Cundall Light4 contract to reduce light pollution in Saudi Arabia

Cundall Light4 has been appointed to develop a lighting strategy for one of the world’s most ambitious tourism initiatives – a six-month programme to reduce light pollution in The Red Sea Project, a luxury tourism development on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast that aims to set new standards in sustainable development and position Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.

Working for The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), Cundall’s lighting design team will be reviewing existing project design and advising local communities on measures they can take to reduce light pollution and save energy. The Lighting Management Plan (LMP) which will be created by Cundall Light4 will detail the strategy that all the new assets will adhere to, including hotels, airport and residential properties planned for the 28,000km2 site.

These works are in line with The Red Sea Project’s plan to become the largest certified Dark Sky Reserve in the world and gain the Dark Skies international accreditation. Founded In 1988, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is dedicated to protecting the night sky for present and future generations by tackling light pollution.

“We are proud to announce our intention to become the first full-scale destination in the Middle East to pursue this unique accreditation, intended to safeguard the natural environment and allow guests to marvel at the beauty of the night sky,” said John Pagano, Chief Executive Officer, The Red Sea Development Company.

“Over the centuries, explorers, trade caravans and pilgrims have used the night sky to navigate across our region. Dark Sky accreditation will allow our visitors to enjoy the same stunning night-time panoramas that guided and inspired those historical travellers. We are proud to become part of a worldwide movement dedicated to restoring mankind’s intimate relationship with the stars.”

“The night sky at the site is already at a very high level of quality and beautiful to experience, full of interesting textures and powerful contrasts. Away from city lights, the splash of the Milky Way is spellbinding, stretching from one horizon to the other,” said Andrew Bissell, Director of Light4, Cundall.

“I believe this project will demonstrate that through ambition, careful coordinated design and a passion for the environment, new developments of an unprecedented scale can be built which protect the quality of the night sky.  Achieving this will be the evidence that is needed to show that no building in any location whether that be rural, or a capital city need have an impact on the night sky.”

Cundall will work with the engineering and development teams at The Red Sea Development Company over a six-month period to review the existing project design and advise on possible measures to reduce light pollution. This includes outreach to local communities advising residents on suitable measures they can undertake to support the initiative and encourage more energy-efficient, lower-cost use of external lights.

In March, the team will record the baseline condition, surveying the existing lighting equipment and installation details on all existing assets including building-mounted general lighting, feature lighting, landscape lighting and street lighting.  In addition to recording the lighting condition, sky quality measurements will be made across the destination.  The combination of the survey information and measurements will provide a baseline condition of the quality of the existing dark skies that people experience and how existing lighting contributes to sky glow.