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King Abdullah University for Science and Technology

A coordinated team engineers interconnected spaces for a world-changing research campus

Project Facts

Location Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
Owner Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Size 8,000,000 SF
Certifications LEED Platinum


King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is an international, merit-based, graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement and addressing humanity’s most urgent concerns pertaining to energy and environmental sustainability. Along the Red Sea, it houses one of the world’s most advanced collection of labs.

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About the project

The huge campus was built at an incredible pace, opening just 29 months after design began. As structural design engineer, Walter P Moore’s team of over 50 structural engineers in seven cities all worked as a single coordinated team to design structures for the academic complex, including the Library, Engineering & Science, Business Data Center, University Center, and the Auditorium. We developed highly efficient long-span structural systems for the elegant roofs connecting several of the buildings, and an innovative pipe structure for the 50m tall rotunda known as The Lantern. Our design of a concrete diagrid structure for solar chimneys provided requisite thermal mass while simplifying the overall construction.   

The campus is Saudi Arabia’s first LEED certified project and was the world’s largest LEED Platinum project at the time of certification.

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2010 AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Project

In the News

KAUST: R&D Magazine - Lab of the Year