Retrofit options to reduce climate change impacts on UAE building cooling demand.

Kirk Shanks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A large proportion of electricity in the UAE is consumed in meeting air conditioning cooling demands in buildings where, up to 80% of a buildings total electricity demand is for cooling. With projected climate changes in the UAE predicting an increase in annual mean temperature of 2.8⁰C and minimal reductions in relative humidity and global solar radiation by 2050, cooling energy demands are set to increase. This paper reports on a study of generic retrofit options and how these perform in mitigating increases in building cooling demands under the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario of climate change. A typical UAE office building is simulated under generated annual hourly weather datasets of 2020, 2050 and 2080, with associated increases in building cooling demand of 22.2% by 2050 and 40.0% by 2080. The comparative effect of climate changes on a number of heat gain sources and paths are examined and discussed to identify the most effective retrofit solutions for improving resilience. The results show retrofit technologies that address conductive heat gain, through glazing and external walls, are the most resilient to predicted climate changes whilst those that address solar gain provide the greatest overall reduction in cooling demand.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Water and Environmental Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • climate change
  • adaptation
  • resilience
  • retrofit
  • building energy demand


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