Double Skin Façade for an office building in the extreme UAE climate

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Regional climate change scenarios indicate ever-increasing building energy consumption trends which are a serious cause of concern for the built environment sector of the UAE. Mitigating the increasing energy trends is very well understood by employment of active technological changes in the building services systems. This research focuses on the other side of the coin which is the passive technologies in reducing building energy consumption, more specifically technologies related to the skin of the building. A conventional passive skin technology (external shading) is fielded against unconventional passive skin technology (double skin façade - DSF) on key metrics such as annual cooling energy, annual solar gain, temperature and velocity profiles. The course of the research takes a holistic approach starting with a review of existing studies leading all the way to intermodal comparison of the dynamic thermal simulation and CFD results. Promising results are obtained for the building with external shading with 9.2% annual cooling energy savings whereas the study shows an increase of +1.42% jump in annual cooling energy consumption with the DSF building as compared to a generic high rise tower base case. Intermodel comparison reflects upon the under estimation of the dynamic thermal simulations in predicting cooling energy savings as compared to CFD simulation. An additional CFD sensitivity analysis further sheds light into the ability of the k-e turbulence models and constant effective models in determining stable solutions for CFD simulation of large unrestricted vertical volumes in DSF cavities.
double skin facade, Unites Arab Emirates (UAE), office building, climate change, energy consumption, built environment, passive skin technology