A blueprint for sustainability

Nick Myall
Monday 24 Aug 2015

Woods Bagot have conceived a landmark project within Masdar City, UAE that could become a model for sustainable commercial buildings

A new commercial headquarters building for IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) – designed by global architectural practice Woods Bagot – is operating in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, UAE, following its official inauguration in early June.

The Grade A office building, developed by the Masdar organisation, the company responsible for delivering Masdar City as IRENA, also includes speculative commercial space which, combined with the space occupied by IRENA staff, will offer a total floor area of 32,000m².

The building achieved the first ever awarded Four Pearl Estidama PBRS rating for both design and construction and a reduction in energy demand by 42% compared to global energy efficiency standards. It features 1,000m2 of rooftop photovoltaic solar panels supplying electricity to the building and has reduced water use by over 50% through the utilisation of high performance flow and flush fixtures.

The focus of the design has been to create a highly-sustainable Four Pearl Estidama-rated commercial building which exemplifies the overall development of Masdar City and embodies the Estidama ‘four pillars of sustainability’ – social, environmental, economic and cultural.

Richard Fenne, Senior Associate at Woods Bagot comments: “As design architect for the new IRENA HQ building, Woods Bagot relished the opportunity to conceive a landmark project within Masdar City that could become a model for sustainable, global commercial buildings.

“This project provided us with the opportunity to build on our wide-ranging experience worldwide of designing sustainable buildings to operate in challenging climates, both in the Middle East and across Asia Pacific,” Fenne continues.

“Through a truly integrated design process with both the client and the project team we have been able to realise a commercially viable, exemplar office building with the highest Estidama rating awarded to date for a commercial project in Abu Dhabi.”

Anthony Mallows, Director of Masdar City, said: “We commend Woods Bagot on achieving the demanding design criteria for the IRENA headquarters and delivering what is considered the most sustainable office building in the UAE. Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s growing sustainability hub, is an ideal location for IRENA to pursue its mission to advance renewable energy globally.”

Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General, said: “We are delighted to finally be home in our new headquarters, an extraordinary building that is a paragon of sustainability throughout the region.”

Nick Myall

News Editor

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