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Saudi Arabia: Pushing the building envelope

Sustainability in building envelope design is still behind in Saudi Arabia, however global trends are beginning to catch on

Ayman Ahmed Hassan, head of architecture and senior projects manager, ACE.
Ayman Ahmed Hassan, head of architecture and senior projects manager, ACE.

Buildings grab a substantial share of energy and recourse consumption but sustainable facade design in the ME is still not near global levels, according to Abdul Rahman al Naim Consultant Engineers (ACE).

Ayman Ahmed Hassan, head of architecture and senior projects manager, said: “Saudi is still late in implementing this, although it has a high volume of green building projects taking place."

Sustainable envelope objectives start with viable parameters like location, the building itself, interiors, electromechanical installations and others.

“The envelope scheme needs to be sustaining renewable energies,” he said.

Hassan explained that globally the concerns are air and water.

Power generating wind turbines, and recycled water for domestic use and landscape irrigation can result from good envelope designs.

In Saudi Arabia however, heat is the main issue.

“Reusable energy can also be achieved with the use of copper mesh that would collect and extract heat energy 1.5 meters deep from the ground and transform it into power,” Hassan explained.

Building Envelope sustainability requires both green architecture and green building processes throughout a building's life-cycle, from design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and even demolition.

The envelope itself can be green.

According to Hassan, today’s Bio-Facades help the building’s envelope interact biologically with the surrounding environment.

“A more mechanical concept are Kinetic Facades which change as controlled through a building’s management system (BMS),” he said.

Hassan will be presenting on “Design innovation and sustainable building envelope” at the March 7-10 Saudi Big 5.

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Construction Week - Issue 753
Nov 09, 2019