Towards developing a sustainability assessment framework for residential buildings in Iraq

  • Yahya Wisam Mahdi Al-Saeed

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Anthropogenic activities are depleting the planet’s natural resources and having a significant negative impact on the environment, leading to manifestations of climate change. A significant proportion of this is the energy consumption within the built environment. There is evidence that the built environment accounts for about 40% of the total energy consumption, 40% of global resources, 25% of water as well as a third of global Green-House Gas (GHG) emissions resulting in global warming.

    Many sustainability assessment frameworks have been produced for both developed and developing countries to reduce the negative impact of buildings on natural resources and their effects on climate change. In addition, many developed and developing countries have strong energy efficiency components within their building codes.

    It is argued that the sustainability assessment frameworks are developed with a specific country in mind. Even though the leading assessments such as LEED and BREEAM are used internationally; there is wide academic evidence that these assessments are not very suitable for use in other countries. However, there are countries, such as Iraq, without their own building standards or energy codes. Therefore, this study focuses on developing a sustainability assessment framework for residential buildings in Iraq. The study begins with the conducting of a cross comparison between well-established assessments in the Middle East region and other parts of the world to identify areas of similarity and difference that are most applicable to the building context in Iraq.
    For this research, a sustainable building assessment was developed using the Delphi technique that relied on achieving a consensus amongst a panel of experts to confirm sustainability performance indicators for Iraq with their relative priorities. This was followed by evaluating the weighting of categories and subcategories for these indicators using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). The weighting for water stress issues was highlighted as the most important category, of which 19.6% owing to the scarcity of this resource compared to other categories within the assessment. Finally, the assessment was tested by investigating some of its indicators based on the climate from the current year to 2080 and recommendations based on the final conclusions were provided. The study will contribute to the establishment of benchmarks for residential buildings to be followed by construction stakeholders and academics in Iraq.
    Date of Award18 Oct 2018
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorAbdullahi Ahmed (Supervisor), George Agyekum-Mensah (Supervisor) & Azadeh Montazami (Supervisor)


    • Sustainability Assessment
    • Residential Buildings
    • Resilience

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