Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Analysis of thermal bridging in Arabian houses: Investigation of residential buildings in the Riyadh area
    (University of A Coruña & Asoc. PLEA 2020 Planning Post Carbon Cities, 2020-09-03) ; ;
    The electrical energy demand in Saudi Arabia has been increasing over the last decade. The building sector (residential, governmental and commercial) consumes about 80% of the total electricity produced. Residential buildings consume about 50% of the total electricity consumption in Saudi Arabia. Up to 70% of the electric energy consumed in buildings id for air conditioning of internal space. This study investigates the relative impact of thermal bridging through the building envelope as a cause of this scenario. The analysis focuses on typical detached villa housing, which represent 29% of all residential accommodation. The results of this paper show that insulated clay blocks by themselves do not ensure compliance with the minimum requirements of the Saudi Code. Bridging caused by mortar joints and structural elements can increase the U-value of the building envelope by 141% above the hypothetical unbridged base case. Through simulation study the impact of thermal bridging on the building is calculated at 68% increase of the total energy consumption. A 55 mm additional external insulation layers can improve the performance considerably and achieve compliance with new building codes.
  • Publication
    Performance evaluation of buildings and their envelopes in Saudi Arabia's hot climate
    (University College Dublin. School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, 2022) ;
    Increases in global temperatures will be most pronounced in the mid-latitudes. TODAY, the GCC countries face harsh climatic conditions, and these conditions are getting more severe. In addition, development and building design have changed in recent decades, replicating the homogenous western design. Residential building energy consumption in the GCC countries is exceptionally high and increasing. Cooling interior spaces in severe climates requires a high energy load that is primarily generated by fossil fuels. The buildings built today will, throughout their lifetime, have a considerable impact on the environment. Retrofitting inefficient buildings to improve their performance and improving new building designs are urgently needed. This work aims to critically analyse typical residential building construction in the Gulf Region. It identifies thermal weaknesses in the construction leading to poor building performance and proposes simple corrective solutions. The analyses were conducted using numerical modelling, experimental monitoring and whole building simulation. This work also investigates inherent thermal mass and evaluates if this can provide an effective solution in current designs. In order to develop a holistic picture of residential building performance impactors, a range of envelope components are evaluated. Results show that current construction styles are substandard and fail to meet regulatory performance standards. As revealed, the most important factor that affects the building’s thermal performance is thermal bridging due to structural elements and mortar joints which is responsible for the maximum ratio of decreasing the energy performance of the building. Moreover, passive design solutions, such as thermal mass, are shown not to offer considerable savings, where cooling is intermittently active. Furthermore, this thesis provides a novel approach to measuring the impact of thermal mass on the building’s energy consumption. In addition, the Saudi Building Code lacks methods of analysing and calculating the thermal deficiencies of the building. Also, the effect of solar gain ingress through the building’s envelope is high and needs deep analysis depending on the building location. Therefore, these studies can significantly contribute to informing current and future building envelope design and construction practices. It can also act as a guide for future regulation revision across a large geographical area characterised by increasing population and development. Finally, the provided novel methodologies can be used to improve and inform future simulated estimation by researchers, architects and energy analysts.