Thermal Performance of Contemporary Residential Buildings in Hot-Arid Climates

Ahmed M. Shehata,Sahl A. Waheeb*


Due to increasing environmental awareness in the era of global warming, thermal performance and architectural sustainable design standards have become targets for many architects. The need for such standards is even more pronounced when designing for hot and harsh desert countries. This study explores the impacts of different design factors on the sustainability performance of housing units in arid climates and analyzes the thermal performance of five semi-attached housing units located on the campus of Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. To achieve the study objectives, 3-dimensional models of these five housing units were constructed to be used as simulations. Appropriate construction materials, mechanical and electrical systems were included. The orientations were unified for all the selected units. A simulation run to predict the thermal performance of each unit was conducted and results were analyzed. The impacts of different design factors on the environmental performance of these residential units was tested. These factors include: outer shell area to volume ratio, percentage of windows to wall areas, window shading percentage, window orientations, presence of courtyards, wall thicknesses, materials and insulation types used, and mechanical and electric systems. The impact of each of these factors on the thermal performance of the housing units was tested separately. General guidelines to achieve sustainable architectural designs in terms of reduced energy consumption and better thermal performance in arid climates were formulated and introduced and modifications to improve the performances of existing buildings were mentioned.

Issue: 09-Special Issue

Year: 2018

Pages: 1295-1303

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