Enhancing Energy Consumption Using BIM: A Case Study of Egyptian Palace
Building information modeling (BIM) has been widely involved in all engineering-related fields worldwide. Software and hardware have been developed to provide integrity to utilize different building data types for accurate building documentation and conservation purposes. BIM, combined with simulation tools, facilitates building visualization, simulation, and analysis. This combination provides accurate estimation of the current and potential building performance levels through reliable and validated simulation tools that are BIM compatible. EnergyPlus and Daysim, validated engines, are utilized in a comprehensive sustainable analysis of a heritage palace located in Cairo, Egypt. The palace under study was built in the eighteenth century and has suffered severe deterioration during the past years. The existing state of the palace is simulated in DesignBuilder to provide a full image in which current energy and daylight performance levels are analyzed. In addition, an indication of all possible discomfort sources and an understanding of the current performance are offered. The DesignBuilder simulation also provided illuminance reports that compare the current light levels sufficiency with international guidelines. Furthermore, optimization study in terms of window-to-wall ratio (WWR), thermal comfort, and carbon emissions was carried out to provide a recommendation for most efficient palace retrofit strategies. The recommended retrofit strategy would provide potential thermal and visual comfort to users while preserving the heritage palace identity. Despite the complexity associated with dealing with heritage buildings, literature provides guidance for old palace retrofit, introduces similar cases, and highlights the impact of minimal design change on the overall performance. Accordingly, this study considers limiting the changes to the minimal in the façade and plan to maintain the heritage palace originality. It is worth noting that in the simulation, a number of limitations led to some measures such as minimizing the number of simulated zones and the omission of some building elements such as staircases. The palace performance results support the usage of the palace as a museum. Hence, using the palace for other functions suggested by the authorities will require additional simulations. Further, validation of the results with different software is needed for both the original state and the suggested retrofit strategies. This validation would support the drawn conclusions considering the impact of each retrofit strategy on performance and the strategies evaluation. The need for the palace retrofitting and reuse calls for an adapted reuse strategy that possibly require modifications to adapt to the new function that the palace was not initially designed for and would require additional considerations for light levels and thermal set points. However, enhanced building performance involves parameters and metrics that show conflicting interests and would suggest a trade-off to reach comfort levels indicated by LEED and ENERGY STAR rating systems. Recommended targets for potential energy savings in KWh is attainable through the palace retrofit.
KeywordsBuilding information modeling Simulation tools Heritage building performance Thermal and visual comfort
This research was financially supported by Egypt-UK Newton-Musharafa Fund: Institutional Links; STDF (the Science & Technology Development Fund), Egypt, Grant No. 26150.
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