Marsa Alam, Red Sea Governorate, Egypt

Private Beach House

This private Beach House is a three-bedroom single story structure. It is mainly built from load-bearing coral lime stones that have been repurposed from discarded limestone from nearby roadworks . The project is powered by an on-site solar station built by KarmSolar and has been designed using passive architectural design strategies to enhance its performance and drastically reduce energy consumption. A wind catcher next to a solar chimney act as a physical pair of lungs for the house ensuring that natural air flows in and out of the house when needed. A secondary wall surrounding the south-exposed portions of the house provides an extra layer of protection and a crucial cooling aid in summer. Thick load-bearing earth walls made of coral limestone help regulate temperatures during all seasons, cooling the indoor environment in summer and retaining the heat during winter nights. The design ensures that every space gets full and unobstructed views of the Red Sea.

Project info

Construction phase
New construction
Building type
Single Family House (SFH)
Detailed building type
Single Family House (SFH) - detached
Net floor area
245 m2
Land plot size
580 m2
1 story
Construction type
Load Bearing Masonry
Original construction year of the building
Project contact
Farah Faheem
Contact email address

Project team

Construction contractor(s)
Energy efficiency consultant(s)
HVAC consultant(s)
Building services
Other project team partners
Civil Consult (Structural Consultant)
Additional information
KarmBuild provided the architecture, interior design consultancy, and project construction management.

Building Rating and Certifications systems

Rating and certifications systems
Not applicable

Building Envelope

External walls

Description of construction
Retaining wall supported platform with embedded foundations, eliminating any excavations respecting the coral limestone formations. 90% of the walls are exposed load-bearing coral limestone from 60 to 40cm thick. The rest are 25cm red brick masonry.
1.05 W/(m²*K)


Roof type
Flat roof
Description of construction
A typical 20cm thick reinforced concrete slab roof structure. The layers from the inside to the outside are: wood frames, reinforced concrete, foam insulation, light concrete, sand, cement and cladding.
0.389 W/(m²*K)

Openings and windows

Glazing type
Double glazed
U-Value glass
2.8 W/(m²*K)
G-Value glass
Frame material / description
Overall u-value window
2 W/(m²*K)
Description of construction
2-panel sliding aluminum window frames.

Basement floor

Description of construction
Reinforced concrete base with (water proofing + insulation and thickness) + (finishes)
1.98 W/(m²*K)

Technical Building Systems

Ventilation system

Type of ventilation
Free ventilation (windows)
free ventilation (windows), a wind catcher tower and a solar chimney tower. Cooling and ventilation improvements in summer due to windcatcher and solar chimney are over 25% in terms of hours within the comfort range.

Lighting system

Primary lighting system
LED (Light emitting diode lamps)
Typical LED lights

Shading devices

Type of shading system installed
Static (fix) shading systems as part of the building architecture (e.g. Maschrabiyya, porch roofs, pergolas)
Manufacturer(s) / products
Locally manufactured


The project is powered by an on-site solar station built by KarmBuild's sister company KarmSolar

Other technical building systems

The project is powered by an on-site solar station built by Karmbuild's sister company KarmSolar. No PVs are installed on the building itself.
Manufacturer(s) / products

Final Energy Demand

Energy carrier (1)
Annual lighting demand
18.1 kWh/(m²*a)
Annual hot water demand
10.3 kWh/(m²*a)
Total specific final energy demand
49.01 kWh/(m²*a)

Financial Aspects

Project construction cost
89240 EUR