Envelope design for thermal comfort and reduced energy consumption in residential buildings

(2006) Envelope design for thermal comfort and reduced energy consumption in residential buildings. Masters thesis, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.


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Residential buildings are characterized by being envelope-load dominated buildings, hence are greatly influenced by the outside climatic conditions. Due to the harsh climate of Saudi Arabia, residential buildings on average, consume more than half of the total consumed energy. The bulk of this energy is consumed by the air-conditioning system which is required to remove substantial amount of gained heat due to poor thermal envelope performance. Implementing proper envelope thermal and air leakage characteristics for residential buildings can significantly reduce energy consumption. The objectives of this research are to evaluate the thermal characteristics of building envelope and consequently define those that enhance the indoor thermal conditions and improve the energy efficiency of residential buildings. In order to achieve these objectives, a typical base case residential building was developed by conducting a questionnaire survey in Dhahran and Riyadh. Envelope design practices were defined and eight designs were selected to represent the wide variation of thermal characteristics. Energy simulation program; VisualDOE 4.1 was used to evaluate the impact of thermal performance of the selected envelope designs and air leakage characteristics in the residential building when no air-conditioning is used. Parametric analysis was performed in Dhahran and consequently ventilation strategies were developed for the eight envelope designs at various windows to wall ratio (WWR). The thermal comfort has significantly improved when outside cool air is introduced. The base case was also simulated under the climatic conditions of Riyadh and Dhahran when air-conditioning (cooling and heating) is uilized. A sensitivity analysis was performed for wall and roof designs, combination of wall and roof designs, glazing types, window to wall ratio (WWR), orientation and various air infiltrations. The most effective strategies were selected and simulated for the eight envelope designs. The total energy consumption of residential buildings in Dhahran and Riyadh was reduced by 20% when compared to International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) proposed design. The Dhahran case was further improved by incorporating combined ventilation and air-conditioning strategies. Finally, envelope thermal design guidelines were developed for residential buildings in hot climates of Saudi Arabia.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: Architectural
Department: College of Design and Built Environment > Architectural Engineering
Committee Advisor: Budaiwi, Ismail M.
Committee Members: Abdou, Adel A. and Al-Hamoud, Mohammed S.
Depositing User: Mr. Admin Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2008 14:06
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2019 14:01
URI: https://eprints.kfupm.edu.sa/id/eprint/10498