SABIC demo home attains highest level of certification

A demonstration home built to serve by SABIC earned Platinum certification from US Green Building Council.

Dec 24, 2015

RIYADH -- A high-performance demonstration home built to serve SABIC's Home of Innovation growth initiative has earned Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

It is the first single-family home in the Middle East region to earn LEED-Platinum, the highest possible rating under the USGBC's LEED for Homes International Pilot program. The 800-square-meter (8,611 square foot) home also is designed and built to generate as much electricity as it consumes (a so-called "net-zero" energy balance) in a 12-month period.

"This is a good achievement for SABIC and Saudi Arabia," said Awadh Al-Maker, SABIC Executive Vice President, Technology and Innovation. "It is a significant, tangible proof point of the collaboration we will facilitate and enable through our Home of Innovation initiative."

The Demonstration Home is part of a three-building, 7,900-square-meter complex that also includes a two-building Collaboration Center that recently earned LEED-Gold certification from the USGBC's LEED for New Construction rating system. Like the Demonstration Home, the Center buildings feature an engaging and informative visitor experience, but also include office and meeting spaces for Home of Innovation™ staff and guests. Seven of SABIC's facilities have now achieved LEED certification since 2012.

"This facility will help promote more sustainable home building around the region," said Mohammad Abdullah Al-Aboudi, Operations Manager, Home of Innovation. "We hope it inspires and leads the construction industry to incorporate these innovative yet proven technologies, materials, products and systems toward improving building performance."

The Home and Center showcases a full complement of the latest commercially available materials, products and integrated systems to yield at least 40 percent reductions in overall energy and potable water use compared to other homes in Saudi Arabia.

The buildings also feature environmentally responsible building materials and techniques, including paints and finishes with low or no volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions; controlled ventilation, filtration and pollutant mitigation measures for clean indoor air; and durable, low-maintenance interior and exterior finishes.

"These accomplishments prove that we can achieve the highest levels of building performance in one of the harshest climates in the world," said Abdullah Al-Refaie, Program Director, Home of Innovation, SABIC. "Such an accomplishment can only be achieved through collaboration among all members of the project team."

Other examples of the facility's energy and environmental features include: an insulated and air-sealed thermal structure to reduce overall energy needs; a 28 kW rooftop solar array on the Home that enables a net-zero energy balance; energy-efficient space cooling design and systems; long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, controls and sensors; energy-efficient solar hot water; low-flow and water-saving plumbing fixtures and appliances; drought-tolerant landscaping with a high-efficiency irrigation system and no conventional turf grass areas; rain and gray-water reclamation system for landscape irrigation; a building management system that enhances the performance and efficiency of multiple energy- and water-using products and systems; and the diversion of 91.73% of construction waste from landfills through recycling and reuse.

Members of the project team, led by SABIC Engineering and Projects Management (E&PM) include IBACOS, a building innovation company based in Pittsburgh, PA USA; The Joannou & Paraskevaides Group (J&P), the project's general contractor from Cyprus; Green Technologies, an engineering consultancy company in Dubai, UAE; Sol design + consulting of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Zuhair Fayez Partnership, the project architect and construction consultant in Riyadh, KSA; Saudi Specialist Construction Limited, the main electro-mechanical subcontractor in Riyadh.

Home of Innovation, a SABIC growth initiative, combines marketing, innovation and technology to create demand and promote downstream industry development. It offers a platform to showcase global innovation while identifying and developing new market opportunities and solutions. It inspires the regional business community by facilitating collaboration among industry-leading companies and showcasing what could be manufactured locally. It brings together the best minds and organizations interested in the future of the Middle East and acts as a catalyst to transform ideas to industry.

© The Saudi Gazette 2015