- August 23, 2012
The built environment has a direct impact on the Gulf Region natural environment, the economy and human health. Buildings have to respond to local climate and site conditions to maximize building users’ comfort and health while minimizing energy use. Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) developed a simplified, standalone, building energy standard to support Qatar’s and the MENA region building energy ratings. Air conditioning counts for more than 60% of the electricity consumption in GCC countries. Consequently, GSAS limited the maximum annual cooling demand for new-build housing compliance in Qatar to 121 kW h/m2. High rated energy-efficient houses must call for 72 kW h/m2 or less. GSAS targets raised the need for innovative passive design technologies to reduce the cooling demand in hot humid climates. A prototype house was constructed to test new technologies and variant insulation techniques, such as dynamic insulation. The house has two operation modes, the static mode and the active mode.