SABIC seeks first LEED-Platinum certification for its High-Performance Demonstration Home in Riyadh

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Updated 28 October 2015
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SABIC seeks first LEED-Platinum certification for its High-Performance Demonstration Home in Riyadh

RIYADH: Home of Innovation, a SABIC regional marketing and business growth initiative, is seeking the Kingdom’s first LEED-Platinum certification for its High-Performance Demonstration Home in Riyadh.
The award is part of the US Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes International Pilot rating system.
Platinum certification is the highest rating available within the LEED program.
The project would be the first of SABIC’s facilities to achieve that distinction, and the seventh SABIC facility to earn LEED certification since 2012.
Nearing completion in Riyadh Techno Valley at King Saud University, the High-Performance Demonstration Home is one of three buildings designed and built for the Home of Innovation initiative. A Welcome and Orientation building and a Collaboration Center have already earned LEED-Gold certification from the USGBC.
“SABIC aspires to create high-impact signature programs that bring together our focus on innovation and collaboration and maximize our positive environmental, social and economic impacts,” said Awadh Al-Maker, SABIC executive vice president, technology and innovation.
“We look forward to sharing the ideas, materials and methods that enabled our High-Performance Demonstration Home to seek this proud distinction.”
The 676 square meter (7,284 square foot) home integrates innovative yet commercially available, materials, products and systems to yield a 40 percent reduction in overall energy and potable water use compared to code-compliant homes in Saudi Arabia.
It is also designed and built to achieve a net-zero energy balance, generating as much or more electricity from a 28-kilowatt rooftop solar array than the home will consume in a 12-month period.

Other examples of the home’s energy and environmental features include:
• An insulated and air-sealed thermal structure to reduce overall energy needs
• Controlled ventilation, pollutant control and filtration for healthy indoor air quality
• Energy-efficient cooling design and systems
• Long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, controls and sensors
• Low-flow and water-saving plumbing fixtures and appliances
• Solar hot water
• Rain and gray-water reclamation system for landscape irrigation
• A building management system that enhances performance and efficiency

“To achieve these high-performance standards in one of the harshest climates in the world is a significant accomplishment,” said Abdullah Al-Refaie, program director, Home of Innovation, SABIC.
“It will impact the way homes and commercial structures are built in the future to meet the challenges of rapid population growth and urbanization, natural resource demand, and housing affordability.”
Members of the project team include IBACOS, a building innovation company based in Pittsburgh, PA USA; The Joannou & Paraskevaides Group (J&P), the project’s general contractor from Cyprus; Green Technologies, an engineering consultancy company in Dubai, UAE; Sol design + consulting of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; SABIC Engineering & Project Management (E&PM) in Riyadh; Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants, the project architect in Jeddah, KSA; and theOtherDada, an interior design firm based in Beirut, Lebanon.
Home of Innovation, a SABIC growth initiative, combines marketing, innovation and technology to create demand and promote downstream industry development.
It offers a platform to showcase global innovation while identifying and developing new market opportunities and solutions.
It inspires the regional business community by facilitating collaboration among industry-leading companies and showcasing what could be manufactured locally.
It brings together the best minds and organizations interested in the future of the Middle East and acts as a catalyst to transform ideas to industry. For more information, go to homeofinnovation.sabic.com.
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks as the world’s third largest diversified chemical company.
The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and agri-nutrients.
SABIC recorded a net profit of SR23.3 billion in 2014.
Sales revenues for 2014 totaled SR188.1 billion. Total assets stood at SR340 billion at the end of 2014.
SABIC’s businesses are grouped into chemicals, polymers, agri-nutrients, metals and innovative plastics.


Gulf of Oman tanker attacks jolt oil-import dependent Asia

Updated 15 June 2019
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Gulf of Oman tanker attacks jolt oil-import dependent Asia

  • Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz have alarmed Japan, China and South Korea
  • Japan’s conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was in Tehran when the attack happened

SEOUL: The blasts detonated far from the bustling megacities of Asia, but the attack this week on two tankers in the strategic Strait of Hormuz hits at the heart of the region’s oil import-dependent economies.

While the violence only directly jolted two countries in the region — one of the targeted ships was operated by a Tokyo-based company, a nearby South Korean-operated vessel helped rescue sailors — it will unnerve major economies throughout Asia.

Officials, analysts and media commentators on Friday hammered home the importance of the Strait of Hormuz for Asia, calling it a crucial lifeline, and there was deep interest in more details about the still-sketchy attack and what the US and Iran would do in the aftermath.

