Resilience of UAE high-rise buildings to climate change: Impacts of projected climate changes on annual energy demands.

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The impact of climate change and global warming on buildings energy consumption has been an arguable topic in many studies all around the world. However, there are limited studies on the effect of climate change on UAE buildings and its impact on energy demand. As global warming is hitting all areas in the entire world, designing and retrofitting buildings based on future weather conditions is essential to avoid early deterioration of buildings especially in countries with high air temperatures like UAE. This motivates the research on finding to most energy efficient solutions that would reduce energy consumption of UAE high-rise buildings in present and future weather conditions. To achieve this goal, future weather datasets in hourly time step for UAE were collected from three statistical tools representing stabilization and high emission scenarios. Those datasets were analyzed and compared with present weather files. This study has revealed that the derived future weather files daily dry-bulb temperatures are increasing throughout the years, while the daily relative humidity ratio and global horizontal solar radiation values are marginally decreasing from the present values. Then, energy efficient solutions were selected to test their effect on total system and cooling energy of high-rise buildings in UAE. Those solutions include increasing the insulation of external walls, improving the glazing thermal properties, and adding heat recovery units to the HVAC system. In this study, a high-rise building with 60% WWR which represents a typical UAE high-rise building was used as a base case to test the selected solutions on it. This study has shown that the energy consumption of UAE high-rise building will keep increasing in future and it can reach up to 50% more from the present consumption in period 2090 in high emission scenario. Using glazing with enhanced thermal properties would reduce more energy than applying sensible and latent heat recovery units. However, after 50 years the sensible and latent recovery units would reduce more energy than the enhanced glazing. Applying the three best options in this study was able to reduce total system and cooling energy by 20% to 21% in present and future periods.
climate change, energy consumption, UAE high-rise buildings, GHG emissions, IPCC emission scenarios, global warming, United Arab Emirates (UAE)