Introducing NZ1, the region's first net zero commercial building
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Introducing NZ1, the region’s first net zero commercial building

Introducing NZ1, the region’s first net zero commercial building

The building is designed to use 53 per cent less energy than conventional buildings and produce all of its annual energy requirements on-site

NZ1 Masdar city's first net zero commercial building completed Image Masdar City

Masdar City has just completed construction of the region’s first net-zero energy commercial building, called NZ1.

The building was largely constructed with locally sourced, sustainable materials, with around 90 per cent of construction waste diverted from landfills.

NZ1 is designed to consume 53 per cent less energy than an equivalent conventional building. On-site solar panels will generate the building’s annual energy needs, making it ‘net-zero’ energy. Any excess energy produced will be fed into the Abu Dhabi electric grid.

The building has been created using an architectural technique that works with the local environment, with its physical components minimising the need for electric heating or cooling. For example, NZ1 has a low window-to-façade ratio and uses window angling and shading to reduce direct sun while maximising natural light.

The building envelope is airtight and uses top-notch insulation to keep heat out and cooled air in. It also uses low-flow water fixtures and appliances, with landscaping requiring minimal water.

The lobby will include a plaque that shows water and energy use as well as waste management and building experience data in real-time to help tenants adopt more sustainable practices.

The data will be fed to a new digital control centre in Masdar City that will monitor building performance across the city.

The building’s total estimated carbon offset is calculated to be 550 kg CO2 per m2.

“NZ1 is an incredible milestone for Masdar City, and a fitting precursor to COP28,” said Ahmed Baghoum, Masdar City’s CEO.

Masdar City has been pushing the boundaries of sustainable development for more than 15 years,” said Lutz Wilgen, Masdar City’s head of design. “NZ1 is our most energy-efficient building yet, representing the best of what we have learned so far. Its aesthetic design is also one of the simplest in the city, showing that any developer can create a green building with the right tools and expertise.”

The building has already been pre-let to a tenant.

Award-winning NZ1 to get LEED Platinum certification

NZ1 won the MENA Green Building Awards’ Net-Zero Building Project of the Year in early November. 

NZ1, only the first of several net-zero energy projects underway at Masdar City, is on track to be rated LEED Zero Energy and LEED Platinum.

It is also on track to be rated Estidama 4-Pearl, Abu Dhabi’s local green building rating system, and WELL Gold.

Masdar City has two other net-zero energy projects under construction: Masdar City Square’s HQ building, which will be complete in 2024, as well as CO-LAB, a shared working and living space within a development called The Link that will be completed in 2025.

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