Scholarly article on topic 'Climate Comfort Comparison of Vernacular and Contemporary Houses of Iran'

Climate Comfort Comparison of Vernacular and Contemporary Houses of Iran Academic research paper on "Materials engineering"

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Abstract of research paper on Materials engineering, author of scientific article — Rana Soleymanpour, Nastaran Parsaee, Maryam Banaei

Abstract Technology development causes a human oriented design to be forgotten all over the world. In housing design, one of the important factors for human-oriented design is Climate comfort. Today similar architectural patterns in different climate regions in Iran, can’t provide residents comfort. While vernacular housing architecture of Iran had different patterns for providing climate comfort in different regions. The aim of this paper is to suggest some solutions to enhance the level of comfort in today's housing of Iran. This paper compares contemporary and vernacular houses of Iran in terms of climate comfort by using description and case study analysis methods.

Academic research paper on topic "Climate Comfort Comparison of Vernacular and Contemporary Houses of Iran"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 (2015) 49 - 61

Asian Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, AcE-Bs2015, 20-22 February 2015,

Tehran, Iran

Climate Comfort Comparison of Vernacular and Contemporary

Houses of Iran

Rana Soleymanpour , Nastaran Parsaee, Maryam Banaei

Faculty of Architecture, Iran University of Science and Technology,16846-13114 Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Technology development causes a human oriented design to be forgotten all over the world. In housing design, one of the important factors for human-oriented design is Climate comfort. Today similar architectural patterns in different climate regions in Iran, can't provide residents comfort. While vernacular housing architecture of Iran had different patterns for providing climate comfort in different regions. The aim of this paper is to suggest some solutions to enhance the level of comfort in today's housing of Iran. This paper compares contemporary and vernacular houses of Iran in terms of climate comfort by using description and case study analysis methods.

© 2015TheAuthors. Publishedby ElsevierLtd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-reviewunderresponsibilityofAMER(AssociationofMalaysianEnvironment-BehaviourResearchers)andcE-Bs(Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

Keywords: Comfort; climate comfort; contemporary housing; vernacular housing

1. Introduction

Built environment has direct effects on human's satisfaction and well-being. Building's response to inhabitants' physical and psychological needs is essential to give them a sense of self-worth, safety, and privacy. In spite of all these, it is necessary for a healthy environment to delight, uplift the spirit, relax or provide contact with nature (Sassi 2006). Therefore for attaining the physical satisfaction, the human body should be in a comfort level that achieving this depends on the accommodation of building design with the outdoor climate. Accordingly climate is one of the most important factors, which can have an effect on human comfort. Hence, due to the differences of climate in a

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +989141405903; fax: +9871138357665. E-mail address: Soleymanpour@arch.iust.ac.ir.

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.118

different part of the world, each region needs its designs and construction techniques in its buildings that can provide human comfort. However in recent years, by the development of technology, most of the new buildings are designed without considering human comfort.

In Iran, the same techniques are used in different zones for designing contemporary houses. These similar design patterns for contemporary houses cause some problems that are related to the human physical and psychological comfort. While vernacular housing in Iran was well adapted to its climate by using different strategies in different climates.

The aim of this study is expressing the importance of different architectural design strategies in responding to the climate comfort and revival them in contemporary housing. As Iran has rich vernacular architecture, scientists can analyze the positive features of the past architecture (not just imitate them) and make an attempt in order to build environmentally compatible structures using the new construction materials and advanced technologies. Consequently, the main objective of this study is to explore the possible means and ways of increasing climate comfort in contemporary houses by realizing the climate comfort building and the characteristics of the vernacular houses.

1.1. Climate and climate comfort in Architecture

"One of the effective factors in the human life, health and comfort is climatic conditions. A human being directly and indirectly has been affected by this condition" (Ramezanil, Maghsodi & Shafaghati, 2013). Jahan Bakhsh (1998) presented climate comfort conditions which in aspect of temperature is suitable for 80percent of people, or in other words, human beings under those conditions, neither feeling heat nor cold and neutral state is its other word.

