Concept of smart buildings slowly taking hold in KSA

Updated 10 January 2013
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Concept of smart buildings slowly taking hold in KSA

A number of architectural experts have stressed on the importance of implementing smart building technologies in residential and commercial projects in the country that can save 30 percent of power consumption and 60 percent of constructional costs. Implementation of these technologies is notably growing in other Gulf countries, where smart buildings exceed 40 percent of all residential projects.
In the Kingdom, the portion of smart buildings does not exceed 5 percent of total residential projects, Abdullah Bakr Radwan, member of the national committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers, said.
“Expanding the utilization of smart building technologies is faced with difficulties, like the fact that Saudis look for wide spaces, which are not available in smart buildings,” he said. “Another essential obstruction for increasing residential units in the Kingdom in general is the hike in land prices.”
Radwan said the Saudi government had paved the way for smart building projects by endorsing modern building codes that are based on scientific evidence and protect from hazards, adding the idea should be promoted through consultancy agencies, who should propose it to contractors.
Real estate developers say smart buildings do not seem to be popular in Saudi Arabia compared to other Gulf countries, but this will change in the next few years after endorsing the new code.
“The volume of investment in smart buildings can exceed SR 140 billion within the next eight years,” said real estate developer Abdullah Al-Sulaimani. “Air-conditioning, heating and lightening technologies implemented in smart buildings save power and reduce carbon dioxide emissions and lower water consumption by 50 percent.” Construction wastes with implementation of smart building methods are also reduced by 90 percent. “Converting an existing building into a smart building would cost as much as 50 to 100 percent of the original construction costs, depending on the amendments and additions,” he said, adding that it is difficult to determine the average costs for the construction of smart buildings that differ in classification and levels.
It is a domain where options and possibilities that can be costly depend on the technological services desired, he added.


Cyber crime website behind 4 million attacks taken down

Updated 25 April 2018
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Cyber crime website behind 4 million attacks taken down

LONDON: A British and Dutch-led operation on Wednesday brought down a website linked to more than four million cyber-attacks around the world, with banking giants among the victims, Britain’s National Crime Agency said.
“Authorities in five countries including the Netherlands, Serbia, Croatia and Canada, with support from Police Scotland and Europol, targeted six members of the crime group behind webstresser.org,” the NCA said in a statement.
Cyber-criminals used the website’s services, which could be rented for as little as $14.99, to launch so-called distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, which swamp targets with traffic and disable their IT systems.
British police searched an address in Bradford, northern England, and seized a number of items, while Dutch police, with assistance from Germany and the United States, seized servers and took down the website.
Police believe an individual linked to the address used the site, the world’s largest illegal DDOS seller, to hit seven of Britain’s biggest banks in November, forcing them to reduce operations.
“Stressers” services give users the ability to stress-test the resilience of servers, causing disruption to the target.
“A significant criminal website has been shut down and the sophisticated crime group behind it stopped as a result of an international investigation,” said the NCA’s Jo Goodall.
“The arrests made over the past two days show that the Internet does not provide bullet-proof anonymity to offenders and we expect to identify further suspects linked to the site in the coming weeks and months as we examine the evidence we have gathered,” she added.
Dutch National Police’s Gert Ras was quoted in the NCA statement as saying that the operation had “made an unprecedented impact on DDOS cyber-crime.”
“This is a warning to all wannabe DDOS-ers... we will identify you, bring you to court and facilitate that you will be held liable by the victims for the huge damage you cause.”