RIYADH: The King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) has received an award for leadership in sustainability from the US Green Building Council (USGBC).
The award is for applying the highest sustainability standards, and KAFD also received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification in recognition of its commitment to preserving the environment and contributing to social and economic development.
The USGBC, a nonprofit organization founded in 1993, promotes sustainability in building design, construction and operation. Its leadership awards are granted to organizations and individuals that establish buildings and communities aimed at promoting sustainability and health and improving the quality of life.
Located in the heart of Riyadh, KAFD is considered the largest real estate development project in the world with more than 83 buildings, including 61 towers, and combines residential solutions, work and entertainment over a space of more than 1.6 million square meters.
It was developed on the principle of preserving natural resources by using treated water for irrigation and cooling systems. It has an automated system to manage waste using an underground pipeline network to automatically collect and sort material to be reused. The system contributes to recycling waste and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by not requiring the trucks traditionally used to transport waste.
The award has promoted KAFD’s regional position and value as a leading authority in applying the best international sustainability standards, which helps to reduce consumption costs for services such as the central cooling system by 50 percent, along with using ecological tools that consume less water. The sustainability-based designs correspond with local weather and help to reduce high temperatures through the air flow and indoor cooling systems.
The urban design of KACD helps to promote a healthier lifestyle with features such as the “Al-Wadi” (valley) area. Located 5.5 meters below the ground to provide lower temperatures, it was designed for walking and other recreational services.