Masdar Institute of Science and Technology An Investigation of Sustainability and Cost-Efficiency of MIST Building on Long-term Abstract

MasdarInstitute of Science and Technology: An Investigation ofSustainability and Cost-Efficiency of MIST Building on Long-term

Abstract

MasdarCity is a green municipality that is under construction in Abu Dhabi.It will be the hub for cleantech industries and the headquarters forof the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Consideringthat Masdar will be the first zero carbon emission and zero wastecity, the long-term sustainability of the city is very unpredictable.Given this, the study will investigate whether the technology appliedin the development of the eco-city has long-term cost-efficiency, aswell as, development sustainability. One of the strategies the studywill utilize to achieve these results is conducting a Post OccupancyEvaluation (POE) in a target group. The research will use the MasdarInstitute of Science and Technology (MIST) as the primary source ofdata. The study will use quantitative research method to collect theviews of the students, both local and international, concerning theiropinion towards the future of MIST. The study will also collect theirpersonal views about the efficacy of the technology development andthe capability of students to apply it in daily life.

Tableof Contents

Abstract………………………………………………………………………………… ii

Tableof Contents………………………………………………………………………….. ii

Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………….5

Introductionof Masdar Institute summary…………………………………………………6

Statementof the Problem……………………………………………………..……………6

Purposeof the Study…………………………………………………………………….…7

ResearchQuestions……………………………………………………………….………..7

Chapter2

Literaturereview ………………………………………………………….………………8

Researchgaps …………………………………………………..…….……..……………9Discussion ………………………………………………………….…………….………10

Chapter3

Methodology……………………………………………………………………………….13

Datacollection and evaluation procedures…………………………………………………14

Researchethics……………………………………………………………………….…….14

Contentanalysis …………………………………………………………………….……..15

Chapter4

Findings…………………………………………………………………………………17

Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………17

Definitionof keywords …………………………………………………………………..19

Listof references ………………………………………………………………….…….20

MasdarInstitute summary

TheMasdar Institute building is a US$500 million campus block underdevelopment in the Masdar City. Just like other structures in thecity, the building features high-end technology that makes iteco-friendly. The campus was among the first structures to becompleted during the ongoing sustainable urban construction. TheFosters + Partners developers have collaborated with theMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the development of thecampus. R.W. Armstrong was the lead architect for the development ofthe campus block. The university construction is set to occur inthree stages, and the first phase was completed in 2010. The entirestructure will cover a 343,740m² ground area. The completed phasecontains six building units, each covering 63,174m². The innovativedesign of the campus won the 2011 Royal Institute of BritishArchitecture (RIBA). The expansion of Phase II began in 2011 and wasscheduled for completion towards the end of 2012. Just like otherstructures in the city, the campus is designed to be energyefficient. The completed project will emit zero carbon as thedevelopers intend to use only renewable energy sources to power itsentire operations. The plan sounds ambitious considering that theUAE’s economy depends heavily on income generated by selling crudeoil. However, the futuristic designers plan to make the institution acenter for clean technology development. Hopefully, the inventionsraised in the center will then be applied in the Gulf region andother places in the world to lower emission of carbon and otherharmful gasses that enhance environmental pollution.

Statementof the problem

Theaccomplishment of the Masdar’s projections will take several years.Nevertheless, the ambitions now seem achievable as the city providessamples of the novel construction designs, building materials, energystorage systems, wind utilization and biofuel application among otherstrategies that will decrease carbon generated in the city to zero.One of the complete buildings applying the cutting-edge technology isMasdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST). The campusattracts innovative minds that are dedicated to the development ofrenewable and eco-friendly energy and building patterns. Theobjective of this research is investigating how the Masdar developersdesign, develop and construct sustainable and cost-effectivebuildings at the same time. The study will accomplish this goal MISTas a case study of the impacts is accomplished. This analysis willfocus on investigating whether the technology used in theconstruction of MIST is sustainable and cost-effective in thelong-term.

