UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Energy Performance Assessment Framework for Residential Buildings in Saudi Arabia AlHashmi, Mohammad; Chhipi-Shrestha, Gyan; Ruparathna, Rajeev; Nahiduzzaman, Kh Md; Hewage, Kasun; Sadiq, Rehan


The residential sector consumes about 50% of the electricity produced from fossil fuels in Saudi Arabia. The residential energy demand is increasing. Moreover, a simple building energy performance assessment framework is not available for hot arid developing countries. This research proposes an energy performance assessment framework for residential buildings in hot and arid regions, which focuses on three performance criteria: operational energy, GHG emissions, and cost. The proposed framework has been applied to three types of residential buildings, i.e., detached, attached, and low-rise apartments, in five geographical regions of Saudi Arabia. Design Builder® was used to simulate the energy demand in buildings over a whole year. Four types of efficiency improvement interventions, including double-glazed windowpanes, triple-glazed windowpanes, LED lighting, and split air conditioners, were introduced in 12 combinations. Overall, 180 simulations were performed which are based on 12 intervention combinations, three building types, and five regions. Three performance criteria were evaluated for each simulation and then aggregated using a multi-criteria decision analysis method to identify the best intervention strategy for a given building type and a geographical region in Saudi Arabia. Each building type with interventions consumes higher energy in the western, central, and eastern regions and consumes a lesser amount of energy in the southern and northern regions. The proposed framework is helpful for long-term planning of the residential sector.

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