The new Masdar designed villas in Abu Dhabi will be the most environmentally friendly developments in the world. The only difference to a normal home would be the changes in the utility bills, as the Masdar homes will only consume a quarter of the energy and 35 percent less water. This is achieved by the incorporation of experimental water and energy- saving technologies.
The head of design management, Chris Wan, states the villas could be built anywhere in the UAE and not only in the Masdar City of Abu Dhabi. A prototype has been designed to test and understand the villas performance for real family conditions.
Mr Wan explains energy in regular homes is wasted through leaving devices on when a home is empty, therefore consuming energy for no reason. As a result the Masdar Institute is conducting a Smart Home Energy Management System research to test advanced IT systems to reduce energy consumption. The aim of the system is to recognise the routine of the residents and automatically adjust the use of energy while they are not at home.
Majority of the energy being consumed is in cooling the villas. For that reason experts at Masdar are also researching refrigerant flow systems for all properties. As indoor energy-efficient climate control could substantially reduce energy levels from low to net zero.
Without the use of solar panels the villa is built to utilize 97 kilowatt-hours per square metre per year. This is almost 46 percent less energy than any new villas and 72 percent less than any older villas in the Abu Dhabi.
The residents of Abu Dhabi are also offered a choice of prototype villas which include solar panelled roofs with a net zero energy, for those who want to completely equalise their energy consumption.
An associate professor in architectural engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia, Dr Muhammad Asif expresses the importance of creating more public awareness on energy consumption rather than solely relying on technological creations and providing environmentally friendly homes. He claims a more substantial way to save 15 to 30 percent of energy could be possible by changing resident’s mind-sets and promoting proper housekeeping.