Purposeof the study

Theresearch findings are important to the developers of the MISTbuilding. The analysis will acquire vital information that will guidethe team of innovators in the institution towards developing improvedtechnology to make comfortable for both local and internationalstudents. Additionally, the study will seek to understand the majorchallenges that students face within the institution. Such problemsmay include a feeling of disconnection with the natural environmentor incompatibility with the modified environment within the city.Lastly, the study will seek to understand the general attitude of theaffected population, ranging from the Abu Dhabi locals, the studentsand workers based in the building towards its operation strategy.

Researchquestions

i)Is the cutting-edge technology used in the construction of MISTbuilding sustainable and cost-efficient on the long-term?

ii)Does the MIST, building, have the capacity to maintain anon-declining human living standard?

iii)What is the Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) of the MIST building?

Literaturereview

Lau(2012) describes Masdar City as a benchmark for the sustainablecities. He asserts that the resource sufficiency that characterizessuch urban plans is beneficial to humans because they produce zeropollutants. Also, the high-end technologies reduce wastage of energy.Allegedly, the township will consume about 25 % of the energyrequired for a similar city that is based in UAE. The resourcedescribes Masdar City as one of its kind considering that it is aneco-city established in the desert. The designers have used ancientarchitectural knowledge such as narrow streets and reflectivematerial to create a natural air-conditioning environment.

Reiche(2010) asserts that Masdar City construction plan exploits bothnatural factors and human technology to achieve sustainability. Forinstance, the houses are constructed with materials that reduce heatreflection and absorption into the buildings. Besides, the streetsare designed in such a way that they improve movement of air. Thebuildings follow linear arrangement that lies at 38 degrees on thenorthern axis, as well as on the counterclockwise, which is theprevailing wind direction. The tilt facilitates optimum airflowwithin the city.

Similarly,Bitesise (n.d) will be crucial in the analysis of the expertise thatmakes Masdar City a state of the art investment. The author describesit as the world’s most sustainable city. Besides, the sourceidentifies diverse strengths, including, the application of cleantechnology such as solar power and a research institute dedicated tofinding methods that will keep the waste material in the municipalityclose to zero. The outline of the advanced technology and theirstrengths, compared to the modern cities, makes the source useful foridentifying the human benefits eco-cities will provide to humans.

Manghnaniand Bajaj (2014) focus on the pressures that Masdar City will faceachieving long-term sustainability. The authors state that futurecompetition may force the project to use a particular technology. Assuch, it will be essential to evaluate the likelihood of the currenttechnology becoming outdated soon.

Kable(2016) provide detailed information concerning the MIST building. The information will be valuable to the research because the facilitywill serve as a case study for the entire city. The article containsinformation appertaining to the sustainability of the campus, façadeof the structure and landscaping carried out in the institution.

Similarly,Kansara and Ridley (2012) source is significant in this study becauseit will provide a guide for conducting a Post Occupancy Evaluation(POE) in MIST. The study provides comprehensive details for theevaluation of the building. The authors propose that the survey canaccomplish the investigation on the campus building throughconducting a strategic assessment of energy usage efficiency andsatisfaction of the occupants after using the structure for twoyears.

Researchgaps

Dragulanescuand Dragulanescu (2013) agree that the sustainable city models arethe way to go to secure excessive pollution on earth. Nevertheless,the authors express uncertainty on the compatibility of the cleantechnologies applied in the eco-cities with all the concernedindustries. For example, numerous electronic gadgets often omitcarbon. It is still unclear whether such equipment will be usedwithin the city boundaries.

Secondly,the complexity of the applied cleantech is still unknown to potentialusers. A significant research gap exists regarding the trainabilityof the workers in the city concerning the efficient use of thegadgets installed, as well as the desired results they will deliver(Lau, 2012).

Thirdly,further analysis of the expertise used in the construction of theMIST building is critical to ensure that it will not become obsoletesoon. Limited research has focused on the establishment of normativepressures that may compel the institution to upgrade its systems tomatch the evolving technology trends. Furthermore, Middle Easternstudents have a rich culture that dates several centuries back. Assuch, there is uncertainty whether they will adopt the new technologywillingly.

