World's first air-operated shading system tested in Abu Dhabi


The world’s first air-operated shade system in the world has finished a round of testing before it is implemented in Abu Dhabi.

The Airshade from Dutch startup Airshade Technologies has designed the prototype, which has been tested at the Masdar City solar power plant over the last eight months. 

Inspired by tree leaves, the design uses pressure from changing air temperatures to open and close it and the structure moves in the sun, much like branches, forming a shaded area.

The system relies entirely on nature and works without the use of sensors, motors or electricity.

Masdar City is one of the leading sustainable urban communities in Abu Dhabi, known for adopting innovative solutions to contribute climate change issues.

"The ‘Airshade’ system started with a simple conversation at the World Future Energy Summit. That conversation developed into an idea for collaboration, and then that idea turned into a prototype that we tested in Masdar City," said Chris Wan, Associate Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility at Masdar City.

"We are currently researching potential applications for a shading system that is the first of its kind that does not require the use of electricity, a motor or connecting cables. Our collaboration with dozens of startups to find innovative solutions to climate change is common in Masdar City, as small companies can do big things."

He added that the award-winning prototype was designed to be expanded into a large architectural model that provides dynamic shading in a large community space such as a park without the need for electricity. It can also be used to provide dynamic shading to the facade of a building to improve energy efficiency.

Nicola Znauer, founder of Airshade Technologies, said: “We are still evaluating the next steps to expand the scope of the ‘Airshade’ business, but we are very grateful to Masdar City for providing us with this opportunity to turn our innovative concept into reality."


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