Increasing efficiency of Atriums in Hot Arid Zones

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This research evaluates the efficiency of Atrium in hot, arid regions and analyzes the reduction of energy consumption that could be achieved in buildings by application of optimal variables. A virtual model of a shopping mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is created in IES-VE software using the existing parameters. The variables that impact the energy consumption such as Roof profile, Roof ventilation, Number of floors, Light to solar gain ratio ( LSG ), Insulation value ( U ) of envelope are analyzed by changing one variable at a time. Efficiency is analyzed in terms of energy consumption, cooling load, dehumidification load, lights energy and carbon emission to obtain optimal values. These values are applied to optimal model and simulated. An analysis of simulation results of base case and optimal cases demonstrate that an energy reduction of about 20% could be achieved in this research. Sensors placed inside building and U value of roof are noted to be the most effective variables reducing the energy consumption by 8.5 and 7.5% respectively, while Glazing profile, U value of external wall and number of floors reduce energy consumption by around 3.5%. Roof ventilation and LSG ratio of external glazing have minimal impact of around 1.5 and 0.66% respectively, while LSG ratio of internal glazing does not have any impact. The results demonstrate that the summation of percentage reduction in energy consumption when variables are applied individually need not be equal to the reduction achieved when all optimal values are applied together due to effect of one variable over other. As the height of building increases, the reduction in cooling load is offset by the increased lighting load. It also demonstrates that when all optimal values are applied together, the percentage reduction achieved is 20% irrespective of the number of floors. Designers by applying these optimal values in their design of Atriums can achieve an energy consumption 181 kWh/m2 in their buildings. Thus this research establishes Optimal standards in Atrium design in Hot Arid climates.
atriums, hot arid zones, energy consumption, United Arab Emirates (UAE)