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Climate Responsive

Urban Design
PLAN 423
Trends of
•Planners of the twentieth Century seem to have assumed
that urban settlements were supposed to be unsustainable.

•The results were cities that consume natural resources and

produce waste and pollution with lack of green spaces and
inefficient transport systems.

•The world reserves of fossil fuels are being depleted .

•Pollution is causing irrecoverable damage to nature.

Sustainable Planning
It became necessary create trend towards sustainable
settlements which are to be:

•Echo system focusing on harmony between buildings

and the surrounding environment of Mother Nature.

•Conservation of both natural and built environment .

•Giving priority to the adaptation and re-use of recycled

building materials and components.

•Minimizing the consumption of energy used in buildings

and for travel between essential activities of the city .
Why Energy-Efficient
•Air-conditioned building in a Hot-climate regions consumes
70-80% energy.

•More energy is needed to cool than to heat.

•Within a few decades 60-70% of the total world population will

live in urban areas.

•Energy prices will be increased. (P5.3491 per kwh.)AUG 2018

•Alternative energy sources (e.g. solar power) should be


•Naturally occurring resources should be integrated into

planning and to promote energy savings.
Passive and
Thermal Design
 Passive climatic design
Design solutions that exploit passive measures (e.g.
building envelope design, climatic conditions and
natural energy sources) to achieve the desired indoor
and outdoor comfort conditions.
 Active climatic design
Internal comfort is achieved primarily through
mechanical measures.

 Combined Passive and Active

Combination of passive design of building supported
by limited mechanical equipments.
 In the past, buildings were constructed using passive

 Active design came with modern movement as means

of satisfying comfort concerns in buildings.

 Thus modern architecture lost its connection to 'place'.

 Built environments are now totally controlled and

divorced from their surroundings.

 Energy in getting depleted and it is becoming very

expensive to maintain the modern totally controlled
built environments.
Thinking Passively
 Passive measures rely on utilizing the elements
inherent in a region's climate and its natural energy

 To use passive measures is to accept the dynamics

of nature.

 New habits must be introduced: This involves a

dialogue with nature and reacting to the changes
that occur with the seasons of the year and the time
of day.
 It requires an integrated approach.

 It involves all disciplines -urban planning, architecture,

engineering, construction, etc.

 At all levels of the design process and through all

details of a building.

 It includes operation and management of the

buildings and the development of adaptation.
A Sense of Place:
Working in Context
 The climate and landscape inherent to a region has
through time served as the foundation for the design of
the urban and built environment.

 To design according to the characteristics present in

nature leads to an architectural vocabulary that is
shaped by rational, reasoned and proven solutions.

 It also produces a language that is accessible to all, and

its inherent attractiveness is 'natural' owing to a harmony
with its environment.
 Traditional intimate city of the Middle East was replaced
with wide streets, laid out in grids with rows of individual
houses on individual plots of land.

 Have often been based on imported Northern European


 They make no reference to their context and they use

inappropriate building forms, materials and openings.

 They fail to provide protection from the fundamental

cause of discomfort such as solar radiation.
Preconditions for
Successful Passive De
 Introducing sustainable design ideas is not possible
without full support from all parties involved.

 This involves the education of authorities, clients and

designers, and a change in attitude towards energy

 Authorities should adopt urban planning principles and

energy-efficient design criteria.
 Clients and developers can be motivated by
government initiatives with regulations and codes
concerning energy consumption.

 Codes in developing countries should be based on the

local conditions each specific country and not on
foreign standards.
New Approach in
Passive Design
 In active design the architect generally designs a
building, and the engineer will afterwards try to adapt
the building to its surrounding climatic conditions using
mechanical air conditioning with little concern for energy

 In passive design close and intensive cooperation

between architects and engineers.

 Passive design requires thermal evaluations of an

architect's designs throughout the design process.
 Protection from climatic extremes through ecological
planning and optimization of energy wind sheltering,
natural cooling, ground water management, and
vegetative buffer zones.

 Passive should influence the modern architecture form

just like it did with traditional architecture.
The Problem
Most modern settlements in Oman are made up of
detached dispersed building blocks with wide grid streets
with intensive transportation resulting in:

•High heat stress on summer days due to high solar

radiation and ambient air temperature.

•High glare from direct and reflected sun light.

•Prevalence of dusty street winds.

Climatic regions in Oman:
•High cost of energy •Hot dry desert ( north west)
for the attainment of •Maritime desert ( Coastal)
thermal comfort in •Upland desert (mountains)
buildings that did not
interact with the
requirements of the

•Problems of air,
water, and noise
Lessons from the
Vernacular Architect
in Oman
There is much to be learned from traditional Omani architecture
in it interrelation with climatic environment.

•They have thousands of years of research of trial and error into

the relationship between building and climate and represent
models for the development of a climate
responsive architecture.

•They created a regional architecture of the place, with the

form and character generated out of the culture, climate and
the region.

•These traditional models can be examined as precedents,

which inform the architecture, rather than to provide a set of
ready-made solutions.
The Urban space i
Hot-Climate Region
 In contrast with cold climate settlement the urban space is
a key factor in defining the characteristics of hot climate

 It is a lively, dynamic, and possibly the most important

idiom in urban design.

 Buildings are huddled close and shade each other and

creating a shaded urban space.
Local Wind Patterns
 Prevailing wind patterns should be studied but obviously
site microclimate has its own characteristics due to the
effect of topography and building patterns.

 The effect of the direction of sea breeze on urban pattern.

 Wind scoops are inherent idioms in vernacular

Shading of Urban Spa
 Shading from solar radiation
is of prime importance in the
design of buildings and the
urban space in hot climate

 Research work was

conducted at SQU on the
optimization of proportions
of urban space for
maximum shading
Ground Cover and Veget
 Air temperature close to the ground presents the most
extreme the conditions.

 During the day is the highest and at night it is the lowest.

 Plant and grass cover decrease surface temperatures,

while pavements and asphalt increase it.

 Vegetation and trees influences solar radiation gains,

humidity levels, and wind speeds and directions.

 Positioning of trees has direct effect on controlling wind

movement and direction.