Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Kheira A. Tabet Aoul

Second Advisor

Dr. Rashed K. AI Shaali

Third Advisor

Dr. Antonio Frattari


Presently, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has one of the world’s largest energy consumption per capita, with the building sector accounting for 70% of the consumed energy, primarily used for cooling. In the last three decades, the UAE government launched several housing programs that fit the needs of Emirati beneficiaries while recently targeting also energy efficiency.

This study aims at optimizing the window thermal performance in relation to orientation in a typical house within a representative governmental housing program. Often enough, housing orientation is governed by urban planning layout, where windows rarely show any adapted heat control treatment in relation to orientation despite their significant impact on heat gains under the local extreme hot climate.

This research started with an overview of the historical development of housing programs in the UAE along with “Estidama”, the local sustainability framework. Second, a detailed review of optimum window design for heat control is presented. Next, a representative house is selected for investigation based on a detailed review of Al Falah governmental housing program, which included master plan layout, housing typology, construction materials and the window’s design specifications. The thermal performance of the case study in relation to orientation was evaluated using Home Energy Efficient Design (HEED) software. The results indicate variable annual electricity consumption per orientation with the western orientation leading with 9.7% more than the east, and 3.0% more than the north and south orientations.

Thereafter, the window thermal optimization process investigated the impact of window’s components including glass, frame and external shading devices in relation to each orientation. The best performing component were then combined into two scenarios; the first one included a vinyl frame and double tinted squared Low E glass and the second scenario had Low e glass, vinyl frame and automated slatted blinds. The results indicated a reduction of the total annual energy consumption ranging between around 6% when facing east and 13% when facing west.

More importantly, the optimal window components highlighted similar performance independently from orientation, thus enabling flexibility in housing planning projects while promoting thermal efficiency and energy savings.

Included in

Engineering Commons