In Masdar City, Siemens HQ Fulfills A Green Vision

Siemens is big into renewable energy, Masdar City is the self-described “low-carbon, sustainable city,” so you knew that the new Siemens Middle East headquarters building in Abu Dhabi was going to be green. And it is.

Just officially opened, the 193,750-square-foot building, two-thirds of which is to be occupied by some 800 Siemens employees, is being called the “first LEED Platinum certified office” in Abu Dhabi and “a benchmark for future projects in the Middle East and beyond.”

siemens masdar

Siemens HQ in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi (image via Masdar)

Inside, a cool staircase (image via Masdar)

Inside, a cool staircase (image via Masdar)

What makes the building,  special? Here’s the rundown from Masdar:

  • The building uses about half the energy of a comparably sized conventional building.
  • Raised in the air, “the building provides a generous, naturally shaded public space for parts of Masdar City.”
  • The building is based on a “box within a box” concept. That means “the structure has a highly insulated, airtight inner facade designed to reduce thermal conductivity, and a lightweight aluminum external shading system, which minimizes solar gain while maximizing daylight and views from the building.”
  • Integrated building technologies abound, including lighting controls and an advanced building management system.

Abu Dhabi has invested billions of dollars into developing Masdar City, part of the wider Masdar subsidiary of the government-owned corporation Mubadala. Masdar consists of five “units” that engage in renewable energy project development, green-tech capital investment, carbon management and capture and storage and research and education (through the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology).

Masdar make a big splash a year ago when it opened Shams 1, a record-breaking 100-megawatt parabolic trough solar project right there in the United Arab Emirates. But Masdar reaches beyond its own turf, with a solar project in Mauritania, for instance, as well as a role in development of power tower solar in Spain.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.