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KAPSARC wins Engineering News-Record (ENR) 2018 Global Best Projects Award and ECOtechGreen Awards

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia wins the Engineering News-Record (ENR) 2018 Best Project Award in the Education/Research category as well as the 2018 ECOtechGreen Awards in the Green Technology & Green Infrastructure category.

The ENR Global Best Projects Awards honour the project teams behind outstanding design and construction efforts of the past year, focussing on the challenges, risks and rewards of designing and constructing internationally. The judges reviewed projects across six continents and examined safety performance, innovations, challenges, and design and construction quality – with a special emphasis on the diversity of global project teams and their collaboration. Judges also considered how the project benefits the local community and/or the construction industry.

ECOtechGreen Awards, organised by the Italian Register of Architects, Planners, Landscape Architects and Conservation Architects in collaboration with Paysage, aims to promote sustainable new development strategies and provide guidelines and tools to implement green technology procedures and best practice.

KAPSARC is a non-profit institution for research into the most effective use of energy for social wellbeing. Developing policies to reduce the environmental impact & costs of energy supply and enabling practical solutions to use energy more efficiently, KAPSARC brings together experts from around the world to tackle energy challenges; freely sharing its analytical knowledge.

The KAPSARC campus incorporates five buildings: the Energy Knowledge Centre; the Energy Computer Centre; a Conference Centre with exhibition hall and 300-seat auditorium; a Research Library with archives for 100,000 volumes; and the Musalla, a place for prayer & contemplation within the campus.

ZHA’s first project to be awarded LEED Platinum certification by the US Green Building Council, the centre is designed in response to the environment of the Riyadh Plateau to minimise energy consumption.

In nature, hexagonal prismatic honeycomb structures use the least amount of material to create a lattice of cells within any given volume. This natural principle determined KAPSARC’s composition as an amalgamation of crystalline forms that emerges from the desert landscape, evolving to best respond to the environment.

Presenting a solid, protecting shell to the harsh sunlight from the south, the campus opens to north & west; encouraging prevailing winds to cool the campus via a series of sheltered courtyards that bring softly-controlled daylight into the interior.

Orientated for the sun & wind conditions, the crystalline forms of KAPSARC’s prismatic cells gain in height towards the south, west, and east to shield internal spaces from direct sunlight. ‘Wind-catchers’ integrated within the roof profiles direct the prevailing winds from the north into each courtyard for cooling.

KAPSARC has been named KSA’s ‘smartest’ building in the Honeywell Smart Building Awards programme, based on criteria that include environmental sustainability, safety & productivity.

KAPSARC is also shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival 2018 WAF Awards, as well as the 2018 Blueprint Awards and the 2018 ABB Leaf Awards.

ENR Award winners

Photography by Julian Faulhaber