To effectively facilitate and implement energy efficiency measures in buildings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, project developers, financing institutions, and policymakers require a thorough understanding of the possibilities. They need answers to questions like:

  • What building types exist in the MENA region and what are their characteristics?
  • How much energy can you save with energy efficiency measures and how much do they cost?
  • Are there examples of low energy buildings in the MENA region?

The BUILD_ME project has developed a suite of tools to address these questions and provide stakeholders with the information they need to make appropriate investment and construction decisions.

Building energy performance model

Interactive online tool for calculating the energy performance of buildings and cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency measures. ...Read more

The tool is still under construction and is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2020. To be notified when the tool is available, please contact BUILD_ME@guidehouse.com.

Building typology database

A reference building database providing information on the typical building styles in MENA countries, technical building systems, and energy demand. This is an important tool that allows researchers, financial institutions, policymakers, and manufacturers of building-related products to tailor their market, policy or strategy-related activities and assess potentials. ...Read more

Explore the database

Demonstration project database

Online database showing energy efficient building demonstration projects in the MENA region. The database provides evidence and practical information to successfully implement energy efficiency measures in buildings. Scroll down for more information ...Read more

Explore the database

Building energy performance model

International building certification schemes are scarcely applied in the MENA region because they:

  • are too expensive.
  • focus on sustainable construction and not on energy performance.
  • do not respond well to the market conditions in the MENA region.

To apply for financial support from banks (e.g. via loans and grants), project developers need evidence proving that the planned activities sufficiently reduce the energy demand of the buildings. This building energy performance (BEP) tool provides relevant actors in the MENA region a free, usable software tool to calculate the overall energy performance of buildings and the cost-effectiveness of building energy efficiency measures.

Guidehouse’s building energy performance (BEP) model has been used in many international projects, delivering realistic results based on a solid, internationally applicable methodology. The model’s calculation core is based on ISO 52016 – Energy efficiency of buildings - energy requirements for heating and cooling, indoor temperatures and sensitive and latent heat loads, an international standard. ISO 52016 is the most up-to-date standard for calculating building energy requirements and best matches the requirements of the BUILD_ME project.

Calculation methodology of the Energy Efficiency of Buildings Web App, indicating the necessary inputs and possible outcomes
Calculation methodology of the Energy Efficiency of Buildings Web App, indicating the necessary inputs and possible outcomes

BUILD_ME’s online BEP tool, the Energy Efficiency of Buildings Web App, based on Guidehouse’s model, contains modules covering all relevant aspects that influence the energy performance of buildings and the life cycle costs of energy efficiency measures (see figure below). The tool calculates the energy demand for space heating and space cooling on an hourly basis for each hour of the year, leading to 8,760 individual calculations using hourly climate data. The hourly climate data is extracted from METEONORM. The BEP tool considers local climatic conditions as well as exact building specifications such as the geometry and orientation of surfaces before applying the complex calculations of the standard. Per ISO 52016, the energy demand calculation is supplemented by a calculation module for the technical building systems to calculate the final energy demand for space heating, space cooling, and hot water generation. Taking into account national primary energy and emissions factors, the tool converts the final energy demand into primary energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Buildings typology database

The absence or lack of implementation of energy-related building codes makes it difficult to finance ambitious, energy efficient buildings through national or international banks. Without comprehensive building code implementation, no energy reference values to measure energy efficient projects against exist. Because it is not clear when required codes will be fully implemented in the target countries (Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon), alternative reference values that financial institutions can use on short notice must be found or developed.

Reference values can also be used by building certification or classification systems (such as the EPC scheme in the EU) that build on suitable energy-related reference or baseline values (e.g. an average specific energy demand of a building usually expressed in kWh/(m²a)). A compilation of reference buildings is needed to calculate representative energetic reference values. Reference buildings are buildings in the building stock that represent a specific building type (e.g. free-standing single-family house), construction age class (BUILD_ME project focuses on new buildings), and the region’s typical technical building systems. A complete collection of reference buildings that adequately represents the entire building stock—a building typology—is presented in the BUILD_ME database.

The BUILD_ME team identified appropriate reference buildings for each of the three target countries and all relevant building categories that adequately represent the new construction sector. This database forms the basis for all subsequent activities, including:

  • Development of energy performance reference values
  • Comparison of proposed measures in the pilot projects
  • Support for policy-related activities (e.g. work on the building codes, design of certification systems, and determining potentials for national strategies)
  • Development of training activities for bank staff and project developers

Demonstration projects database

BUILD_ME's demonstration projects database depicts examples of energy-efficient buildings throughout the MENA region. It provides practical inspiration and evidence of how energy-efficient buildings can be constructed. The BUILD_ME welcomes project developers, architects or contractors across the region to add their projects to this database. The BUILD_ME team will verify the information provided and publish the projects on the database. With the aim of enhancing the visibility of energy efficient buildings in the region, the database will be available online and will outline a wealth of information that can support others in making informed decisions about their own building projects. It also provides contact details of experienced architects and engineers with a focus on energy efficiency and sustainability, so users can exchange with other stakeholders in this space.

If you have any questions about the tools, please contact BUILD__ME@guidehouse.com. We look forward to receiving your input!