Scholarly article on topic 'Investigation of Iranian traditional courtyard as passive cooling strategy (a field study on BS climate)'

Investigation of Iranian traditional courtyard as passive cooling strategy (a field study on BS climate) Academic research paper on "Earth and related environmental sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Earth and related environmental sciences, author of scientific article — Farzaneh Soflaei, Mehdi Shokouhian, Seyed Majid Mofidi Shemirani

Abstract The use of passive systems for climate control in providing indoor thermal comfort minimizes global trends in increasing the energy demand for active systems of climate control which has unacceptable negative impacts on the natural environment. This concept is ignored for designing of contemporary buildings which care less about the environmental impacts. The main objective of this study is to investigate the concept of the traditional central courtyard as a passive cooling strategy for improving indoor thermal comfort in the BS climate of Iran. An empirical field study was conducted to analyze three important courtyard design variants including orientation, dimensions and proportions, as well as opaque (walls) and transparent surfaces (windows), in fourteen valuable traditional houses in five ancient cities located in the BS climate of Iran. Results of this quantitative study, show that Iranian traditional central courtyards were designed based on a careful attention to orientation and geometrical properties regarding the physical and natural parameters to act as an effective passive cooling system. In conclusion, all data sets were integrated to propose a physical–environmental design model for central courtyards as a useful passive strategy which can be generalized for the wider use of environmentally sustainable design principles in future practice concerning courtyards for buildings in BS climate.

Academic research paper on topic "Investigation of Iranian traditional courtyard as passive cooling strategy (a field study on BS climate)"

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Investigation of Iranian traditional courtyard as passive cooling strategy (a field study on BS climate)

Farzaneh Soflaeia'*, Mehdi Shokouhianb, Seyed Majid Mofidi Shemiranic

a School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China b Department of Civil Engineering, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, United States c School of Architecture, University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran

Received 23 April 2015; accepted 16 December 2015

Abstract

The use of passive systems for climate control in providing indoor thermal comfort minimizes global trends in increasing the energy demand for active systems of climate control which has unacceptable negative impacts on the natural environment. This concept is ignored for designing of contemporary buildings which care less about the environmental impacts. The main objective of this study is to investigate the concept of the traditional central courtyard as a passive cooling strategy for improving indoor thermal comfort in the BS climate of Iran. An empirical field study was conducted to analyze three important courtyard design variants including orientation, dimensions and proportions, as well as opaque (walls) and transparent surfaces (windows), in fourteen valuable traditional houses in five ancient cities located in the BS climate of Iran. Results of this quantitative study, show that Iranian traditional central courtyards were designed based on a careful attention to orientation and geometrical properties regarding the physical and natural parameters to act as an effective passive cooling system. In conclusion, all data sets were integrated to propose a physical-environmental design model for central courtyards as a useful passive strategy which can be generalized for the wider use of environmentally sustainable design principles in future practice concerning courtyards for buildings in BS climate.

© 2015 The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Passive cooling strategy; Iranian traditional central courtyard; BS climate; Physical-environmental design model

1. Introduction

Passive cooling is a building design approach that focuses on heat gain control and heat dissipation in a building in order to improve the indoor thermal comfort with low or nil energy consumption (Santamouris and

* Corresponding author. E-mail address: farzaneh.soflaei@gmail.com (F. Soflaei). Peer review under responsibility of The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development.

Asimakoupolos, 1996). This approach works either by preventing heat from entering the interior (heat gain prevention) or by removing heat from the building (natural cooling). Natural cooling utilizes on-site energy, available from the natural environment, combined with the architectural design of building components, rather than mechanical systems to dissipate heat (Niles and Haggard, 1980). One of the most successful samples of climatic responsive architecture is traditional courtyard houses which were designed with the careful attention to the climatic requirements and socio-cultural contexts. They were responding

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Symbols Awt total area assigned to water in the courtyard

Atotal total house area Nsi number of areas assigned to soil earth in the

Acy area of courtyard courtyard

Acs total area of closed spaces SHsl shape of area assigned to soil earth in the court-

