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Te redevelopment of Riyadh’s urban heartland is picking up pace with the emerging King Abdullah Financial District the first in a series of groundbreaking projects redefining the skyline and positioning the city as a world-class mixed-use community and global financial hub.

Conceived as part of the overall economic diversification programme, the masterplan for the King Abdullah Financial District was designed by Henning Larsen Architects, who were briefed to create a sustainable urban core for the city while drawing on inspiration from the Arabian landscape. Te result is an integrated community with a modern take on the


traditional wadi concept flowing through the development and acting as an open promenade to link together more than three million square metres of financial institutions, retail, residential towers, sports facilities and cultural centres including a museum and mosque. King Abdullah Financial District will feature 34 towers, include 62,000 parking spaces and accommodate 12,000 residents as well as creating 44,000 new jobs. Grade A office space will also form part of the development which will be complemented by a number of hotels as well as a conference centre, located within easy reach of the airport and close to the main business district of Olaya. Sustainable transportation is a key element of the project with a monorail

system and pedestrian skywalk connecting the various zones. In addition to the monorail, with its six stations, there will also be plenty of bicycle parking spots and changing rooms for cyclists.

GREEN FOCUS Environmental considerations are also integrated into every aspect of the

development in line with the grand aim of limiting energy consumption to 50 per cent of the average usage in Riyadh, from the skywalk footbridges powered by solar power to the use of landscaping featuring shading devices, such as movable awnings, designed to reduce solar heat gain. Te introduction of green roofs and intelligent lighting will further reduce energy consumption. King Abdullah Financial District is already seeking green accreditation and

a raft of measures are already positively impacting the construction phase, with 50 per cent of construction waste diverted from landfill and incinerator disposal as part of a comprehensive waste management system. LEED requirements also mean that water consumption must be reduced

by 20 per cent, and this is being achieved using dual-flush toilet systems and low water flow fittings, as well as the widespread use of grey water throughout the district’s buildings. Other measures include the use of low ultra-violet materials, heat

recovery systems and efficient light fixtures to effect a 10 per cent reduction in energy use, along with the lofty objective of using at least 50 per cent recycled materials where possible. King Abdullah Financial District isn’t the sole advocate of green design in the city. Under the auspices of the Arriyadah Development Authority (ADA), a long list of projects are either under development or in the pipeline, with environmental controls and anti-pollution measures an integral part of the future plan. As part of the King Fahad Road project, a pollution- controlling programme has been developed to monitor as well as address the issue of air pollution. g

iyadh’s new financial district is a model not only for the future of sustainable design, but also for the development of the Kingdom.

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