In the end, whether Asia shrugs it off, as some analysts predict, or its economies shudder as a result, the attack highlights the widespread worries over an extreme reliance on a single strip of water for the oil that fuels much of the region’s shared progress.

Here is a look at how Asia is handling rising tensions in a faraway but economically crucial area, compiled by AP reporters from around the world:

WHY ASIA WORRIES

The oil, of course.

Japan, South Korea and China don’t have enough of it; the Middle East does, and much of it flows through the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which is the passage between the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

This could make Asia vulnerable to supply disruptions from US-Iran tensions or violence in the strait.

The attack comes months after Iran threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz to retaliate against US economic sanctions, which tightened in April when  the Trump administration decided to end sanctions exemptions for the five biggest importers of Iranian oil, which included China and US allies South Korea and Japan.

Japan is the world’s fourth-largest consumer of oil — after the US, China and India — and relies on the Middle East for 80 per cent of its crude oil supply. The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster led to a dramatic reduction in Japanese nuclear power generation and increased imports of natural gas, crude oil, fuel oil and coal.

In an effort to comply with Washington, Japan says it no longer imports oil from Iran. Officials also say Japanese oil companies are abiding by the embargo because they don’t want to be sanctioned. But Japan still gets oil from other Middle East nations using the Strait of Hormuz for transport.

South Korea, the world’s fifth largest importer of crude oil, also depends on the Middle East for the vast majority of its supplies.

Last month, South Korea halted its Iranian oil imports as its waivers from US sanctions on Teheran expired, and it has reportedly tried to increase oil imports from other countries.

China, the world’s largest importer of Iranian oil, “understands its growth model is vulnerable to a lack of energy sovereignty,” according to market analyst Kyle Rodda of IG, an online trading provider, and has been working over the last several years to diversify its suppliers. That includes looking to Southeast Asia and, increasingly, some oil-producing nations in Africa.

THE GEOGRAPHY AND THE POLITICS

Asia and the Middle East are linked by a flow of oil, much of it coming by sea and dependent on the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran threatened to close the strait in April. It also appears poised to break a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, an accord that US President Donald Trump withdrew from last year. Under the deal saw Tehran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of crippling sanctions.

For both Japan and South Korea, there is extreme political unease to go along with the economic worries stirred by the violence in the strait.

Both nations want to nurture their relationship with Washington, a major trading partner and military protector. But they also need to keep their economies humming, which requires an easing of tension between Washington and Tehran.

Japan’s conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was in Tehran, looking to do just that when the attack happened.

His limitations in settling the simmering animosity, however, were highlighted by both the timing of the attack and a comment by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who told Abe that he had nothing to say to Trump.

In Japan, the world’s third largest economy, the tanker attack was front-page news.

The Nikkei newspaper, Japan’s major business daily, said that if mines are planted in the Strait of Hormuz, “oil trade will be paralyzed.” The Tokyo Shimbun newspaper called the Strait of Hormuz Japan’s “lifeline.”

Although the Japanese economy and industry minister has said there will be no immediate effect on stable energy supplies, the Tokyo Shimbun noted “a possibility that Japanese people’s lives will be affected.”

South Korea, worried about Middle East instability, has worked to diversify its crude sources since the energy crises of the 1970s and 1980s.

THE FUTURE

Analysts said it’s highly unlikely that Iran would follow through on its threat to close the strait. That’s because a closure could also disrupt Iran’s exports to China, which has been working with Russia to build pipelines and other infrastructure that would transport oil and gas into China.

For Japan, the attack in the Strait of Hormuz does not represent an imminent threat to Tokyo’s oil supply, said Paul Sheldon, chief geopolitical adviser at S&P Global Platts Analytics.

“Our sense is that it’s not a crisis yet,” he said of the tensions.

Seoul, meanwhile, will likely be able to withstand a modest jump in oil prices unless there’s a full-blown military confrontation, Seo Sang-young, an analyst from Seoul-based Kiwoom Securities, said.

“The rise in crude prices could hurt areas like the airlines, chemicals and shipping, but it could also actually benefit some businesses, such as energy companies (including refineries) that produce and export fuel products like gasoline,” said Seo, pointing to the diversity of South Korea’s industrial lineup. South Korea’s shipbuilding industry could also benefit as the rise in oil prices could further boost the growing demand for liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which means more orders for giant tankers that transport such gas.