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31 May 2018

HOK-Designed Dow Innovation Center Opens on KAUST Campus in Saudi Arabia

The Dow Innovation Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will support the company’s research to address critical regional needs.

Dow executive leadership, the KAUST Board of Trustees, University leadership and special guests from Saudi Arabia recently gathered to celebrate the soft opening of the Dow Innovation Center at KAUST. The facility is scheduled to become fully operational this summer.

Located in KAUST’s Research and Technology Park in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, the Center will support Dow’s research efforts to address critical needs in the region including increasing energy efficiency. The Center is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and will house Dow’s research and development facilities and the newly established Dow Digital Marketplace Center.

State-of-the-art labs, research areas and offices will provide workspaces for application development and technical service focused on oil and gas technology, sustainable coating and construction solutions, and industrial chemicals for a variety of applications.

“The new Dow Innovation Center marks the culmination of a decade-long journey to have a dedicated facility focused on innovation and talent development to support the growth in the Kingdom,” stated Chuck Swartz, president of Dow Saudi Arabia. “This facility is perfectly aligned to Dow’s strategy and our commitment to this region, employing a highly skilled workforce. A number already are graduates from KAUST, with diverse backgrounds in science and engineering.”

The building offers views of the surrounding KAUST campus and the Red Sea due to its site placement and orientation. Three facade treatments were used on the exterior: multiple patterns of fritted curtain wall to allow views and control heat gain; insulated channel glass in work areas to provide privacy but allow in natural light; and a rain screen of folded and perforated metal panels where natural light is not needed (back of house areas and the high bay lab).

Dow is a founding member of the KAUST Industrial Collaboration Program, which facilitates academic, research and industry partnerships to commercialize research breakthroughs into practical applications and solutions for the market.

HOK designed the original 5.5-million-sq.-ft. KAUST campus.