The Azimuth Project
Masdar City (changes)

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Contents

Idea

Masdar City is a project in Abu Dhabi to construct a city that is completely self sustaining. It is supposed to be mostly solar-powered and use 20 percent as much power as a conventional city of similar size, with a zero carbon footprint (after it has been built) and zero waste. It is being designed by Gerard Evenden, and it’s due to be built in 2016:

Details

This is a nice introduction to the idea of Masdar City:

A quote:

One of the first things Evenden did was subtract cars: with the highways gone, the city’s buildings could be separated by passages just 7 to 12 meters wide, close enough to shade each other yet far enough apart to let in indirect light. That’s a cheap way to reduce the need for not only air conditioning but electric lighting, the largest drain on electricity in commercial buildings. Insulation is cheap, too: in the Masdar Institute, Evenden plans to use 30-­centimeter-thick insulation to keep out the heat. He’s also incorporating “skins” of copper foil that reflect light and conduct heat away from the buildings. The foil will be protected from the desert dust by a self-cleaning Teflon-like plastic. To reduce the need for energy-intensive desalination, Evenden’s design will cut water consumption by 75 percent through recycling, low-flow fixtures, and waterless urinals.

A small fraction of the energy that’s still needed to run the city will come from waste-based fuel and perhaps geothermal power. The rest will come from the sun — but not all of it through expensive photovoltaics, which convert sunlight into electricity. Much cheaper devices that concentrate heat from the sun will heat water and run a type of air conditioner called an absorption chiller. (This is the same kind of technology that is used now in propane-­powered refrigerators.)

As you can see below, Masdar also features large wind cones inspired by the bad gir, or windcatchers, used in traditional Middle Eastern architecture. Like the narrow street (also shown below), windcatchers take advantage of the laws of physics to keep things cool in the desert without using any power.

References

For a general introduction, see:

For maps and plans and a discussion of the use of GIS (geographic information systems) in the construction of Masdar, see:

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