• Achieving Net-Zero Energy in Primary Schools In the Hot-Arid Region of Makkah, Saudi Arabia

      Chalfoun, Nader; Noor Wali, Suhaib Eshaq; Moeller, Colby; Magdy, Omar (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      The energy demand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is drastically increasing due to the recent Saudi government’s growth and development in multiple fields. Part of the new government’s vision is to create a lower impact of carbon emissions on the atmosphere. Thus, a significant consideration of building energy consumption is crucial since around 78% of the energy consumption is caused by the building sector in KSA. Residential buildings, however, account for 50% of the energy consumption, and government buildings show negligence in their function (Saudi Energy Efficiency Center 2017). Moreover, with the increase in electricity tariffs, the government has forced the operators of its buildings to enhance building efficiency to consume less energy especially in schools. This research aims to study the possibility of Net-Zero energy schools in Makkah, KSA. The purpose is to create an educational icon that educates the new generation about the importance of sustainability through visual interacting in addition to providing a high performance and healthy learning environment for students and teachers. A prototypical elementary school model was analyzed and simulated using eQUEST, an energy software, to determine the different issues that cause high energy consumption in the school. The building model, Al-Muna School, is a 32,400 ft² primary school located in Makkah, KSA, that has a hot-arid climate. The prototype was simulated using eQUEST, and the simulation result was compared with the energy use intensity (EUI) for primary schools in the hot-arid region of USA, which has the same climate zone as Makkah. The prototype was worse than the code for the educational buildings. The author provided recommendations of passive and active environmental strategies to mitigate energy use in the school building including the following: double low-E glazing, insulation, shading devices, daylight enhancment, night purge ventilation, LED light, and a high SEER hvac system to enhance the building performance and achieve Net-Zero energy. The results from eQUEST show a reduction of 68% from the total energy consumption of the building. Thus, 263 PV panels were implemented to generate the required energy for the building to achieve Net-Zero energy. Moreover, due to the fact that schools in Makkah have the same prototype, the Ministry of Education there can use this research as a case study to be applied to other schools in the area. The Net-Zero Energy for hot-arid climates would be an ideal concept to support the 2030 Vision of KSA, a nationwide initiative to make the country more sustainable.