One Dubai Municipality, dictates buildings’ envelope requirements such

            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.

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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

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


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