Top

​Ventilation and Lighting


Diffused natural daylight and exterior views as well as improved ventilation and indoor air quality will play an integral role for the University and create a healthier, more productive environment for faculty, staff, students and researchers. Because of the intensity of the sun in the region, all daylight will be diffused to decrease solar heat gain intensity within the buildings.



All outdoor air intakes and interior spaces will be monitored with CO2 sensors to ensure that appropriate levels of ventilation and fresh air are being supplied to building users. High levels of CO2 in interior spaces can cause low levels of productivity and detrimental health effects.

All campus buildings will increase ventilation rates to 30 percent more than standard to ensure continued supply of fresh air for building users.

All campus buildings meet the strict ASHRAE 55 standards of thermal and environmental requirements for human occupancy. This guarantees that the interior space temperatures and humidity levels will always remain at comfortable user occupancy levels.

KAUST will continue ASHRAE 55 monitoring to ensure that this standard is being met for years to come.

KAUST has also chosen construction materials and buildings methods that reduce harmful airborne particulates:
  • All campus buildings and most city center buildings will be constructed using adhesives, sealants, paints, carpets and furniture systems that contain no or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • All campus buildings and most city center buildings will be constructed with composite wood and agrifiber products that do not contain urea-formaldehyde.
  • After construction, all campus buildings will perform a building flush-out to ensure that all VOCs, particulates, dust and harmful chemicals left from construction are removed from the building before occupancy.
  • MERV 13 and 14 filters have been placed on all HVAC systems. These filters ensure removal of very fine particulates from the ventilation stream within the buildings.
  • Walk-off grates have been installed at all entrances to ensure that dust, sand and particulates from outside are not brought into the interior of the buildings.

Interior Lighting Strategies​

High efficacy light sources have been used throughout the campus buildings to ensure long life, low embodied energy, low maintenance, and high energy performance.

All campus building users have access to personal light (task lights) and thermal controls (thermostats). Having access to these controls ensures that building users have sufficient light for their task at hand and are thermally comfortable depending on their level of activity. This increases levels of productivity and health among building users.

All lighting is controlled by a centralized lighting control system that allows manual dimming in offices and conference rooms, sensor based daylight harvesting in appropriate locations, time of day switching, and astronomic time-clock control in appropriate areas.

Astronomic time-clock systems calculate sunrise and sunset times each day based on longitude and latitude. Occupancy sensors are used in enclosed areas such as offices, conference rooms, and restrooms.