Sabic demo home wins top green accolade

Low energy lighting has helped a high-performance demonstration home built by Saudi Arabia’s Sabic to achieve Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (Leed) rating system.

It is the first single-family home in the Middle East region to earn Leed Platinum, the highest possible rating under the USGBC’s Leed for Homes International Pilot program. The 800 sq m home also is designed and built to generate as much electricity as it consumes (a so-called “net-zero” energy balance) in a 12-month period.

The home was built to serve Sabic’s Home of Innovation initiative. “This is a good achievement for Sabic and Saudi Arabia,” said Awadh Al-Maker, Sabic executive vice president, technology and innovation. “It is a significant, tangible proof point of the collaboration we will facilitate and enable through our Home of Innovation initiative.”

The Demonstration Home is part of a three-building, 7,900 sq m complex that also includes a two-building Collaboration Center that recently earned Leed Gold certification from the USGBC’s Leed for New Construction rating system. Seven of Sabic’s facilities have now achieved Leed certification since 2012.

“This facility will help promote more sustainable home building around the region,” said Mohammad Abdullah Al-Aboudi, operations manager, Home of Innovation. “We hope it inspires and leads the construction industry to incorporate these innovative yet proven technologies, materials, products and systems toward improving building performance.”

The Home and Center showcases a full complement of the latest commercially available materials, products and integrated systems to yield at least 40 per cent reductions in overall energy and potable water use compared to other homes in Saudi Arabia.

As well as long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, controls and sensors, other examples of the facility’s energy and environmental features include: an insulated and air-sealed thermal structure to reduce overall energy needs; a 28 kW rooftop solar array on the Home that enables a net-zero energy balance; energy-efficient space cooling design and systems; and energy-efficient solar hot water, among others.

“These accomplishments prove that we can achieve the highest levels of building performance in one of the harshest climates in the world,” said Abdullah Al-Refaie, program director, Home of Innovation, Sabic. “Such an accomplishment can only be achieved through collaboration among all members of the project team.”

The buildings also feature environmentally responsible materials and techniques, including paints and finishes with low or no volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions; controlled ventilation, filtration and pollutant mitigation measures for clean indoor air; and durable, low-maintenance interior and exterior finishes.