Saudi Arabia’s homebuilding will have reduced carbon footprint: ROSHN CEO

MIAMI: Saudi Arabia’s construction of homes between now and 2030 will have a reduced carbon footprint compared to current traditional developments.

This is according to David Grover, group CEO of ROSHN, who was speaking at the FII Priority Summit on Thursday in Miami.

“Google tells me that there are 211,000 homes in Miami. We’re developing 400,000 homes between now and 2030 — twice the amount of residential that Miami has,” said Grover who leads the multi-asset class real estate developer, which is a giga-project wholly owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.

“We know that we need 75 million cubic meters of concrete in the next seven years, just for our core residential program” and so, “we definitely have a big obligation, as a developer, in terms of how we can minimize the carbon footprint,” he told the audience.

Making concrete causes a lot of pollutants and so ROSHN is committed to finding partners that can reduce the need for cement and concrete, said Grover.

Partanna, for example, which is the brainchild of former NBA champion Rick Fox, produces alternatives to Portland cement that are made with recycled ingredients.

“We take industry waste and combine them together at room temperature and through the process of our patents, we absorb CO2 at a very alarming rate, which is positive for our environment,” Fox explained.

ROSHN wants to be an “investor” and “contribute towards the supply chain bringing forward technology,” said Grover.

For example, it has invested in a company that makes environmentally friendly carbon-capture paint, which means that painting a home with this product is equivalent to planting 12 oak trees around that property in terms of its capacity to absorb carbon dioxide.

The construction and real estate industry can be a bit “dull” and “a bit of a dinosaur industry” so, “we’re a bit slow globally in terms of actually bringing in technology, best practice and AI,” said Grover.

He added: “It’s a real obligation we have as a company to be seen as a leading light not just within Saudi, but also as a global player.”

As part of this effort, next year, ROSHN will open an innovation center in Riyadh that will see it invest in startups as it looks to bring in young talent and fresh ideas.

For Fox, the partnership with ROSHN and the Kingdom is built on shared values.

“It’s not just talk, it’s actual action,” he said. Moreover, its scale “provides the opportunity to attract the right partners and investment that understand this is for the long haul,” he added.

“We’re going to go on a journey here and we’re not going to be for everybody to begin with; we’re going to be the right teammate and the right partner for those that care about changing the world,” said Fox.

Leave a Comment