April 11th 2024

VE User of the Year Academic Winner: Akief Hakim bin Azman, Graduate from Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi MARA Sri Gading, Malaysia

VE User of the Year Academic Winner: Akief Hakim bin Azman, Graduate from Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi MARA Sri Gading, Malaysia

Congratulations to Akief, who won the academic category for VE User of the Year.

An academic project for the Green Building graduate course

The objective was to model KKTM Sri Gading Dewan Darul Takzim Hall’s thermal comfort and passive design system by using IESVE’s ApacheSim application, then propose the improvement design of the hall’s air-conditioning load and system efficiency.

According to ASHRAE 90.1, the building site is in Climate Zone 1A (very hot-humid), giving rise to significant year-round cooling loads. Input parameters such as the building’s architectural layout, climate data, internal gain values, infiltration rates, building envelope, space zoning and setpoints were used to calculate cooling loads, ultimately leading to the design of an appropriate HVAC system and passive design. ApacheSim and Apache HVAC were used to ensure the optimum performance of the proposed design.

ASHRAE 90:1 Climate Zone:

The overall arrangement consists of a CAV (Constant Air Volume) system which was changed to have VAV (Variable Air Volume) controller on the system, consisting of only one fan that can be controlled depending on the temperature within the room.

Single Room Cooling CAV System:

People have different thermal comfort preferences, so an occupant comfort analysis was performed using the software, and ASHRAE 55 compliance was verified. In addition to cooling, the circulation of fresh air into occupied spaces is essential to maintain good air quality and occupancy comfort. ASHRAE 62.1 ventilation requirements were applied based on room occupancy and use, to ensure good air quality for all personnel in the facility.

Two models were produced for this project: a baseline model follows the real building and MS1525 (Malaysian Standard) standards. Two air-conditioning designs were taken into consideration, with the current design using a CAV system and the proposed design of a CAV system using VAV fan control. Energy conservation measures (ECMs) focused mainly on reducing cooling loads and optimising the operating parameters of the cooling equipment.

The ECMs integrated into the proposed model were:

1. Decreased heat gains into the building using higher thermal resistance materials in the building envelope.
2. Installation of VAV control fan on the CAV system by detecting the temperature in the room with the help of a cooling setpoint.

Passive design of the building was also taken into consideration to simulate with the HVAC system design to ensure less energy consumption for the building comfort and energy efficiency to be achieved. The recommendation was to proceed with building maintenance as the building’s current structural integrity was worn down due to the rise in temperature. It was also recommended to audit the building to follow the current standard (MS1525 and ASHRAE Standard) to ensure the building could withstand the heat gain.

Current Building Cooling Load (Left) vs Improved Building Cooling Load (Right):

Current Building OTTV (Overall Thermal Transmittance Value):


Improved Building OTTV (Overall Thermal Transmittance Value):

Electricity and gas utility tariffs were assigned to compute annual energy costs and an overall comparison between the baseline and proposed models was performed. What makes this project unique and innovative is that through the application of the ECMs, using the IESVE software, a low net energy building design was achieved despite the considerably high cooling loads.

Current Building EUI (Left) vs Improved Building EUI (Right):