Considering climatic comfort in architectural and building design is the subject matter of many kinds of research that clarifies its significance.The building design is the first defense lines against outdoor climatic parameters. The climatic design is looking after providing climatic comfort for human in buildings (Shakor, 2011). Gioni presented a bioclimatic chart of building and Elgi presented humidity and heating conditions about human needs and climate design and drew the bioclimatic chart (Kasmaei, 2008).In Iran, various studies were done in the field of climate role in architecture and urban design. Most studies pay attention to architecture survey consistent with a climate in various climates of the country. For an example, Kasmaei, (2008) studied climatic conditions, climatic parameters and the use of these parameters in the construction, Ghobadian and Mahdavi, (2013) presented different methods for analyzing thermal comfort and climate control methods, Saligheh, (2004) has presented climatic design models compatible with the region climate for the improvement of thermal conditions and raising comfort indexes and Razjooyan, (1988) has tried to analyze the effective factors on comfort by publishing his valuable book, entitled "Comfort by Architecture Compatible with Climate".

Based on mentioned researches, built environment is highly associated with the climate. Moreover, according to the climate characteristics, there are different classifications in architecture, such as cold, temperate, warm-humid and hot-dry climates. We can use this classification for achieving climate comfort level in building in different climates.

1.2. Vernacular architecture and climate comfort

Different climates require different architectural responses. To satisfy the various necessities, vernacular architectures that developed through the centuries has much original and interesting design practices and technologies (Singh, 2009). The vernacular building construction technique and specifications are more based on knowledge achieved by trial and error rather than conventional practices. Vernacular architecture provides a good solution to the climatic constraints, and there is more than one approach to solving the same climatic constraint (Rakoto-Joseph et al., 2009). It sets a harmony between dwellings, dwellers, and the physical environment. These kinds of structure evolve over time to reflect the environmental, cultural and historical context in which they exist (Helena, 1998).

Iranian vernacular architecture achieved the climate comfort conditions in interior spaces by using of intelligent strategies and adapted to the natural and social conditions of a specific locations in which it exists. Different studies

about Iranian vernacular architecture have revealed that bioclimatic is a critical parameter for achieving human comfort (Kasmae, 1996; Ghobadian, 1996 & 2006; Pourvahidi, 2010).

Therefore, it is essential to classify the climates to reveal their impacts on vernacular architecture. This is while, because of some reasons, the continuity of the vernacular architecture and features of them ignored in recent years. However, it may not be appropriate to adopt these models as readymade solutions for modern architecture. Our advanced technical capability and cultural context prevent us from returning to these old-fashioned architectural forms. But we can learn a lesson from the approach of the builders who acknowledged the interdependence of human beings, buildings and physical environment (Helena, 1998).

2. Methodology

This study analyzed climate comfort in contemporary and vernacular houses by considering the design principles for each different climate in Iran.

"Koppen divided the world based on growing of plants. Accordingly, Iran is basically di vided into four climatic regions: temperate and wet climates, cold climates, hot and dry climates, hot and wet climates" (Shokouhian & Soflaee, 2007). We have selected four cities (such as Yazd, Rasht, Bushehr, and Urmia) from four main climates of Iran as representatives of their climate region (Fig. 1).These cities were selected to find out the parameters of human-oriented design in different climatic regions.

Urmia city (37°40'N, 45°03'E) is situated in the Far northwestern of Iran has a cold climate condition with cold winters, mild springs, hot summers and warm autumns. Rasht city (37°19N, 49°37'E) is situated in the north of Iran has Temperate and humid climate conditions with heavy rainfall, hot and humid summers and cold winters. Bushehr city (28°57'N, 50°49'E) is situated in the south of Iran has insufferable heat and humidity climate conditions with hot summer and mild winter. Furthermore, the fluctuations of temperature in these areas do not go below zero during the winter time. Yazd city (31°53'N, 54°16'E) is situated in the center of Iran has hot and dry climate conditions with an average annual rainfall of only 60millimeters (2.4 in), and also the hottest north of the Persian Gulf coast, with summer temperatures very frequently above 40°C (104°F) in blazing sunshine with no humidity.