Discussion

i)Evaluation of sustainability and cost-efficiency

In2006, The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company announced that it willconstruct the world’s first zero carbon emission city. Patel andGriffiths (2013) provide that Masdar Institute is one of the classicbuildings because of its high efficiency in usage of resources. Forinstance, its water usage is 54% low compared to the water quantityused in a typical building of its size in UAE. The structure usessuch small amount of water because it is fixed with leakage spottingsensors, fixtures and appliances that deliver high efficiency. Also,the smart meters that help consumers to know the amount of water theyuse.

Secondly,the energy needed in the campus building is 56% low compared to otherbuildings of similar size in Abu-Dhabi. One of the high-endtechnologies that help in the regulation of energy includes sensorsthat quantify temperature levels, carbon dioxide and humidity in thebuilding, which in turn reduces the amount of air-conditioningneeded. Nonetheless, the institutions derive the biggest energysavings from the application of passive technologies such as smartmaterials and low-energy appliances and lighting (Patel &ampGriffiths, 2013).

Pateland Griffiths (2013) also cite Masara Al Ameri assertion that thebuildings within the city will also achieve sustainability becausethe constructors will use special materials that are locally sourced.Al Ameri is the university’s director of industry, government, andacademic operations. He gives an example of the building materialsused in the construction of the external part of the house. Thematerials can withstand extreme sun heat for many years. Similarly,the laboratories are laced with inflatable ethylenetetrafluoroethylene films that function as insulating cushions thatprevent heat radiation. In the residential buildings of the campus,the external facade is constructed using concrete and the outer partis decorated with the customary Arabic latticework that offers shade.On the other hand, the internal walls of the buildings are coveredwith a layer of aluminum that reflects light. Aluminum metal ispreferred because it has high thermal conductivity and heatdissipating capacity. Moreover, over 90% of the metal varieties usedin the construction of the inner coating is recycled aluminum(Cugurullo, 2013).

Anotherpotential technology that enhances the cost-efficiency of the MasdarInstitute is the capability of the constructors to source wood fromsustainable sources. Also, the organization is built using specialcement that emits limited carbon quantities. The cement ismanufactured in a local industry. Some of the regular cementbyproducts are substituted with industrial byproducts such as fly ashand blast furnace slag. Both industrial products are beneficialbecause they lower the amount of carbon produced – during both themanufacturing and construction process.

Similarly,Masdar Institute has a recovery facility where either recycled orcompost solid waste is processed for reuse. Consequently, over 50% ofthe construction waste is recycled. Re-usage of solid materialsreduces the content disposed of in the landfills. For example, theused is recycled and then used in the road construction. Similarly,wood wastes are shredded and then applied as mulch. All plastics andmetals are collected and then transported to a recycling facilitylocated off the campus.

ii)Capability of the building to maintain non-declining human livingstandards

Consideringthat MIST is located in a desert environment, the possibility of thebuilding emitting zero carbons and decreasing energy usage by 80%sounds questionable. However, the master plan integrates variousfeatures that will accomplish the goals. First, the building iselevated 23 feet above the ground on a concrete base. The high heightimproves circulation of cool and fresh winds needed to combat the hotdesert climate. Regular houses in Abu Dhabi consume large quantitiesof electricity on the air-conditioning system. Nonetheless, MISTdesign will sustain low power usage considering that it has narrowstreets designed an angle that improves provides perfect shade on theground. Moreover, the building has artificial wind towers. The towershelp to direct fresh wind inside the building and the streets.

iii)Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE)

POEis a comprehensive method of analyzing the status of fullyconstructed and occupied buildings. The objective of the analysis isdetermining the performance of a structure, as well as, thesatisfaction of its occupants. The data used in the calculation ofthe information is acquired from diverse sources such as monitoringenergy usage, interviewing the residents and environmentalobservation. The intention of the investigation is to determinewhether the students are satisfied with the infrastructure and theadvanced technology applied in the construction of the facility.According to Kansara and Ridley (2012), the technical evaluation ofbuildings, when supplemented with the occupants’ views, helps tounderstand the reality of a structure. The assessment is conductedtwo years after a building has been occupied. The POE rating is aninitiative of the Abu Dhabi government, and it aims at reducing theamount of energy consumed in buildings.

