A comparative study: Design strategies for energy-efficiency of high-rise office buildings

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Tall buildings are being designed and built across a wide range of cities. A poorly designed tall building can tremendously increase the building’s appetite for energy. Therefore, this paper aims to determine the design strategies that help a high-rise office building to be more energy efficient. For this purpose, a comparative study on twelve case buildings in three climate groups (temperate, sub-tropical & tropical) was performed. The exterior envelope, building form and orientation, service core placement, plan layout, and special design elements like atria and sky gardens were the subject of investigation. effectiveness of different design strategies for reducing the cooling, heating, ventilation and electric lighting energy usage. Finally, lessons from these buildings’ were defined for the three climates. Furthermore, a comparison of building energy performance data with international benchmarks confirmed that in temperate and sub-tropical climates sustainable design strategies for high-rise buildings were performing well, as a result leading to lower energy consumption. However, for the tropics the design of high-rise buildings needs additional consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-158
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Green Building
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Building energy performance
  • Design strategies for energy efficient tall buildings
  • Sustainability and climate type


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