[Sbse] Climatic design in Arab world

Susan Roaf s.roaf at btinternet.com
Tue Apr 6 04:25:40 PDT 2021


Excellent trail here. It begs the question of what is / are:

a) a thermally good building - the thermal performance is related to the 
amount of energy it needs to keep people acceptably comfortable indoors

b) the limits being set in each rating system for thermally comfortable 
conditions indoors?

c) An acceptable lifespan for a building? If you are measuring the 
energy performance over time - can we agree a time over which it should 
be measured so we can compare outputs.

d) Can we include a factor in such rating systems for the 'Pandemic 
Preparedness' of a buildings - and how might one measure that? - is we 
are really trying to define the vulnerability of structures to 
environmental change - their 'sustainability' - or durability - as 
investments for owners and users?

If anyone wants a pdf of my Closing the Loop: benchmarks for Sustainable 
Buildings - email me - I maintain there that one cannot compare apples 
and pears in a black box system in which the assumptions of the box 
creator are not clear.   One might end up with solutions that push less 
sustainable alternatives for instance - Heaven Forbid.

I would welcome any insights into the above questions.....  genuinely 
interested in the answers from SBSE - as aye...

------ Original Message ------
From: "Nina Baird, PhD" <nbaird at cmu.edu>
To: sbse at uidaho.edu; mdekay at utk.edu
Sent: Sunday, 4 Apr, 21 At 20:35
Subject: [Sbse] Climatic design in Arab world

Hi, Mark--

As one way of exploring this, I'd suggest looking at building rating 
systems from the countries that interest you.  Have taught a course on 
global bldg rating systems for more than a decade and have seen an 
increasing number of countries write their own rating system which tend 
to be better attuned to the climate, infrastructure, approach to 
construction, culture, availability of resources, etc.  Even more 
recently, community rating systems that include more of the UN SDGs 
(social justice, participatory governance, economic equity) are 
emerging---similar to the broader scope in LEED Cities & Communities.

As a start, the World Green Building Council has a webpage with links to 
many rating systems in many countries.  Not all of them are "live" based 
on a recent check, but it will be a start. 

A couple of recent examples that I find interesting are GSAS (written 
for Qatar originally I think but now applied more broadly), which has 
several good ways to parse energy effectiveness in bldg design and 
GRIHA, one of India's rating systems, that offers credits for passive 
envelope design, achieving effective EUIs, incorporating water 
treatment/storage infrastructure on site and managing organic waste on 
site.  I know India isn't your focus; am simply offering this as an 
example of a recently published update that seems well-designed for that 
country.  Singapore's Green Mark system has an interesting approach to 
reducing the amount of concrete used in construction and has created a 
metric, Concrete Usage Index (CUI), that can provide a specific target 
in lowering carbon emissions associated with concrete production.

I encourage my students to think of global rating systems as a buffet of 
good ideas and to look closely at countries where certain resources are 
limited since those countries may have to be more creative in their use 
of water or energy, or their disposal of waste.  Hope this offers food 
for thought.



Nina J. Baird, PhD, MSPH
Assistant Professor

Academic Chair, CMU Green Practices
Center for Building Performance & Diagnostics
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Ave, MMCH 415
Pittsburgh, PA  15213

"Impossible dreams challenge us to rise above

who we are now to see if we can become
better versions of ourselves"  E.Harrington

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