‘Green buildings’ concept takes root in Kingdom

Updated 05 December 2013
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‘Green buildings’ concept takes root in Kingdom

Environment-friendly Saudi Arabia has a special respect for green buildings, observed an advocate of the green building movement in the US.
Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of US Green Building Council and chair of the World Green Building Council, who was on a brief visit to Saudi Arabia told Arab News that the Kingdom is on the right track to implement green building projects throughout the Kingdom.
“I am happy Saudi Arabia is focusing more on greenhouses, green schools and universities,” he said, pointing out that the new facilities are environment-friendly and is beneficial to the people living in the neighborhood.
In the Kingdom, the maiden green building initiative was taken by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in 2010. The King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Jeddah was the first green building constructed in the Kingdom.
There are 140 such buildings throughout the Kingdom at present and 40 of them are in Riyadh. The existing green buildings cover an area of 12 million sq m, 10 percent of the green buildings in the GCC region and four percent in the world. The Kingdom’s school in Riyadh and the upcoming King Abdullah Financial City in Riyadh include some of the green buildings in the capital.
Fedrizzi was in the capital to take part in the distinguished sustainability lecture series convened by Carrier and OTIS.
Speaking about sustainability, Fedrizzi said: “It is an understating what resources do we need to protect so that we have the ability to sustain the life we all want not only to us but to our children and for our future generation.”
In early days, he recalled that authentic environmentalists lived a peaceful and healthy life.
“Our parents and grandparents did not waste anything. They grew their own food. They shared it with their neighbors and did not have cars and they mobilized themselves with the available mode of transport and they built homes and buildings that were sustainable by nature,” said Fedrizzi.
“Above all, they respected nature,” he added.
At present, he added: “We have taken so much for granted too long, now we are trying to get back to a world where our communities, cities and buildings mean more to us.”
It means laying the groundwork for a future that is more prosperous, more healthful, and more equitable than our present. It means that our habits — at a personal level as well as at a global level — don’t lead to an inevitable depletion of resources that would disrupt our quality of life.
Living sustainably means exactly what it says — that our lifestyles can be sustained and that we don’t prove to be our own worst enemies.
Green building isn’t about a laundry list of negative human behaviors that we shouldn’t do. It’s about all the innovative, exciting and life-affirming things we can and should do that lead to an economy, an environment and a social landscape in harmony with each other. It’s about solutions, and the businessman in me knew that this was the key to making real change.
Green building’s potential for truly transforming the way humans and our environment interact comes from one key concept: connectivity.
Green building is focused not on a collection of gadgets and gimmicks but on maximizing the way all of a building’s systems interact with each other.
Those systems include the human beings who occupy the buildings and the communities that the buildings occupy.
In the best buildings, better ventilation and natural daylight save energy while also nurturing the health and comfort of the people inside.
Buildings located in walkable neighborhoods reduce greenhouse gases and also connect people to their neighbors and create a strong sense of place.
Using less water also means less energy required for municipal water treatment. The use of local materials not only cuts back on transportation needs but also builds into the fabric of our homes, offices, schools and communities a direct connection to our local economies.


Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Updated 19 March 2019
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Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Annual horology exhibition Salon des Grandes Complications (SDGC) is returning to Saudi Arabia for the third year in a row, with shows in both Jeddah and Riyadh. The event will showcase the latest masterpieces from some of the most celebrated watchmakers in history. The fine watchmaking exhibition will kick off in Jeddah at the Hilton Hotel April 8-11, and then move to Al-Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh April 15-18.

Salon des Grandes Complications debuted in Dubai in 2014, later branching out to Saudi Arabia due to high demand and the appreciation of exceptional timepieces in the Kingdom. 

Saudi Arabia is a key Middle Eastern market for watchmakers — last year saw a year-on-year increase in the import of Swiss watches by 6 percent, and this figure is only expected to increase with the introduction of new policies. 

The capital city of Riyadh is home to over 10,000 watch collectors while Jeddah on the other hand, is Saudi Arabia’s commercial hub, with almost as many horological aficionados estimated to live there. 

Designed to offer a platform for Maisons and enthusiasts to convene, Salon des Grandes Complications creates opportunities for knowledge to be exchanged and collectors to discover — often for the first time in the region — limited editions, the newest launches and unique rarities. 

Among the international brands that will be present at the 2019 edition are Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Fabergé, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Harry Winston, Montblanc, Rudis Sylva, TAG Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and Zenith. 

With the introduction of several new brands, there will be a more diversified display of timepieces, from innovative novelties to classic creations, grand complications and high jewelry timepieces. Also new to this year’s edition will be a private majlis (a gathering place for social events), where special talks will be hosted by various brands and experts will share their personal insights into modern day horology. 

SDGC has successfully attracted over 80 international Swiss, German and Italian brands during the past five years.

The event will be held alongside the 10th annual Jewellery Salon 2019, a well-established jewelry exhibition in the Kingdom.

SDGC 2019 will be held in partnership with Bentley Motors and with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Saudi Arabia.

The event will be open free of charge to all professional visitors from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.