Diriyah Gate ... the first phase masterplan has been awarded Platinum-level precertification for LEED accreditation.

Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) has broken ground on a mega, multi-level car-park being developed in a key heritage site located northwest of Riyadh, at an investment of €840-million ($878 million). On completion, the facility can accommodate up to 10,500 vehicles.

The contract will be executed by Italian construction major Webuild through its subsidiary Salini Saudi Arabia.

The project scope includes civil and structural works, tunnels and other connections for the district’s huge car park in a new district along the Western Ring Road.

Spread over nearly 1 million sq m area, the three-storey underground garage lies at the heart of an ambitious urban development project in Ad Diriyah, the historic district and Unesco heritage site at the northwest of Riyadh.

DGDA said the architecture and design of the district will take inspiration from the traditional Najdi style. It will cover 7 sq km and include the development of a network of pedestrian streets, public squares, courtyards, souks and bazaars to recreate the authenticity of a Saudi village, it added.

Meanwhile, DGDA said the first phase masterplan of its giga-project has been awarded Platinum-level precertification for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED certification can be achieved at different levels: the building, neighbourhood, community and city levels. The first phase of the Diriyah development has targeted the certification at both the building and city levels.

Diriyah has also recently introduced major initiatives, including, improving the circular economy and waste management practices, maintaining, and improving biodiversity, monitoring the environmental footprint, and implementing social and economic initiatives that support sustainable mobility, health and wellbeing and the development of the local economy.

DGDA said it was ensuring that the development was pedestrian-oriented to keep Diriyah a city rooted in an authentic representation of the past, while also reducing the overall fuel emissions and carbon footprint of the development.

DGDA has also signed an MoU with Saudi Arabia’s Oil Sustainability Programme (OSP) for collaboration on usage of sustainable polymer materials in all its projects and as well as providing required technical and logistic support with relevant entities in this field.