Studying the bioclimatic design principles in these cities of Iran is essential to investigate the climate comfort differences between vernacular and contemporary houses and explore the effects of the climate to enhance the level of human comfort.

The study identifies the dominating bioclimatic design strategies for the four main climate zones using Givoni's Psychrometric chart (Fig. 2). Givoni's chart predicts the comfort conditions within the building based on outside climate factor. In this chart, the combination of monthly temperature and relative humidity indicates the

Fig. 1. Climatic division of Iran and location of Urmia, Rasht, Bushehr, Yazd city in this country.

recommended passive design strategy for each month (Givoni, 1969). To conduct this research, meteorological data effective on climate comforts such as temperature and relative humidity of the synoptic station of Iran's cities have been extracted from the meteorological station in a 20-year period (1990-2010).

For comparison between vernacular and contemporary houses, first principles of climatic design were analyzed from Givoni's Psychrometric chart. Then we categorized climate comfort design parameters of each region. We selected 24 houses (6 houses for each climate region) and rated their level of climate comfort design parameters on a 5-point Likert scale. As the nonparametric test, we used the Mann-Whitney U test to analyze the data. All the statistical analyzes performed in SPSS version18.

For more reliable results, more cities and number of samples should be investigated. In this study, four main Climate of the country has been chosen as the representatives of Iran's weather while this vast country has other microclimates.

3. Findings

3.1. Research climate- responsive design strategies for Iran

Following design recommendation are identified by using Givoni's charts for four climates, which are drawn in Fig2 by extracting meteorological data effective on climate comfort such as temperature and relative humidity from the synoptic station of Iran's cities.

In the following the results and solutions of climatic design for each city have been explained separately according to the Givonis charts of each city (Fig. 2, 3).

Fig. 2. (a) Urmia Bioclimatic Chart; (b) Rasht Bioclimatic chart.

Fig. 3. (a) Yazd Bioclimatic; (b) Bushehr Bioclimatic Chart.

Table 1. Analyzing bioclimatic chart of Urmia.

Month TIME ZONE DESCRIPTION

Dec, Jan, Feb, March Under heated Require heat sources, minimum heat exchange with the outside, Using solar heat

Nov Day Cold, H' Materials with high thermal capacity, Using solar heat

Night Under heated Require heat sources, mechanical equipment

Apr, Oct Day H Using solar heat, Suitable building materials

Night Cold, H' Materials with high thermal capacity

May Day H, N' Using solar heat, Materials with high thermal capacity

Night H', H Materials with high thermal capacity, minimum heat exchange

June, Sep Day N', N Comfort zone

Night H', H Materials with high thermal capacity, minimum heat exchange

July, Aug Day M, V, N' Need for natural ventilation, Tolerable thermal condition with Suitable materials

Night N, H Tolerable thermal condition, minimum heat exchange

Table 1 shows the principles of climate design for Urmia city from Givoni's psychometric chart (Fig. 2a). We categorized design principles for each climate region. In this city, the weather is very cold during more than six months of the year. Therefore for achieving the climate comfort, introverted building with a compact layout, small openings, veranda with Low height and small central courtyard located according to the sun radiation are recommended. Heavy external and internal walls are dominant climate-responsive design strategies to enhance the solar passive heating effect for great temperatures swing between day and night. Active solar or artificial heating is required during long winter periods.

In summer days, the comfort level can be achieved by temporary provision for humid air movement and using thermal mass can store enough heat from solar radiation during the day for the nights.

Table 2. Analyzing bioclimatic chart of Rasht.

