Architecture

Zaha Hadid-designed research center focuses on energy efficiency

Zaha Hadid-designed research c...
KAPSARC is Zaha Hadid Architects' first project to be awarded LEED Platinum (a leading green building standard) 
KAPSARC is Zaha Hadid Architects' first project to be awarded LEED Platinum (a leading green building standard) 
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Zaha Hadid Architects' KAPSARC (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre) offers a venue for scientists to research reducing energy use
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Zaha Hadid Architects' KAPSARC (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre) offers a venue for scientists to research reducing energy use
KAPSARC is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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KAPSARC is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
KAPSARC measures a total of 70,000 sq m (753,473 sq ft)
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KAPSARC measures a total of 70,000 sq m (753,473 sq ft)
KAPSARC comprises five buildings: the Energy Knowledge Centre, the Energy Computer Centre, the Conference Centre with exhibition hall and auditorium, the Research Library with archives consisting of 100,000 volumes, and finally the Musalla, a place for prayer
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KAPSARC comprises five buildings: the Energy Knowledge Centre, the Energy Computer Centre, the Conference Centre with exhibition hall and auditorium, the Research Library with archives consisting of 100,000 volumes, and finally the Musalla, a place for prayer
KAPSARC's buildings are interconnected, with shared public spaces
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KAPSARC's buildings are interconnected, with shared public spaces
KAPSARC is Zaha Hadid Architects' first project to be awarded LEED Platinum (a green building standard)
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KAPSARC is Zaha Hadid Architects' first project to be awarded LEED Platinum (a green building standard)
All of KAPSARC's potable water is recycled and reused on-site and 100 percent of irrigation water is derived from non-potable sources
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All of KAPSARC's potable water is recycled and reused on-site and 100 percent of irrigation water is derived from non-potable sources
A solar PV array is located on the roof of KAPSARC's south-facing Conference Centre 
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A solar PV array is located on the roof of KAPSARC's south-facing Conference Centre 
During KAPSARC's construction, waste was diverted from the landfill and 30 percent of the materials used include recycled content
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During KAPSARC's construction, waste was diverted from the landfill and 30 percent of the materials used include recycled content
Zaha Hadid Architects' KAPSARC (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre) offers a venue for scientists to reduce energy use
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Zaha Hadid Architects' KAPSARC (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre) offers a venue for scientists to reduce energy use
KAPSARC's buildings are interconnected, with shared public spaces, and take the form of hexagonal prismatic honeycomb structures arranged around a large public courtyard shaded by canopies
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KAPSARC's buildings are interconnected, with shared public spaces, and take the form of hexagonal prismatic honeycomb structures arranged around a large public courtyard shaded by canopies
The prevailing wind is channelled by "wind catchers" integrated into the roof on the southern sides of KAPSARC's courtyard areas
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The prevailing wind is channelled by "wind catchers" integrated into the roof on the southern sides of KAPSARC's courtyard areas
KAPSARC is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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KAPSARC is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
KAPSARC comprises five buildings: the Energy Knowledge Centre, the Energy Computer Centre, the Conference Centre with exhibition hall and auditorium, the Research Library with archives consisting of 100,000 volumes, and finally the Musalla, a place for prayer
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KAPSARC comprises five buildings: the Energy Knowledge Centre, the Energy Computer Centre, the Conference Centre with exhibition hall and auditorium, the Research Library with archives consisting of 100,000 volumes, and finally the Musalla, a place for prayer
The prevailing wind is channelled by "wind catchers" integrated into the roof on the southern sides of KAPSARC's courtyard areas
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The prevailing wind is channelled by "wind catchers" integrated into the roof on the southern sides of KAPSARC's courtyard areas
KAPSARC is Zaha Hadid Architects' first project to be awarded LEED Platinum (a leading green building standard) 
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KAPSARC is Zaha Hadid Architects' first project to be awarded LEED Platinum (a leading green building standard) 
KAPSARC is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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KAPSARC is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
KAPSARC measures a total of 70,000 sq m (753,473 sq ft)
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KAPSARC measures a total of 70,000 sq m (753,473 sq ft)

Rising out of the desert landscape of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia like a giant insect, Zaha Hadid Architects' unusual KAPSARC (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre) is a non-profit institution tasked with researching more efficient uses of energy. Fittingly, the building minimizes its own energy use with solar power, water recycling and passive cooling systems.

KAPSARC measures a total floorspace of 70,000 sq m (753,473 sq ft), spread over five buildings: the Energy Knowledge Centre, Energy Computer Centre, Conference Centre, Research Library, and finally the Musalla, a place for prayer.

With its sunlight-reflecting bright white facade and hexagonal prismatic honeycomb structure (photographed here by longtime Zaha Hadid collaborator Hufton+Crow), KAPSARC's form is clearly defined by the harsh desert conditions that surround it. Its layout is designed to block the sun's harshest rays, while remaining open to northern and westerly winds.

The buildings are interconnected and arranged around a large central courtyard that's shaded with canopies. That said, despite the careful layout and shading, underground passages are still made available for the hottest months of the year.

KAPSARC is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
KAPSARC is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

KAPSARC is Zaha Hadid Architects' first project to be awarded LEED Platinum (a leading green building standard). The firm isn't really known for its sustainability, but takes significant steps to reduce energy usage here.

The prevailing wind is channelled by "wind catchers" integrated into the roof on the southern sides of each courtyard area for passive cooling. Potable water is recycled and reused on-site, and 100 percent of irrigation water is derived from non-potable sources. A solar power array is installed on the roof of the south-facing Conference Centre that has a capacity of 5,000MWh/year.

Almost all of the wood used during construction was certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), while 40 percent of construction materials were sourced from within 500 miles (804 km). A large amount of waste was diverted from the landfill and 30 percent of the materials used include recycled content.

KAPSARC recently opened to the public and has been named Saudi Arabia's smartest building by the Honeywell Smart Building Awards program, which awards scores on environmental sustainability, safety, and productivity.

Source: Zaha Hadid Architects

2 comments
vince
Beautiful. America itself is so bad so boring why stay here? This country is all about the almighty dollar profit and the heck with esthetics, pride, clean air, etc. Down with big oil!
Douglas Bennett Rogers
These lavish projects would be impossible without oil money.