An area of the north part yard

As area of the south part Asi total area assigned to soil earth in the courtyard

Ae area of the east part ANel area of courtyard north elevation

Aw area of the west part Asel area of courtyard south elevation

Lcy courtyard length AEel area of courtyard east elevation

Wcy courtyard width A Wel area of courtyard west elevation

Hcy average height of courtyard ATel total area of the elevations

Acy area of courtyard AoNel area of openings in courtyard north elevation

SHcy shape of courtyard Aosel area of openings in courtyard south elevation

Nwt number of areas assigned to water in the AOEel area of openings in courtyard east elevation

courtyard AOWel area of openings in courtyard west elevation

SHwt shape of the area assigned to water in courtyard the

to the most environmental challenges over a long period of time, and used various passive cooling techniques such as Showdan, Khishkhan, Shabestan, Hozkhaneh, central courtyard, wind catcher, air-vent of dome roof, etc. for improving indoor thermal comfort in the hot climate of Iran (Soflaee and Shokouhian, 2005).

This research focuses on the concept of Iranian traditional central courtyards as natural cooling strategy, and its potential application for improving indoor thermal comfort in BS climatic as a case study. Traditional central courtyards in Iran as one of the oldest civilizations in the world go back to 3000 BC (Edwards et al., 2005), and as a design pattern has been used for different functions such as cooking, praying, working, playing, gathering and even sleeping during the hot summer nights. They have roots in Persian-Islamic culture and social perceptions; inspire the sense of introspection with respect to privacy in Islamic ideology. In addition to ideological, social, and cultural characteristics, Iranian traditional central courtyard provided other benefits in hot arid regions. It creates a self-sufficient microclimate area between the outdoor and indoor environments, when it is decorated with trees, flowers and shrubs, not only does it offers a beautiful setting and calm environment, but also supplies shades and increases the relative degree of humidity of the courtyard area as a microclimate modifier.

The saving in the cooling energy needs of the building due to the passive cooling performance of the courtyard was determined by some scholars (Rajapaksha et al., 2003; Toe and ^Kubota, 2015; Fardeheb, 2007; Rajapaksha, 2004). The passive cooling of the courtyard consists of the following features: (a) The shading effects of the walls of the courtyard on the ground and the south-facing wall and windows of the building, (b) The shading effects of the trees on the ground and on the south facing the windows of the building, (c) The effects of the pool, the lawn, shrubs and flowers in lowering the court-

yard ground temperature, (d) The wind-shading effects of the courtyard walls and trees on the infiltration rate of air through the building. All these features reduced the heat gains of the traditional courtyard houses of the building (Safarzadeh and Bahadori, 2003). Protection from or prevention of heat gains encompasses all the design techniques that minimize the impact of solar heat gains through the building's envelope and of internal heat gains that are generated inside the building due to occupancy and equipment (Santamouris and Asimakoupolos, 1996). Microclimate and site design are one of these techniques, by taking into account the local climate and the site context; specific cooling strategies can be selected to apply which are the most appropriate for preventing overheating through the envelope of the building. The microclimate can play a huge role in determining the most favorable building location by analyzing the combined availability of sun and wind (DeKay and Brown, 2014). Previous research has identified that the level of thermal comfort in a courtyard is determined by the microclimatic factors on it, particularly solar radiation and wind. The effect of these parameters may be evaluated with respect to the courtyard's geometry, dimensions, proportions and its orientation as the most influential design variants to provide appropriate thermal comfort in the courtyards (Meir et al., 1995; Meir, 2000; Almhafdy et al., 2013; Givoni, 1976). This research attempts physical-environmental analyses of the traditional central courtyard as the passive cooling technique in BS climatic of Iran to propose an appropriate design model for contemporary sustainable buildings.

