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


  • AIA’s Committee on the Environment “Top Ten Green Projects”, 2010
  • Saudi Arabia’s first, and the world’s largest, LEED Platinum-certified project
  • Sustain Magazine’s International Project of the Year, 2010

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