With a rich experience in building, we know for sure that builders are a conservative bunch! However times have greatly changed and there is no alternative except to convince them to change and embrace green buildings that consumer little energy, use fewer resources, and reduces harm to the environment. Whether this change occur willingly or out of necessity, it is time for stakeholders to consider preserving the environment.
So, what is green building?
Green building refers to the buildings that optimize use of resources and reduces the material and resource requirements for maintenance. We all need comfort, fresh air, and high water quality, aspects that are made possible through the reliance on green building practices and principles.
There are 5 key principles of green building
- Water quality and conservation through preservation of natural water cycle
- Indoor environment quality through increased access to natural ventilation and day lighting
- Resource conservation by minimizing non-renewable resource use.
- Reliance on renewable energy and other low impact energy sources
- Preserving key environmental assets as part of the sustainable asset design.
Green building practices in the Middle East and Saudi
The global emission of CO2 from the construction industry is about 40% out of which cement contributes 8% of gas emissions worldwide. The hot weather and high use of glass in the middle East imply comparatively high energy consumption than other parts of the world. The new carbon legislation in the region requires companies to use green cement. Cement is made from fewer fossil fuels as well as recyclable wastes in the production of iron. Aramco, a Saudi Arabian Giant using Green Cement has reported saving 80% of water and reducing carbon emissions by 70%.
Green Building Trends in the Middle East have been impressive:
- LEED-Certification has become prominent in the region with UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt taking the lead.
- Prominent Green Buildings emerged in various cities in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Jeddah.
- Putting up King Salman Energy Park which covers 50 km2 is an emblem of sustainable building in the KSA.
- Increased investment in green steel and cement production to reduce carbon emissions from the construction sectors.
The green building industry continues to demonstrate positive progress in the Middle East. It provides a better solution compared to planting trees.
The transition into the green building is gaining considerable attention in the construction industry in the Middle East. Stakeholders who choose to be part of the change will benefit from:
- Reduced cost of development
- Increased indoor environment quality for building occupants
- Increased economic and job opportunities
- Less cost for maintaining the buildings
In sum, green building technologies serve as the hope for climate change mitigation and smart urbanization in the Middle East.