Masdar Institute is part of the planned Masdar City, an evolving sustainable city, in which residents and commuters can enjoy the highest quality of life with the lowest environmental footprint. This project signals Abu Dhabiís commitment to creating an international center to pioneer sustainable technologies within an environment that is carbon neutral. Masdar City is host to the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and is designed to be a hub for cleantech companies. Masdar Institute was its first tenant, moving into its campus in September 2010. It is currently in the second phase of construction.
The buildings are oriented to provide optimum shade and reduce cooling loads, and shaded colonnades reap the benefits of exposed thermal mass. Photovoltaic installations on every roof are combined with carefully positioned photovoltaic panels to shade streets and buildings. Cooling air currents are channeled through the public spaces using a contemporary interpretation of the regionís traditional wind towers. The public spaces are further cooled by green landscaping and water to provide evaporative cooling.
The laboratories and residential accommodation include a variety of social spaces: a gymnasium, canteen, café, knowledge centre, meeting places, and landscaped areas that provide more public space. On-campus and off-campus housing is available.