Building Practices Enhancements in Relation to Thermal Performance and Energy Saving. A Case Study of Residential Building in Cairo, Egypt

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The global climate changes have been affecting Egypt with rising temperatures in the summer for the past 10 years all over Egypt, which lead to exponential increase in energy demand to achieve thermal comfort. This trend is expected to continue, as the demand for mechanical cooling will rise especially in the main cities and would lead to higher emissions. However, Egyptian recent studies on residential building designs and construction materials do not take into consideration the climate conditions and various environmental factors. One of the main reasons behind this is the local regulations, which are not reflecting the local climate conditions and environmental conditions. Also, it was stated that residential buildings in Egypt has low thermal performance quality and low indoor air levels as there is no use for building air tight envelops, insulation to walls, shading objects or double-glazed openings. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of different building envelop treatments on the energy consumption in residential building in Cairo, Egypt. The study was done through analyzing the relation between each treatment and energy consumption by using IES-VE computer simulation software, in addition to an economic study. A residential building in Cairo, Egypt was selected to investigate the building construction practices in Egypt and how this can be improved in order to save electricity consumption in cooling, and heating. The study was divided into three steps. First step was conducted in the form of test matrix of simulations that consists of three main strategies diverted from the parameters of the study. Each strategy was covered by a number of simulations using different configurations for each parameter, 8 simulations were tested for external walls, 5 scenarios for external glazing and three scenarios for exposed roof treatments. In addition to calculation the payback period for each scenario depending on the simulation’s energy consumption results. While in the third step, the most energy saving scenario and the shortest payback period scenario were selected from each parameter and combined in a new matrix to investigate the impact in a form of combined matrix. Results showed that simple enhancements in the current building envelop of residential buildings can save 18% of electricity consumption with a payback period of 5 years. On the other hand, using more sustainable building materials can save more energy however it would extend the payback period. In combined matrix simulations, annual electricity savings percentages ranged between 18% and 22%, with a corresponding payback periods between 5 years and 11.6 years.
thermal performance, energy saving, residential building, Cairo, Egypt, global climate changes, environmental factors, low indoor air, energy consumption, thermal insulation, building envelop