PhD Success for Dr Mohammed Awad Abuhussain

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Dr Mohammed Awad Abuhussain

Congratulations to Dr Mohammed Awad Abuhussain on being awarded his PhD in October 2020. Mohammed’s thesis is entitled ‘An Assessment of the Saudi Residential Buildings Envelope Code Under the Current and Future Climate Change Scenarios: The Case for Jeddah in the Hot and Humid Climate Region’. Mohammed and his family have now returned to Saudi Arabia, where Mohammed will continue his academic career in the Department of Architectural Engineering at Najran University in Saudi Arabia.

The government of Saudi Arabia has recently set out a new mandatory Saudi Residential Buildings’ Envelope Code (SRBEC). The aim is to improve the specification of residential buildings in the country and reduce energy consumption. This is especially important to combat increasing temperatures due to climate change as well as reducing the country’s reliance of fossil fuels. Mohammed’s work involved detailed monitoring of temperature and energy consumption in three case studies of single-family houses (villas) in the city of Jeddah, and by using materials available in the construction sector in Saudi Arabia, the feasibility of implementing SRBEC, together with its overall effects were researched.

It was found that by complying with SRBEC, older villas can achieve electricity savings of 38% - 40%, whereas newer buildings could save 16% - 20%. Furthermore, the assessment results confirm that despite the temperature increases caused by climate change, the application of the SRBEC to the existing villas can enable them to nullify and combat the effects of the future climate changes within the time slices 2050s and 2080s. The financial feasibility results also demonstrate that the application of requirements of the SRBEC to all villa types would be economically feasible with all predicted future energy prices.

Dr Abuhussain presented his research to the Minister of Energy of Burkina Faso, Dr Bashir Ouedraogo, at the University of Manchester on 1st August 2018, with the Minister highly interested in his work and the potential of its adaptation in Burkina Faso.

Dr Abuhussain also presented his research at two international conferences: the 34th International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA 2018) in Hong Kong, China on 10th – 12th December 2018, and the Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2019 (SBE 19) in Cardiff, UK on 24th- 25th September 2019.

These presentations were further developed into the following publications:

  • Abuhussain, M., Chow, D. and Sharples, S. (2018) ‘Assessing the adaptability of the Saudi residential building`s energy code for future climate change scenarios’, in PLEA,Proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture:Smart and Healthy Within the Two-Degree Limit. Hong Kong, China, pp. 73–78. Available at: Abuhussain-Final.pdf.
  • Abuhussain, M. A., Chow, D. H. C. and Sharples, S. (2019) ‘Sensitivity energy analysis for the Saudi residential buildings envelope codes under future climate change scenarios: The case for the hot and humid region in Jeddah’, IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 329(1). doi: 10.1088/1755-1315/329/1/012039.