Oil giant Saudi Aramco has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification accreditation for its Al-Midra Tower in Dhahran in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
Al-Midra was awarded 80 points in the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) assessment, enough to earn the project the body's top award.
In the category of energy and atmosphere, Al-Midra achieved 33 out of 35 possible points due to the solar farm installed by Power Systems and the building management system, which provides fully automated lighting control.
Also, the indoor environmental quality has been improved by having control over the CO2 level through the building management system.
“It is with pleasure that I recognise the community services for its excellence in environmental stewardship and, as a result, achieving the highest certification as awarded by the Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design,” said Khalid A. Al-Falih, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco.
“As our operations grow in scale and complexity, we choose the leadership role of significantly ‘lightening’ our environmental footprint, which is integral to a comprehensive, operational excellence philosophy,”
“Our business is ultimately about improving the quality of human life, particularly for those of our own employees and their families, and the local communities we work in and serve. With creative imagination and operational excellence, we can keep energy and environmental stewardship in balance,” Al-Falih added.
Energy systems in Al-Midra Tower have been modelled in a highly efficient way, with cooling, heating, ventilation and lighting systems fully automated to save wasted energy when these systems are not required to run.
A 10.5MW solar power system was designed to meet the total power demand of Al-Midra Tower, with more than 120,000 photovoltaic panels laid over the parking areas to serve as parking shades and to produce clean power.
The building also maintains high indoor air quality through the use of carbon dioxide sensors linked with fresh air louvres to inject more fresh air into the building when CO2 reaches designated levels.
A green cleaning programme has also been adopted by the building in its custodial services that allows the exclusive use of green products in the daily cleaning activities.
Only water-based chemicals with zero volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions are accepted, making the indoor environment healthier and more comfortable to building occupants.
“The criteria for awarding this highest of LEED recognitions are stringent and the standards are demanding,” community services executive director Hany K. Abu Khadra said.
“The Office Services Department should therefore be proud of its commitment to providing a healthy, efficient and cooperative work environment, which maximizes operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impact,” he added.