The evolution of a framework for Building Environmental Assessment (BEA) for green buildings in Saudi Arabia

    Alulayet, Mansour
    Panuwatwanich, Kriengsak
    Hyde, Richard
    Fiorito, Francesco
    Architecture and the environment


Sustainable development has become a significant worldwide concern, and Building Environment Assessment (BEA) for green building play an important role to achieve sustainability in buildings. In some countries, rating tools are been used, such as LEED in the US, BREEAM in the UK, and Green Star in Australia. However, Saudi Arabia is yet to develop these tools. A first step recently is the development of the new established council (the Saudi Green Building Council) in Saudi Arabia has the full responsibility to develop such tools.

This research investigates the environmental issues that could underpin such a tool and it discusses the evolution framework for developing a national rating tool for green buildings. The research has investigated the Saudi opinions in developing the new framework, and clarified the most important building applications, environmental scope of studies, and the most important key performance areas (KPA’s) in assessing the buildings in Saudi Arabia.

This research concludes that Saudi Arabia has a different priority in considering sustainability in buildings due to the differences in the country environment, location, economy, and community culture. Daily energy saving and water resources were equally the highest priority then any other key performance indicators (KPA’s). A more interesting result was preserving the social and cultural character was far more important than carbon dioxide emission reduction. In addition the research has provided an evolution framework including, weighting system for the KPA’s. Finally, this research includes recommendations for the development of a new BEA for Saudi Arabia.

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