NYU Abu Dhabi Re-Imagines Agricultural Tourism in UAE for Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018

Press Release

A dedicated team of students and faculty from NYU Abu Dhabi is set to unveil their design for the first-ever LEED certified sustainable agricultural tourism destination in the UAE at the 19th edition of the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) from 23 to 25 October in Dubai.

Comprised of 20 students from 16 countries, Team NYUAD has tackled the aims of the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 by combining new opportunities in desert farming with the ambitious food security goals of the UAE to redefine sustainable living while utilizing the natural beauty, local materials, and emerging designers of the Emirates and designing a revolutionary model of energy-efficient accommodation.

“The Solar Decathlon is a multidisciplinary construction project, spanning two years, which allows the students to address some of the most pressing issues facing the construction industry today, including how to create sustainable, aesthetically pleasing and technology-enabled buildings,” said Matthew Karau, faculty advisor for the project.

NYUAD’s design for a LEED certified accommodation incorporates passive design strategies, future-ready infrastructure, and low-impact modular prefabrication to incorporate diverse technologies and achieve energy self-sufficiency without compromising overall comfort. The design is being revealed shortly after the appointment of Mariam Al Muhairi as the Minister of State for Future Food Security of our Nation, with respect to research, planning, and technology.

“With this project, we aim to highlight the ambitious organic and hydroponic farming enterprises in the UAE and provide opportunities for travelers and residents to experience sustainable living in the desert and cook with locally-grown ingredients,” Karau added.

The Solar Decathlon Middle East is an international competition in which universities from all over the world meet to design, build and operate grid-connected, net-zero energy consumption houses. During the final phase of the competition, the 21 teams will assemble their houses at the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai and open them to the general public while they are being judged for the competition period in November 2018.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.