“Traditional Saudi design merges with modern technology and forms in the large and ambitious King Abdullah University of Science and Technology [KAUST], establishing a benchmark for sustainable design in the Middle East.”
Designed and built in just 30 months, this 27-building university research campus defines a new sustainable paradigm while housing the world’s most advanced collection of laboratories across the scientific spectrum.
The mission of KAUST’s scientists is to address humanity’s most urgent scientific challenges related to energy and the environment. Interdisciplinary research being conducted at KAUST includes pursuing sustainable solutions for water, energy and food.
The design team began with passive design strategies that require no energy inputs. The buildings’ orientation limits harsh eastern and western sun exposure while taking advantage of prevailing winds from the Red Sea. Building massing, which places buildings close together, allows for the shading of adjacent buildings. Large roofs provide natural shading for buildings below, while operable and fixed shading devices provide shade most of the year. High-performance facades and glazing mitigate heat gain. The narrow buildings allow daylight to reach all perimeter spaces and selected interior spaces to reduce lighting demand.
After employing as many passive strategies as possible to reduce loads, HOK’s design team selected the most climate-appropriate and efficient MEP systems to further decrease energy demands. Chilled beams, heat-recovery wheels, displacement ventilation, smart lighting controls, variable frequency drives and low-flow duct design were all incorporated.
Vast arrays of solar photovoltaic and solar thermal panels cover the innovative roof system.
Highly interactive direct digital controls optimize system operation while continuously monitoring and reporting system performance, energy harvested, energy recovered and energy used.
By integrating sustainability into the site planning, community, building design and campus operations, KAUST is demonstrating new ways to build in the region and promoting responsible stewardship of the environment.
At the time of its certification, KAUST was the world’s largest LEED Platinum project.
5.5 million sq. ft. / 511,000 sq. m.
AIA/ALA – Library Building Award
AIA Chicago – Design Excellence Awards – SustainABILITY Leadership Award – Citation of Merit
AIA Committee on the Environment – Top 10 Green Projects
AIA Houston – Design Award (KAUST Library)
AIA St. Louis – Honor Award
AIA San Francisco – Energy + Sustainability Merit Award (KAUST Library)
AIA San Francisco – Excellence in Architecture Merit Award (KAUST Library)
ASLA Georgia – Honor Award
Association of University Research Parks – Emerging Research and Science Park
The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design – International Architectural Award
Congress for the New Urbanism – Charter Award
European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies – Green GOOD DESIGN Award
IIDA Northern California – IIDA Award (KAUST Library)
Interiors & Sources – Top 10 LEED Projects (#1 Ranking)
R&D Magazine – Lab of the Year
Sustain Magazine – International Project of the Year
Amount of wastewater that is reused
Reduction in water use
Annual energy cost savings
Amount of on-site renewable energy
Amount of glazing that is shaded year-round
“Interview: HOK’s Bill Odell on the Design of Saudi Arabia’s KAUST University, the World’s Largest LEED Platinum Project”
9 June 2011
“Rising from the Desert: 2011 Lab of the Year”
1 October 2010
“King Abdullah University of Science and Technology”
Interiors & Sources
“King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)”
30 September 2009
“King Abdullah University of Science and Technology / HOK”