Sustainability Science

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 167–178 | Cite as

The development of sustainable assessment method for Saudi Arabia built environment: weighting system

  • Saleh H. Alyami
  • Yacine Rezgui
  • Alan Kwan
Case Report


Our built environment is responsible for some of the most serious global and local environmental change. The construction industry, therefore, faces pressure to increase the sustainability of its practices reflected in the development of stringent regulations and environmental assessment methods, designed to mitigate such negative impacts. However, these well-known methods (e.g., BREEAM, LEED, SBTool, and CASBEE) have not originally been designed to suit developing countries (including Saudi Arabia). This paper proposes to customize an adapted weighting system that prioritizes Saudi environmental assessment method (SEAM) categories. The research methodology involves the use of analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Expert choice software was the main tool to analyze the input data. This research instrument involves the participation of a number of leading, global experts in the field of environmental and sustainable development, as well as professionals and highly informed local experts from government, academia, and industry. The results reveal that well-known environmental assessment methods are not fully applicable to the Saudi Arabia built environment, as reflected in the resulting categories, criteria and weighting system of SEAM.


Sustainable development Environmental assessment method SEAM 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.BRE Institute in Sustainable Engineering, School of EngineeringCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  3. 3.Architectural, Civil and Environment Discipline, School of EngineeringCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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