International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has opened new headquarters yesterday (June 3) in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City.

The premises, the UAE’s most sustainable office building, was inaugurated by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“The inauguration of the Irena headquarters in Masdar City marks an important milestone on the UAE’s successful journey to host the intergovernmental organization, which began with our bid submission seven years ago,” said Sheikh Abdullah.

“Hosting Irena in Abu Dhabi is a reflection of the UAE’s commitment to expanding access to sustainable, clean energy both domestically and internationally. We look forward to partnering closely with Irena and countries around the world to support the further development of renewable energy and clean technologies.”

High-level representatives from around the world and the UAE government attended the inaugural event in Masdar City. The event highlighted the outstanding sustainability characteristics of the Irena building, the first commercial building in the UAE to receive a four-pearl rating for design and construction from the Urban Planning Council through Estidama, the Abu Dhabi certification system for measuring energy, water and carbon efficiency.

Irena is one of the newest and fastest-growing intergovernmental organizations in the world, and the first to be headquartered in the Middle East. The agency currently supports 140 member countries, with 32 more in the process of accession.

Headquartered in Masdar City, a sustainable city in the heart of a global hub for energy – Abu Dhabi – Irena is strategically positioned to collaborate with governments worldwide to help them meet their renewable energy goals.

The new Irena building offers a total floor area of 32,000 sq m and has approximately 1,000 sq m of rooftop solar photovoltaic panels supplying electricity to the building.

The building’s passive design and smart energy management systems enables it to use 42% less energy than global energy-efficiency standards. It is also expected to use 50% less water and 64% less energy than similar commercial buildings in Abu Dhabi.

Over the past decade, renewable power generating capacity has increased by 85%, according to Irena, and renewable energy remains the fastest growing energy segment.

Source: Trade Arabia