The recently completed International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) headquarters, located in Masdar City, where Masdar is building the world’s most sustainable city, has been named the Green Commercial Building of the Year by the Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC).
The EGBC recognised IRENA building architect and lead consultant Woods Bagot and design and build contractor Brookfield Multiplex at an awards ceremony dinner at the Murooj Rotana Hotel in Dubai. The award recognises a building in the Middle East-North Africa region whose construction and completion has surpassed the highest sustainability standards and includes innovation in design and processes.
Owned and developed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, the IRENA building is the first in the UAE to receive the four-pearl rating for design and construction from Estidama, the Abu Dhabi-certification system which measures and evaluates the energy, water and carbon efficiency of buildings.
Anthony Mallows, director of Masdar City, said: “Our commitment to establishing Masdar City as a leading hub for innovation and sustainability is generating great recognition with the new IRENA headquarters named as the ‘Green Building of the Year.’
“Achieving a four-pearl Estidama rating for the IRENA building, within a competitive, market-driven budget, demonstrates that innovative design and construction, combined with a thorough understanding of sustainable building requirements, can produce outstanding results.”
Richard Fenne, project director at Woods Bagot, remarked: “This award recognises how a truly integrated design process – with all of the project stakeholders engaged – has yielded an exemplary building, and one which sets a new standard for commercial Grade A office space in the UAE and across the wider region.”
Marcus Truscott, managing director at Brookfield Multiplex, added: “Brookfield Multiplex is proud to have been a part of the core team that delivered the IRENA Headquarters. To be awarded the highest Estidama Construction Rating to date and to be one of the UAE’s most sustainable and energy-efficient buildings is a reflection of the commitment of all project stakeholders. The IRENA Headquarters building is a prime example of what can be achieved with close collaboration of the developer, design team, contractor and end user throughout the entire design and construction process.”
The focus of the design was to create a highly-sustainable four-pearl Estidama-rated commercial building which exemplifies the overall development of Masdar City as a living test bed for innovation and embodies the Estidama ‘four pillars of sustainability’ – social, environmental, economic and cultural.
The new IRENA building offers a total floor area of 32,000m2 and has approximately 1,000m2 of rooftop solar photovoltaic panels supplying electricity to the building. Due to passive design and smart energy management systems, the building demands over 40 per cent less energy than global energy-efficiency standards. It also demands approximately 50 per cent less water than commercial buildings in Abu Dhabi.
Masdar City is a pedestrian-friendly urban development and free zone that is establishing a ‘greenprint’ for how urban centres can accommodate dense populations while reducing energy, water and waste consumption.
IRENA is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future.