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LEED certified residential community in Riyadh designed to attract researchers & scientists

Article-LEED certified residential community in Riyadh designed to attract researchers & scientists

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre, Residential community, in Riyadh is this year’s winner in the residential category of the Cityscape Intelligence KSA Awards for its distinct and sustainable design

Set against the backdrop of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC), this residential community will be home to some of the world’s best scientists and researchers once complete – and this year’s winner in the residential category of the Cityscape Intelligence KSA Awards.

Designed by global design, architecture, and engineering firm, HOK, the Riyadh-based project has been designed to attract the world’s leading minds as part of KAPSARC’s research into global energy economics, bringing together an international group of experts researchers of more than 15 nationalities.


HOK who was commissioned to design the residential component within KAPSARC and immediately wanted to create a ‘home-away from home’ for the international researchers and their families. “To attract the world’s best scientists, the neighbourhood needed to be both amenity-rich and aesthetically striking,” notes the architects.

As a result, HOK’s design features a sleek glass and stone community buildings, which includes apartment buildings, dining facilities, a mosque, library, recreational facilities including a swimming pool, bowling alley, a rec centre, shops – and family homes with 11 different layouts. “A massive sunshade structure in the heart of the neighbourhood creates an outdoor gathering space for KAPSARC’s 1,900 residents,” says HOK.



But perhaps the most impressive thing about the residential component is its green credentials. Built by HOK, the solar energy field was built over an area of 592, 000 square feet and is projected to feed 5,800 megawatt hours of renewable energy into the kingdom’s electrical grid annually.

It’s the reason why the project became the first and the largest project outside of North America to achieve LEED for Homes certification.

According to HOK, it was one of the first projects included in the LEED for Homes International Pilot Programme and is also the largest LEED Neighbourhood Development (ND) project in the Middle East and the largest LEED ND Stage 2 (built) project in the MENA region.

KAPSARC Aerial View


  • Architect: HOK
  • Client: Saudi Aramco
  • Site size: 500 acres / 200 hectares
  • Building certifications: 191 single family homes (188 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Certified and LEED Homes International Pilot); 7 community amenity and multifamily buildings (LEED-NC Platinum); LEED Neighbourhood Development.


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