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Sustainable city finishes its first building

The first building in the world’s first carbon neutral city will be finished by the end of the year, it was announced last week.

Speaking at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Barcelona, Foster & Partners senior partner Gerard Evenden confirmed that work on Masdar in Abu Dhabi was on track.

“The first building will be finished by the end of the year with the Masdar Institute up and running,” said Evenden.

Masdar is being built on a 600ha site in Abu Dhabi. The Masdar Institute of Science & Technology is being clad in reflective ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE). The Institute’s cooling system is based on that of the Apollo lunar module, with reflective foil on the outside, insulation on the inside and a low thermal mass. The ETFE cladding protects the foil from the abrasive desert sand storms.

The Institute will be surrounded by residential blocks, themselves clad in terracotta coloured glass fibre reinforced concrete panels that form a double facade.

The entire city will be raised up on a concrete deck, beneath which will be a public transport level where the city’s personal rapid transit system (PRT) will run.

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