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A New Benchmark in Sustainable Residential Design

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center
Residential Community

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

“The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) in Riyadh, Saudi, Arabia, has achieved the first LEED for Homes Certification outside of North America, marking its leadership in sustainable residential design in the Middle East.”

The Cityscape Magazine

This residential community supports the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center’s international staff and their families.

This visionary energy research hub, located between King Khalid International Airport and the city of Riyadh, attracts researchers and staff members from throughout the world. The residential community provides a premier environment that helps KAPSARC attract and retain world-class research and development talent.

The design includes 10 community buildings (three apartment buildings with retail, library, dining hall, recreation center, natatorium, mosque, supermarket and bowling alley), a 200-house residential community (including 11 house types) and four main utility buildings.

Two long, rectilinear apartment buildings flank the central dining facility and library. The horizontal sunshade structures of these modern, stone-clad forms complete the liner that defines the central plaza. The apartments provide an abundance of personal outdoor space with generously sized balconies as well as public outdoor space in the form of large roof decks. The apartments are a mix of one-story and two-story living units, offering lofts with two-story living rooms and ample natural light.

As the spiritual center of the KAPSARC residential community, the community masjid, or mosque, has high visibility within the site.

KAPSARC is the first and the largest project outside of North America to achieve LEED for Homes certification. It was one of the first projects included in the LEED for Homes International Pilot Program, and all 191 of the villas were awarded LEED for Homes certification (188 Gold, one Silver and two Certified). It also is the largest LEED Neighborhood Development (ND) project in the Middle East and the largest LEED ND Stage 2 (built) project in the entire MENA region.

Designed by HOK, KAPSARC’s solar energy field, which was built over an area of 55,000 square meters and will generate about 5.8 megawatt hours of electrical energy annually, is the largest in Saudi Arabia.


191 single family homes
(188 Gold, one Silver and two Certified)
LEED Homes International Pilot

7 community amenity and multi-family buildings
LEED-NC Platinum

LEED Neighborhood Development (ND) 


Site: 500 acres / 200 hectares
Buildings: 2.05 million sq. ft. / 190,240 sq. m.  


Graphic Design
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Master Planning
Sustainable Design 


AIA Washington, DC – Excellence Awards in Urban Design/Master Planning

U.S. Green Building Council – 2014 Best of Building Award – Best Regional Project: Middle East

Faith & Form magazine and The Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA) – Honor Award - Religious Architecture: New Facilities


First project outside of North America and the largest residential project to achieve LEED for Homes certification


Largest solar array in Saudi Arabia


Electrical power on the residential campus provided by renewable energy



24 October 2016
“10 Desert Designs”
Urban Land Magazine

12 October 2016
“KAPSARC Master Plan and Community Mosque Projects Win Awards”
HOK News

4 April 2015
“KAPSARC Housing” 

1 March 2015
“Saudi Arabian Spiritual Inspiration” 
Middle East Architect

1 March 2013
“Setting a Benchmark in Sustainable Residential Design”