Modification works were carried out in 2017 - 2018 on the first four villas built at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in 1997 using Blue Building technology – creating up to 80 percent savings in water and energy consumption each year.
The Blue Building Concept combines the most up-to-date building techniques with ground-breaking advances in sustainable construction. It represents the culmination of 30 years’ of research and development into environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies. The result are buildings that not only promote a cleaner and safer future for the planet but are also bespoke and design-led that can be produced at low cost and in short timeframes.
“AUS has decided to adopt the unique Blue Building technology to achieve a sustainable environment, featuring eco‐friendly design while minimizing the CO2 balance,” said AUS Chancellor Dr. Björn Kjerfve. “This building concept, using environmentally friendly materials and systems that reduce energy consumption by up to 80%, will revolutionize the building industry in the UAE and lead the way to a healthier living environment at affordable prices,” he added.
Together with a local construction company, the project officially started on July 20, 2017. Key elements of the modified housing units will include:
60-80 % energy saving
99.9 % reduction of indoor dust particles
50-60 % constant humidity
110 % more internal light intensity indoor
110 % more UV light indoor
99 % reduction of odour
90 % less energy output for hot water supply
The implemented cooling system in the project is a reversible heating–cooling system, which operates completely silently, with temperatures adjustable in every room. Because of specially developed walls and windows, temperature swings and noise levels due to outside conditions are minimized.
The Environmentalist, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Building Holding says:
“The Blue ‘Positivism’ philosophy is based on supporting the environment through renewable energy. Our designs are founded on scientific studies, ensuring that the buildings we create are fit for purpose and will allow for water and energy savings in the long-term. I am excited by the precedent being set by this project and look forward to additional projects where this philosophy can be further applied”.
The project will be completed in November 2018 with outstanding results of indoor air quality and cooling sufficiency.
With minimal consumption of energy the villas are cooled down to 20°C and humidity levels around 55% with 0 noise levels and water wastage.
Dust particle levels of PM10 and PM2,5 are below the standard levels in hospitals or other environmentally friendly buildings – a unique achievement in the international building industry.
PM2.5 and PM10 (Particulate Matter)
The numbers 10 and 2.5 refer to the µm diameter of the particulate matter.
Particulate matter is microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere. They include: Gases, smoke, smog, ash and dust, viruses and bacteria, allergens, mold spores and pollen.
Particulates are the deadliest form of air pollution due to their ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and blood streams unfiltered, causing permanent DNA mutations, heart attacks, and premature death. In 2013, the ESCAPE study involving 312,944 people in nine European countries revealed that there was no safe level of particulates, and that for every increase of 10 μg/m3 in PM10, the lung cancer rate rose 22%
Some particulates occur naturally, originating from volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation, and sea spray. Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes, also generate significant amounts of particulates.
Skin - The 5th Sense
Our known ‘traditional’ five senses and their respective organs are:
1. Hearing – Ears
2. Seeing – Eyes
3. Tasting – Tongue
4. Smelling – Nose
5. Touch - Skin
This document aims at explaining the temperature sensation of the human body, which is controlled by the 5th sense of touch/feel and linked our skin.
How we perceive temperatures is directly linked to health factors such as our blood pressure, metabolism and weight. It is furthermore based on physiological characteristics that determine our feeling for heat and cold.
The skin is our biggest and most important sensory organ, operated by cells to trigger a sensory perception. Embedded in the skin are, amongst others, heat- and cold receptors, touch corpuscles (touch sensors) and free nerve endings which react to pressure, heat, cold and pain.
Therefore the skin has multiple sensory perceptions: Palpation, touch, pressure, and pain perception from hot and cold.
As the biggest sensory organ, skin additionally assumes further crucial functions as it helps to keep a healthy body temperature and protects the body from harmful environmental influences, injuries and oxidation. It collects information from its environment and is playing a vital role for the human immune system. It has the ability of self-healing and detoxifies itself by means of sweating and sebaceous glands.
Every person is equipped with a very sensitive air condition that regulates the thermal condition of the body. Around 640.000 touch sensors are located in the skin. Research results show that around 250.000 cold receptors are located in the upper dermis and 30.000 heat receptors in the lower dermis. These receptors measure approximately 1 square millimeter big and are also located inside other organs and the brain. Inside the skin, the receptors communicate the smallest change in temperatures directly to the brain
A human body can stand a sudden temperature increase of 5°C before taking counter measures. If body temperatures rise above 42°C, proteins inside the blood start to coagulate. The skin produces sweat in order to cool the body down.
When it comes to a decrease in temperature, the human body can bear a change in 17°C. Further sudden decrease of temperature can lead to a vasoconstriction (narrowing of the arteries) and blood is being increasingly redirected to the center of the body to protect the vital organs and brain.
Scientific research has shown that a naked human body feels most comfortable an air temperature of 29-30°C. With decreasing air temperate the body loses more heat than it can produce. This also depends on the weight of the body.
A body whose temperature drops below 35°C enters a state of hypothermia, which is divided into 3 stages.
1. Body temperature 35 – 32 °C
Full consciousness, shivering, trembling
Cold and slightly blue skin
Abdominal and joint pain
2. Body temperature 32 - 28°C
Decease of consciousness, body stops shivering
Loss of speech
Breath and pulse is getting slower and weaker, pulse is irregular
3. Body temperature below 28°C
Extremely cold skin
Very weak pulse
In conclusion, the human body can tolerate cold better than heat.
The scientific study of Professor Angela Shuh, professor for medical climatology at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, shows that that women have a more active metabolism than men, eating smaller amounts of food with less fats, prefer salads, vegetables and dairy products - food that has a ‘cooling’- effect.
The ideal room temperatures has become an important economic and ecological factor in the in the building industry. The ideal room temperature has been determined (depending on the room) to be 23 – 24 Degrees Celsius. At these temperatures the body can release the excess heat at the same speed as it is produced.
Naturally, clothing and the level of physical activity influence the feeling of comfort at certain room temperatures.