Energy in Commercial Buildings in the Tropics

The 5th year of the Transsolar Academy has ended. The personal projects of all fellows are online now.
This week about a work which is examinating, in fact, a serious question:

Energy: To simply always have to have more, or is it better to need less?

Energy availability and economic development of a country are closely linked.
In Uganda, home of the architect Achilles Ahimbisibwe, as well as in other African countries, the development of the construction sector is progressing much faster than an improved energy supply. While consistent power supply is not a guarantee for many consumers and is often not available at all in rural areas, buildings in bigger cities are becoming energy guzzlers. Fully glazed facades are an increasing design typology in Uganda and neighboring countries, but these are not suitable for humid equatorial climates because their cooling requirements are enormous. Here Achilles sees an urgent need for action. While the usual strategy is to install more and more mechanical cooling and ventilation systems, if necessary also operated by generators on the roof, Achilles wants to show the great potential of energy-efficient construction. The primary objective of his work is to provide sound evidence that explains the impact of targeted shading and controlled glazing on the cooling energy requirements of office buildings in Uganda. His simulation studies show that minimizing solar heat gains significantly reduces the indoor cooling energy requirements. He wants to appeal to architects, city planners and developers.

Presentation >
Final documentation >