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Atkins involved in Middle East eco-city

Work started on the first building for the Middle East's first zero carbon city this week, as consultant Atkins confirmed that it would be getting involved in the project.

The Masdar eco-city development in Abu Dhabi already has several UK firms working on the project. These include architect Foster & Partners, consultant WSP Group and structural engineer Adams Kara Taylor, who are designing the Masdar Institute of Technology and Science and providing outline design for the main city and infrastructure for 50,000 people.

Atkins lost out to WSP for the design of the phase one infrastructure works. However it gained some redemption last week when it was appointed by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company to take the outline designs of Foster and WSP and prepare a design manual for contractors building the city.

Atkins is also expected to be retained to work with WSP on the infrastructure and utilities design of the later phases of Masdar.
Meanwhile, piling started this week at the site for the Institute of Technology and Science. Last week WSP moved into the purpose built site office that will eventually hold 600 people.

"We are now working on infrastructure design for phase one of the overall city," said WSP sustainability services director Serge Younes. He added that the consultant was working on a submission with Foster & Partners for an international design competition for the landmark Exhibition Centre on the site.

It is hoped that phase one of Masdar will be completed by December 2009.

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