MONTH TIME ZONE DESCRIPTION

Jan, Feb Under heated Dehumidifying, Require heat sources, minimum heat exchange with the outside, Using solar heat

Dec, March, Day Cold, H' Selecting suitable building materials, Sometimes requiring heat sources

Night Under heated Dehumidifying, Require heat sources, minimum heat exchange with the outside

Apr, Nov Day H, H' Using solar heat, minimum heat exchange with the outside

Night Cold, H' Selecting suitable materials, Sometimes requiring heat source, Using solar heat

May, Oct Day N, H minimum heat exchange

Night H, H' Using solar heat, minimum heat exchange

June, Sep Day N, N' Comfort zone

Night N', H minimum heat exchange, Dress appropriately

July, Aug Day Night V, N' Tolerable thermal condition, need for natural ventilation

Table 2 shows the principles of climate design for Rasht city from Givoni's psychometric chart (Fig. 2b). In this city, the weather is very humid and protecting the building from heavy humidity, and rainfall is necessary. According to the Givoni's chart, for achieving the climate comfort, cross ventilation is required therefore settlement pattern should be spread open and wide and buildings with deep continuous balcony and extending gable roofs are recommended.

Furthermore, buildings should be orientated with their bigger façade toward the south in order to gain solar heat in the winter when the sun angle is low. Because of heavy rains, the ground floors slab should be upper than the ground level. And the wood with minimum thermal capacity can be used as structural and covering material that is widely available in this area.

Table 3. Analyzing bioclimatic chart of Bushehr.

MONTH TIME ZONE DESCRIPTION

Dec, Jan, Feb Day H Using solar heat, suitable building materials

Night H' Using solar heat, minimum heat exchange with the outside

March, Apr, Nov Day N Comfort zone

Night H Using solar heat, suitable building materials,

May, Oct Day M, V, V' Use of materials with low thermal capacity, need for natural ventilation

Night N Comfort zone

June, Sep Day V', D air conditioner, dehumidifier, the device is required

Night V, N' Tolerable thermal condition natural ventilation,

July, Aug Day D Natural methods are not sufficient, dehumidifier device is required

Night V, V' conditioning is a more serious problem, need for natural ventilation

Table 3 shows the principles of climate design for Bushehr city from Givoni's psychometric chart (Fig. 3a). In this city, the weather is very hot and humidity. Therefore, for achieving the climate comfort protecting the building from the intensity of sun radiation is essential. The buildings should be built with complete shade, and they also have extensive deep verandas. For preventing excessive absorption of heat, using indigenous materials with low thermal capacity and bright colors for exteriors of buildings are recommended.

Orientation towards the prevailing wind from the sea, having minimum joints walls with neighbors, central courtyard and windows on both sides of single-banked rooms, high ceiling and wide windows enhance the air circulation to provide comfort during summer.

Table 4. Analyzing bioclimatic chart of Yazd.

MONTH TIME ZONE DESCRIPTION

Dec, Jan, Feb, Day Cold, H' Materials with high thermal capacity, Using solar heat

Night Under heated Require heat sources and mechanical equipment, minimum heat exchange

Nov, March Day H', H Materials with high thermal capacity, Using solar heat, minimum heat exchange

Night Cold, H' Materials with high thermal capacity, Sometimes requiring heat sources

Apr, Oct Day N, W Need to Increase humidity

Night H', H Materials with high thermal capacity, minimum heat exchange with the outside

May, Day N, V Need to natural ventilation

Night W, H Materials with high thermal capacity, Need to Increase humidity

Sep Day EC Need to natural ventilation and Increasing humidity

Night W, H Materials with high thermal capacity, Need to Increase humidity

June, July, Day EC Need to natural ventilation and Increasing humidity

Aug Night W Need to Increase humidity

Table 4 shows the principles of climate design for Yazd city from Givoni's psychrometric chart (Fig.3, b). In this city, the weather is very hot. It has dry summers with cold winters and has a high difference of the temperature between day and night in summers. Therefore, having a dense settlement pattern with central courtyards, orienting towards the sunlight and using earth sheltered constructions and wind towers are recommended. Heavy external and internal walls with high thermal capacity materials can reduce the need for conventional heating and minimize the temperature fluctuations between day and night.

