Masdar Discusses New Headquarters (UAE)

Masdar Discusses New Headquarters (UAE)

The Masdar Headquarters (“HQ”) reflects the agility and mission of the organization, promising carbon neutrality and a modular design that will ensure that the building adapts to the requirements and needs of partners, announced Hamad Al Matrooshi, Senior Project Manager for the Masdar City Headquarter building.

The Facade of the HQ connects two separate buildings that will comprise of the Masdar headquarters and the IRENA headquarters. The construction of the building relied on sustainable/Eco friendly materials with a keen focus on minimizing the use of energy consuming materials.

 “The advantage of working in this industry is the ability to adapt to its ever-changing landscape. This enables us to apply lessons learned to future plans and ensure that the city is flexible enough to reflect this dynamic fast moving sector,” said Al Matrooshi.

 “The new design of the Masdar Headquarter building was chosen out of several proposals. The decision relied heavily on best performance and financial cost. The choice was also based on the building’s ability to stand out as a precedent for the rest of Masdar,” he added.

As the headquarters of Masdar and IRENA, The landscape of the HQ building has been designed to conserve water, promote biodiversity and create thermally comfortable outdoor spaces.

 “What is equally important, however, is that with this new building, we were able to customise the building’s design based on past leanings and best practices – in par with the customized requirements for IRENA’s headquarters”

 Adnan Amin, Director General of IRENA said: “We are grateful to the United Arab Emirates and to Masdar for the opportunity to be a part of the design process of this building. Being able to provide input from the inception phase has presented us with a great advantage to ensure that IRENA is permanently located in a building that reflects its integrity, values and mission.”

The building’s façade, as the first line of defence against heat gain and the first impression of the building, is composed of 30% high performance double glazing and 70% high efficiency composite system external insulation and finishing system (EIFS).

Vertical and horizontal shading is provided according to façade orientation; vertical shading is constructed from fritted glass to preserve the building aesthetics.

Meanwhile solar water heaters (Flat Plate Collector) supply 75% of the domestic hot water demand and 1000 m2 of PV panels will supply renewable electric power to the building.

The new building had to consider the existing slab and foundations that had been constructed based on the original design, making the building economical,responsive and sustainable. The structural system adopted is a hybrid of two techniques where the outward facing walls are based on a regular grid of vertical columns and beams, but are much lighter with the incorporation of the diagrid system on the internal courtyard elevation, where the three sides of the triangle work together to give the necessary structural stability to the building.

To benchmark the design, the proposed building has been modelled following the latest set of MASDAR Sustainability KPIs, MASDAR MEDG 03, and benchmarked against the Pearl Rating System for Estidama / Building Rating System Design & Construction / Version 1.0.

The Headquarter building has several new characteristics. The new design was heavily influenced by its prominent location within the Masterplan; it was designed to respond to its surrounding urban fabric. Lined with retail and bustling cafes, the courtyard brings natural light into the depth of the building and offers a peaceful shaded space for building users and visitors to enjoy. Furthermore, it acts as an extension of the neighbouring public plaza, strengthening the connection of the site with street life.

In considering the visual character, the building was created with an eye towards it being a good neighbour within Masdar City – but still a stand out as a memorable structure

“The vision of Masdar City is forward thinking and agile but at the same time based on a solid foundation” explained Al Matrooshi. “The new design of our Headquarter building is a reflection of this.”

Masdar has also started work on a convention centre that will serve as an extension of the HQ building.


Offshore WIND staff, January 25, 2012; Image: smithgill

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