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  Saudi Arabia is expected to spend SR150 billion (NZD$56.6 billion) in the next eight years for the construction of “smart buildings” all over the Kingdom, according to TradeArabia.com.

 The report quoted Shahid Bhatti, project manager of “Saudi Build 2010” at Riyadh Exhibitions Company, saying that the trend of smart buildings is fast catching up in the country as it promotes long-term sustainability and energy efficiency and also helps save energy besides cutting dioxide emissions and water consumption by half and building waste.

 Saudi Build is an international construction technology and building materials exhibition which will be held concurrently with and Saudi Stone-Tech, the international stone and stone technology show, at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Centre from October 18 to 21.

 The expos are expected to provide contractors, real estate developers and building owners with direct access to a full range of smart building solutions from hundreds of exhibiting companies from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

 “Building owners are increasingly becoming interested in making their facilities more energy efficient to save money and decrease operating costs. In this regard, smart building solutions provide a convenient way to improve the energy efficiency and optimise the performance of buildings,” Bhatti was quoted as saying.

 According to him, Saudi Build and Saudi Stone-Tech will offer a complete array of smart-based solutions to match the needs of any building. “We will have exhibitors from all over the world, including at least 42 national pavilions,” he added.

 He said the trend of smart buildings was influenced by efforts to promote long-term sustainability and energy efficiency in the country as it help save 30% on energy, cut dioxide emissions and water consumption by half and reduce building waste by 90%.

 “Studies have revealed that cooling, heating and lighting techniques used by smart buildings can help save 30% on energy consumption, reduce 50% of dioxide emissions, cut down 50% water consumption and minimise up to 90% of waste produced by buildings,” he added.

 Saudi Build expects the participation of high-profile business leaders from Saudi Arabia and around the world, along with diplomats and senior Saudi Government officials.

 Supported by VeronaFiere and Italian Marmomacchine Association, Saudi Stone-Tech will cater to evolving requirements and changing trends in stone technology products, machinery and services, the official said.

 Saudi Stone-Tech will also feature designers and landscapers who will showcase cutting-edge stone products, including marble, granite, travertine and stone derivatives, as well as cutting, polishing and manufacturing machinery, he noted.

 About 70%f exhibition space has already been booked while thousands of trade visitors have already confirmed their participation.

 There has also been a significant increase in participation in the Stone and Heavy Machinery & Equipment sector, Bhatti added.

 Saudi Build/Stone 2010, the biggest business-to-business construction event in the Gulf, is the only construction trade show in Saudi Arabia accredited by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

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