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Lecture 3

By Hina Afzal
Very hot, dry air and dry ground
Day-time temperatures range between 27-49 deg C
Night-time-falls to 22 degree C
Humidity-continuously moderate to low
Dry air, low humidity and minimal rainfall
discourage plant life,
Local thermal winds carry dust and sand
• Orientation and placement, to minimize sun
exposure in summer.
• Form, compact to reduce surface areas of heat
• Shade, for maximum sun protection in
• Allow adequate heat gain in winter by
movable shading devices.
• Ventilation, for regulation of air movement.
• Depends on reduction of the intense radiation
from the sun, ground and surrounding buildings
• During day, the designer must select walls and
roofs which can maintain inner surface
temperatures less than the skin temperatures.
• At night, the air temperature is low enough to
permit an increase in effective temperature by
surface temperatures higher than this air
• Low Humidity-Hence evaporation is greater than
any other climate
leeward: towards the side sheltered from the wind
Form and Planning 1. Two storey solution for hot and dry
2. As outdoor conditions are very
hostile(unfriendly), both the
interior and the exterior of the
building need to be protected.
Hence, an enclosed, compact in-
ward looking building will
be suitable.
3. Hot dry climates occur in a
wide range of latitudes and
geographic locations. This creates a
variety of diurnal ranges and winter
heating requirements ,with hot to
very hot dry summers.
4. Evaporative cooling from ponds,
water features and ‘active’ or
The diurnal temperature range is the mechanical cooling systems is ideal
difference between the daily maximum and for arid climates where low
minimum temperature. Changes in DTR have humidity promotes high
multiple possible causes (cloud cover, urban evaporation rates.
heat, land use change, water vapor and 5. Evaporative cooling or a ceiling fan
greenhouse gases) should be used if required.
• Use high mass solutions with passive solar winter heating
where winters are cool or cold and diurnal ranges are
• Use low mass elevated solutions where winters are mild
and diurnal ranges are lower.
• Consider high mass construction for rooms with passive
winter heating and low mass for other rooms.
• Shade all windows in summer and east and west windows
year round.
• Well sealed windows and doors with maximum opening
area allow maximum exposure to cooling breezes and
exclude hot, dry and dusty winds.
Thermal mass is the ability of a material to absorb and store heat energy. A lot of heat energy
is required to change the temperature of high density materials like concrete, bricks and tiles.
They are therefore said to have high thermal mass. Lightweight materials such as timber have
low thermal mass. concrete is not a good insulator. To keep this heat from escaping into the
colder surrounding ground, a concrete slab floor should be insulated.

In passive solar building design, windows, walls, and floors are made to collect, store, and
distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer.
How thermal mass works?
• Thermal mass is the ability of a material to absorb and store heat energy.
A lot of heat energy is required to change the temperature of high density
materials like concrete, bricks and tiles. They are therefore said to have
high thermal mass. concrete is not a good insulator. To keep this heat from
escaping into the colder surrounding ground, a concrete slab floor should
be insulated.
• Lightweight materials such as timber have low thermal mass
• Thermal mass acts as a thermal battery. During summer it absorbs heat
during the day and releases it by night to cooling breezes or clear night
skies, keeping the house comfortable. In winter the same thermal mass
can store the heat from the sun or heaters to release it at night, helping
the home stay warm.
• Thermal mass is not a substitute for insulation. Thermal mass stores and
re-releases heat; insulation stops heat flowing into or out of the building.
A high thermal mass material is not generally a good thermal insulator.
• Thermal mass is particularly beneficial where there is a big difference
between day and night outdoor temperatures.
Thermal mass

• Daily temperature fluctuations for

different construction methods.
• Correct use of thermal mass can
delay heat flow through the building
envelope by as much as 10−12 hours,
producing a warmer house at night in
winter and a cooler house during the
day in summer .
• A high mass building needs to gain or
lose a large amount of energy to
change its internal temperature,
whereas a lightweight building
requires only a small energy gain or
loss to change the air temperature.
This is an important factor to
consider when choosing construction
systems and assessing climate change
WINTER: Allow thermal mass to Summer: Allow cool night breezes
absorb heat during the day from and/or convection currents to pass
direct sunlight or from radiant over the thermal mass, drawing out
all the stored energy. During the day
heaters. It re-radiates this protect the thermal mass from
warmth back into the home excess summer sun with shading and
throughout the night insulation if required.
Using thermal mass effectively
Thermal mass is most appropriate in climates with a large diurnal
temperature range. As a rule of thumb, diurnal ranges of less than 6°C
are insufficient; 7°−10°C can be useful depending on climate; where
they exceed 10°C, high thermal mass construction is desirable.
Exceptions to the rule occur in more extreme climates.

