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Published on January 26th, 2015 | by Mridul Chadha

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IRENA Headquarters Is Among The Greenest Office Buildings In Abu Dhabi

January 26th, 2015 by  


The global headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has finally been completed and is among the greenest buildings in the city of Abu Dhabi.

IRENA headquarters

The completion of the IRENA headquarter complex was announced at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2015. The IRENA Global Headquarters – a 31,983 square-meter (GFA), multi-use complex composed of three connected buildings – is the first office building in Abu Dhabi to be awarded a 4 Pearl Estidama Construction Rating Certificate by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC).

The Estidama rating system is the first building certification code to be adopted in the Middle East region and is used to assess sustainability performance of buildings, communities, and villas. With the plethora of construction projects ongoing in the United Arab Emirates, the Estidama system is an essential tool to gauge how “green” a building is.

IRENA Headquarters, Masdar City

The IRENA headquarters has a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) power system covering 1,000 square meters. The building also has solar thermal water heaters which are expected to fulfil 75% of the building’s annual hot water demand. The design elements of the building are expected to reduce energy consumption by 40% and water consumption by 53% compared to a non-Estidama certified building.

All buildings in Masdar City* are built with design aspects so as to reduce energy consumption. The windows in the buildings are designed in a way that, 90% of the time, direct solar radiation does not enter the room. Permanent shades installed outside the windows maximise the light entering the room while minimising the heating effect in the room. All buildings in the city have been oriented along the direction of typical wind flow. This helps to keep the temperature of the city noticeably lower than the outside, which in turn helps to significantly reduce air conditioning–related power consumption.

Top Image (Photo) by Zachary Shahan | CleanTechnica (CC BY-SA 4.0); 2nd Image (Visualization) by IRENA

*Full Disclosure: My trip to and accommodation in Abu Dhabi for the Masdar City tour, Zayed Future Energy PrizeWorld Future Energy Summit, and other Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week events was covered by Masdar. That said, I have full editorial control over my articles.


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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.



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