Saudi Arabia may soon become a world leader in green building. The desert nation is currently the third most invested country globally in green buildings. With 1,218 projects currently under way across the country covering a total 22 million sq m gross, registered or certified with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system including smart, sustainable mega cities, green buildings already have significant presence in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi is already home to one of the highest concentrations of Gold and Platinum Leed-certified buildings in the Middle East, with a cluster of more than 50 towers together at the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh.
Interestingly, Saudi is the largest supplier of crude oil among the OPEC nations which is now planning clean energy solar plants with mega infrastructure projects, including smart city Neom.
The first translated green building code specific to the Arab world and conceptualized in Arabic – the only one of its kind in the world alongside the original English version by International Code Council will be released at the Stone & Surface Saudi Arabia 2018 expo which is currently being held in Jeddah. The code will include a series of concepts and implementation tactics relevant to the Middle East with a focus on preserving cultural heritage whilst incorporating new technological advancements, materials and techniques to achieve the ultimate in green building and comply with all current regulations.