Saudi Arabia leads region in green buildings

Sabic’s Home of Innovation house(artist’s rendering)
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Saudi Arabia now has the largest number of planned projects registered to compliant with green building ratings, MEED’s Saudi Mega Projects’ sustainability, energy efficiency and clean energy day was told this morning.

“There are 139 completed LEED buildings in the Middle East and about 1,000 in the region are registered to be green buildings,” US Green Building Council representative and Green Technologies managing director Mario Seneviratne said.

The conference was told that around 400 projects in Saudi Arabia had have or have applied for green building status. “Saudi Arabia will have the most number of buildings in the region.”

Seneviratne said that work on the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) Home of Innovation demonstration house has completed in Riyadh’s Techno Valley.

“This is the first LEED platinum home in the Middle East and the first in the world to be a platinum home and a net zero,” Seneviratne said. “This means this home is a prototype because it will not be taking electricity from the grid for a year.”

Sabic is due to complete 615, LEED silver-rated homes in the Al Waseel Hills project in Riyadh in 2016, Seneviratne said. LEED-rated homes are being built in the King Abdulaziz University faculty housing project in Jeddah.

Senevirtane said that these projects were developed voluntarily rather than as a result of government direction.

“Regulations will deliver buildings with 15-20 per cent energy savings,” he said. “But if you do it voluntarily, you can get to 60 per cent and even 100 per cent energy savings. Green buildings work if people understand them and the industry understands them and they do it voluntarily.”

Saudi Mega Projects is being held the Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel on 8-10 December 2015. The strategic event partner is SABB; the gold sponsor is Conrac; the silver sponsor is Autodesk and the bronze sponsor is Pace. Viewpoint is lunch sponsor. The conference sponsors are Hill International; Aconex and Atheeb. Exhibitors are Sika, Salfo Engineering & Management Consultants, Arminox, PAL and Effat University.