Sustainability isn’t just a local fad, it is being pursued everywhere in the world these days. The Middle East, known for its oil and energy production, is also rapidly moving in the direction of environmental awareness.

Masdar City, one of the integrated units of Abu Dhabi’s multifaceted renewable energy company Masdar, has captured worldwide interest by demonstrating how sustainable cities can be developed. Masdar City has selected SoFi software system from PE Intl.,, Stuttgart, Germany, to monitor carbon embodied in buildings for its ambitious project.

SoFi is a tool that provides a central platform for benchmarking and forecasting sustainability performance and developing sustainability strategies. The system is playing a key role in helping Masdar’s supply chain team and contractors to track and monitor the carbon embodiment of building materials thereby calculating the amount of carbon associated with construction activities.

Using SoFi, Masdar can monitor carbon performance during construction and quantify how well it is meeting its goals. This is vital in terms of validating its ambitious building of one of the most sustainable cities in the world.

PE Intl., has been supporting Masdar for more than two years, initially working with the city’s supply chain team to produce EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) for capturing and communicating the environmental performance of products used in the city. Lifecycle assessment or energy efficiency studies carried out for some of the suppliers have helped identify improvement measures in products and processes, in line with Masdar’s strategy of engaging with its supply chain to achieve better performance.

With SoFi, Masdar has the capability for target setting and monitoring the evolving project. It can also use SoFi for benchmarking against targets and comparing how much carbon dioxide would be involved in producing a building in the city compared to a standard building in, for example, London, Paris, or New York.

A key ability of SoFi is its distributed data acquisition, which gives Masdar City flexibility in how it collects information from different sources. The system’s analytics support decision making—for example, being able to see that a building is 50% complete, yet already 70% on the way to meeting its emission target. This will help decisions on possible corrective measures.