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360° Perspective
Looking At Progress From A Wide-Angle
   
   

 

 
A One of a Kind Mega Project- KSA
From Ground Zero to Fully Functional Residential Hubs
 

 


Khatib & Alami (K&A) is working on a mega housing development project for the Ministry of Housing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the governorates of Assir and Baha. The ambitious undertaking spans 30 million m² worth of sites and has an estimated construction cost of $2 billion USD. Work started on the 23rd of October 2013 and expected to reach completion on the 23rd of October 2018.
K&A is dedicated to improving lives through its services and this project is no exception. It will provide housing units for low-income Saudi families, as part of the government plan to provide 500,000. Each site is carefully planned to create innovative and sustainable mixed-use communities. This entails providing serviced plots for housing units where local beneficiaries can build in addition to the allocation of plots for social facilities (schools, hospitals, mosques etc.) and recreational areas.

The Challenges
The contract included around 23 sites and the scope of work consisted of the full detailed design of the master plan and infrastructure (from the receipt of the sites to sites’ visits were initiated at the outset to gather information on the local socio-economic fabric and site constraints and urban planning; the development and finalization of roads’ design; earthworks; infrastructure network, to be followed by construction supervision; the preparation of the full package for tendering; and all the processes of receiving approvals from all concerned stakeholders). It’s worth noting that each site is designed to be fully self-sufficient. But this was not the only challenge. Many of the sites had plateaus and deep valleys, which made provision of optimum and most economical design a difficult task.
Value engineering was conducted and up-to-date standardization and cutting-edge presentations and animations were produced since this was a key benchmark project that could pave the way for future large scale housing projects.

K&A’s successful approach
K&A successfully overcame all the challenges by engaging several of its in-house departments (urban planning, infrastructure and MEP). This multidisciplinary approach gave rise to superior solutions. Given the sheer size of the project, K&A divided the work over four offices. Initially Beirut handled the management, concept design and quality control, Riyadh focused on coordination and Cairo provided professional design support. At a later stage the Khobar office also assisted in the design. By involving four different offices in three different countries, the firm aimed at ensuring that the massive amount of work was delivered on-time and upheld the highest quality standards.
This was one of the largest multidisciplinary and multi-geography projects and hence having a proper, well-organized system was key to fostering good coordination from office to office. It was also primordial to ensure there was no redundant work when dealing with such a mega-team. Regular meetings between teams from different sectors and cities helped monitor and exchange all the project information and requirements.
As Ms. Yusur Kutub explains, “Having worked with a high demanding client, we aimed for perfection and this had quite an impact on the quality of the works produced, raising our internal standards.”