Exploring the thermal resilience of a housing prototype in the United Arab Emirates

Tareq Abuimara, Ahmed Abdeen, Kheira A.Tabet Aoul

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


With the accelerated extreme weather events caused by climate change, buildings are facing a challenge of remaining habitable during these events. These extreme weather events can lead to power outages and structural damages to the built environment. Therefore, the building research community has been investigating how to enhance the resilience of buildings to face these extreme events. Thermal resilience is one of the building design aspects that is still overlooked. Thermal resilience refers to the ability of a building to remain thermally habitable during an extreme weather event. To this end, this paper aims to explore the thermal resilience of a two-storey affordable housing prototype in the Sheikh Zayed Housing Program (SZHP) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) using building performance simulation (BPS). A base case energy model was created for the housing prototype using the EnergyPlus whole building simulation engine. The base case energy model of the housing prototype was simulated considering the absence of an active cooling system. Then the indoor operative temperature ranges were examined and the thermal autonomy (TA) of the housing prototype was calculated. Ten alternatives of the base case energy model were created using passive energy efficiency measures (EEMs) to windows, walls, and roof. The finding of this study demonstrated that the tested prototype requires further attention during early design stages to be thermally resilient. Additionally, the results indicated that implementing single passive EEM has limited benefits in improving thermal resilience. Recommendations were made for further investigation including testing combinations of passive EEMs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalZEMCH International Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event10th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, ZEMCH 2023 - Arequipa, Peru
Duration: Aug 2 2023Aug 4 2023


  • Affordable housing
  • Climate change
  • Thermal autonomy
  • Thermal resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the thermal resilience of a housing prototype in the United Arab Emirates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this