‘Building for extreme environments: Arid’ is the first of a three-part series published by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) on building in extreme environments.

With landmark building projects both in the Middle East and other arid environments gaining global attention, the new CIBSE publication ‘Building for extreme environments: Arid’ is timely as it addresses the specific challenges of developing the built environment in the world’s hot desert and semi-arid areas.

As ‘Building for extreme environments: Arid’ is climate-zone driven, guidance within the publication can be applied to building engineering in different parts of the world. The first publication is compiled by an international steering group of experts in their respective fields, and covers topics encompassing the arid climate; basic design data; building design and construction materials; equipment design data; and sustainability.

CIBSE’s publication for arid zones encourages an integrated design approach to building engineering in the particular climate zone, and acknowledges issues such as sourcing materials, waste management and logistical challenges involved in working within remote regions.

With an ever-increasing number of CIBSE members working on international projects, or based in unknown locations, CIBSE’s series on building in extreme environments will serve as an introduction to topics that might be unfamiliar and provide information upon which reasoned judgments may be made or lead to further research to be undertaken in support of their professional duties.

This new guidance is an important contribution to CIBSE's efforts to make a positive difference to the built environment in the Gulf region. Lead author of the publication, AECOM’s UAE-based Sean McKeag explained that he came across the original CIBSE TM04 when he was researching design guidance for the Middle East prior to going there in 2007 from Melbourne. After six years working in the GCC, the new publication offered him an opportunity to share with other CIBSE members the latest insight and knowledge on working in this specific type of environment.

During the last few years CIBSE has invested in a series of resources that aim to assist building professionals in considering weather and climate change in the design and running of their buildings. ‘Design for Future Climate – Case Studies’ presents current practice and understanding of carrying out building adaptation strategies, rather than commenting on best practice.

CIBSE is performing a key role in providing guidance on the impact of future climate on building designs. CIBSE publications also include ‘Probabilistic Climate Profiles’ (ProClips), ‘TM55: Design for Climate Change’ and ‘TM52: The Limits of Thermal Comfort – Avoiding Overheating in European Buildings’.

Guidance can be accessed on www.cibse.org/knowledge and is free to CIBSE members.

‘Building for extreme environments: Arid’ is the first of a three-part series from CIBSE and will be followed by building design guidance for ‘Polar’ and ‘Tropical’ climates.