King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Location: Economic City, Saudi Arabia

Client: The HOK Planning Group, Atlanta

Year of Completion: 2008

Area: 14 square miles


  • Saudi Arabia's first, and the world's largest, LEED Platinum-certified project
  • AIA Committee on the Environment – Top 10 Green Projects
  • Sustain Magazine – International Project of the Year

The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology includes over 30 water features, operated from 24 equipment spaces. The range of designs extends from intimate pools, to a fountain surrounding the University’s Central Mosque, to an extremely large series of salt-water stepped pools. Water conservation is a primary design consideration, especially for the larger displays. Filtration techniques are utilized which employ regenerative filters that self-clean with backwashing, saving thousands of gallons of water per week when compared with traditional sand filters. The grand “Sea Tidal Court” seawater display, which incorporates integrated stands of mangrove trees, provides an aesthetic connection between the harbor at the University’s edge and the rest of the Campus. In order to minimize evaporative loss of potable water, fountain water will be drawn from the harbor, filtered, and used to fill the pools. High-powered ozonation systems will then convert the ocean’s dissolved chloride into active chlorine for ongoing sanitation, while the pool water continues to be filtered.