The potential for energy conservation in residential buildings in Dammam Region, Saudi Arabia
The rapid housing and building development in the Dammam region of Saudi Arabia has transformed the region into a progressive urban area. The contemporary buildings which have spread all over the region in a short period have failed to provide acceptable comfort conditions inside the house, leading to the widespread use of mechanical cooling systems. The combination of poor thermal design and the rise in electricity prices has resulted in high annual fuel bills for running the air conditioning systems. This study investigates the potential for energy conservation in residential buildings in Dammam region. It aims to identify the problem of high energy consumption in contemporary buildings and to study the relationship between the energy used and the thermal performance of the building. This study reviews the socio-economic characteristics of Dammam region's inhabitants and the traditional and contemporary building materials cooling systems used in the region. It also presents a survey analysis of 500 houses and provides a thermal comparison and assessment of six case study houses. A computer model has been developed and validated by the author to predict the annual amount of energy used in cooling the house. This model has been used to. predict the various energy savings that can be achieved by modifying the building envelope • elements and using lower U-values. Finally, some recommendations have been derived from the analysis.