In cool or cold climates where supplementary heating is often used,

houses benefit from high mass construction regardless of diurnal range
(e.g. Hobart 8.5°C). In tropical climates with diurnal ranges of 7°−8°C
(e.g. Cairns 8.2°C) high mass construction can cause thermal
discomfort unless carefully designed, well shaded and insulated.

Always use thermal mass in conjunction with sound climate-

appropriate passive design
• As most day-to-day activities take
place outside, it is important to treat
External spaces the external spaces just as carefully as
the indoors.
• Adjacent buildings, pavements, roads
heat up quickly and cause a glare onto
the building during the day and at
night, they reradiate the heat stored
during the day.
• One way to avoid this is to place walls
protecting external spaces, to keep
out dust and winds.
• Also, landscaping like trees, plants and
water in enclosed spaces will cool the
air by evaporation.
• But the best solution is courtyards. A
pool of night air is retained, as this is
heavier than surrounding warm air.
Courtyard design with evaporative cooling.
Roof, walls and openings
To make use of diurnal
temperatures, the use of thermal
high capacity structures is necessary,
which will absorb any heat that
enters. Hence, walls and roofs
must be of heavy materials.
The design of openings is governed
by two requirements-
1.During the day, the absence of
openings would be desirable, or at
least as small as possible and located
on high walls.
2.During the night, the openings
should be large enough to provide
adequate ventilation for the
dissipation of heat emitted by the
walls and roof.
• Occupancy Pattern-Office and Thermal lag is the delay of heat
commercial buildings are only transmitted through a wall. It's a
occupied during the morning and measurement of the ability of walling
early afternoon, hence will need a material to slowly absorb and release
time lag of 4-6 hours. But a heat energy. Only brick and other
residential building would need a heavyweight materials offer this
time lag of 9-12 hours. Massive property.
roofs will be effective here.
• Thermal behavior of materials- The time delay due to the thermal
placing a lightweight insulating mass is known as a time lag. ... If
material on the outside of a materials with a thermal lag of 10-12
massive wall or roof will give a hours are carefully used, then the low
time lag almost four times as night-time temperatures will reach
much as if the same insulation is the internal surfaces around the
placed on inside of the layer. middle of the day, cooling the inside
• Ground- Valuable means of heat air down.
storage. Building should have
maximum contact with the
ground. Ground floor should be
solid, not suspended. And
stilts(COLUMNS) should be
avoided as much as possible
Sky lighting options

1. Sunlight reflected from adjacent roof and building

surfaces is an important component of sky lighting in hot
dry climates.
2. Properly designed sky lighting devices can function as
wind catchers and/or vents for convective air currents.
3. A coffered ceiling is an effective method for distributing
light uniformly within a space without creating discomfort
from glare.
Roof and wall surfaces
1. Selection of surface materials-
Light coloured or shiny external
surfaces will reflect a large part
of the incident solar radiation,
thus much less heat will enter
the building.
2. The roof- The most critical part.
The surface most exposed to
the sky. Both aluminium and
white sheet are preferred. But
Aluminium has an absorbance
of 0.1 and white 0.3. hence
Aluminium will absorb much
less heat..
3. For a vertical wall, opposed by
other surfaces of buildings and
ground, a bright surface will
give better results.
4. Dark coloured surfaces should
be avoided.
Case study
The Traditional Houses of Ksar,Kenadsa- A CASE STUDY.
• The Ksar of Kenadsa is considered among the most
important old cities of the south-west region of Algeria
by its cultural and religious dimensions. In this area,
the traditional architecture has been built to achieve
the comfort in hot season.
• It lies by a valley and a mountainous relief, surrounded
by a cliff which is composed of white rocks (silica
sandstone) and fine sand in the north and the west,
which offers an optimal protection against the harsh
• The urban fabric appears in a form of a horizontal,
dense, and compact model having a double effect of
protection of the intense solar radiation in summer and the
prevailing hot and cold winds.
• The course to Ksar is a long narrow street is shaded during
the day, except when the sun is high in the sky. These
streets are protected by the projection of rooms built in
cantilever above the road. The house consists of four
elements: bab (entry door), skifa (chicane{ chicane is a
short, shallow S-shaped turn}), central space, and bit
• The general orientation of the house is towards the east.
Why was it a failure?
• The houses were completely turning
inward. The walls that overlook the
outside, particularly on the street,
are blind. All openings of the rooms
are towards the inner courtyard, and
the windows are long and narrow.
• This shape is very effective to unclear
the sunrays. A very thick wall made a
significant shadow over the opening.
There are generally small openings
for ventilation situated on the wall
opposite to the courtyard near the
ceiling and which remain always
open during the summer.
• The modern typical house seems to
be inappropriate for the desert
climate. Indeed, except the air-
conditioning in summer, there is no
other solution which can ensure
thermal comfort.