Sustainable Renovation of Residential Buildings in Subtropical Climate Zone
Hama Radha Chro Ali
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Climate has a major impact on the thermal comfort and energy consumption in the buildings. Traditional buildings have been a good example of responding to the local climates, which were the results of centuries of materials construction techniques and climate considerations that achieved through a trial- and error process. In current buildings, some technologies and building materials used were inverted from western countries without careful consideration for the local climates in the region. In addition, most of the new building envelopes made of a thin layer of high thermal mass, such as cement block, which include no overhang or any shading devices, resulting in easy solar radiation penetration into inside the building. As a result, buildings were very hot without the assistance of an air-conditioner; this caused an excessive energy consumption of the built environment. The building sector is known to be the largest energy consumer, based on the analysis of previous studies, the residential building is the first largest energy consumer. In Sulaimani governorate, the consequences of high energy consumption in residential sectors are becoming a major concern. According to the annual report of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy in Kurdistan Region of Iraq in 2014, the residential buildings consumed 70% of the total energy consumption. One of the best opportunities to improve the energy and thermal comfort performance in the existing buildings can be attained through the renovation of buildings in a sustainable manner. Thus, the main goal of sustainable renovation is improving the thermal comfort, increasing the indoor air quality, while minimizing the energy consumption . The research to achieve its objectives tried to identify the residential buildings typology through field surveys based on their compositional and morphological properties analysis of the residential buildings in Sabunkaran district in Sulaimani city. In order to reduce energy consumption and improve indoor environment in the typical residential buildings, the study addressed the most appropriate passive and active strategies and tried to apply them, as traditional and contemporary techniques on the existing buildings during the optimization process. Furthermore, the dynamic simulation software IDA ICE 4.7.1 was used to assess the energy and thermal comfort performance, and Excel tool has been applied as a decision-making tool to decide on the appropriate passive and hybrid strategies for getting the optimum modes for the residential building typologies.