Performance-based envelope design for residential buildings in hot climates

Saleh N. Al-Saadi, Ismail M. Budaiwi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Residential buildings are characterized by being envelope-load dominated buildings, hence are greatly influenced by the outside climatic conditions. Due to the harsh climate of Saudi Arabia, residential buildings on average, consume more than half of the total consumed energy. The bulk of this energy is consumed by the airconditioning system which is required to remove substantial amount of gained heat due to poor thermal envelope performance. Implementing proper envelope thermal characteristics for residential buildings can significantly reduce energy consumption. The objectives of this paper are to evaluate the thermal characteristics of building envelope and consequently define those that improve the energy efficiency of residential buildings in Saudi Arabia. Under the climatic conditions of Dhahran and Riyadh, a base case residential building was simulated utilizing the energy simulation program: VisualDOE 4.1 when the air-conditioning (cooling and heating) is used throughout the year. Different envelope designs and four glazing types were evaluated. It is found that when proper envelope designs including high performance glazing and reduced air infiltration are selected, significant energy consumption is reduced in hot climates. The results of this study can be used as an alternative method of meeting prescriptive local requirements and international standards.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventBuilding Simulation 2007, BS 2007 - Beijing, China
Duration: Sept 3 2007Sept 6 2007


OtherBuilding Simulation 2007, BS 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture
  • Modelling and Simulation


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