3.2. Analyzing climate comfort in Vernacular and contemporary houses

Tables 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 show the comparisons between 24 houses in 4 climate regions in Iran. The level of having climate comfort design parameters of houses were rated and tested by Mann-Whitney U test (p<0.05).

Table 5. Analyzing climate comfort in Vernacular houses in Urmia city (Cold Climate).

Climate component

Architectural Strategies

Majidi Afshar house

Hedayat House

Ansari house

Disposal of

absorption of heat

temporary provision for air movement

gentle sloped roofs

Ground floor lower than a natural ground level

small verandas

Introverted Buildings with southern courtyard

Using thermal mass

using windows to enhance air movement

Receive solar radiation in winter

Located according to the sun radiation, Plan proportions 2 to 3

large windows in the southern Front of building

Total score

Table 6. Analyzing climate comfort in contemporary houses in Urmia city (Cold Climate).

Climate component

Architectural Strategies

Disposal of rainwater

gentle sloped roofs

Ground floor lower than natural ground level

absorption of heat

small verandas with Low height

Introverted Buildings with southern courtyard

Using thermal mass

provision for air movement

using windows to enhance air movement

Receive solar radiation in winter

orientation to the sun radiation, Plan proportions 2 to 3

large windows in the southern Front of building

Total score

Table 7. Analyzing climate comfort in Vernacular houses in Rasht city (Temperate Humid Climate).

Architectural Strategies

Avadis house

Samiei house

Abrishami house

No moisture absorption

extending gable roof over balconies

Ground floor's slab upper than the ground level

enhanceme nt of air

Orientation toward South

spread Open and wide

settlement pattern, Plan proportions 1 to 3

deep continues balcony

Table 8. Analyzing climate comfort contemporary houses in Rasht city (Temperate Humid Climate).

Climate component

Architectural Strategies

Disposal of rainwater

No moisture absorption

Heating in the winter

enhancemen

t of air turbulences

extending gable roof over balconies

Ground floor's slab upper than the ground level

Orientation toward South

spread Open and wide settlement

pattern, Plan proportions 1 to 3

deep continues balcony

material with a minimum thermal capacity

A large number of openings

Total score

Table 9. Analyzing climate comfort vernacular houses in Bushehr city (Hot and humid Climate).

preventing excessive absorption of heat

oriented towards the wind from the

Indigenous materials with the low thermal capacity

brightly colored exteriors

Total score

Table 10. Analyzing climate comfort contemporary houses in Bushehr city (Hot and humid Climate).

Climate component

Architectural Strategies

exclude direct sunlight

enhancement

of air turbulences

cover extensive deep verandas

small central courtyards

high ceiling and wide windows

windows on both sides of single-banked rooms

minimum joint walls with neighbors

oriented towards

the prevailing wind from the sea

preventing excessive absorption of heat

Indigenous materials with the low thermal capacity

brightly colored exteriors

Total score

Table 11. Analyzing climate comfort vernacular houses in Yazd city (Hot and Dry Climate).

Climate component

The use of heat capacity of the soil to air cooling

Architectural Strategies

the ground floor level lower than street levels

enhancement of air turbulences

Reducing high difference of the

temperature between day and _night_

Increase humidity

using materials with high thermal capacity and heavy external and internal walls

water pool and trees in the courtyard

Total score

Table 12. Analyzing climate comfort contemporary houses in Yazd city (Hot and Dry Climate).

Climate component

The use of heat capacity of the soil to air cooling

enhancement of air turbulences

Increasing indoor heat in the winter

Reducing high difference of the temperature between day and night Increase humidity

Architectural Strategies

the ground floor level lower than street levels

using basements

The dense settlement pattern

using materials with high thermal capacity and heavy external and internal walls

water pool and trees in the courtyard

Total score

Having climate comfort design parameters in those 24 houses is rated on a 5-point Likert scale. We used the Mann-Whitney U test to analyze the data. Tables 13&14 show that the level of climate comfort in the vernacular houses is significantly higher than contemporary houses (P=0.000). All the statistical analyzes performed in SPSS version 18.

