Environmental sustainability assessment of buildings in hot climates: The case of the UAE

Mohsen M. AboulNaga, Yasser H. Elsheshtawy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainability has acquired great importance due to the negative impact of various developments on the environment. The rapid growth during the last decade has been accompanied by active construction which, in some instances, neglected the impact on the environment and human activities. The impact of developments on the traditional heritage has not been taken into consideration although the latter represents a rich resource for sustainable building practices. The study aims at examining these developments in the UAE using an assessment tool that measures the performance of buildings in terms of their sustainability. This study attempts to: (a) develop a comprehensive definition of sustainability to suit UAE needs; (b) classify sustainable building practices at international and regional levels: (c) assess building performance in the UAE: and (d) establish guidelines for future sustainable architecture. T-Sol software was used to predict the CO2 emission level in selected buildings in the UAE. Results illustrate that average energy use/area in domestic buildings is high (213 kWh/m2) and public buildings showed less sustainable measures in terms of energy features, energy performance and environmental features. Issues considered in the assessment of buildings such as energy use per square metre and CO2 emission are alarming. Traditional buildings in the UAE were more sustainable than contemporary buildings, however.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-563
Number of pages11
JournalRenewable energy
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001


  • CO emission
  • Cultural patterns
  • Energy use
  • Environment
  • Sustainable architecture
  • UAE
  • Vernacular architecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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