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KAPSARC awarded five LEED EBOM Platinum certifications

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) in Saudi Arabia five Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certificates under the Existing Building: Operation and Maintenance (EBOM) rating system with a rating of over 80 points. KAPSARC’s facilities are the only buildings in Saudi Arabia to have achieved the highest level of LEED-EBOM Platinum certification.

Platinum LEED-EBOM certifications were awarded to KAPSARC’s five community buildings for achieving the highest international sustainability standards throughout the centre’s design, construction, operations, and maintenance procedures.

All five certificates were obtained in 2021 and 2022 as a testament to KAPSARC’s commitment to environmental and sustainability stewardship.

In 2021, KAPSARC’s waste management program diverted 94% of solid waste from landfill through rigorous waste stream audits that eliminated single-use goods and developed an effective waste segregation strategy across multiple stages. During the same period, KAPSARC reduced the compound’s water consumption by 30% by utilizing advanced tools and techniques for indoor and outdoor water use, such as a weather-based irrigation system in conjunction with a micro-irrigation system, mulching, native plant planting, and efficient faucets. The centre’s energy usage was also reduced by 35% due to its yearly energy audits, which regularly identified and implemented low-cost energy conservation measures.

KAPSARC President Fahad Alajlan highlighted that, “This has been a remarkable building since its inception. And of course, behind every great facility is a great team. We realize these significant achievements would not be possible without the hard work of our Facilities Management team. This milestone reflects the centre’s dedication to climate conscious development and highlights the progress KAPSARC has achieved in working toward its sustainability goals.”

KAPSARC was previously certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as the largest LEED Neighbourhood Development project in the Middle East in 2017. In 2014 and 2016, KAPSARC was awarded Platinum LEED New Design and Construction certifications.

KAPSARC’s modular hexagonal buildings were designed by Zaha Hadid Architects to reduce their carbon footprints. Hexagonal prismatic honeycomb structures use the least amount of material to create a lattice of cells within a given volume. This structural and organisational principle determined KAPSARC’s composition as an amalgamation of crystalline forms that emerges from the desert landscape, evolving to best respond to the environmental conditions and internal programme requirements.

Orientated for the sun and wind conditions, KAPSARC’s prismatic architectural cells gain in height towards the south, west, and east to shield internal spaces from direct sunlight, while the courtyards within are oriented to the north and northwest to allow indirect sunlight into the spaces below. ‘Wind-catchers’ integrated within the roof profiles direct the prevailing winds downwards to cool each courtyard.