Sustainable Design

Sustainable Design


Sustainable design at Masdar City applies to each element of our master plan, integrating gathering places, parks, landscaping, transportation, and more into our urban fabric. Every building, street, and public space is thoughtfully designed and oriented to optimize thermal comfort, maximize energy and water efficiency, minimize waste, and reduce carbon emissions. We also use renewable energy wherever possible. Over 11 megawatts of PV panels are installed throughout Masdar City.


Many people think technology is key to sustainability, and it plays a vital role—but when it comes to urban development, sustainability begins with the design.

Masdar City is built using passive design, which is an architectural approach that works hand-in-hand with the environment to maximize energy and water-efficiency before implementing technological solutions. This means that every element of Masdar City is designed to deal with our climate.

For example, the downtown area is raised on a seven-meter podium and oriented to capture prevailing desert winds and funnel them through narrow, shaded streets, making the area feel 10 degrees cooler than downtown Abu Dhabi.

Buildings also designed to minimize solar gain, with optimal window-to-façade ratios, airtight envelopes, and top-notch insulation. Windows are oriented, angled, and shaded to minimize direct sun while maximizing natural light. This results in a dramatic reduction in the need for energy-intensive air conditioning.


We use local, renewable, and recycled materials wherever possible. Benches and other structures around the city are made from low-carbon concrete. Much of the aluminium used across Masdar City for sheeting, windows, and door frames is recycled, with one-eighth the carbon footprint of conventional virgin aluminium sheeting. Our timber is certified as sustainably sourced, while steel reinforcing bars are made with recycled scrap.

We divert construction waste from the landfill by reusing and recycling steel, concrete, and timber at our onsite recycling facility.


A building is only as sustainable as its occupants. We use various technologies, including high-efficiency HVAC systems and low-flow water fixtures, to optimize energy and water use in our buildings. We also use advanced monitoring systems to help us and our occupants live and work even more sustainably.

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