Masdar is constantly reinventing itself in order to ensure that the Gulf’s first genuine low-energy and low-carbon building project succeeds, and its latest reincarnation may well become one of its most useful. The company has teamed up with the leading German research institute Fraunhoefer Gesellschaft to build a Facade Test Center (FTC) within Masdar City, where they will conduct thorough tests to suss out the most sustainable building materials available to builders. This is a groundbreaking project that could dramatically improve the energy performance of construction projects in the Gulf and wider MENA region.
Representatives from Fraunhofer’s Institute for Building Physics (IBP) and Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) will lend ten years of combined research expertise to the Masdar team in Abu Dhabi. Taking design inspiration from Fraunhofer’s own facade test center in Munich, Germany, the FTC is expected to break ground within the next few months.
The center’s goal is to test and quantify the energy performance of integrated building materials, including solar panels, to reduce energy waste in the United Arab Emirates and other countries. But it will also position Masdar as a leading building materials consultant, and thereby enable the company to diversify its revenue-generating income.
Masdar’s technological leadership
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “It is important for Abu Dhabi to host a dedicated facility of this stature, given its relevance to the integrated facades that need to be constructed in line with the Emirate’s Estidama guidelines. Offering ratings on the material selection for buildings in Abu Dhabi assumes enormous significance and we are pleased to provide such a service in partnership with a world-renowned organization.”
He added that the FTC will help the company provide technological leadership to the region and that the Fraunhofer partnership will lend credibility and third party endorsement to the project.
It is common to overlook the importance of materials that have high thermal massing and superior light penetration when considering which to use for building projects, but the FTC will ensure that this critical issue is put at center stage – a crucial development for our region.
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