2. Literature review

Despite abundant research and literature on the passive performance of buildings in general, the use of "courtyards" in buildings for passive climate control in particular has received only limited appraisal in architectural scholar-

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114 ship. The existing literatures emphasize on the potential of

115 courtyards as microclimatic modifiers in hot dry and trop-

116 ical climates (Donham, 1960; Bagneid, 2006; Cho and

117 Mohammadzadeh, 2013; Al-Masri and Abu-Hijleh, 2012;

118 Muhaisen and Gadi, 2006; Saeed, 2007), however only very

119 few research works have been investigated either empiri-

120 cally or theoretically on the potential of this concept for

121 BS climate of Iran.

122 Rajapaksha et al. (2003) investigated the potential of a

123 courtyard for passive cooling in a single story high mass

124 building in a warm humid climate. Their results revealed

125 that, a significant correlation between wall surface temper-

126 atures and indoor air temperatures is evident. From a com-

127 putational analysis, several airflow patterns were identified.

128 The earlier pattern was promoted when the courtyard is

129 ventilated through openings found in the building

130 envelope.

131 Toe and Kubota (2015) investigated vernacular passive

132 cooling techniques and their potential application for

133 improving the indoor thermal comfort of naturally venti-

134 lated, modern brick terraced houses in Malaysia. Field

135 measurement was conducted in two traditional timber

136 Malay houses and two traditional masonry Chinese shop

137 houses to examine their indoor thermal environments.

138 Fardeheb (2007) evaluated the thermal performance of a

139 courtyard house in a hot and arid climate of Los Angeles,

140 and determined whether the courtyard is cooler than the

141 rooms surrounding it during the day and also if that the

142 courtyard is cooler than the street outside during the day.

143 Hassan (2012) investigated the potential of a ventilated

144 courtyard for passive cooling in a small building in a hot

145 desert climate in New Aswan City, Egypt. Results show

146 that the courtyard orientation and the courtyard geometry

147 are among the most significant factors which affect the

148 thermal performance of the courtyard building model.

149 There are a number of studies focusing on courtyard

150 houses in different countries but less research was con-

151 ducted in Iran. In addition, most of the literature describes

the courtyard houses with prior attention to the socio- 152

cultural characteristics in a historical context and have left 153

the passive cooling performance of courtyards in hot arid 154

climates, particularly in BS climatic as the current research 155

case. 156

This study goes further to analyse the concept of the Ira- 157

nian traditional central courtyard as a passive cooling 158

strategy in BS climate to propose an appropriate design 159

model for contemporary sustainable buildings. In this 160

regard, two types of research methodologies were used in 161

this study; first is a library study that focuses on sustainable 162

architecture, BS climatic identification, and passive cooling 163

effect of the courtyard. The second is a survey study which 164

concentrates on physical-environmental analysis of four- 165

teen valuable traditional courtyard houses in five ancient 166

Iranian cities. Fig. 1 shows the research scope including cli- 167

matic scales, cities and houses that were selected in the pre- 168

sent research. 169

Regarding the selection of the fourteen valuable tradi- 170

tional courtyard houses as case studies, it should be noted 171

that, the research conducted by Iran Cultural Heritage, 172

Handcrafts and Tourism Organization (Haji-Qassemi and 173

Karbassi, 2005), illustrates that these cases are among the 174

best traditional courtyard houses which all were designed 175

by the famous Iranian architects with careful consideration 176

of environmental aspects to provide appropriate thermal 177

comfort. It can be concluded that the principle design of 178

mentioned cases can be employed as a passive cooling 179

strategy to affect the thermal performance of the courtyard 180

building model for BS climate zones. 181

3. Identification of BS climate, BSks and BShs mesoclimates 182

in Iran 183

There are various geographical regions and sub-regions 184

with specific climate characteristics in Iran. In this regard, 185

various climatic classifications are available, however Dr. 186

Ganji's classification is the most acceptable one. He divided 187

o v> o

BS Climate

i— BShs Mesoclimate -|

BSks Mesoclimate

Dezful

Shushtar Mashhad Shiraz Tehran

jl .. il .. il .. il

(O LU (O 3

Tiznou

Ghalambar

Moein Altojar Davoudi Basiri Malek

Mostoufi Seiyedan Nasir Almolk Nasir Aldoleh

Nazeran

Kazerounian Vosough Aldoleh

Figure 1. Research scope.

