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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Emirati families to receive upgraded smart eco-friendly villas

Masdar has developed a sustainable eco-friendly villa which will help accommodate Emirati families in the UAE 

Masdar's EcoVilla. The villa is said to be a net zero energy building. Delores Johnson / The National
Masdar's EcoVilla. The villa is said to be a net zero energy building. Delores Johnson / The National

Emirati families across the UAE will soon receive upgraded villas in line with the country’s strategy for sustainability.

An agreement signed between Masdar and the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme will implement Masdar’s EcoVilla in a new project allowing families to live in the smartest and most sustainable manner.

From the design of the house to its cooling and energy consumption, the villa is said to be a net zero energy building.

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Read more:

Masdar City’s new Eco-Villa: Abu Dhabi’s residential future?

A look around Masdar EcoVilla, the Emirati home of the future - in pictures

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“We were given a challenge to develop a sustainable, economically-viable solution as part of our piloting for villas in the UAE,” said Chris Wan, head of design management at Masdar. “Starting from the long historical past, there’s always been an evolution of how villas are being built in the UAE and there’s always been a journey to find ways to keep improving them. We combine that with the sustainability knowledge we developed at Masdar [to] answer the question of how to build a people-friendly community-based villa design with resource efficiency.”

The power produced by the solar panels installed on the villa’s roof is sufficient over a 12-month cycle to offset all the energy requirements from the villa itself. “It’s a holistic design so it includes planning, shape and choice of materials,” Mr Wan said. “The building itself respects the environment, takes into consideration the direction of the sun and wind and how to direct the building to help cool the external spaces around it. From this, it tells you what’s the best shape, the best direction for windows to avoid direct sunlight coming in which will heat up the house and need more energy consumption for air conditioning, it has highly insulated wall and its shape is compact to reduce the amount of heat coming in.”

So far, more than five projects were approved in Abu Dhabi encompassing 1,051 villas as part of Estidama, a sustainability programme spearheaded by the emirate’s Urban Planning Council. “We are trying to find out what kind of materials and techniques we can use in our projects to make housing more efficient and more sustainable,” said Basem Al Namer, director of engineering services at the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme. “It’s a small development but we hope in the future to expand the idea to the rest of the UAE.”

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