A resilience and environmentally sustainable assessment framework (RESAF) for domestic building materials in Saudi Arabia

Al Mulhim, Mohammad Sameer (2021). A resilience and environmentally sustainable assessment framework (RESAF) for domestic building materials in Saudi Arabia. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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In Saudi Arabia, carbon footprint and energy use related to building materials, notably concrete in construction, have a significantly negative effect on the environment. Likewise, the impact of annual cooling and heating energy demands has an equally prominent role to play. These must all be assessed and benchmarked in order that reduction targets can be set. Saudi Arabia presents its own unique context and local conditions that create a challenge when utilising generic frameworks for assessing the environmental impact of domestic buildings. In meeting this aim, this PhD research presents a resilience and environmental sustainability assessment framework (RESAF) developed specifically for domestic buildings in Saudi Arabia.

The RESAF helps designers/builders to minimise the carbon footprints of building fabric and reduce the in-use energy demands of domestic buildings in Saudi Arabia. This study shows how this framework can be used to reduce the carbon impact of construction materials by approximately 23%, primarily by substituting a portion of cement for pulverised fly ash (PFA) or ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS). A reduction of 32% in the annual cooling and heating energy demand could also be achieved throughout a building’s life simply by changing insulation type and thickness, and using triple-glazed windows. The importance of passing these alternative solutions through the resilience filter - to pressure test them in 3 archetypal futures (i.e. those related to Policy, Sustainability and Market Forces) - is highlighted, and helps ask questions about whether they are really fit-for-purpose whatever the future might hold. A user manual has been drawn for ease of RESAF utilisation, and a case study example is used to illustrate the framework and the potential carbon / energy savings that can be made through material choice(s) and long term use of the building. Application in a range of cities in Saudi Arabia has been considered in order to illustrate the influence of local context and conditions even with one country, particularly in terms of the cooling and heating energy performance. The RESAF was validated by consulting experts in Saudi Arabia via interviews and compared with past studies, all of which showed that it conformed to potential RESAF users’ expectations.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (Saudi Arabia)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11354


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