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Figure 2. Hot-arid climate divisions in Iran based on the Koppen classification method (a) Mesocclimate divisions of the hot-arid region in Iran, (b) BS climate including BSks and BShs Mesoclimates.

Iran, based on Koppen's climate classification, into four climatic regions including A: hot-humid climate, B: hotarid climate, C: mild-humid climate, and D: cold climate (Kasmai, 2005).

This study concentrates on B: hot-arid climate region which almost covers two thirds of this country, where receives almost no rain for at least six months of the year. Hot-arid climate sub divisions were identified based on the Koppen climate classification as the most widely used climate classification system. In this regard, statistical analysis of the local meteorological data from several stations was employed and Iranian cities in this climate were climatically classified. According to this classification, hot-arid climate subdivided into two climates including desert biome-dry tropical climate (BW) and steppe-dry mid-latitude climate (BS). In addition, BW and BS also are divided into four mesoclimates including BWhs, BWks, BShs and BSks (Fig. 2a).

This research specifically focuses on BShs and BSks mesoclimates. The Steppe climate comes under Koppen's BS classification (Fig. 2b), the B stands for dry climates, and the S for Steppe climate. It is characterized by grasslands, and this is a semiarid climate. It can be found between the desert climate (BW) and more humid climates of the A, C, and D groups.

4. Field investigation: environmental physical analysis of Iranian traditional central courtyards in BS climate

Five ancient cities in the BS climate of Iran were selected including Mashhad, Shiraz and Tehran from BSks mesocli-mate, as well as Dezful and Shushtar were located in BShs mesoclimate zone. Three valuable courtyard houses from each city were chosen in order to examine as a case study. Traditional courtyards can be analyzed based on various approaches, such as historical, cultural, spatial, structural,

ornamental and constructional details, etc. Most of scholars are unanimous in that dimensions and proportions of Iranian traditional central courtyards are appropriate and the main reason for acting as passive cooling systems (Rajapaksha et al., 2003; Toe and Kubota, 2015; Fardeheb, 2007; Rajapaksha, 2004). This research tries to extract a design model regarding size, dimensions, and proportions based on results of physical-environmental analysis of fourteen valuable cases in five ancient cities including Mashhad, Shiraz and Tehran from BSks mesoclimate, as well as Dezful and Shushtar which were located in BShs mesoclimatic zone. Analysis was based on three design variants including:

1) Courtyard's orientation, extension and rotation angle

2) Courtyard's dimensions and proportions regarding

(a) Positive spaces (enclosed areas),

(b) Negative spaces (open areas),

(c) Natural bodies (water and soil earth)

3) Courtyard's opaque (walls) and transparent surfaces (windows) in respect to access points to the prevailing wind flow.

4.1. Criterion 1: Courtyard's orientation, extension and rotation angle

This section of research tries to examine the orientation, extension direction, and rotation angle, in fourteen research cases in order to identify the most appropriate climatic orientation to gain maximum radiation to passive heating and daylight during the cold seasons, and also maximum suitable airflow to passive cooling, and natural ventilation for indoor spaces during the hot seasons.

Orientation and aspect ratio of a courtyard are two design factors that are critical to the microclimatic performance of courtyards (Meir et al., 1995). The amount of

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259 solar energy absorbed within an urban space, such as the

260 courtyard, during a given time period, is determined by

261 the penetration of short-wave radiation into the space

262 and by the albedo of the overall system. While the latter

263 is largely a function of material reflectivity, both are

264 affected by the courtyard's orientation and geometry

265 (Meir, 2000).

266 Most of Iranian traditional courtyard houses in hot-arid

267 climate are formed along north-south, northeast-

268 southwest or northwest-southeast directions which are

269 the best orientations in order to maximize usage of summer

270 and winter living spaces, as well as service spaces at the east

271 facade (receiving west daylight) acting as a buffer zone for

272 the heat (Pirnia, 2005).

