Green up or ship out – Saudi clamps down on construction industry

Saudi Arabia, green building, green building regulations, Saudi Green Building Forum, King Abdullah Economic City, carbon emissions, greening construction industry, renewable energy

Saudi Arabia has announced that the construction industry has five years to “green” up their business. Amid a massive construction boom, the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) has decreed that all companies must reduce their air, water and noise pollution in keeping with regulations approved in 2008.

While skeptics claim that the Kingdom lacks the regulatory muscle to ensure that them, Saudi Arabia has introduced sweeping measures to bring the construction industry up to speed with international standards, The Guardian reports.

This move is particularly timely given the numerous construction projects underway, including the $93 billion King Abdullah Economic City. Faisal Alfadl, Secretary-general of the Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF) told the paper that all of the projects under this umbrella will be green.

As Saudi Arabia grapples with constant growth, government and industry support is needed to ensure building developments adhere to USGBC Leed certifications and other global rating systems. We need national policies to ensure companies store and sort their construction waste responsibly,” says Alfadl.

“To complete their projects, all contractors, construction companies and suppliers must adhere to these global green standards.”

SGBP has offered to help PME meet its goals within the next five years.

Related: Saudi’s 1km high Kingdom Tower will require 500,000 cubic meters of concrete

Part of their plan to reduce energy use by up to 80 percent and water use by up to 40 percent, Saudi is renovating more 90,000 mosques throughout the Kingdom, Alfadl told the Guardian.

“We welcome the PME’s move and we have the right support in place.”

We also welcome Saudi Arabia’s efforts to improve how they treat construction workers and natural resources, along with moves to increase renewable energy use, but the Kingdom has a long way to go. For starters, they have to resist splashy projects such as the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah.

Expected to reach one kilometer into the sky, the tower will require – among other materials – 500,000 cubic meters of concrete to supersede the Burj Khalifa in Dubai as the world’s tallest building.

The new regulations could definitely improve Saudi’s overall environmental impact, but a massive cultural change will be required for any meaningful nationwide paradigm shift.

:: The Guardian

Image of Saudi Arabia Mosque | Shutterstock

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  1. Pingback: Saudi Arabia opts for sustainable homes - Lamudi Saudi Arabia Journal

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