Capturing the full value of green buildings as drivers of the circular carbon economy
From KAUST to KAPSARC to Ithra, Midra, and beyond, Aramco drives for energy efficiency.
The World Green Building Council defines a Green Building as a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts on climate and environment.
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) is the Green Building Rating System™ developed by the U.S. Green Building Council for developing high performance and sustainable buildings worldwide. The development of this voluntary and consensus-based certification system engages hundreds of volunteers and thousands of stakeholders from around the world representing every sector of the building industry.
LEED references the industry’s most recognized standards and uses state-of-the-art strategies for energy and water efficiency, sustainable site development, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The system strives to reverse contribution to global climate change, enhance individual human health and well-being, protect and restore water resources, protect, enhance, and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services, promote sustainable and regenerative material resources cycles, build a greener economy, enhance social equity, environmental justice, and community quality of life.
First Kingdom projects
LEED is now the leading global standard for green buildings worldwide, used in more than 135 countries. Aramco played a notable role in developing some of the first certified flagship projects in the Kingdom. KAUST, KAPSARC, and Ithra stand out for the Kingdom and Al Midra is the largest Aramco office building certified so far.
The Aramco Innovation Center (LAB7), which broke ground this year, has already started to gain LEED credits attributed to sustainable deign. It is on track to receive the certification when construction is completed. The lesson learned from past projects is that pursuing Green Building certification shouldn’t come as an afterthought, it should be part of the project scope and mandated as a target.
Green Building advantages
Green Building rating systems establish a solid framework for the de-carbonization of buildings and offer international recognition of excellence in this area.
There are numerous examples of environmental stewardship in Aramco’s core industrial operations in general. Although nonindustrial buildings comprise a small part of the company’s assets, Green Buildings offer a distinctive edge. Green Buildings are more easily understood outside the oil and gas industry, where Aramco’s achievements in this domain can be communicated through a wider spectrum of channels to a broader audience and testify to new strategic directives.
A careful look at where energy is consumed in the Kingdom shows that buildings are the largest consumer; projections of future trends show increased demand on natural resources with an accelerating increase in construction and a growing population.
This leads to the clear conclusion that Aramco’s efforts to show leadership in this area can go a long way.