A Royal University with a Golden Roof
10 October, 2013
The flexibility and durability of composites make for a unique library dome.
The Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University, north of the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, is among the top ten largest universities in the world and the largest women-only university. Founded in 1970, the university now has 32 different campuses with 800 buildings stretching over 8 million square meters.
A newly completed expansion has made this university even more impressive. Begun in January 2009, the expansion project was inaugurated by King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz on May 15, 2011, and accommodates 40,000 students and 12,000 employees.
Among the new buildings is a library with an eye-catching dome made with composite sheets covered in mosaic and gold. The company selected to construct the building is one of the leading construction companies in the area, Saudi Oger Ltd. Founded in 1978 in Riyadh, the company has grown into a multinational organization with subsidiaries and affiliates both in Saudi Arabia and abroad. Apart from construction projects, Saudi Oger today has a whole range of offers, from facilities management and real estate development to telecommunication and IT services.
Saudi Oger produced the dome, which has an impressive diameter of 42 meters. For this specific assignment, the company found a reliable co-constructor in Shoreteam, a Composites Consulting Group (CCG) partner located in France and specializing in composites. From the beginning of summer 2010, a team of four people from the Shoreteam organization was posted on site in Saudi Arabia. Using single-bag infusion technique, the team made sure the local staff received the training needed to produce all parts of the 2,000-m2 roof.
In December 2010, after months of hard work, the roof was finally completed. A total of 49 composite sheets of glass, Divinycell foam and epoxy resin were used to make the dome, which is now an easily recognizable part of the campus’ vast skyline.