CIB World congress 2010

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Research Title: 
Intelligent Tall Building Envelope Technologies and Design Alternatives for Comfort and Energy Efficiency in Hot, Arid Climate
Sameh Monna
Gabriele Masera
Thu, 2010-05-13
Research Abstract: 

Building envelopes function as an environmental filters: they form a skin around the building and control the influence of the outdoor environment. In a hot arid climate, due to problems such as overheating and high solar gain, intelligent design strategies and technologies for building envelope are necessary. More than one third of energy is consumed in buildings, more than in industry or transport, and the absolute figure is rising fast as the construction booms, especially in countries like UAE. Tall office buildings need attention due to their large size, energy consumption for cooling and lighting, and highly glazed facades.
The study aims to develop an approach for intelligent building envelope design for office buildings in hot, arid climate in order to achieve thermal and visual comfort and energy efficiency. The study analysed the outdoor and indoor climatic conditions, to understand the problems of overheating, discomfort, and the energy needed to achieve indoor environment quality. The effects of different technologies and design alternatives on comfort and energy efficiency were evaluated for the early design stage using computer simulation programs. The evaluated technologies include: glazing performance, shading and solar control, insulation and thermal mass, and the design alternatives included: opaque to transparent ratio, orientation, and natural day and night ventilation. The results show the potential for a significant decrease in cooling loads and energy for lighting, and increase in thermal and visual comfort, if appropriate building envelope alternatives are evaluated and implemented in the early design stage. The study shows the need for a guidance methodology to integrate later simulation performance in the early design stage to achieve intelligent envelope design.