SABIC Riyadh Housing Project (Al Waseel Hills)
Al Waseel Hills, a new gated community for SABIC employees in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is en route to receive LEED Silver sustainability ratings from the US Green Building Council. The project comprises Compounds for Saudi and Expatriate personnel and their families and associated schools, recreational facilities, town centers, mosques and a beautifully landscaped wadi which snakes through the middle of SABIC land.
The Engineering & Project Management (E&PM) Department of SABIC is responsible for the drive towards achieving LEED certifications for SABIC projects. Abdulrahman Al-Basri, Vice President, E&PM said: “Sustainability is one of the main pillars of any SABIC project. It is great to have a rating program that is concerned about the built environment which will definitely have direct positive impact to the triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Profit”.
Fahad Al-Dayel, Director, Riyadh Projects Management (E&PM), added: "Al Waseel Hills project aims to obtain LEED for Homes certificate which is the most sophisticated LEED certification process in which every house will be tested and inspected by an accredited and independent Green rater agency to verify compliance with all required LEED guidelines for a Silver certificate”.
Naif Al-Doghaish, Project Manager, mentioned: “Sustainability is thoroughly embedded within the design strategies for Al Waseel Hills project and the villas are expected to achieve LEED Silver certificate. SABIC project management team is coordinating closely with the Contractor and LEED Consultant to achieve the target certificate”.
Members of the project team include SABIC Engineering & Project Management (E&PM) in Riyadh, The Joannou & Paraskevaides Group (J&P), the project’s design and build contractor from Cyprus; Green Technologies, an engineering consultancy company in Canada/UAE and Sol Design + Consulting of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
The first phase of the project includes 469 Saudi Villas and 216 Expat Villas which are currently registered for LEED Silver certification.
The key sustainability features of the villas are:
Energy efficiency is a prime factor in Al Waseel Hills sustainability strategy and the certification goal of LEED Silver.
· Continuous EPS sheets applied to walls, slab and roof, provide insulation and a highly effective air barrier to enhance energy efficiency.
· High performance insulated windows reflect most infrared radiation heat away from the interior, while permitting visible light entry.
· High-efficiency electric heat pump systems in each home provide air conditioning in homes.
Water conservation is another important consideration in the arid local environment:
· High-efficiency irrigation system reduces water use to the landscape plantings.
· Dual-flush toilets, very high efficiency lavatory faucets and showerheads reduce water use in the bathrooms.
· Drought tolerant landscaping includes non-conventional turf grasses.
Site/Landscaping green features:
· Low maintenance native and adapted plant species.
· Highly reflective driveways and walkways reduce heat island effects.
Healthy indoor air quality:
· Low/No-VOC paints, adhesives and sealants are used exclusively in the home interiors.
· Hard flooring throughout the home is specified instead of wall-to-wall carpeting.
· Allergen-reducing air filters are installed in the HVAC systems.
· All baths exhaust directed to outdoors.
Environmentally smart building materials:
· Concrete construction incorporates slag into the concrete mix to increase its recycled content.
· External insulation system is locally produced.
· Window frames are fabricated from recycled aluminum.
· Locally sourced aggregate and slag make up the bulk of the home concrete structure, reducing fuel used in delivery.
Al Waseel Hills is an excellent example of the practical adaptability of green building best practices to a local environment and culture. The new homes are designed to be architecturally appealing to SABIC employees. The homes are bright, healthy, easy to maintain and eminently livable. All these benefits to families are delivered in an energy efficient, water conserving and environmentally positive design.