NBK tower on track for gold LEED rating, MEED conference told

The 300-metre-high National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) tower in the Sharq district of Kuwait city is on track to secure gold rating under the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating methodology, the Kuwait Energy & Water Efficiency pre-conference masterclass in Kuwait was told today.

Work on the tower, which will have 56 stories, started in 2013. It was designed by Foster & Partners of the UK. The engineering consultants are a partnership between Buro Happold and Kuwait’s SSH. The construction contract was won by Kuwait’s Ahmadiah Contracting & Trading Company. Projacs International is providing LEED management and project management services. It is estimated the project will cost about $500m.

NBK’s deputy general manager for in-house engineering services Ezzat Hallal said that NBK’s aiming to secure 64 points out of a maximum total of 110 under the LEED rating system. The project is now about half-way through the LEED design evaluation process.

The tower’s sustainability features include:

  • A large amount of open space which accounts for 60 per cent of the tower’s land footprint
  • Energy-saving light-emitting diode (LED) lighting
  • Thermal shading through a system of exterior vertical fins
  • Thermal energy storage, which will chill ice overnight for use in the tower’s airconditioning during the day
  • Under-floor airconditioning on all floors
  • A grey-water recycling system for hand-basins and showers. The water will be used in irrigation
  • A energy-saving light management system
  • A refrigerant-management system to contain ozone-damaging and other emissions
  • The use of recycled material. About 20 per cent of the material used in the tower is the result of recycling
  • The use of low-emission materials, including paints
  • A building waste management system.

Kuwait has only one LEED-certified complete building. About a dozen more are at the planning and construction stage.

The NBK tower will be the largest gold-rated building in Kuwait. It is due for completion in early 2017.