Saudi-based Diriyah Company said the first phase of its masterplan has been awarded Platinum Level LEED for Cities Certification by the US Green Building Council. This accreditation in LEED for Cities and Communities marks the first time a project in the Middle East has received such an accolade. Platinum certification is the highest level within the LEED framework.

On the accolade, Diriyah Company Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded LEED Platinum Certification for the first phase of the Diriyah masterplan. As the first project in the Middle East to achieve this formidable accolade, alongside our recent milestone of 50 million safe man-hours, we continue to set a new benchmark for our peers.”

“Diriyah Company’s sustainable approach, rooted in a reverential celebration of the city’s past and showcasing of its culture, community, and values, has again been validated by this significant global recognition,” he stated.

This first phase of Diriyah’s masterplan reflects a luxurious, mixed-use project with entertainment, shopping, cultural, commercial, and residential assets.

With SR63.2 billion ($9.6 billion) projects under construction, these assets are anchored around key public squares and open spaces.

The project’s urban form encourages a cooling microclimate with narrow streets and courtyards, providing shade and enhancing favourable winds. With central aspects of this first phase planned as car-free, it promotes a sustainable and pedestrianised public realm, he added.

USGBC President and CEO Peter Templeton said: “LEED has been a transformative tool for buildings, and we are now seeing the impact it can have at the city and community level, particularly in key areas of human and environmental health.”

“As the first community in the Middle East to earn Platinum certification on LEED v4.1 for Cities: Plan and Design, the first phase of Diriyah’s masterplan is leading the way to a better world and helping USGBC continue toward our goal of sustainability by prioritising issues such as resilience and green infrastructure for all,” he added.