What should the gates to the world’s most talked about carbon-neutral city look like? For starters, they should be built out of a material that is sustainable, and they should blend in with Foster & Partner’s high-tech/ancient Arab vision. The gates, external cladding, and screens were all made from Pacific Green’s Palmwood® – a beautiful alternative to forest-depleting hardwood – and also contribute to the project’s commitment to passive design.
Plantation coconut palms that are typically discarded once they stop bearing fruit can be recycled to produce a sustainable alternative to rainforest hardwood.
At Masdar City, it was necessary to choose a product that would be not only sustainable, but also sufficiently durable to withstand the hard desert heat and winds.
Palmwood® turns out to be both ideal and aesthetically superior.
Eight gates at the various entrance points help to filter hot desert winds, while 4m tall screens channel cooling air currents in the internal corridors.
These also help to fracture sunlight and reduce the need for mechanical cooling systems. The external louvers provide shade to exposed classrooms and glazed areas.
The Pacific Green spokesperson calls their versatile product a “model for sustainable architecture” and notes the company’s excitement to be a part of such an “ambitious product.”
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