Methodology

Thisresearch will use quantitative research method. The researchmethodology will help to gather data required to answer therequirements of the research questions. The primary method willinvolve the collection of data using questionnaires given at randomto various stakeholders on the campus. The respondents will includelecturers, students, technicians and subordinate staff. The findingsfrom the students will be further compared with the results gatheredfrom previous empirical studies based on the MIST building to enhancethe validity of the data gathered. The questionnaire method ispreferred in this study because it will facilitate the collection ofideas from varied respondents. In addition, the approach providesunbiased primary data regarding the attitude of the respondentstowards the subject. The information gathering process will take amaximum of seven days. The duration will be adequate to accumulateresponses from different respondents.

Thisstudy will also gather the opinion of the building occupants to findtheir attitude towards the new technology applied. In particular, theresearch will use a survey method known as Building Use Studies (BUS)methodology. The research approach is a valid technique used inbenchmarking the satisfaction of occupants within a given building.The technique involves interviewing target persons, mainly usingquestionnaires, to capture the views of the occupants. In this case,the BUS will use open-ended questionnaires that will be provided toboth the students and the staff in the MIST building (Kansara &ampRidley, 2012).

Finally,the study will also incorporate a meta-analysis of the building. Theresearch will accomplish the objective through evaluating previousdata, concerning the building, systematically. The significance ofthe meta-analysis methodology is that it uses a large body ofliterature to understand both conflicting and complex information.For example, the research technique will help to provide comparativemetrics with the respect to financial sustainability.

DataCollection and Evaluation Procedures

Theinformation will be assembled from various people who are informedabout the MIST physical structure. The respondents include students,professionals working in the campus and technicians involved in theconstruction of the university. The respondents will be chosenthrough random sampling, and then they will be given an open-endedquestionnaire to guide their responses. Presently, there are over40,000 students and staff members on the campus. As a result, it willnot be hard to acquire informed and willing respondents to review thesustainability and cost-efficiency of the construction technology,designs and the quality of the materials applied in the construction,the level of the campus user’s satisfaction and the ability of thebuilding to maintain a non-declining standard.

Secondly,

Methodologyof analysis and comparative metrics remain elusive, particularly withrespect to financial viability and &quotsustainability&quot which Ibelieve is the focus of the investigation. I must ask: are detailedcosts both in terms of development i.e. soft costs includingconsultants, hard costs i.e. construction, and most importantlycurrent operating costs and projected future costs. I doubt whetherdetails of this nature are available. There are many other questionsin the brief, but again the focus seems a desire to evaluate theproject as an investment vehicle and it is not yet apparent that thetools and data for financial analysis and advanced pro forma areavailable.

Researchethics

Sincethe study relies on information from individuals, the research willemphasize on the provision of honest information. As such, onlyrespondents who will volunteer to give information will beconsidered. Secondly, the information acquired will be confidential.The identity of the respondents wills not b revealed to the public.This will encourage respondents who know some confidentialinformation about the to reveal it since they are guaranteed that noharm will come to them. Thirdly, the research will also validate itsfindings using previous empirical studies targeting MIST building. As such, each work referred will receive the credit to avoidplagiarism. Additionally, every source that will be analyzed willappear on the reference list that will be published at the bottom ofthe paper. In case, an author has valuable information, but it isrestricted from duplication or transfer in any other way will becontacted to acquire his or her permission in advance. In case theauthor would reject distribution of the information, such sourceswill be exempted when drawing the analysis. Similarly, therespondents will sign a confidentiality document to assure them thattheir confidential information will not be released to the public. Asa result, the move will give them the courage to give bold andsincere answers.

