Officials at the ground-breaking ceremony for the 30,000-sq-m sustainable community.

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City has broken ground on The Link, a 30,000-sq-m sustainable community featuring the region’s first net-zero energy shared living and working facility.

It will boast four low-carbon buildings with event spaces as well as retail options, recreational facilities, and outdoor plazas.

Leading UAE construction company Dutco has been signed up as the main contractor, while EDGE is the designer of The Link.

A major sustainable development for the region, The Link is designed to meet several high-level sustainability standards such as Leed Platinum, WELL Gold, 4 Pearl PBRS Estidama, and LEED SmartPark Silver.

The project is expected to achieve a significant reduction in energy use, being powered by renewable energy sources.

The development will offer residential units in various sizes, as well as dedicated office and commercial spaces. Amenities for residents will include a courtyard with play areas, a wellness zone, and more. The commercial space will feature retail options at the ground level.

“It will model a new kind of sustainable community by connecting shared working and living space with other elements of a thriving neighbourhood, including places to shop, play, and relax, and local transportation,” remarked its Acting CEO Ahmed Baghoum.

“It is a key component of Masdar City’s ‘green-print’ for sustainable urban development and a wonderful way to honour this Year of Sustainability as the UAE prepares to host COP 28,” he added.

EDGE Managing Director Martin Baerschmidt said: “Our priority was integrating the international sustainability principles that Masdar City is known for with world-class living, working, and recreational space to create a truly iconic architectural landmark and community experience.”

A multi-use hall and visitor centre, spanning 3,300 sq m, will host conferences, exhibitions, and live performances, and will have a retail precinct on the ground floor as well as a restaurant on the first level, explained Baerschmidt.

The flexible auditorium will seat 300 and feature state-of-the-art technology and equipment, stated the top designer.

The Link will connect all areas of Masdar City through transportation networks. It will create a transition route between the upcoming Light-Rail Transit and Group Rapid Transit networks, and offer bicycle tracks, bus connectivity, electric charging ports, and parking for 1,255 vehicles.