Minergie is a Swiss quality label for buildings developed to ensure comfort, low energy consumption, and healthy indoor environment. It was introduced in 1995, and, today, about 30% of new buildings are Minergie compliant. The campus of the Swiss International Scientific School of Dubai (SISD) is designed to be Minergie compliant. The campus includes a primary school building, an administrative building, a middle high school (MHS)–library–auditorium building, a sport center, and a boarding house. The primary and the administrative building are built. The sport center is under construction while the MHS building is under development.

Except the sport center, the campus is designed to be Minergie compliant. SORANE SA, along with the design team, conducted the preliminary design of primary school and administrative building to be Minergie compliant. We are currently assisting the design team of the MHS, the library and the auditorium building to achieve Minergie certification.

The design is based on achieving comfort and low energy demand through efficient sun protection, highly insulated and tight envelope, heat and moisture recovery on the ventilation system, as well as optimized daylighting of the occupied space.

The primary school building and the administrative building were built and are the first buildings to be certified as Minergie in the Middle East. The simulation of the primary school building showed that the building following the Minergie standards consumed 80% less than a conventional building in Dubai. Moreover, the building ensured a healthy indoor environment, with stable thermal, visual comfort, and low draught conditions due to the low speed ventilation. More importantly, designing the school following the Minergie requirements did not increase the systems' complexity, but rather resulted in low energy demand that reduced the size of the installations.

In this paper, we describe the design procedure of the buildings from the energy perspective and the challenges that we faced to achieve Minergie certification. Advanced simulations were performed to design the envelope and HVAC systems in order to minimize energy consumption. Daylight calculations and dynamic thermal simulations are also discussed in detail. First, the Minergie label is described briefly, followed by the description of its prerequisites and energy targets. Then, the building envelope design procedure is presented. Finally, the HVAC system design is detailed, and the simulation results of the building consumption are presented.

Keywords: design ; Dubai ; Minergie ; school ; simulation

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