The impact of construction and building materials on energy consumption on Saudi residential buildings
Lasker, Wasim Jamil A.
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As a result of increasing population and buildings construction in Saudi Arabia, the demand for electricity is growing rapidly. There should be a greater focus on build-ings in the kingdom and several methods should be applied in order to reduce en-ergy consumption and create a lower carbon economy as residential buildings ac-count for about 70 percent of the total consumption. Saudi Arabia therefore ur-gently needs to develop residential buildings which use less energy and are more environmentally-friendly. This study investigates the recent situation of Saudi residential buildings in terms of energy and building materials, using case studies. The main aim of this study is to identify suitable strategies and propose a number of recommendations that are useful in developing residential buildings in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This paper shows the importance of selecting the right, locally available, construc-tion materials for the external wall and thermal insulation in reducing energy con-sumption for the cooling load, by 59% after using the most appropriate construction materials for Saudi climate. Several methods were used in this research including IES energy simulation software in order to compare the most common external walls in the kingdom in terms of energy consumption and cooling load. Then, add-ing and selecting the right place for 0.50 m of polyurethane thermal insulation to the selected external wall to achieve the maximum reduction of cooling load. It uses the example of a typical Saudi house design provided by the Saudi ministry of housing in three main cities in the kingdom: Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam. Fur-thermore, the paper discusses the challenges facing the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in recent years and those of the future, such as a lack of the awareness amongst the Saudi population, and a lack of building standards and regulations.