The local Saudi Binladin Group has submitted the low bid of SR1.89bn ($504m) for the main construction package on the King Abdullah International Gardens (KAIG) project in Riyadh.

The state-run KAIG Committee has received bids from eight local and international contractors, and is expected to award the contract shortly after Eid.

“The client has received bids from eight groups, and will draw up a shortlist of the top three candidates before awarding the construction package,” says a source close to the project.

The main construction package includes all external construction services on the 1.6 million square-metre site as well as a 100,000 sq m building. The construction work is expected to take 24 months to complete.

The project’s centrepiece will be a 40-metre-high crescent-shaped plant laboratory and indoor botanical garden. The building’s roof will have a span of up to 90 metres and will be one of the world’s largest tensile fabric-covered structure.

UAE-based Al-Arif Trading & Contracting was awarded a contract in late-2008 to prepare the site and establish perimeter fencing around the project. The local Omrania & Associates (O&A) is providing site management and construction supervision.

Detailed design, construction documentation and other building services were carried out by a joint venture of UK consultants Barton Willmore and Buro Happold.

Barton Willmore provided masterplanning, architecture and landscape design services, while Buro Happold provided structural engineering, building services and infrastructure engineering design.

Infrastructure design included earthworks, roads, footpaths, car parks, sewerage treatment systems and facilities for electricity, telecoms, gas and water (MEED 21:6:10).