Going for gold in Oman

Nick Myall
20 Aug 2018

The latest phase of Omran ’s OCEC project with SSH chases LEED Gold building status

The development of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) is charging ahead, as Omran commissions SSH to win Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold accreditation for Package Three of the project.

Since completing construction of Package Two in 2016 – the 45,000 sqm Exhibition Centre, 4,200-space car park and associated landscaping – Omran employed SSH to move straight onto Package Three, the

Convention Centre portion of the project. The Convention Centre design includes a 3,200-seat lyric-style theatre with two galleries, a second 450-seat auditorium, 19 meeting rooms with full AV installations, a Grand Ballroom with 1,200-seat banquet capacity, a Junior Ballroom with 540-seat banquet capacity, a food court, and associated back-of-house facilities.

Like Package Two, which was officially accredited with LEED Gold Certification from the Green Building Council in the USA in 2017, Omran and SSH are also seeking LEED Gold accreditation for the Convention Centre phase of the scheme. SSH was originally appointed in 2010 as the Engineering sub-consultant for the OCEC Package 2 Exhibition Centre design stage, preparing final design and construction documentation for tender. Subsequently, in 2012, SSH was appointed by Omran as the Architect and Engineer of Record and in that capacity completed the detailed design and construction documentation for the Convention Centre phase, together with the site infrastructure and hard and soft landscaping designs for the project.

This fully integrated precinct developed by Omran within the development zone of Madinat Al Irfan – a world-class, urban mixed-use development – is located just four kilometres from Muscat International Airport. The Exhibition Centre has hosted well over 100 events and seen more than 750,000 visitors walk through its doors, marking OCEC as a truly iconic development with a global profile. The award of LEED Gold Certification also cements the building design’s sustainability credentials.

LEED certification is official recognition that a project complies with the requirements prescribed within the LEED rating systems as created and maintained by the US Green Building Council.

This rating system evaluates the environmental performance of a building and encourages market transformation toward sustainable design. The system is credit-based, allowing projects to earn points for environmentally friendly actions taken during construction and use of a building. There are six categories in which a project can earn credits:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation in Design

With a perfect score for water efficiency, the OCEC Exhibition Centre Package Two achieved an overall credit score of 65, exceeding the threshold for LEED Gold Status.

Omran aims to mirror the LEED Gold success already achieved for the Package Two facilities with a similar Gold award for the Convention Centre phase of OCEC, and SSH are responsible for ensuring that this target is achieved.

“Design integrity has always been a priority for SSH and we have a proud track record of involvement in design-led landmark projects,” said Danny Warde, Resident Director of Oman at SSH. “We have always promoted the seamless integration of all design elements, including structural materials, mechanical and electrical systems, interior finishes and landscape features. It was, therefore, crucial to us that all these elements are interwoven into the architectural fabric of this particular project to provide our clients with beautifully balanced architecture and a sustainable, cost-effective building.”

He added: “To repeat the LEED success we saw with the OCEC Exhibition Centre for the OCEC Convention Centre would be a proud moment for our client, Omran, and for SSH in Oman.”

OCEC is the first significant venture for Oman into the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) markets. The centre will act as a gateway to Muscat and draws on Oman’s strong cultural heritage, architectural traditions and natural beauty, thereby driving growth in the country’s tourism sector, as well as engagement from the local community.

Nick Myall

News editor

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