Investigating the Effect of Urban Compactness on Energy Efficiency in Recent Urban Communities in UAE

Khaled Galal Ahmed, S. M. Hossein Alipour

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Studying the effect of urban compactness on energy consumption has been the locus of research for many Western researchers since the mid 1990s. In the last few years, the UAE federal and local governments have adopted agendas for energy efficiency in all sectors of development, especially in the building and urban development sectors. As a result, a shift from the conventional sprawl urban form to a more compact urban morphology has been attempted in some recently developed neighbourhoods in the UAE but with no scientific evidence about the effect of these new and more compact urban morphologies on energy efficiency in general, and the high cooling energy demand in specific. In a humble attempt to bridge this gap, this research adopted a comparative method for investigating the effect of urban morphology on energy efficiency through comparing the effect of the conventional sprawl vs. the effect of the recent more compact urban forms on operational and cooling energy demands. The main utilized tool in this comparative investigation was the UMI (Urban Modelling Interface) simulation conducted for Al Dhaher conventionally designed neighbourhood in Al Ain city, representing the conventional sprawl urban form, and Al Ghreiba, a recently developed more compact urban community in Al Ain city as well. The results revealed that the average operational and cooling Energy Use Intensities for Al Ghreiba were higher than those recorded Al Dhaher while the opposite was expected. To justify the results, the effects of increased building density, open space/street grid pattern, and building mass configurations on urban energy consumption, have been studied. It has been evident that simply compacting the urban form to some degree seems not only insufficient in saving operational and cooling energy, but it might also result in higher energy consumption if other influential measures are not appropriately considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022092
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 18 2019
Event4th World Multidisciplinary Civil Engineering-Architecture-Urban Planning Symposium, WMCAUS 2019 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: Jun 17 2019Jun 21 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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