Building Simulations to Resolve the Energy Crisis in Egypt

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building simulations for Egypt crisis

The top notch priority for the world is Sustainability and energy efficiency of a building. An international data proves that buildings consume 32% of total energy consumption. In terms of primary energy consumption, these buildings represent around 40% in most IEA countries.

Egypt is among the 11 fastest growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting countries in the world; projections warn of a 300% increase in GHG emissions by 2017. The average life expectancy of a building is 50 years after which it is affected by the inhabitants and its future generation. Hence, the environmental challenge has become a global issue to ponder upon. If you look closely at Egyptian economy, it has always depended on its agriculture, industrial and transportation sector.

The noteworthy among all is, instead of the politically disputed situation for half a decade now, the building construction industry in Egypt is progressing at the speed of light.

  • Construction sector attained a growth of over 5% in 2013 against 3.3% in 2012 (Central Bank of Egypt-Egypt Economic Report).
  • Egypt’s Vision 2030: Sustainable Development Strategy; forecasts that the population in Egypt will reach to 140 million by 2050; which will consequently necessitate an increase in the percentage of the planning and built-up areas. It will lead to the use of more construction sites, land areas to cover this alarmingly rapid demographical increase.
  • In parallel, there will be more demand for materials, energy, and water resources to accommodate this rapid growth in population and urban growth as well.

These facts boil down to the point that Egypt now needs strict codes and regulations for the building construction industry, to be implemented. On March 13 2016, the country held its ever first Green building conference addressing the important issues such as Green building codes, and cutting down on carbon efficiency more effectively.

However, due to a rapid increase in urbanization, buildings consume over total 60% of the electricity in Egypt, creating a big time hurdle in carbon emission. The easiest way to resolve this issue in existing or new building is to bring change through latest technology

Modernizing at early design:

The best thing to start with is building performance simulation. It can help Architects run multiple simulations with various materials and physical positioning as to how a building would function under different situations. This kind of choices made at very initial stage of deign can help converse the energy later on. The existing building structures consist of concrete frames and slabs, burnt clay brick masonry and tile roof, form the core components. By opting for technologies like prefabricated roof system and stabilized mud blocks it becomes easy to minimize the utilization of energy by the particular building.

Building simulation can help foresee the building performance prior to its construction and saves tons of risks and costs. Also, due credit goes to software like Autodesk Revit, Naviswork and so on, that has made it really convenient for architects, surveyors, contractors and various other stakeholders to predict, improve and plan the building construction project according to various internal and external factors that affect building.

There are numerous software available out there that contribute to simulate environmental effects on building and are often used as evaluation tools by specialists. However, when it comes to shadow analysis of the building or any specific feature pertaining to it, REVIT is preferred the most. Also, Software’s like EQuest can provide accurate environmental prediction and make it easy and reliable for architects.

Solar screens can be turned into a machine of energy efficiency:

As much as scorching heat is a downside of desert places, it can also be turned into a tool for increasing energy efficiency. Solar simulation helps in analyzing the heat that a building would be absorbing, in turn helping the designers to choose building and construction material accordingly, which can keep the building cool for the rest of the day. Solar simulators help arrive at a design solution that increases energy saving by 15%.

Energy Modeling and Building Envelope are the baby steps towards sustainability challenge. There are challenges ahead that cannot be met just by Building Simulation. However it’s not a bad start. Egypt has already taken its steps towards decreasing energy consumption through renewable energy.

Egypt Green Building Council (GBC) head Salah ElNaggar, expressed his concern that in coming years, Egypt needs to cut the consumption of energy from 24% to 50%, Co2 emission by 33%, water by 40%and solid waste by 70%. This is one terrible task for Egypt, and adhering to these solutions in form of suggestions may work to their advantage.

Middle East is expecting a huge number in investment in solar energy alone and is expected to grow to reach by $50 billion in next half a decade and IEA expects by 2020. It’s also focusing on recovering loses in Oil and Gas sector. With increasing population, it has become difficult for Egypt to meet its Electricity demand and water supply. However, its yet to see if it can survive the test of time without BIM concept.

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About Author:

Bhushan Avsatthi

Bhushan Avsatthi is a senior manager, consultant, BIM expert and a green building advisor with more than 15 years of industry experience. Bhushan imbibes the prophecy of efficient and prudent use of energy in his day to day life and advices his team to do so as well. He is also involved in green initiatives like nonprofit tree plantation project and promotes using cycles for commuting small distances. Bhushan, handles a team of architects, Structural and MEP engineers, LEED consultants and Energy modeling experts.

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