Exploring the potential of applying Sustainable Retrofitting Policies & Regulations for existing low-rise small-scale Residential Buildings (Villas) in Dubai, UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Green retrofit for existing buildings has now become as one of the effective options to decrease energy consumption worldwide. It is crucial to develop sustainable retrofitting policies and regulations for the existing old villas since there is lack of regulations to retrofit old existing low scale residential buildings like villas in Dubai. This study aims to discover the possibility of providing regulations to retrofit old villas in Dubai. Six recommended retrofit measures were collected and interviews conducted to investigate the impact of applying them in an old villa using the IES software. A simple payback period was calculated to compare the energy saving with the time of the payback period to know if it is economically feasible. The highest energy savings were achieved from changing the AC set point 5.61%. While the lowest energy savings comes from adding external shadings with 0.87%. Therefore, applying these retrofit measures as one of the regulations will not be that effective. Due to the different electricity rates for locals and non-locals, mandating these measures will not be economically feasible and the time of the payback period is too long. However, in nonlocal families, mandating more than only one retrofit measure can be effective as it is shown when combing changing the AC set point and adding roof insulation which leads to savings that can be paid back in less than two years. Overall, providing mandatory regulations and policies to retrofit old villas in Dubai will not be possible in the local family because of the economical challenge. However, it would be possible to mandate the regulations to non-local families. Providing attractive intensives from the government to nonlocal owners with different business plans can help set such regulations. Otherwise, the longtime of payback period will not be convening to owners.
green retrofit, sustainable retrofitting policies, energy consumption, United Arab Emirates (UAE), residential buildings