Sustainability Analysis of a Community Center Based on Retrofit Strategies and Re-design thru Python Tools and Local Standards, Case Study in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Lindita Bande, Kim Young, Adalberto Guerra Cabrera, Afra Alnuaimi, Alreem Alsaadi, Deema Alqahtani, Hiba Hamad, Kholoud Alsereidi, Yosan Asmelash

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Over the last 50 years the cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have developed rapidly. Building stock is very diverse in the country and varies from one city to the other. While Dubai has a large stock of skyscrapers, Abu Dhabi has more mix of High-rise and mid-rise buildings, AL Ain is mainly midrise and low-rise buildings. The case study is located in a villa neighborhood in the city of AL Ain. Sustainability in the UAE includes many aspects of the structures. Energy in buildings is a major factor that contributes on the sustainability of the build environment. Almost 70% of the energy goes to the cooling of the buildings in UAE. Therefore, one of the most relevant points of this study is to find alternatives in reducing the energy consumption thru the retrofit analysis and re-design. The climate conditions of the United Arab Emirates have hot summers and cool winters. While in the summer the life out door is difficult during the winter the indoor and outdoor can merge lowering the demand for cooling in the building. The city of AL Ain has relatedly cooler winters than the coastal cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This study aims to evaluate the sustainability of this building typology in terms of energy efficiency, material used, indoor/outdoor relation, cost of the building. This evaluation is a comparison between the current building, a retrofitted building and a new design of the same build-up area. This analysis will be conducted considering the local sustainability standards such as Estidama and Abu Dhabi Realm Manual. The methodology starts with the Building Selection Process which consists of the selected building is part of a villa compound done in the city of AL Ain. The site measurements is the following step. The material properties to be used in the energy simulation models are collected from the site survey and the weather file is taken from the Al Ain Airport. This file is used for the boundary conditions of the models. The following step is the energy simulations. The models were prepared with several scenarios as per the predefined analysis and run for simulation. Grasshopper thru rhino were the softwares used for the energy simulations and applied design. Therefore, the energy saving was calculated based on the selected matrix. The evaluation of the results and define the main contributors in the building sustainability was the last section of the methodology followed. The results of this study might give a valuable contribution in improving the design and application of this building typology in the UAE. The analysis based on the factors described might give a better understanding of the impact of each factor into a sustainable building for this kind of climate and this location. The guidelines of this research might be used from the real estate developers that design this district typology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZEMCH 2021 - 8th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, Proceedings
EditorsKheira Anissa Tabet Aoul, Mohammed Tariq Shafiq, Daniel Efurosibina Attoye
PublisherZEMCH Network
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789948310006
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event8th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, ZEMCH 2021 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: Oct 26 2021Oct 28 2021

Publication series

NameZEMCH International Conference
ISSN (Electronic)2652-2926


Conference8th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, ZEMCH 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates


  • Energy simulation
  • Grasshopper
  • Parametric design
  • Python language
  • Sustainable buildings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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