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King Salman Energy Park deploys 'green' construction technologies

December 30, 2020

King Salman Energy Park (SPARK), a fully-integrated industrial city under development, has announced the deployment of multiple innovative construction solutions that promote sustainability.

Many are being adopted in Saudi Arabia for the first time, as Spark spearheads a drive for more environmentally-friendly building technologies that support the Circular Carbon Economy framework.

These include “green” concrete that incorporates recycled materials, modular steel connections and Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) rebar in bridge decks.

Already recognized as the first industrial city in the world to obtain LEED Silver Certification, Spark has become the first organization in Saudi Arabia to use Podzolic green concrete, a newly developed building material that uses local recycled materials as a partial replacement for cement, said the statement from the energy park.

Material produced as a byproduct of local manufacturing processes is assimilated, while still offering the equivalent properties and durability. Capturing locally produced waste-materials and reemploying them in construction will help reduce landfill disposal and reduce CO2 emissions associated with cement production, it added.

Chairman Dr Mohammad Yahya Al Qahtani said: 'Spark is proud to announce a wide range of sustainability initiatives that are being deployed for the first time in the kingdom.'

'These practices reflect our approach to construction that utilizes the latest advances in technology to maximize efficiency, minimize environmental impact and create a world-class energy ecosystem,' he noted.

According to him, Spark has also become the first entity in Saudi Arabia to pilot ConXtech steel connection technology for a commercial building.

Incorporated into Spark’s administration building, it is a modular method for steel erection allowing beams to be interlocked using non-metallic materials and slotted into position - rather than welding and bolting steel beams together, stated Al Qahtani.

'The benefits include increased construction efficiency, reduced material waste and improved site safety; especially the 400 tonnes erected in two weeks by the energy park would have taken at least six weeks using conventional methods,' he added.

Additionally, in a first for the Middle East and Africa, Spark has deployed Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) rebar as a non-metallic replacement for epoxy steel reinforcement in bridge decks.

This is a lighter, stronger, and easier to handle material that will not corrode, thus reducing waste and maintenance. Using GFRP rebar at Spark will reduce the weight of steel reinforcement on bridges by 70%, it added.

The construction approach adopted by Spark is in line with the Circular Carbon Economy, a concept championed by Saudi Arabia and endorsed by G20 countries that aims to reduce, reuse, recycle and remove carbon emissions, as part of ongoing efforts to mitigate climate change and create climate-friendly energy systems that support sustainable development.-

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