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Title: An assessment of the Passivhaus standard for a hot and arid climate : a case study in Qatar
Author: Khalfan, May
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 8274
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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Residential and commercial buildings have been identified as major contributors to global energy consumption. This has resulted in integrating energy efficiency measures into most, if not all, new builds in developed countries. Additionally, with the alarming warnings of climate change, buildings are expected to consume even more energy in the future to sustain living standards. In future, buildings need to be designed to achieve energy savings and integrate diverse energy sources. This can be achieved by constructing low energy or zero energy buildings. The German Passivhaus standard has gained ground in this area, with Passivhaus buildings spreading widely worldwide. The Passivhaus's reputation and success have reached the coasts of the Persian Gulf (Arabian Gulf), persuading a green building council and a real estate developer to examine the feasibility of the standard in the hot and arid climate of Qatar. The experimental project, completed in 2013, was composed of a Passivhaus building and a conventional building. This thesis investigates the feasibility of the standard in the context of Qatar by comparing the performance of the two buildings in terms of (1) energy savings, (2) thermal comfort and (3) the thermal envelope performance, using dynamic thermal simulations and real-time monitored data. The assessment process was carried out for the present time and for future climate scenarios. The lack of energy efficiency measures in the residential sector in Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, in general, was the main motivator of this research. In conducting the research, the challenges of building to the Passivhaus standard in Qatar, based on the specific Qatari experience and a review of the relevant literature, were considered. The findings highlighted the potential of building to the Passivhaus standard. The Qatari Passivhaus building required half the total energy to operate and almost one-third of the energy required to cool the conventional building, and this was evident for both the current and the future scenarios. The highly insulated envelope was responsible for maintaining a consistent indoor temperature and even contributed to achieving temperatures lower than the extreme outdoor dry bulb temperature whilst active cooling was deactivated. The research concludes with a number of key features that could possibly be applicable in the context of Qatar, and which highlight the possibility of a promising transition towards low energy buildings that are ready to face the region's future challenges.
Supervisor: Sharples, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral