An overview of sustainability in Saudi Arabia

2017-08-25T10:40:23Z (GMT) by Ali M.H. Al-Yami Andrew Price
The present demand for economically viable construction projects in the Saudi Public Sector is coupled with the need to maximise the efficient use of Saudi Arabian natural resources. The aim of this paper is to investigate sustainability in Saudi Arabia in terms of strategies, policies, barriers and enablers associated with its implementation and as perceived by key decision makers. It also endeavours to define sustainable construction principles as currently being applied in the country. The data used in this study were obtained through a review of related literature, reinforced with information distilled from interviews conducted with people working in or possessing significant experience of the Saudi Public Sector. The findings show that the Saudi government has made significant efforts towards protecting the environment by enacting a number of regulations and policies and by joining a number of global conventions over the past few years. However, the lack of consideration paid to sustainable construction principles during the conceptual phase of design has resulted undesirable consumption rates of materials, water and energy during the construction, operating and maintenance phases of projects. Moreover, there currently appears to be are lack of awareness, regulation, policies, information and leaderships with regard to implementation of sustainable construction. Several relevant principles for sustainable construction in terms of environmental, economic and social have been elaborated upon; and enablers that could accelerate its understanding and implementation in the country have been highlighted.