The region’s first net-zero energy mosque will be built in Masdar City, a sustainable urban community and innovation hub in Abu Dhabi, a senior official announced.
“We have designed and created several net zero energy projects, but this one has particular meaning for us and for me personally, especially as we will be announcing it during COP28,” Mohamed Al Breiki, executive director of sustainable development at Masdar City. , saying.
Construction of a net-zero energy mosque, set to begin next year, will join three other sustainability projects in Masdar City.
“It will be more than a gathering place, a community center or a place of worship. It will take people on a cultural, spiritual and environmental journey, and serve as a powerful symbol of our commitment as responsible stewards of the earth. “This mosque is our gift to the community.”
The 2,349-square-meter structure, with capacity for 1,300 worshipers, will produce at least 100 percent of the energy it needs over the course of a year using 1,590 square meters of on-site photovoltaic panels.
Masdar City hopes to set a new industry standard for places of worship in the region through innovative design that combines environmental protection with cultural heritage and community building.
“Touching the earth lightly and helping others do the same is the heartbeat of Masdar City,” said Lutz Wilgen, head of design at Masdar City.
The mosque’s total energy requirements were reduced by 35 percent compared to international baselines using passive design, an architectural approach that responds to environmental conditions.
“Integrating that heartbeat into a mosque was a unique challenge that we were honored to take on. After months of collaboration and consultation, we have created a design that seamlessly combines beauty, cultural significance, function and sustainability,” said Wilgen.
The mosque’s main structure will be made primarily of rammed earth, and a series of staggered windows in the roof will allow the space to be illuminated with cascading natural light patterns. Outdoor colonnades will offer shade from the sun as worshipers move from the outside into the sacred interior space.
“Every design choice is multi-faceted,” adds Wilgen. “Rammed earth provides excellent insulation, helping to keep hot air out and cool air in, while fostering a sense of belonging and place. It is also profitable. A series of staggered, operable windows in the roof will help inspire awe and reverence in worshipers while also creating a natural ventilation system that will make air conditioning optional in the winter months. This holistic approach, which integrates environmental, social and economic sustainability, is the essence of our methodology.”
The project, like others, will allow at least 70 percent of construction waste to be diverted from landfills and will use local and recycled materials wherever possible to reduce costs and carbon footprint. Low-flow water facilities, drought-resistant landscaping and the use of recycled water for irrigation will reduce water use by 55 percent.
In addition to a zero energy rating from the International Living Future Institute, the building design will aim for a Leed Platinum rating, the highest international green building certification awarded by the US Green Building Council, as well as Estidama 4-Pearl , the highest in the UAE. Sustainable construction certification. It will be designed to achieve the Well Gold rating, which prioritizes the well-being of the occupants.
The new mosque is just one of several net-zero energy projects in Masdar City. NZ1, the country’s first net zero energy commercial building, opened in December, while two additional net zero energy commercial and residential buildings are under construction: the Masdar City Square headquarters building, which will be completed next year , and The Link building. The lab building, a net-zero energy shared living and working space, will be completed in 2025.
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