A Design Decision Tool for Zero Energy Buildings in Egypt, "ZEBO"

Attia, S., (2012) A Tool for Design Decision Making-Zero Energy Residential Buildings in Hot Humid Climates,PhD Thesis, UCL, Diffusion universitaire CIACO, Louvain La Neuve, ISBN 978-2-87558-059-7.

ABSTRACT: There is hardly any decision tool developed to help Egyptian architects and building designers to predict and simulate quickly the building performance in early design stages. With the advent of the new Egyptian Energy Efficiency Code there is a strong need for a simple decision tool. a methodological decision tool that can help in determining technical design requirement, feasibility criteria and design guidelines in order to meet the new energy code. More importantly, a decision tool that helps to verify the performance of various combination of traditional architectural devices and new techniques.

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KEYWORDS: Decision tool, zero energy housing, architectural design, early design, passive and active strategies

PROBLEM: Proposing initial ideas for zero energy buildings is a difficult task. Architects are not aware with influential design parameters and configuration for zero energy housing buildings in hot climates. Various existing BPS tools have been proposed and are used to support the design of zero energy buildings during later design stages. However, there are no design support tools that guide and inform architects and propose optimal or near optimal design configurations during initial design to achieve zero energy buildings in hot climates.

OBJECTIVE / HYPOTHESIS: Develop a decision design tool for guiding architects and optimizing their design of zero energy housing during early design phases in hot climates.

AUDIENCE: Architecture Students and Junior Architects

RESEARCH QUESTION:How to represent overwhelming energy efficiency parameters to architecture designer during early design phases clearly and guide the designer in a manageable fashion?

ORIGINALITY: The tool is based on basic architectural concepts and proposes combinations for zero energy housing typologies in hot climates particularly Egypt. It considers the urban surroundings and landscape element, where buildings are seen as part of a whole. Presenting the concepts, and optimal design configuration and parameters are a challenging material for guiding architects. The architect is guided during the process to raise his awareness about influential design decision for zero energy housing. Therefore, the tool also suggests parametric indicators that inform the design beyond the typology and geometry influence on energy consumption, such as night ventilation type and thermal mass and shading. This tool provides quick, accurate and easy guidance in an architect friendly way. Architects can test their concepts for design zero energy housing design during early design in a hot climate context. Those aspects are missing in design tools

METHODOLOGY: The development of the tool is based on a synthesis-by analysis and iterative approach. User requirements of potential users were analyzed and initial tool requirements and feedback are derived from those users. The research methodology is twofold:
1. First, formulating a knowledge base that forms the basis for the decision tools. The knowledge base comprises design guidelines and requirements.
2. Secondly we design, implement and evaluate the tool. The tool has undergone frequent usability experiments to obtain

EXPECTED RESULTS: The suggested decision tool has architect friendly graphical user interface for assisting and informing architects during early design phases. The development of the tool is based on a synthesis-by analysis and iterative approach. User requirements were analyzed and initial tool requirements are derived from those users. The tool can help in decision making during the design of zero energy housing. The tools also inform architects and designers and raise their awareness about the most influential design configuration and parameters. The tool can be used on any personal computer so that architects can use it easily.