WIT Press

A review on the impact of building design and operation on buildings cooling loads


Free (open access)


Volume 7 (2022), Issue 4



Page Range

351 - 372

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Bara Anaya, Danlin Hou, Ibrahim Hassan, Liangzhu Wang & Aziz Rahman


Energy consumption in buildings is considerably high in areas of hot and humid climates due to its association with high cooling loads. Electricity grids are highly affected by the consumption of cooling systems like air-conditioning and large refrigeration facilities, which significantly impact the economic and environmental sectors. As building design and operating parameters influence the cooling demand in the building, it is believed the root cause of the problem may be detected at an early building design stage. Thus, this review identifies the building design parameters that impact the cooling loads in build- ings that are geographically restricted to countries with hot and humid climates. The building’s design characteristics are classified into four main categories: glass characteristics, wall characteristics, building orientation and dimensions (BO & D), and building cooling system. The review was conducted over high-rise and low-rise buildings. Annual energy requirements (in some cases overlapping with electricity consumption), annual cooling loads, and peak cooling loads are the three forms in which energy demand reductions in buildings are represented. It is found that maximum annual cooling load savings are obtained through cooling systems, followed by wall characteristics, then glass characteristics, with the least for BO & D, with maximum reductions of up to 61%, 59%, 55%, and 21%, respectively. As for the peak cooling load reductions, wall characteristics, cooling systems, and glass characteristics had almost the same average values of 18.7%, 15.2%, and 17.2%, respectively, while BO & D are not reported due to the incomparable number of case studies. The parameters that have the most influence on reductions in peak cooling loads are wall and glass characteristics. In general, savings that are associated with wall characteristics are more significant for low-rise buildings than for high-rise buildings, while the latter is more influenced by glass characteristics. This is a reasonable conclusion since high-rise buildings, in general, acquire higher window-to-wall ratios than the former. In general, most studies considered glass characteristics, while fewer studies considered BO & D. This review has shown various aspects that are vital in studying building cooling load demand and its related energy performance.


annual cooling loads, building, building cooling, building energy design, energy, cooling load, hot climates, humid climate, peak cooling loads