Masdar City, a low-carbon city in Abu Dhabi designed to run on solar and renewable energy will soon be home to a new building Facade Testing Center (FTC). Masdar Partners has announced a partnership with German company Fraunhofer Gesellschaft to build the center.
So what is the purpose of the FTC? Collaborators say the center will be used to help designers and contractors select building materials that best reduce energy for projects in the Middle East. Part of the goal of the city is to reduce energy demand by testing and quantifying the energy performance of building facades.
Buildings can be big energy hogs; in the United States, buildings are said to account for 39 percent of total energy consumed, and 68 percent of electricity. And with that come greenhouse gases and pollutants: 38 percent of the carbon dioxide, 49% of the sulfur dioxide and 25 of the nitrogen oxides found in the air is said to come from buildings. And in areas of the Middle East, that see more than 300 days of sunshine a year and incur scorching temperatures, the materials used in the construction of buildings can be crucial to energy savings.
Each test room within the FTC will be designed so the energy code values, thermal and light transmission properties and overall performance of each facade can be calculated. Other tests will be offered depending on the needs of the client. Construction on the FTC is expected to start in the first quarter of 2012.