The application of building modifications and their effects on energy consumption in buildings

Ali Fathi Mohamed El Bakkush, Douglas John Harris, Francis Kwesi Bondinuba

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A huge amount of energy is used for air-conditioning in residential buildings in hot climates. Passive design features such as shading and advanced glazing can help to reduce energy use and carbon emissions, and thus mitigate the impact on climate change. This paper aimed at demonstrating how the application of selected modification devices such as solar films and shading devices affects the energy consumption patterns and levels in a residential building. A model of a building was constructed with VE using “Model IT” module, which was then analysed in a variety of different ways. A Virtual Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES-VE) was used to assess the energy gain and consumption parameters such as solar gains, shading devices, solar cloud and chilli clouds in residential buildings in Tripoli, Libya. The findings indicate that the best way to control and reduce the energy gains pattern in a building is to introduce energy modification devices such as shading device, solar films, emissivity paints and roof slab absorbers among others. In specific terms, the best device would be the application of external solar film, follow by shading device and internal solar film. An application of emissivity paints and roof slab absorbers does not contribute significantly to the energy reduction in the building. The study concludes that the application of modification devices in buildings can reduces the heat gain significantly. This study underscores the need and importance of the applications of energy modification devices in buildings in order to reduce their energy gains in the context of tropical regions. Though the climatological characteristics of tropical regions are similar, the generalisation of the findings in this study requires caution since the findings are limited in geographical context. Future research should also explore the impact of urban forms, street layout and orientation on solar penetration and energy use in buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-70
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Energy Technologies and Policy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Architecture
  • Libya
  • Buildings
  • Energy gains
  • Energy consumption
  • Climate change


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