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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY CALICUT

HEATING, VENTILATION & AIR CONDITIONING

HVAC AND CLIMATIC DESIGN IN THE ARAB COURTYARD HOUSES

SUBMITTED BY SHAHIM ABDURAHIMAN M

B070234AR

GUIDED BY Ar. Chithra K

THE ARAB COURTYARD HOUSES SUBMITTED BY SHAHIM ABDURAHIMAN M B070234AR GUIDED BY Ar. Chithra K DEPARTMENT

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY CALICUT

HVAC AND CLIMATIC DESIGN IN THE

ARAB COURTYARD HOUSES

ABSTRACT

Present throughout the entire history of building and architecture is the response the designer makes to climate. Understanding the climate , and designing in accordance with it is another and the most efficient way of designing. Knowledge of climate served as the basis of human livability and, ultimately, the aesthetic expression of its design.

Many climatic design techniques can reduce both heating and cooling energy costs. Natural ventilation can provide comfort in summer, when used with the other cooling techniques. Even during the months when it is comfortable outside, an improperly designed building can be uncomfortable due to the lack of understanding of climatic design principles and practices.

In some parts of the world, atrium or courtyard house design is standard practice. The use of mechanical HVAC system was totally absent at the time when traditional typical courtyard houses were built. The use of natural ventilation through these courtyards was one of the HVAC design technique which has been utilised to bring out a comfortable indoor environment. Following this tradition, these techniques of making use of courtyards in residences are widely being practised.

Courtyard housing is not only practised in India, but also in different parts of the world. These courtyards differ from each other on the basis of their location and microclimate. The different shapes and sizes of these courtyards will act differently and provide a different indoor environment.

Through this study, an analysis of the typical Arab courtyard houses and the practised climatic design will also be analysed. The objective of the investigation also is to understand the passive environment control system

CONTENTS

1. Abstract

2. Introduction

3. The Cooling process

4. Thermal Performance

5. Convective and Evaporative Cooling Devices

6. Case study – courthouse project in Z’Malet

7. References

LIST OF FIGURES

FIG 1. DIAGRAMMATIC EXPLANATION OF THE THREE CLIMATIC CYCLES AT NIGHT , NOON AND AFTERNOON FIG 2. TALL ATRIUM BUILDINGS: AS VENTILATION SHAFT FIG 3. A GENERAL SCHEME OF THE COURTYARD HOUSE THERMAL BEAHVIOUR FIG 4. COURTHOUSE PROJECT IN ZMALET FIG 5. SCHEMATIC PLAN, SECTION AND THERMAL NETWORK OF THE UNIT (IN ZMALET)

1.

INTRODUCTION

The courtyard Arab house may be considered as prototype diffused in many variations through all Arab countries and Islamic areas extending from the Arabian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean. This prototype is conceived to produce the same variety of contacts with open space, the same response to shade and to the movement of the air at each hour of the day.

The courtyard house creates a complex regulating system that creates a microclimate which works in a passive way. Heat transfer processes are all natural, without mechanical devices powered by non- renewable energy. The courtyard house system manipulates the architectural components such as “shan”, “iwan”, “loggia”, fountain etc., in order to achieve the best inside thermal comfort, day and night, from natural resources within the constraints of locally available resources

The courtyard house is the end product of a sophisticated historical process of unconscious “climatic design” through process of trial and error. The passive cooling technologies, developed as an architectural system and a strong base for modern “climatic approach” to design.

2. THE ATRIUM AS A CLIMATIC MODERATOR

The Atrium in a house acts as a light-well as well as an air-shaft, bringing both daylight and air movement to the rooms around it. The diurnal temperature changes amount to 10 'C to 20 C during the summer months. The diurnal range is much higher in the hinterland than in the coastal regions. In the hot-dry hinterland the atrium functions in three regular cycles, taking advantage of the diurnal range of temperatures during summer.

During the first cycle, the cool night air descends into the courtyard and fills the surrounding rooms. Walls, floors, columns, roofs, ceilings and furniture are cooled at night and remain so until the late afternoon. The courtyard loses heat by irradiation to the sky and may be used for sleeping during the summer, as can the roof (satieh).

During the second cycle around noon the sun directly strikes the courtyard floor. Some of the cool air begins to rise and also leaks out of the surrounding rooms. This action sets up convection currents in the rooms which may afford further comfort. The courtyard now begins to act as a chimney. At this hour the ambient temperature is very high outside. Thick walls do not permit the external heat to penetrate to the inside of the house. The adobe walls are excellent insulators, and the time-lag for an external wall of average thickness may be as much as twelve hours. Three out of four external walls on an average are party walls; thus the house remains enclosed on all sides and is insulated from heat gain during the day.

During the third cycle, the courtyard floor and the inside of the house get warmer and further convection currents are set up by the late afternoon. Most of the cool air trapped within the rooms spills out by sunset.

