British architect Norman Foster's prominence is indisputable. The architectural firm he founded in 1967, Foster + Partners, has received hundreds of awards and citations for excellence over the years. Now a worldwide presence, the firm has also won more than 100 international and national competitions [source: The Telegraph].
A fan of sustainability, Foster's Web site notes that buildings consume a full half of all the energy we generate, plus cause half of the world's carbon emissions, so architects have a responsibility to help change these numbers [source: Foster + Partners]. How? While there are numerous small changes that can be made, it doesn't hurt to think big. Foster and his associates are currently designing Masdar in Abu Dhabi, a zero-carbon, zero-waste city. The world's first such entity, Foster says Masdar will set new benchmarks for future sustainable cities [source: Lee].