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Kuwait addresses climate change with GSAS-certified green buildings

In a series of impactful efforts aimed at achieving the goals set forth by Kuwait Vision 2035, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) and Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) have successfully completed the construction of two new projects designed and built with sustainability best practices. Certified under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), KIPIC’s Al-Zour Administration Building and KNPC Technical Building have received GSAS Design & Build Certificate with 4 Stars and 3 Stars, respectively. Developed by the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD), GSAS is MENA’s first performance-based green building rating system aimed at improving building practices while also addressing sustainability challenges specific to the region’s built environment. Commemorating the achievement, a joint awarding ceremony for the two projects was held at KNPC Head Office in the presence of senior leadership from KNPC, KIPIC and GORD.

Congratulating the project owners and key stakeholders, Founding Chairman of GORD, Dr. Yousef Alhorr said, “As an independent certification body for green buildings, we are extremely proud to validate the sustainability achievements of KIPIC’s Al-Zour Administration Building and KNPC Technical Building. Leading by example, these new projects will undoubtedly redefine Kuwait’s real estate market, which is already showing a growing appetite for sustainable building practices. Over the years, the State of Kuwait has made concerted efforts towards green transformation in which leading organizations like KNPC and KIPIC have continued to play an instrumental role.”

Speaking on behalf of KNPC, DCEO for Support Services and the official spokesperson for KNPC, Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Duaij said, “In designing and executing this project, KNPC has been concerned in taking into account the best sustainability practices, and to be in line with Kuwait 2035 Vision.”

“The Building Management System, which creates advanced opportunities to enhance the efficiency of energy, utility, equipment and systems through optimal use of resources throughout the building, contributes to preserving the environment on a sustainable basis,” Al-Duaij added.”

Mr. Khaled Al Awadhi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Al Zour Refinery at KIPIC, said, “KIPIC inspires a core belief, to ‘Make More Possible!’ We nurture a culture of operational excellence, corporate responsibility and commitment to health safety and environment through a highly transparent process. Our processes are engineered to secure and create a clean sustainable energy source and to be kinder to the environment by reducing the emission of pollutants. KIPIC is deeply committed to safeguarding Kuwait’s environment and making all that is possible to ensure that. The new Al Zour Refinery Admin building demonstrates our deep quest to enforce high standards integrating these principles into all operational areas. We are extremely proud of the flagship building and the efforts of the KIPIC team and our contractors who worked tirelessly to create this green edifice and flagship building at the heart of Al Zour Complex.”

In line with the New Kuwait 2035 Development Plan, implementation of GSAS green building system helps projects work towards environmental conservation through sustainable built environment. For Al-Zour Administration Building and KNPC Technical Building, GSAS-D&B certificates have been awarded in recognition of prioritizing sustainability in design and building practices.

By using native plant species adapted to the region’s dry climatic conditions, landscaping and vegetation around Al-Zour Administration Building requires minimal amount of water for irrigation. Both KNPC and KIPIC projects benefit from Building Management System which provides increased energy and utility efficiency opportunities by providing real-time insights on resource usage and functional efficiencies of equipment and system throughout the buildings. Most common areas in both buildings are equipped with smart daylight and occupancy sensor that help avoid unnecessary electric consumption. With U-values for walls, roofs and windows on the lower side, both the projects ensure high insulation thereby reducing the energy consumption linked with cooling needs.  Sanitary fixtures within the projects are mostly water efficient with low flow rate. To make day-to-day commute eco-friendly, the buildings are surrounded by facilities designed to reduce the use of hydrocarbon-fueled private vehicles. These facilities include ample bus stops within walking distance, bicycle racks and spaces for plug-in vehicles.

As MENA’s first performance-based green building system, GSAS is fast becoming one of the most adopted system for building and infrastructure projects in the GCC region. To date, more than 1,000 buildings in addition to tens of parks, neighborhoods and districts infrastructure projects have been registered with GSAS, covering a built-up area exceeding 229 million square feet and 1.7 billion square feet of district master planning. Within Kuwait, a number of projects including Al Sayer Holding Head Office have been certified under the GSAS framework.