Nadia Arafah

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Technology Studies

Committee Member

Suleiman Ashur, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Shining Shyu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Deborah de Laski-Smith, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Heather Khan, Ph.D.


Sustainable design is achievable based on the social, economic, and environmental pillars interrelated with energy consumption worldwide. Saudi Arabia is one of the largest countries that consume massive amounts of energy, mainly for generating electricity to operate buildings and cope with population growth. Despite Saudi Arabia’s fast economic development, building envelopes in Saudi Arabia deserve more research attention to address energy consumption and environmental challenges. With the extremely hot weather in the country, building occupants use air conditioning extensively to overcome the heat and achieve thermal comfort. This research analyzed building envelope variables in an existing building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and measured the effect on energy consumption and cooling loads based on ASHRAE 90.1-2019 and LEED guidelines. The researcher used REVIT software developed by Autodesk for modeling and the Hourly Analysis (HAP) developed by Carrier for simulations as tools to gather data. The researcher concluded that by altering wall thermal resistance, window thermal transmittance, solar heat gain coefficient, window visible transmittance, air infiltration/leakage, window-to-wall ratio, building orientation, and sun shading devices, the building envelope could save cumulatively 9.91% of energy consumption and 16.2% of energy load. Conserving energy is the core of the Saudi vision 2030 and the country’s road to sustainability.