Masdar City is starting to shape up with a roster of new buildings. Siemens recently completed their LEED Platinum headquarters, the new IRENA headquarters is in progress, and GE just opened their first Ecomagination Center in the city’s first commercial building – the Incubator Building.
Designed by Foster & Partners, the incubator building is quite possibly the most futuristic of all the city’s structures. Clad in colorful ceramic plates that help the building reach Masdar’s stringent energy requirements, it also acts like something of a giant mirror that reflects the surrounding campus.
GE is the first to take up residence in the four-storey, 10,000m2 Incubator Building with their incredible Ecomagination Center that we visited during the World Future Energy Summit media tour sponsored by Masdar, and this year, and a further 100 small and medium-sized startups will be moving in this year.
A cuboid structure organized around a central core that is planted with drought-resistant plants, the center was built with recycled structural steel, and recycled aluminum sheets and extrusions in accordance with Masdar’s efforts to foster a sustainable supply chain of materials.
Narrow passageways and low rise buildings in a pedestrian-friendly environment ensure a very comfortable micro climate with natural ventilation reducing temperatures by an easy 10 degrees F. Inside, a variety of sophisticated interventions reduce energy and water consumption.
The Incubator Building is specifically designed to attract brilliant people and companies who are interested to research and develop sustainable energy and water projects in a free economic zone. Masdar has gone out of their way to make it as easy as possible for companies to bring their business to this creative hub – joining such global giants as Siemens, GE, and Mitsubishi.
Foreign companies and startups can retail 100 percent ownership of their firms, and they will face zero import tariffs and taxes, or currency restrictions.
For an idea of what kind of things happen at Masdar City, (ie. it’s not all huff and puff) researchers there are responsible for one of the most exciting developments in biofuels – desert plants fed by saltwater may well provide jet fuel for companies like Boeing and Etihad Airways.
Images ©Tafline Laylin