A growing economic challenge
Findings from a survey on building energy efficiency in SA
ABSTRACT: Saudi Arabia (SA) has been giving significant attention to energy conservation since the year 2014 due to the oil crisis and the extensive energy consumption in the building sector, particularly residential buildings. Buildings in Saudi Arabia occupy between 75%-79% of the total electricity consumption (Tlili 2015; Alrashed et al. 2012; Krarti et al. 2017). Residential buildings are responsible for 49%-52% of the total building consumption in the country (Tlili 2015; Alrashed et al. 2012; Krarti et al. 2017). Air conditioners and refrigerators consume 80% of electricity in residential buildings. This paper aims to explore the following questions: What are the attitudes and design practices among design teams towards energy efficiency? What are the existing building features under the impact of the Saudi Arabian government’s energy conservation policy? To be able to tackle these questions, a web-based survey on the energy efficient building designrelated attitudes and practices of design teams was conducted. The survey was administered in July and August 2017. We categorized the existing buildings into four timeframes upon the SA policy’s agenda: less than five years old (built after 2012), between six to ten years old (built between 2007 and 2012), between eleven to fifteen years old (built between 2002 and 2006), and over fifteen years old (built before 2002). The survey reached 119 participants who are design practitioners in the building construction area. The survey contains 18 questions divided into five categories, i.e. background information, walls, roof, exterior doors, and windows. The participants were asked to answer three to four questions for each building envelope component. The findings of the survey present the main energy efficient indicators which have been used by design practitioners since 2002. This study may advise on the content and format of the future energy efficient design guide and economical retrofitting strategies.
KEYWORDS: Energy Efficiency, Building Envelope, Saudi Arabia, Construction Practice, Economic Challenges.
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