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Multiple-criteria optimization of residential buildings envelope toward nZEBs: simplified approach for Damascus post-war

Khaddour, Lina; Yeboah, Siegfried


Siegfried Yeboah


Syria faces significant challenges in optimizing residential building energy consumption to subsequently reduce CO2 emissions due to its conventional construction methods and systems, exacerbated by the recent conflict. Post-war re-construction provides new opportunities for improvement in building standards through the 2009 BIC insulation code towards nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs). However, the decline in economy growth poses significant challenges. In this study, we formulate a simplified building envelope selection approach using multi-criterion optimization methodology based on simulated thermal loads using IESVE and cost-energy trade-off. IESVE was used to evaluate the thermal performances of five cases representing 5 different building envelope structures on existing buildings in Damascus, Syria. Four out of the five cases were BIC compliant, and their thermal performances and cost energy trade-offs were evaluated against that of a conventional building representing the construction-as-usual case. Payback on the investment in insulation improvement of the envelope structures were also calculated. The results overall shows that the envelope structures incorporating insulation layer reduced annual heating, cooling, and combined energy loads of those buildings. Comparatively, these improvements were slightly better under winter conditions than in summer. Based on payback period analysis, none of the improvements provided acceptable economical payback within five years, as energy consumption tariffs were extremely low and insulation material costs were extremely high. A Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) framework was developed and applied to the cases investigated. Based on the limitations of the BIC, no optimal solution was obtained. However, the framework provides a good basis for stakeholders to make sound decisions in transitioning buildings especially under post war context towards nZEBs.


Khaddour, L., & Yeboah, S. (in press). Multiple-criteria optimization of residential buildings envelope toward nZEBs: simplified approach for Damascus post-war. In Proceedings of the 3rd ICESF, 2022

Conference Name International Conference on Energy and Sustainable Futures 2022
Conference Location Coventry University
Start Date Sep 7, 2022
End Date Sep 8, 2022
Acceptance Date Aug 15, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 9, 2022
Publisher Springer
Series Title Springer Proceedings in Energy
Book Title Proceedings of the 3rd ICESF, 2022
Keywords Insulation; Housing; Energy; Simulation; Thermal Loads
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