273 Despite the geographical location of different cities in

274 hot-arid climate, spaces mostly are located in the northern

275 part of the courtyard which faces to the south, in order to

276 absorb the maximum radiation for passive heating and

daylight during the cold seasons. In the opposite, spaces 277

that are located in southern part of the courtyard face to 278

the north, to gain minimum radiation and maximum suit- 279

able airflow for passive cooling, and natural ventilation 280

during the hot seasons. This seasonal movement occurring 281

between summer and winter spaces is one of the human 282

responses to climate condition (Memarian and Sadoughi, 283

2011). 284

Among the fourteen research cases, Fig. 3 as an example 285

shows the analysis of criterion 1 for Nasir Almolk house in 286

Shiraz. As can be seen, house and courtyard both were ori- 287

ented along the Northeast-Southwest direction and court- 288

yard was rotated 45° from the north direction. 289

Table 1 illustrates the results of Criterion 1 for fourteen 290

research cases that were selected in this paper. As can be 291

seen, houses located in Mashhad and Shiraz have similar 292

orientation and those were extended in Northeast-South- 293

west direction, however different rotation angles can be 294

Table 1

Results of Criterion 1, Courtyard orientation and rotation angle of courtyard houses.

Cities Houses Orientation Rotation

BS Climate BSks Mesoclimate Mashhad Davoudi Northeast-Southwest 10°

Seiyedan Northeast-Southwest 35°

Nazeran Northeast-Southwest 23°

Shiraz Basiri Northeast-Southwest 42°

Nasir Almolk Northeast-Southwest 45°

Kazerounian Northeast-Southwest 10°

Tehran Malek Northeast-Southwest 15°

Nasir Aldoleh North-South 0°

Vosough Aldoleh North-South 0°

BShs Mesoclimate Dezful Tiznou East-West 0°

Ziaei East-West 0°

Ghalambar East-West 0°

Shushtar Moein Altojar East-West 0°

Mostoufi East-West 0°

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295 observed in these cases. Regarding houses in Tehran,

296 except Malek's house which followed the same orientation

297 as other cases in BSks mesoclimate, the other two houses

298 were oriented in the North-South direction without any

299 rotation angle. On the other hand, houses in Dezful and

300 Shushtar from BShs mesoclimate, all have the same orien-

301 tation, extension and rotation angle, with East-West direc-

302 tion and no rotation.

303 4.2. Criterion 2: Courtyard's dimensions and proportions

304 Proportion is one of the determinant criteria in architec-

305 ture for the perception of harmony, and harmony is the

306 discipline and regularity which exists between components

307 of phenomena (Kurt Grutter, 1987). Iranian traditional

308 architects also used special unit traditional measurements

309 in designing of traditional buildings. This unit called

310 "Peimoun" in Persian, basis of that system was human

311 body proportions like "Arash" (40 cm) which was the dis-

312 tance from elbow to the end of the fingers, "Gaz" (60 cm),

313 which was 24 fingers, and "Govar" (1.60 cm) that was the

314 distance from right hand fingers to left ones when they are

315 completely stretched. Each part of the traditional building

316 was measured based on this module which could be divided

317 into smaller sub-modules for detailed design to reduce the

318 diversity of sizes, easy building and matching of the com-

319 ponents. With regard to building form, Iranian traditional

320 architects used the modular geometrical design method,

321 they used a golden rectangular design with specific propor-

322 tions of width and length which it is drawn inside a regular

323 hexagon (Pirnia, 2005).

324 Criterion 2 deals with the investigation of dimensions

325 and proportions of Iranian traditional courtyards regard-

326 ing : a) Positive spaces (enclosed areas), b) Negative spaces

327 (open areas), and c) Natural bodies (water and soil earth).