ContentAnalysis

TheMiddle East students are used to living in environments that arehighly controlled using modern technologies such as theair-conditioning systems. Nonetheless, MIST building emphasizes onapplication of eco-friendly technology that would reduce bothelectric power consumption and water usage. However, Lau (2012)argues that the MIST building structure and design is sustainable onthe long-term because it provides students with a pleasant naturalenvironment. For example, the external wall of the building isdecorated using a wavy concrete lattice, so it will need to becustomized soon to blend in with the dominant Arabic culture. Thelattice resembles the conventional mashrabiya art. Consequently, thelocal students do not feel alienated by the cutting-edge technologyapplied in the construction of the facility. The lattice shieldsblock direct sunlight from reaching the interior. At the same time,the curves offer an angled vision that prevents people across thestreet to see the individuals in the building. The construction modelmakes the building cost-efficient because the lattice designsuccessfully blocks direct sunlight from reaching the building.Moreover, the lattices with curved angle help to channel cool airinto the building, which is essential for maintaining a lowtemperature (Nader, 2012). In addition, the dormitories of the campusare divided into two categories: the living quarters for marriedwomen and unmarried girls are situated on one side while the hostelfor single men is located on the other side. The outlay means thatthe building complies with the local Islamic laws that requireseparation of women with men.

Lau(2012) asserts that Middle Eastern population has high interest inpersonal privacy. Consequently, they prefer to live in houses thatreflect the traditional Arabic architecture. They also emphasize onpersonal space that can be easily be achieved using the buildingdesign. For example, the male and female hostels are constructed instrategic locations where students of different genders will not mix.

Theidea of cutting energy usage by 56% can make an individual skepticalthat there would be an extreme shortage of power needed to do regulartasks. However, the architecture offers several inventions thatassure students and the MIST fraternity constant clean power supplyfrom renewable sources. For example, the Knowledge Center is locatedunder a spherical roof layered with solar panels. The solar devicessupply the building with the desired electrical power needed fortasks such as lighting (Nader, 2012).

Consideringthat MIST building contains narrow streets, and it has banned theusage of regular automobiles powered by fossil fuels. Fortunately,the master plan of the Masdar City articulates both order andauthority. For instance, the “Personal Rapid Transit” achieves awell-organized and convenient public carriage mode. The eliminationof both private cars and gasoline usage will cut down largequantities of carbon production around the campus withoutcompromising the network of transportation for the people going inand out of the university building.

Findings

MISTaccomplishes its objective of being an innovative urban plan withzero emission and carbon footprint. However, achievement of long-termbuilding sustainability requires a constant development of new andbetter technologies. As such, MIST will serve as the center fordeveloping new technologies focused on the provision of bothsustainable and renewable technologies. However, the presentinnovation cannot sustain a green city adequately. Therefore, thecampus serves as the center for developing the knowledge needed toachieve long-term sustainability (Alfaris, 2010).

Secondly,the MIST building is cost-efficient because it uses renewable energythat is more affordable than the non-renewable sources such as thefossil fuels. The primary power supply comes from the photovoltaicsolar panels installed at strategic places around the building.Nonetheless, the renewable power source is still inadequate to meetthe needs of the entire building. As such, the constructors haveapplied the traditional Arabian architecture strategy of buildinghouses on a high land, as well as leaving narrow streets so that theycan manipulate the flow of air current (Alfaris, 2010).

Thirdly,the BUS analysis indicates that the students within the institutionare satisfied. In particular, the Middle Eastern students arecomfortable with the new technologies and building systems appliedbecause they borrow classic features from the Arabian architecture.For example, the institution is raised to a height of 23 feet abovethe ground using a concrete wall. The idea originated from theArabian culture of constructing buildings in highland regions so thatthey can enjoy the fresh winds needed to maintain optimumtemperatures within the building.

Conclusion

Masdarbuilding is constructed using technology that is sustainable andcost-effective in the long term. One of the key factors that make thetechnology cost-efficient is the fact that it depends on clean andrenewable solar energy. The building also comes with wind towersthat redirect wind currents towards the street. The air currentsreduce heat in the buildings, which in turn lower the frequency ofusing the air-conditioning system.

Similarly,MIST building’s Post Occupancy Evaluation is promising. So far, theoccupants are satisfied by the integrated technology, the electronictransportation network as well as the natural cooling system derivedfrom the ancient Arabic architecture. Furthermore, the local MiddleEastern students can identify with the exterior designs such as thewavy lattice concrete, which simulates the traditional mashrabiya artused in the Arabic construction.

Theresearch has also found that the building has the potential to retainlong-term cost-efficiency because the university is a hub for theinnovative students to develop improved technologies. Subsequently,there is hope that soon the city will have additional sources ofpower to supplement the photovoltaic energy sources.

