The questionnaires focused on exploring the approach of the construction sector stakeholders to sustainable buildings both at the development and operational phases of projects. The findings of the survey indicate that the Saudi building industry has yet to realize the importance of sustainability.
To investigate the prospects of sustainable buildings in Saudi Arabia, two researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals conducted a study in September 2014 to analyze the results of a questionnaire survey conducted with pertinent professionals. The survey targeted the representatives of the key professions in the Saudi construction industry including architects, engineers, project managers, construction contractors, developers and investors. More than 500 questionnaires were distributed randomly amongst the professionals in the Saudi building industry covering the major cities in the country. The questionnaires, conducted between December 2011 and February 2012 employing web-based and in-person approaches, were designed both in English and Arabic. The analysis is based upon 122 responses received from architects, engineers, project managers, construction contractors, developers and investors.
The questionnaires focus on exploring the approach of the construction sector stakeholders to sustainable buildings both at the development and operational phases of projects. The findings of the survey indicate that the Saudi building industry has yet to realize the importance of sustainability. The participants were asked to rank several factors such as cost, modernity, development time, architectural outfits, quality and durability, safety, and sustainability in terms of their priority score where 1 is the most important and 7 is the least important. 75% of the participants considered cost and quality and durability to be the most important factor while most of the participants placed sustainability in the rank 7 as the least important factor.
The survey found that the level of formal education and work experience tend to have a positive influence on the appreciation of sustainable buildings. Participants with higher education levels (architect, engineer, and project manager) tend to have a higher level of knowledge of principles of sustainable-energy buildings with 43% for architects and 35% for engineers and project managers. Similarly, the experience with principles of sustainable-energy buildings is positively correlated with years of experience. Participants with 5 years or less of experience have less than 30% knowledge of sustainable buildings while those with 20 years and more had over 40% knowledge of sustainable buildings.
Saudi Building Industry’s Views on Sustainability in Buildings: Questionanaire Survey. Farajallah Alrashed and Muhammad Asif. September 2014. Accessed from