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Dubai Villas

Projects / Residential

Dubai Villas

Masdar Desert ZED detached multi generation family homes

The idea is to make living in luxury zero carbon / zero emissions homes so convenient, and with an overall higher quality of life than conventional oil reliant alterrnatives - that most people will choose to live in this environment because it is healthier, more convenient, calmer on the eye, and quite simply better designed.

It will also have very low running costs, future proofing the purchase investment.


A new concept in medium density detached zero carbon luxury homes specifically designed for the Emirates climate achieving 30 luxury detached homes/ ha and up to 41 homes / ha with flats on corner pavilions and detached homes everywhere else. The homes have been specially designed to fit into a 45 degree diagonal South west / North East masterplan as adopted at Masdar. Streets are shaded by palm trees and overhanging solar collectors to maximise pedestrian comfort and create walkable neighbourhoods.

Each home is around 310m2 gross internal floor area built on four floors with a shaded rooftop terrace, and features a lift and shaded parking under a first-floor timber patio deck.


A north facing triple glazed stair tower contains a stair, lift and vertical air distribution housed in translucent glass shafts. A rotating rooftop architectural fabric sail channels the prevailing wind into each principal room, at the same time as extracting stale air whilst recovering most of the coolth. This allows the home to be occupied without air conditioning for up to two-thirds of the year.


In winter the stair garden becomes a thermal chimney - large opening vents at the top maximising cross ventilation through each room - without needing noisy fans. At the height of summer the doors and windows of the superinsulated house can be closed, and solar powered air conditioning units in the ground floor provide both dehumidification and cool air to each room.

The homes cluster into defensible courtyards with shared pool, sunbathing decks and private sun terraces with retractable shade awnings. The courtyards provide excellent supervison of children playing, and have good security, at the same time as maximising the opportunities for meeting other families and creating a strong social network connected to each urban block..

Passive Solar Cooling Strategy

Passive solar cooling strategy kit comprises of a wind cowl based on the sails of a dhow made from stretched architectural fabric. This is combined with an active system using a combination of a desiccant salt to dry the air and an indirect evaporative cooling unit.


The air around the passive ducts is pressurised fan driven cool air. The air in the ducts is low velocity, low-pressure supply and extract air


If there is no pressure in the system, i.e. the wind is not blowing or cooling load is high, air is extracted via a bypass flap under pressurised means. The cowl then balances itself supplying more fresh airto the system


Winter Coolth Recovery

  • The building is sealed up air is supplied by the wind cowl precooled without going stale air

  • Air is supplied to low level by stainless steel twin wall ducts to avoid heat transfer

  • Air picks up pollutants in the room and is extracted passively at high level

  • Coolth is exchanged without the two air paths mixing.

Interseasonal purge

  • Open windows allow air to pass through the building the stale hot air ventilates through to the stair core

  • Rooflights at the top of the stair core quickly extra stair out of the building (this effect is increased by having glazing and metallic surfaces at the top of the stair core)

Low Energy Cooling

This occurs in a number of stages

  • Incoming air is dried using a salt which is regenerated by a solar thermal loop

  • This dried air is cooledby an indirect evaporative processc fresh cool air is supplied by spaces around the passive ducts to low level outlets in the room

  • Extracted by a passive means (or active if required) this exchanges coolth with incoming fresh air still supplied from high level by passive means.

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Upton Rural ZED
Hastings Zero Bills Home Development
The Zero Bills Home
Newport Eco Village (2016)
Newquay Zero Bills Community (2013)
Ecogrove Eco-village
Newquay Island Crescent (2012)
Hope House (1995)
St.Matthews Keyworker Block
Linden Glade (2004)
Valley House (2016)
Tamar Valley Centre
Yew Tree House Brighton
Dubai Villa
Rural ZED
Hockney Green Housing Development
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