4.2.1. Positive spaces (enclosed areas) 328 Within the Islamic culture of Iran, the notion of the void 329

has an important philosophical meaning, the negative 330

space of the courtyard, surrounded by rooms as positive 331

spaces, has roots in the metaphysical principle of unity in 332

Islam (Nasr, 1987). Climatic function of the traditional 333

central courtyard as a microclimate modifier for improving 334

comfort conditions of the surrounding environment is 335

another considerable factor. It creates a comfortable living 336

environment with seasonal usage of all spaces around; 337

north and sunny side of courtyard is used in winter, and 338

vice versa, south and shading side is used in summer. 339

In this regard, Fig. 4 as an example, shows four divisions 340

of enclosed spaces including living spaces in north, south, 341

west, and east parts of Nasir Almolk courtyard house in 342

Shiraz, alongside of its negative (open) space which called 343

the central courtyard. 344

Table 2 shows the analysis results of different areas 345

assigned to the enclosed spaces for the fourteen courtyards 346

in BS mesoclimate zone. As can be seen, most areas are 347

assigned to the northern part of enclosed spaces in BSks 348

mesoclimate with 43%, 30%, and 45% of total enclosed 349

area for Mashhad, Shiraz, and Tehran cities' cases respec- 350

tively. Results reveal that the total area assigned to the 351

north and south in all cases are greater than the total area 352

of the eastern and western parts. There are some exceptions 353

that some portions have an area of zero such as Davoudi, 354

Seiyedan, and Nazeran houses in Mashhad, as well as the 355

Vosough Aldoleh house in Tehran. The reason behind this 356

assignment is certainly due to the local land restrictions. 357

4.2.2. Negative spaces (open areas) 358 Since courtyard's geometry, dimensions and propor- 359

tions; particularly height to width ratio of a courtyard 360

are among the most influential parameters to improve the 361

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Table 2

Dimensions and proportions of positive spaces of courtyards.

Cities Houses Atotal Acy Acs AN AS AE AW AN (%) As (%) t (%) Unite: (m) t (%)

BS Climate BSks Mesoclimate Mashhad Davoudi 1114 555 559 271 0 104 184 48 0 19 33

Seiyedan 395 140 255 116 55 0 84 45 22 0 33

Nazeran 468 225 243 83 45 115 0 34 19 47 0

Average 43 13 22 22

Shiraz Basiri 1046 247 799 96 340 105 258 12 43 13 32

Nasir Almolk 602 169 433 186 113 52 82 43 26 12 19

Kazerounian 584 210 374 131 53 96 94 35 14 26 25

Average 30 28 17 25

Tehran Malek 1006 75 931 331 86 315 199 36 9 34 21

Nasir Aldoleh 1823 228 1595 416 630 451 98 26 39 28 6

Vosough Aldoleh 551 295 256 188 0 0 68 73 0 0 27

Average 45 16 21 18

BShs Mesoclimate Dezful Tiznou 475 96 379 28 267 31 53 7 70 8 14

Ziaei 284 60 224 64 21 82 57 29 9 37 25

Ghalambar 684 95 589 34 235 242 78 6 40 41 13

Average 14 40 29 18

Shushtar Moein Altojar 1622 157 1465 178 478 139 670 12 33 9 46

Mostoufi 2013 750 1263 238 332 516 177 19 26 41 14

Average 15 29 25 30

362 thermal performance of surrounding spaces (Meir et al.,

363 1995; Meir, 2000; Almhafdy et al., 2013; Givoni, 1976), this

364 part of the study deals with investigation of form and

365 dimensions of traditional central courtyards regarding

366 length, width, height, as well as their proportions, including

367 height to length, height to width, and length to width

368 ratios. The aim is to identify the best form, appropriate

369 dimensions and proportions of central courtyards to act

370 as microclimate to energy efficiency in contemporary build-

371 ings. In this regard, Fig. 5 as an example shows the dimen-

372 sions and area of the open space of Nasir Almolk house in

373 Shiraz as well as its total area and the area assigned to the

374 courtyard.

