Plans to make Saudi mosques green

Saudi Arabia is planning to make more than 90,000 mosques across the Kingdom more eco-friendly.

The initiative was agreed following a joint meeting between the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and the Saudi Green Building Forum and will include utilising solar and other renewable sources of energy.

Faisal Al-Fadl, secretary general of the Saudi Green Building Forum, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “This was a strategic decision when compared with other buildings, because mosques are buildings which have the most influence on people’s lives due to the large numbers of worshipers who visit them.

“Green building has qualities that are more pertinent to mosques than other forms of construction, such as in the flow of people through the building, which may cause inconvenience at some mosques. This is a problem we can correct through green building.”

Fadl told Asharq Al-Awsat that green building can reduce electricity consumption in mosques by around 40%, and that this figure could decrease by a total of 80% if advanced technology is used.

He added that mosques could also decrease water use by between 30 and 40% by introducing water filtration systems, in addition to reducing carbon emissions by between 30 and 40%.

And he said that introducing air filtration systems would also provide a healthier environment within mosques, reducing the chance of transmitting infections and contamination.

Fadl also confirmed that there is an agreement to implement the initiative to transform mosques into green buildings through practical mechanisms to ensure that long-established mosques can become more eco-friendly.