Due to a rapidly escalating population and a high level of economic growth, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is experiencing a vigorous infrastructure expansion, especially with respect to residential buildings. As a result, energy demand for residential buildings is of a very high level, whereby approximately 70% of electricity is consumed by air conditioning systems alone for interior cooling throughout the year due to the hot and humid Saudi climate. This high energy consumption sheds light on the size of the problem in Saudi Arabia. As a result, this indicates the urgent need to adopt a strategy to reduce the excessive use of energy in residential buildings. One such strategy can be based on passive architectural design principles relating to the materials being used for the construction of the building, as these offer the potential for a cost-effective solution for energy reduction and major savings in electricity use for cooling purposes in residential buildings. Hence, a comprehensive study of the energy consumption in the cities of Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been conducted using Sefaira energy simulation software. The investigated cities are located within the three distinct climatic regions representing the most populated areas of Saudi Arabia. Investigations were conducted in order to evaluate the impact of insulation material use on energy performance of a typical residential building. Using the Sefaira energy simulation software, many different types of building facades for external walls of residential buildings have been assessed in order to evaluate suitable construction materials for the Saudi hot weather. The results of the assessment show that adding a thermal insulation of polyurethane to external walls and adopting an appropriate construction type could reduce by over 30% energy consumption for cooling in residential buildings of Saudi Arabia. The presented analyses and energy simulations are likely to elucidate the potentials for sustainable development and costs for implementing energy-saving design measures in the construction sector of Saudi Arabia.
|Springer International Publishing AG
|Published - 2017