King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) has become the first industrial city in the world to receive Silver Level accreditation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), an internationally recognized green building certification system that verifies that buildings are designed to improve performance across key sustainability metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources, and sensitivity to their impact.
“SPARK is distinguishing itself as a leading global energy, industrial, and technology hub, cementing Saudi Arabia’s position as a progressive innovator in these fields on the international stage,” said SPARK president and CEO Saif S. Al Qahtani. “The certification reaffirms our commitment to reducing the city’s carbon footprint. LEED communities are in high global demand, as they offer better rates of profitability, productivity, and quality of workplace. Our goal is to create an ecosystem for energy-related companies to grow with minimum environmental impact, and we encourage our industrial cities to follow our lead.”
commitment toward sustainability
This certification recognizes SPARK’s commitment toward sustainability that will ensure a high quality of life for those working and living in the city, as well as minimal impact on neighboring communities. The designation also helps confirm SPARK’s position as an attractive location for small- and medium-size enterprises to locate.
LEED certification is the leading global rating system for evaluating sustainability and quality of life. The evaluation includes economic, environmental, and social metrics in eight areas, including:
• Integrative process
• Natural system and ecology
• Transportation and land use
• Water efficiency
• Energy and greenhouse gas emissions
• Material and resources
• Quality of life and innovation
• Regional priority.
green concrete for concrete results
In the first application in the Middle East and Africa for bridge deck concrete reinforcement, SPARK’s Project Management Team collaborated with Aramco’s Consulting Services Department (CSD), completing the installation of nonmetallic rebar in the Qurayyah Road south entrance bridge. This initiative forms a part of the company’s vision to promote the use of nonmetallics, improve sustainability, and lower its carbon footprint, all while aligning applicable design guidelines.
Additionally, the SPARK project team used the same technology in various infrastructure wet system manholes, chambers, and catch basins where corrosion, weight, cost-effectiveness, and durability outweighed traditional reinforced concrete applications.
Also, the SPARK project initiated the use of “Green Concrete” — concrete that uses waste material for at least one of its main components to reduce negative environmental impacts associated with the manufacturing of cement and concrete.
SPARK used locally produced Podzolic Concrete, in which up to 15% of the concrete mix will be replaced with a byproduct from asphalt batch plants. By using typically wasted byproducts, it also resulted in less waste dumped in landfills, fewer natural resources depleted by the cement producing process, less energy used in the process, and less carbon dioxide emitted — all resulting in economic and environmental gain.
a first using ConXtech in the Kingdom
The first use of ConXtech steel for an office building was piloted at SPARK and spearheaded by the project team and in collaboration with CSD. The deployment of ConXtech technology for the Administration Office Building will result in efficient and precise structural steel fabrication, simplified steel design, improved site safety, easy future expansion, and an approximately 50% reduction in the time it will take to erect the steel.
While ConXtech has been used in residential and commercial buildings in North America, SPARK’s Administration Office Building will be the first in Saudi Arabia. In line with the company’s vision, this multilevel building is designed to international standards along with the structural steel design and advocates for the expanded use of ConXtech on company projects.
integrated power automation system
Incorporating upstream and downstream monitoring and the control localized at SPARK Power Control Center, the system will be utilizing the latest smart Ring Main Units and package substations and will be combining Fault Detection, Isolation and Restoration (FDIR) schemes with a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system that incorporates a wide range of software that will provide real-time control and monitoring solutions, providing robust control and readiness for operations.
state-of-the-art digital infrastructure
The first in the Kingdom for an industrial city, the SPARK project team will set up state-of-the-art digital infrastructure creating competitive opportunities for a service provider to deploy advance communication and solutions to meet industrial needs; a concept first implemented in-Kingdom, where SPARK will benefit from cost saving and revenue sharing from its own digital infrastructure where service providers operate, maintain, and sell information and communication technology services to tenants. This will allow tenants to benefit from tailor-made industrial services solutions leading to increased online connectivity and productivity.
SPARK is a fully integrated industrial city under development. Spanning an area of 50 km2, it is being developed with a vision to become the leading gateway to the regional energy sector, offering a complete spectrum of services to support business growth in the Kingdom.
SPARK offers infrastructure with international specifications for global investors in the crude oil and gas industry and refining, petrochemical industries, electric power, and water production and treatment. SPARK will be comprised of five focal areas.
• Upstream: Exploration and production of hydrocarbon resources
• Downstream: Refining crude oil, processing of gas/minerals, byproducts distribution
• Petrochemicals: Production of chemicals from petroleum and natural gas
• Conventional power: Generation, transmission, and distribution of electrical energy
• Water and wastewater: Production of potable water and treatment of wastewater.
Execution is planned over three phases. SPARK has completed 60% of its first phase, which consists of infrastructure, roads, utilities, and real estate assets established across 14 km2. Phase 1 is set to be completed in 2021. This is in addition to a dedicated 3 km2 logistics zone and dry port.
The city has already attracted a large number of tenants and investors, exceeding the plan for its initial land/facility offering by over 15%, and accelerating future development.