Fig 1 3. THE COOLING PROCESS Fig 2 The knowledge of cooling processes was based

Fig 1

3. THE COOLING PROCESS

Fig 1 3. THE COOLING PROCESS Fig 2 The knowledge of cooling processes was based on

Fig 2

The knowledge of cooling processes was based on a deep pre-scientific understanding of the exchanges of energy fluxes in the earth-atmosphere system, namely the cooling effect of night radiation to the sky; the convective process, namely the cooling effect of air movement determined either by”stack effect” or by wind; and the evaporative process namely the cooling effect of the change phase process typically water vapour.

Fig 3.

of the change phase process typically water vapour. Fig 3. 4. THERMAL PERFORMANCE The Thermal performance

4. THERMAL PERFORMANCE

The Thermal performance of the courtyard house comprises heat exchange processes taking place among the environments of three interrelated spaces; the indoor spaces, the courtyard space and the external open spaces between houses.

Considering the indoor environment, heat is exchanged through:

(1) The inner envelope (courtyard alls) (2) The outer envelope ( external walls and roof).

The different surfaces of the two envelopes are constantly exposed to the outside air temperature; however their exposure to solar radiation varies with time. This emphasizes the importance of studying means to control the exposure to solar radiation. In such control, the inner envelope is more critical since most of the openings are located there.

Regarding the physical system, which represents the impact of solar radiation upon the indoor space passing through the inner envelope, the two subsystems are identified.

The external system deals with:

(1) The insulation of the courtyard surfaces which is a joint function of the sun’s geometry and the courtyard geometry; and (2) The thermal balance of the surfaces as affected by the incident radiation

The internal system deals with the heat flow taking place through the opaque as well as transparent materials of the envelope.

When outdoor conditions are very severe, the system has to resist thermal gains, minimising hot air infiltration, solar radiation and heat conduction and to thermal losses through earth cooling, ventilation, radiant cooling and evaporative cooling.

5. CONVECTIVE AND EVAPORATIVE COOLING DEVICES

Air movement inside the building can be used either to cool the structure or for physiological cooling. Air movement can be generated by wind effect or by “stack effect”. When the wind is warm it is better to generate ventilation by stack effect; when the wind is cool the natural convection can be activated with a device able to catch winds and drive them into the rooms. “Wind Catchers” are very frequent in Iran, Iraq and Egypt; they project on roofs to intecept cooler, faster, less dusty air flows.

During the day (when inside temperature is lower than outside) hot inside air flows down the walls of the wind tower, loses heat, and enters fresher than outside air into the room; it absorbs heat ( efrshing ambient air), and then is evacuated through window

During the night, if the wind is not blowing, wind towers function as a chimney sucking exhausted hot air from rooms, replacing it with outside fresh air entering through openings.

Natural Convection and Ventilation can be improved by adding a device for the evaporation of water. This lowers the temperature by means of latent heat loss by evaporation. “Wind Catchers” are often combined with fountain and humid underground tunnels.

6.

CASE STUDIES

Z’Malet Study ( Algeria)

The work is the design of a naturally cooled, courthouse settlement to enlarge an existing agro- pastural village in the Algerian Highlnds. The courtyard house unit is east-west oriented and protected by tow buffer zones; the south one connecting the court to the inner space, the north one connecting entrance, w.c. and the pebble-bed for the cooling system. The natural cooling system is selected according to the life-style of the occupants who live indoors in the afternoon. The system uses the following sources; storage of night’s coolness in a pebble-bed; sky radiation cooling of the roof and the court; wind to circulate the necessary air through the pebble-bed; evaporative cooling of air by porous water containers; and , direct solar radiation gain of a solar chimney for partial air circulation to the room in the absence of sufficient wind.

It is expected that the door opening to the courtyard is closed from 12 to

pebble-bed temperature is higher than the room temperature, and the cooler air flows through the bed by natural convection. This process goes on all night and early morning the solar chimney creates a small draft. A small wind catcher operates about noon, when the door to the courtyard is closed and the wind is blowing. The air passing through the pebble-bed is cooled to the lowest night room air temperature. Porous Water containers in the inlet of the pebble-bed further increase the cooling effect of the convective process.

At night the

The simulated cooling performance of the dwelling unit was quite good: in the afternoon, when the system is operating ( door closed) the inside air temperature drops of about 5 degrees.

afternoon, when the system is operating ( door closed) the inside air temperature drops of about
afternoon, when the system is operating ( door closed) the inside air temperature drops of about

7.

REFERENCES

(1) Gianni Scudo, Climatic Design in the Arab courtyard house, paper presentation (2) Koenisberger et al., Manual of Tropical Housing and Building, Part one: Climatic Design, Longman, London, 1973 (3) M.N.Bahadori, “Designof the natural cooling system for a settlement in Z’Malet-El-Emir Abdel- Kader ( Diara Ksar Cellala – Algeria)”, Urbino, November, 1980