Rodger ... region is moving in the right direction.

A new report from construction consultancy Stonehaven analyses global emission data as well as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) project numbers to discover which country is leading the way for greener construction.

The report breaks down two key players in the Middle Eastern construction market, UAE and Saudi Arabia, to discover how their emissions and LEED projects differ.

The UAE saw an increase of over 18 per cent in a 10-year period (2010 - 2020) for both CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing and construction sector. The country ranks seventh for having the highest increase in emissions, with India, Russia and Vietnam taking the top three spots, respectively.

However, Saudi Arabia reduced its manufacturing and construction emissions by over 24 per cent, ranking fifth globally for reducing CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, behind Japan, Kazakhstan and the US.

The report also looks at the number of LEED projects by country to discover which is leading the way for green buildings. Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia ranked in the top 10, with Saudi Arabia taking fifth place with 1,190 certified projects and the UAE in ninth place with 641 projects. They are the only Middle Eastern nations in the top 10 countries with the most LEED projects.

Some of the key cities that host LEED certified projects in Saudi Arabia.

Some of the key cities that host LEED certified projects in Saudi Arabia.

In the UAE, Dubai (348), Ras Al Khaimah (120) and Abu Dhabi (65) have the highest number of LEED projects.

The LEED certified buildings in Dubai listed in the report are ICD Brookfield Place, Climate Change Initiative Building, University of Dubai (UD) and Pacific Controls headquarters building (all with LEED Platinum certification); and One JLT, Uptown Dubai, ABN Amro Bank – Dubai Outsource Zone, and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Head office (with LEED Gold).

In Saudi Arabia, the capital Riyadh has the most LEED projects with 866, with Jeddah in second place with 20.

The LEED certified buildings in Riyadh listed in the report are King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (Kapsarc) with LEED Platinum; Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University and Sabic Jubail building, with LEED Gold; and King Khalid International Airport and King Salman Energy Park (Spark).

During the 10th annual World Green Building Week in 2019, the World Green Building Council released its vision for building and modifying infrastructures around the world with 40 per cent less embodied carbon emissions by 2030. This vision also outlines 100 per cent net-zero buildings by 2050. Presently, the building and construction industry still has a long road ahead to reach these goals. However, the sector is constantly looking for ways to achieve this vision, one of which is focusing on sustainable construction.

Gordon Rodger, Managing Director at Stonehaven, commented on the findings: “Although the construction industry has a long way to go in reducing its impact on the planet, accounting for 37 per cent of global emissions, this report shows positive signs that the region is moving in the right direction. At Stonehaven, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact. By investing in the latest technologies, we have increased design and engineering efficiencies, resulting in less material wastage and energy consumption on our sites.”

The report also details expert insight on the future of materials to make construction more sustainable as well as trends that are set to emerge as the industry moves towards a greener future.

Stonehaven’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond its operations, according to Rodger.

“We educate our clients on the benefits of sustainable construction methods, including solar solutions, water reduction systems, and eco-friendly materials. One of our recent projects, the Jetex Al Bateen VIP Airport Lounge in the UAE, has been awarded the Estidama 3 Pearl rating.

“Estidama, essentially a LEED rating specifically developed for Abu Dhabi, covers more than the building itself and considers environmental, economic, social, and cultural factors. This recognition highlights our commitment to innovative, eco-friendly solutions that set new standards in the construction industry,” he adds.

Stonehaven is a leading construction services company headquartered in Dubai, with offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London, and Colombo, and soon expanding to Manchester and Birmingham in the UK. It specialises in project management, cost management, design, engineering support services, construction supervision and marketing.