Table 13 & 14. Mann-Whitney U test result for comparing vernacular and contemporary houses (*P<0.005).

Type N Mean Rank Sum of Ranks Mann-Whitney U test Climate comfort

Mann-Whitney U .000

Climate Comfort contemporary 12 6.50 78.00 Wilcoxon W 78.000

Vernacular 12 18.50 222.00 Z -4.163

Total 24 Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) .000*

Fig. 4(a) shows the differences between the climate comforts for all of the cities. Also, Fig. 3(b) shows the climate comfort mean differences between the houses for each city. It illustrates that the comfort level in vernacular houses is upper than contemporary houses in all the cities.

conterrporary Vernacular

Fig, 4. (a) Level of climate comfort for each; (b) Differences between climate comfort for all the regions.

4. Discussion

Results illustrate that vernacular housing in Iran used design strategies that enrich climate comfort. Today's climate comfort decreased according to the lack of human-oriented design by using new technologies that are not appropriate solutions for all the climate zones. Therefore, principles retrieved from Givonis psychometric chart that are applied in vernacular houses, can be used as guidelines for achieving the human oriented design in contemporary houses (Table15).

Table 15. Guidelines for achieving climate comfort in contemporary houses in each region.

City Climate component Architectural Strategies

Disposal of rainwater gentle sloped roofs

absorption of heat Ground floor lower than natural ground level, small verandas, Introverted

Urmia city Buildings with southern courtyard, Using thermal mass

(cold climate) temporary provision for air movement using windows to enhance air movement

Receive solar radiation in winter Located according to the sun radiation, Plan proportions 2 to 3, large windows in the southern Front of building

Bushehr city (a Hot and Humid Climate) exclude direct sunlight cover extensive deep verandas, small central courtyards

enhancement of air turbulences high ceiling and wide windows on both sides of single-banked rooms, minimum joint walls, oriented towards the sea

preventing excessive absorption of heat Indigenous materials with the low thermal capacity, brightly colored

Rasht city (Temperate Disposal of rainwater extending gable roof over balconies and protecting the walls

No moisture absorption Ground floor's slab upper than the ground level

Humid Climate) Heating in the winter Buildings should be oriented with the longer facade toward South

enhancement of air turbulence spread Open and wide settlement pattern, Plan proportions 1 to 3

air cooling use of heat capacity of the soil, using water and trees in the courtyard

Yazd city air turbulences sing wind towers, Windows toward a courtyard

(Hot and dry Heating in the winter Getting sun radiation, Orientation of building to southeastern

climate)

Reducing difference of the temperature dense settlement pattern, using materials with high thermal capacity and heavy

between day and night external and internal walls

5. Conclusion

Comparison of vernacular and contemporary houses of Iran revealed that vernacular houses could provide a higher level of climate comfort by using building design strategies that influenced by the outdoor environmental conditions and climatic zones.

The vernacular architecture approach is coordinating between human beings, buildings, and physical environment in order to achieve comfort in Energy efficient buildings. While these factors are not significant in contemporary houses of Iran and using similar design patterns based on technology can't provide human comfort.

To enhance the level of comfort, especially climate comfort in today's housing of Iran, it is recommended using the climate-responsive design strategies retrieved from Givoni's Psychrometric chart, identified for each region, with using technology in a proper way.

Today by the developments of technology, houses are built in faster than before. While the advantages of insulated roofs, walls, floors, double-glazed glasses, materials, earthquake resistant structure, climatic factors and all other facilities must be used appropriately to the location features.

This paper could be considered as a guideline for architects and designers, however it is clear that further research and studying of the accurate and suitable use of existing technologies for each different regions, is required and could be the subject of further research in this field.

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