.

“We’re proud of the fact that this unique design is on track to be Abu Dhabi’s first LEED Platinum mosque,” said Eng. Mohamed Al Breiki, Masdar City’s executive director of sustainable development.

LEED Platinum is the highest international standard for green buildings, awarded by the US Green Buildings Council. Estidama 3-Pearl is a rating awarded by the UAE’s Estidama Pearl Rating System, which is designed for the UAE’s physical environment and focuses on water conservation.

“Our designs meet all the requirements for both LEED Platinum and Estidama 3-Pearl, and we anticipate receiving the certifications later this year.”

The mosque adheres to the highest international sustainability standards and can accommodate 335 worshippers for each of the five daily prayers.

“Estidama Mosque is a powerful symbol of our commitment to our community, our faith, and responsible stewardship of the earth. We see this as so much more than a house of worship – it’s a community gathering place in the heart of our city where worshippers can look forward to a journey that is both environmentally conscious and spiritually profound.”

Masdar City designed Estidama Mosque in collaboration with X-Architects with a focus on passive design. It is an architectural technique that works with the local environment and a building’s physical components to minimise the need for energy-intensive cooling.

Skylights on the roof are compact, and traditional Arabic screens maximise natural light while minimising heat generated by direct sun. The building also has a low surface-area-to-volume ratio, an airtight building envelope, and high-performance insulation. Additionally, the primary pathways to the building and the courtyard are shaded by trees, and intelligent sensors within the building enable precise management of lighting and ventilation based on building occupancy. All of these features work together to reduce the need for cooling.

Al Breiki as well as Ahmed Baghoum, Masdar City’s CEO, participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the mosque alongside senior leaders from Masdar City’s shareholder, the Mubadala Investment Company: Homaid Al Shimmari, the deputy CEO and chief corporate and human capital officer; Dr Bakheet Al Katheeri, the CEO of Mubadala’s UAE investments platform; and Khalifa Al Romaithi, the executive director of UAE real estate, alongside Anwar Al Hanaei, director at the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments.

Masdar City’s second mosque, a much larger, net-zero energy building that will accommodate 1,300 worshippers, was announced during COP28 and is expected to break ground this year. Several other net-zero energy projects are under construction.


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