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Best Practices In Urban Planning

Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s low-carbon, low-waste sustainable development, has received the Global Energy Efficiency Visionaries award for the Africa-Middle East region at the Energy Efficiency (EE) Global Forum 2012 held in Orlando, USA.

This year’s EE Global Forum was the fifth annual gathering of discussions on how to increase energy efficiency through technological breakthroughs and policy advances. Masdar City was selected by the Forum’s International Steering Committee, comprising of high-level energy efficiency professionals from across the world, including: President of Schneider Electric U.S., Jeff Drees; United States Senate members Mark Warner and Jeanne Shaheen; Senior Vice President and Global Head, Efficiency and Sustainability, Building Technology, Siemens Industry Inc, Robert J. Dixon; and US House of Representatives members Edward Markey and Paul Tonko. The committee also comprised of several other prominent members from North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin Americas.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “We are delighted to accept this award for the successes we have so far achieved in pushing the boundaries of energy efficiency and sustainable architecture. Masdar will collaborate with various local and international like-minded partners to continue testing and implementing energy conservation technologies and concepts across all its integrated units.

“This award will further raise international awareness and highlight the efforts Abu Dhabi’s leadership is making to implement sustainable development and move towards a knowledge-based economy, while focusing on energy efficiency and clean technology development.

We hope Masdar’s efforts, recognized through this award, will inspire others to promote sustainable practices and enhance energy efficiency.”

Masdar City has been planned as a test bed for innovation with every aspect of the urban planning and architecture designed with sustainability as a key criterion. Developed to be a hub for renewable energy and clean technology companies, Masdar City is partnering with Siemens to run a Smart Grid pilot across the first phase of its development. Masdar is also co-developing smart building technologies, leveraging on the City’s on-going investment in buildings and infrastructure and Masdar Institute’s research capabilities. Housed in Masdar City, Masdar Institute is a graduate level, research-oriented university focused on renewable energy and sustainability.

The majority of Masdar Institute’s concrete is made up of approximately 50% recycled content. The wood used in Masdar comes from sustainably managed forests, where timber is cut at a measured pace to ensure more growth than deforestation. In addition, almost 95% aluminum used in construction in Masdar comes from recycled aluminium where the carbon produced is 90% less than standard aluminum.

In 2011, Masdar City successfully achieved 51% reduction in electricity consumption, 54% reduction in water consumption and 50% reduction in cooling needs compared to average consumption across the UAE.
Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Director of Sustainability at Masdar, attended the event and accepted the award on behalf of Masdar City.

The remaining recipients of the award included Matt Enstice, CEO, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, New York, U.S; Lord Mayor Borris Palmer, Mayor of Tuebingen, Germany; and Libby Ferguson, Director, Government Liaison of Americas, and State Government of Victoria, Australia, Department of Business and Innovation.

The recipients of the EE Global Visionary Award 2011 included members of European Parliament Bendt Bendtsen, Lena Ek, Peter Liese and Claude Turmes; Honorable Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico; Bill Ritter, Former Governor of Colorado; and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted renewable energy company advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy technologies and solutions.

The company serves as a link between today’s fossil fuel economy and the energy economy of the future – developing the “greenprint” for how we will live and work tomorrow. Backed by the stability and reputation of the Mubadala Development Company, the strategic investment company of the government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the emirate’s long-term vision for the future of energy.

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Author: Gary Chandler

Gary Chandler is a sustainability strategist, author and advocate. Follow him on Twitter @Gary_Chandler