Feeling the Heat

Commercial Office Shaped by Ecologically Sustainable Design

IRENA Headquarters

The International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) headquarters in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, exemplifies the overall development of Masdar City and embodies the Estidama “four pillars of sustainability” which are social, environmental, economic and cultural.

The Grade-A office building has been designed by Woods Bagot and developed by the Masdar Organisation, the company responsible for delivering Masdar City as a low-carbon, sustainable city.

Talk to James Taylor about Workplace Architecture

Project details

IRENA Headquarters also includes speculative commercial space which, combined with the space occupied by IRENA staff, offers a total floor area of 32,000 square meters.

Masdar City, Abu Dhabi
32,000 square meters
Completion Date

Cityscape Emerging Markets – Commercial (built) + Sustainability categories (2015)
Highly Commended Emirates Green Building Council – Green Building of the Year (Commercial) (2015)
Big Project ME – Green Project of the Year (2014)
Construction Week – Sustainable Project of the Year (2014) – Highly Commended

Talk to James Taylor about Workplace Architecture

The design of the IRENA HQ building has been driven by a desire to conserve energy and water, balanced with a vision to promote biodiversity, minimise the use of high-embodied-energy materials and create an attractive, liveable and inspiring environment for occupiers. Woods Bagot drew upon a wide range of skills from urban planning to workplace and education design, harnessing the global network capacity to produce an innovative and ground-breaking project.

The landscape design was driven by the ultimate objectives of: conserving water; promoting biodiversity; creating thermally comfortable and attractive external spaces; and minimising the use of high-embodied energy materials. The design of the courtyard within the central atrium is seen as a green ‘oasis’ and the selection of the materials and planting evoke the experience of an outdoor space.