In an effort to accelerate the development of cost-effective, sustainable concrete, Masdar, the developer of the planned carbon and waste-neutral Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, is holding a concrete mix design competition. The first prize is $150,000, for a sustainable concrete production method. The second prize is $50,000 for the lowest-carbon- footprint concrete mix.

This is the first of several competitions to help Masdar, an initiative of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co., achieve its goals for sustainability at Masdar City, says Omar. M. Waqfi, Masdar's specifications manager. "We are pushing and challenging people on all aspects [of sustainable development], which is, in a way, groundbreaking," he says. The next competition will be for a sustainable house, says Waqfi.

Interested parties should submit requests for information by Dec. 21 and a letter of intent to participate by Jan. 15. Reports are due April 16.

Competition details, including evaluation criteria, are available at

Masdar is seeking ways to produce concrete with a minimum 50 kilogram per cu m of carbon dioxide reduction compared to a Masdar baseline mixture.

Submitters are also challenged to develop concrete at a unit cost equal to or lower than the Masdar baseline mix. And the concrete must perform as well as or better than the Masdar mix regarding workability, constructibility, heat development, durability and service life. Concrete production must be 500,000 cu m per year.

A panel of seven judges will evaluate the entries. Seven entries will be selected for field validation.

The $150,000 prize will go to the submitter with the best score for sustainable concrete production, considering CO2 emissions, cost, performance and production capacity. The $50,000 prize will go to the mix with the lowest CO2 emission that meets the Masdar baseline mix performance specification. The winners will be selected at the end of September, after the mixes of the top scorers are produced at Masdar-Al Falah readymix plant at the Masdar City site.

The winning mix will be incorporated in the Masdar City master specification. The Masdar City master plan by Foster & Partners describes a 6-sq-kilometer sustainable development laid out as a high-density city with mixed uses. The Masdar Institute of Technology building is almost complete. Piling and grade beam work is complete and the slab on grade is half complete for the city's second building, the Masdar headquarters.