SDG 12 SDG 11 SDG 7
January 24, 2023

KAUST Facilities Management Sets New Standards for Sustainable Operations and Energy Efficiency

The Facilities Management (FM) department at KAUST has made significant efforts to improve the sustainability of its operations, resulting in a significant reduction in paper usage and increased energy efficiency.

The FM Waste Management team achieved a 92% reduction in office paper consumption, from a regular monthly average of 6,026 paper sheets per month to 492 paper sheets per month. This was achieved by adopting a Delivery Management System (DMS), an IT system to monitor waste management operations and track the waste management fleet, which allowed most of the paper-based processes to be done electronically. By doing so, the team not only significantly reduced paper usage, but also increased efficiency, data availability, and data accuracy. In addition, the team shifted to electronic signatures, reviewed the printing quota, and arranged staff engagement sessions to raise awareness about sustainable consumption and operations.

The FM Operations & Building Maintenance team has been implementing several improvements to optimize the use of the Integrated KAUST Automatic System (IKAS) for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) in KAUST facilities. One successful example was the scheduling of the HVAC system of KAUST mosques by linking IKAS to a prayer time open API, which optimized running times by 38%, thus saving considerable energy and reducing associated carbon emissions. The team also implemented HVAC control improvements of community schools based on occupancy, reducing running time or shutting off the HVAC system for the entire summer holidays and weekends.

The team’s efforts towards operational excellence have recently been recognized by the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM), which awarded them the 2022 IWFM Product or Service Development award for their KAUST Facilities Management Business Intelligence Dashboards. This award represents the team’s commitment to implementing innovation and best practices to achieve KAUST’s sustainability goals, such as reducing CO2 emissions.

FM’s Space Planning and Soft Services team has also implemented resource-saving processes in its operations. The team created a QR code system to reduce the number of paper sheets with key chemical safety information for janitors within KAUST. The QR code brings janitors to a digital library with all the safety information needed to guarantee a safe working environment, saving around 100,000 sheets of paper per year. Moreover, the team changed the practice of using plastic bags in paper towel bins in over 500 washrooms in KAUST.

To learn more about all services and initiatives from FM, click here (intranet website only).