Definitionof keywords

Green–healthy products that do not produce toxic elements that can pollutean environment.

Sustainable–a balanced condition whereby the demands subjected on an environmentcan be accomplished without compromising the capability of theenvironment to support high living standards for the animals andhumans occupying a given niche, both presently and in the future.

Sustainableurbanism –a new approach of designing cities that have all theresources they need within their boundaries.

Ecological–the physical environment where living organisms interact.

Cuttingedge technology–The newest, and often the most advanced mechanicalknowledge in a given field.

Eco-friendly– technology or human activities that are unharmful to theenvironment.

Cleantech–It includes a collection of renewable energy materials withability to generate low cost and renewable energy with minimalpollution footprint to the environment.

Eco-city– a city constructed to in a way that it will sustain itspopulation within its means such as power produced within itsjurisdiction.

References

AboutMasdar City (n.d).Masdar.Web, retrieved fromhttp://www.masdar.ae/en/masdar-city/live-work-play

Alfaris,A. (2010). The Evolutionary Design Model (EDM) for the design ofcomplex engineered systems: MASDAR City as a Case Study.MassachusettsInstitute of Technology.

Bitesize(n.d). Case study: Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. Urbanisationin MEDCs.Retrieved fromhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/urban_environments/urbanisation_medcs_rev7.shtml

BrehenyM. (1997). Urban compaction: Feasible and acceptable? SustainableUrban Development, 14(4), 209-17.

Bullis,K. (2009). A zero-emissions city in the desert. TechnologyReview, 56-63.

Cugurullo,F. (2013). How to build a sandcastle: An analysis of the genesis anddevelopment of Masdar City. Journalof Urban Technology, 20(1),23-37, DOI:10.1080/10630732.2012.735105

Dragulanescu,I.V. &ampDragulanescu, N. (2013).Some theories of environmentalsustainability.RomanianStatistical Review nr.

Exploringthe Masdar City, (2010). TheFuture Build.Retrieved on Oct. 29 2015 from https://goo.gl/6jlvW4

Joss,S., (2010). Eco-Cities—A global survey 2009. WITTransactions on Ecology and the Environment, 129,239- 250.

Kable,(2016). Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, United ArabEmirates. DesignBuild network.Web. Retrieved fromhttp://www.designbuild-network.com/projects/masdar-institute/

Kansara,T &amp, Ridley, I. (2012). Post occupancy evaluation of buildings ina zero carbon city. SustainableCities and Society, 5,23–25

Lau,A. (2012). Masdar City: A model of urban environmentalsustainability. StanfordEducational Journal.Web, Retrieved from http://goo.gl/QUWuWt

Nader,S. (2012). Paths to a low-carbon economy – the Masdar example.SustainableCities and Society, 5, 23–25

Patel,P. (2013, 21 June). Energy quarterly regional inititative: MasdarCity showcases sustainability. EnergyQuartely Journal.Web. Retrieved on 5 Feb 2016 fromhttp://www.materials360online.com/newsDetails/40500

Appendix

POEQuestionnaire 1.do you feel any difference for being in MIST Buildings comparing toconventional buildings in terms of sun Heat ?

2.How have the building influenced the social interaction amongstudents?

3.Does the building have different energy consumption rate compared toregular buildings in UAE?

4. Is there a difference in terms of productivity for the MISTbuilding when compared to the regular buildings in UAE?

5.How do you rate the building accessibility?

  1. Do you think the accessibility can b improved further?

6.DO you feel less connected to nature specially with the use of thedouble skin facade over the building?

7. Do you wish to live in such an environment like the one here insideMIST?

Sustainabilityand Cost-Efficiency of MIST Building on Long-term Questionnaire

  1. Do you spend more money to sustain your lifestyle since you came to MIST?

  1. For transportation cost

  2. In terms of food

  1. What is the annual financial cost of the operations conducted in the MIST building in terms of:

  1. Development cost for

  1. Construction

  2. Current operating costs

  3. Projected future costs

  1. Soft costs

  1. Consultancy

  2. Facility management