One of the current practices is the use of thermal insulation in walls floors and ceilings Due to Dubai s hot and humid climate insulation is necessary in reducing the heat exchange between outer and inner environments and condensation formation Taleb 2014 The UAE s climate zone classification scheme listed by the Dubai Municipality dictates buildings envelope requirements such as minimum insulation maximum U value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient Taleb 2014 In order to achieve better thermal performance and reduce energy demand for cooling it is mandatory to use insulation materials such as fiber glass mineral wool polystyrene or polyurethane foam Another current practice is the use of double glazed windows with air filled between the cavities A double glazing window shown in Figure 8 in the appendix is composed of two glass panes that are separated by a spacer bar and seal creating a hermetically sealed environment Aboulnaga 2006 The unit s final energy solar and acoustic insulation levels are dependent on cavity width of the space between the two panes as well as the spacer bar quality and material Air filled cavities are a convenient option due to low cost and adequate levels of energy efficiency and noise cancellation However they are not that efficient and have a U value of 2 8 W m²K Meaning that 2 8 watts will be transmitted every square meter for every degree in temperature difference between the outside and inside of the window Tibi Mokhtar 2014 Moreover in air filled units efficiency decreases with time due to rust and cessation formation from oxygen that plays a toll on metal parts Another current practice is the use of high color coatings with high reflection
The use of a coating material aids in the minimization of heat consumption The thin multi layered material has high reflection properties that reflects incoming heat from sunlight rays by diverting it away from the build sending it to the environment Moreover solar reflective coating can be utilized to reduce the temperature of the interior as well as the cooling loads Studies reveal that temperature were reduced by approximately 4ºC making them effective agents in controlling the thermal nature of buildings Taleb 2014 One of the best practices which is considered as an equipment is the lighting used in the office They use fluorescent tubes which can rise the temperature up to 2 degrees and requires a blast to power They use 40 of their electricity as light and the other 60 comes out as heat Moreover it is not ergonomic as the light is drab and some bulbs flicker while containing hazardous metals like mercury and phosphorus As a better solution LED lights should be used instead as they last twice as long as fluorescent tubes and they do not cause heat build up Tetlow et al 2014 They use less electricity by producing the most light and less heat Furthermore the light might not be as strong as fluorescent tubes but they are more ergonomic and has no hazardous metals Another best practice is the use of double glazed windows with argon filled instead of air between the cavities Utilizing inert gases such as argon as substitutes for dehydrated air further increases energy efficiency due to Argon having 34 lower thermal conductivity Aboulnaga 2006 Argon filled units have a higher cost of 5 more than air filled units However the U value and energy rating are improved by over 30 Tibi Mokhtar 2014 As for durability and longevity Argon fillings last a lifetime and will only lose 5 of its durability over the span of 25 years Moreover they can have a U value as low as 1 1 W m²K
Furthermore the Argon element is denser heavier and more viscous than air These characteristics prohibit molecular movement reduce heat transfer and prevent against condensation Additionally units filled with gas like argon improves thermal efficiency by up to 16 to 30 Tibi Mokhtar 2014 Another best practice is the use of Chilled water systems It is a service typically utilized to cool buildings air and water equipment by providing absorption and compression refrigeration from chiller units These chiller units boil water at low temperature and pressure thus removing heat from chilled water and then condenses the same water to release the heat outwards as rejection Furthermore the cooling of the building fabric by the use of chilled water is described as active thermal mass Taleb 2014 Moreover a key advantage of chiller water systems is economy of scale where one large system can serve many smaller subsystems Another best practice is the reduction of window to wall ratio WWR A fully glazed 80 100 building could be energy consuming as it will require a lot of cooling to maintain comfort Buildings do not need floor to ceiling glass to achieve more daylight In fact studies showed that WWR over 60 have no increase in daylight or energy benefits Alwetaishi 2017 Moreover the minimum energy consumption is always achieved when WWR is in the range of 35 45
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