With the construction of Masdar City underway, the dream of developing a crabon-neutral city is becoming a reality. The city to be built just outside Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, is planned to have a minimum level of ecological footprint: Water and energy usage will be one quarter that of comparably sized cities. In figures: Masdar City will save more than $2 billion of oil over 25 years. The major attraction of the city will be a number of huge solar umbrellas called ‘sunflowers' that will capture the sun during the day to provide shade and fold at night in order to release the heat.
In order to reduce the energy demand in Masdar City, BASF will play an integral role in the city's construction by offering its extensive portfolio of innovative solutions for sustainable and energy-efficient construction. BASF develops and markets numerous products that help to save energy and resources as well as avoid greenhouse gas emissions. These include products made of polystyrene and polyurethane, which will be used for the manufacturing of insulating foams for the thermal insulation of buildings.
Phase-change materials integrated into plaster or gypsum wall boards can be used as an alternative to air conditioning, thus saving electricity and maintenance costs. In addition, black pigments in roof coatings absorbing very little infrared solar radiation will prevent dark surfaces from heating up. The use of special concrete admixtures in the concrete manufacturing process can lower carbon emissions by up to 60 percent.
Masdar City is due to be completed by 2016, and it is expected to become a future center for technological innovations as well as a wide range of R+D activities. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has announced that its headquarters is to be based in Abu Dhabi's Masdar City, the world's first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city.