Category Archives: Case Studies

CLUSTER: retrofitting requirements in old Cairo

  • ‎Data Collected


  • Overview and Historical Backroungd of the building

The chosen case study is an office located on the 3rd floor of a mix-use building in Downtown Cairo. The building is named ‘Rabbat’. It was designed by architects Léon Azéma, Max Edrei and Jacques Hardy. It was built between 1927-1930. It consists of two parts, connected through an L-shaped passage. Consisting of 8 floors, the building’s built area is about 2,670 sqm. Most of the decorative elements used are considered of the Art-Deco and Expressionism styles.

Figure 1 Rabbat Building (Captured by Clutser Team)
  • Location

The building is located at the intersection of  26th of July Street and Sherif Basha Street, Downtown, Al Fawalah, Abdeen, Cairo. The exact location of the building is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 2 Building Location (Prepared by R.A Esraa Abdelhady)

Al-Nozha House

Overview and Historical Background of the Building

The chosen case study is a two-storey apartment located in a residential building in Al Nozha. The older part of the building was built by the Civil Aviation Company before that area was inhabited and it dates back to the 1970’s. The building is five-storey high (Ground, first, second, third and fourth floor), however the case study duplex apartment only occupies the first two floors (Ground and first). Moreover, the building is used for residential purposes only. The building is located in Al Nozha Al Gedida, number 27, block 1312, villa 13, Ouf Street. The exact location of the building is shown below.

Building Location on Ouf Street (Prepared by R.A Esraa Abdelhady)


Architectural Aspects of the Building

Building Shot from Ouf Street (Captured by Co PI Dr. Gehan Nagy)
Building Shot from Ouf Street (Captured by Co PI Dr. Gehan Nagy)

–           Architectural Style: Late Neo-Classic Style (1935)
–           Villa Height: Ground floor + 1
–           Structural System: Reinforced Concrete Structure
–           Building Material: Red bricks and concrete mortar
–           Finishing Material: Plastic Paint


Easton Study: Retrofitting and Thermal Performance of Victorian houses

Victorian houses (19th century) are a defining feature of the United Kingdom  and many of the former British colonies, but owing to the era of their construction, the thermal performance and level of comfort offered by such a house is relatively lacking, which creates the incentive for the wide adoption of retrofitting and external insulation.

The HBIM project team at University of the West of England are studying the effects and characteristics of retrofitting and external insulation methods in Victorian houses, using a network of environmental sensors setup inside the houses, as well as a number of standard testing and measurement techniques.

Hassell Drive: Retrofitting and External Insulation of Wimpey No-fines Houses

Bristol City Council [BCC] developed a program called “Warmer Homes” with the idea of improving energy performance/consumption and level of comfort of late 20th century “No fines” solid walled homes, owned by BCC. This type of houses represent a large portion of the residential buildings in Bristol.

The Wimpey No-fines House was a construction method produced by the George Wimpey company and intended for post-World War II mass-production of social housing in the UK. “No-fines” refers to the concrete with no fine aggregates used. Nowadays, this particular type of houses, which only exists in UK, are part of the British landscape. For the UK, arguably the key challenge for heritage buildings, and homes in particular, is significantly to upgrade their thermal performance in winter without causing overheating in summer, particularly as temperatures rise. Previous research has revealed an additional systematic issue, a gap between design expectations and performance in practice, making too often the savings in energy costs lower than expected.

In this project, the University of the West of England (UWE) will examine the effect of externally insulating this type of properties. A sample of these properties will be monitored in terms of energy consumption and comfort levels before, and after insulation works have been carried out over the space of a single winter and summer which is particularly advantageous for the HBIM project in programme terms.

Varying sensor types have been installed throughout the 4 buildings, capturing data on living room, main bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. This data can be analysed for an indication of energy use (Gas and electricity meter) and thermal comfort within monitored zones. A full list of sensors and locations is given below. Sensors have been collecting data from the installation date of 16/09/16. They were located in Livingroom (Temperature; Relative Humidity; Sound; CO2 & VOC; Lux; PIR); Main Bedroom (Temperature; Relative Humidity; Sound; CO2; Lux; PIR); Kitchen (Temperature; Relative Humidity; PIR); and Bathroom (Temperature; Relative Humidity; PIR).

A weather station was also installed at Newtown to record environmental conditions. A Maplin professional solar powered station is used and uploads data to Weather Underground regularly. Both sensor data and weather data for House 1 to 4 can be accessed via APIs and are linked to the web portal under development.


Joule House: Energy Performance of Historic Buildings

Joule House has been chosen at the University of Salford site. The building is a Grade II listed Georgian house, recognised as a heritage site by the City of Salford. The three story structure also has a special element in that it was inhabited by James Prescott Joule between 1818-1889. Several plaques reflect the recognition of his work on conceiving the concept of the Joule through experiments carried out in the basement of the property. The original building, comprising of early C19 bricks and welsh slate had a two story extension added and is currently used as offices by staff at the University.

Varying sensor types have been installed throughout the building, capturing data on each floor. This data can be analysed for an indication of energy use and thermal comfort within monitored zones.


Cairo University Library: Energy Performance of a Heritage Building

The chosen building for this case study is the Central Library of the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University. The building dates back to 1935, when it was built to exclusively serve professors and senior students. Then in 1967, the Abdel Moneim Riad Hall was added to serve researchers and post-graduate students.

The building is three storey high (Ground, first, and second floors), and it comprises almost 39,000 reference books in different languages as well as 5400 doctorate and masters dissertations.

Architectural Information
  • Architectural Style: Late Neo-Classic Style (1935)
  • Building Height: Ground floor + 2
  • Structural System: Reinforced Concrete Structure
  • Building Material: Red bricks and concrete mortar (figure 4)
  • Finishing Material: Plastic Paint