Table 3 shows the geometrical properties of the fourteen 375

research cases in BS climatic zone. Results reveal that the 376

maximum proportion of the courtyard area to the total 377

area can be observed in Mashhad city with the amount 378

of 44%, on the other hand the minimum proportion is in 379

Dezful with the amount of 18%. The length to width ratio 380

of the courtyards ranged between 1.09 and 1.68, however 381

this ratio is greater in Dezful and Shushtar houses when 382

compared with Mashhad, Shiraz and Tehran cities which 383

were located in BSks mesoclimate. Due to this lower ratio, 384

sthe square courtyard shapes in this climate zone such as 385

Nazeran, Nasir Almolk, and Nasir Aldoleh houses can 386

be seen. 387

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Table 3

Dimensions and proportions of negative spaces of the courtyards.

Unite: (m)

Cities Houses Lcy WCy Hcy Acy Hcy Hcy Wcy Lcy W„ xti (%) SHcy

BS Climate BSks Mesoclimate Mashhad Davoudi 25.8 21.5 8.9 555 0.34 0.41 1.20 50 Rectangular

Seiyedan 12.2 11.5 5.1 140 0.42 0.44 1.06 35 Rectangular

Nazeran 15 15 8 225 0.53 0.53 1.00 48 Square

Average 0.43 0.46 1.09 44

Shiraz Basiri 19 13 4.8 247 0.25 0.37 1.46 24 Rectangular

Nasir Almolk 13 13 5.6 169 0.43 0.43 1.00 28 Square

Kazerounian 15 14 8.4 210 0.56 0.60 1.07 36 Rectangular

Average 0.41 0.47 1.18 29

Tehran Malek 10.2 7.4 5.4 75 0.53 0.73 1.38 7 Rectangular

Nasir Aldoleh 15.1 15.1 6 228 0.40 0.40 1.00 13 Square

Vosough Aldoleh 18.1 16.3 4.2 295 0.23 0.26 1.11 54 Rectangular

Average 0.39 0.46 1.16 25

BShs Mesoclimate Dezful Tiznou 15 6.4 5.8 96 0.39 0.91 2.34 20 Rectangular

Ziaei 8.4 7.1 6.7 60 0.80 0.94 1.18 21 Rectangular

Ghalambar 12 7.9 7 95 0.58 0.89 1.52 14 Rectangular

Average 0.59 0.91 1.68 18

Shushtar Moein Altojar 15.7 10 5.8 157 0.37 0.58 1.57 10 Rectangular

Mostoufi 30.5 24.6 7.4 750 0.24 0.30 1.24 37 Rectangular

Average 0.31 0.44 1.40 23

388 4.2.3. Natural bodies (water and soil earth)

389 The modulation and heat dissipation techniques rely on

390 natural heat sinks to store and remove the internal heat

391 gains (Lechner, 2009) The Iranian traditional central court-

392 yard as an ecosystem is made of natural bodies which can

393 be divided into two major categories including water and

394 soil earth.

395 The various types of water have been used in traditional

396 central courtyards, and pool is one of them which was

397 designed in various shapes, mostly rectangular. It was usu-

398 ally located at the center of the traditional courtyard, and

399 often constructed along one of the main axes of the house

400 (Tofan, 2006). Pool often had a low depth, in order to

401 increase the water surface to absorb the solar radiation,

402 increase evaporation and provide more humidity to

403 decrease the dryness of air as well as create convective

404 breezes to supply the passive cooling and natural ventila-

405 tion for each house. In addition, soil earth as a thermal

406 mass can be coupled with night ventilation if the stored

407 heat that will be delivered to the space during the eve-

408 ning/night (Santamouris and Asimakoupolos, 1996).

409 Green surfaces including low water-usage trees and

410 native plants which are selected for adoption to the hot-

411 arid climate also play a considerable role in the balance

412 of shade and sun in different seasons. Plants can contribute

413 to the natural cooling of interior spaces by shading in sum-

414 mer to decrease the gain of radiation through the court-

415 yard's floor and facades in the summer, and in contrast,

416 by increasing the absorption of radiation through the

417 courtyard's floor and bodies to provide passive solar heat-

418 ing in the indoor spaces in winter.

419 In this regard, this part of the study attempts to investi-

420 gate dimensions and proportions of water and soil earth as

421 natural bodies of traditional central courtyards in fourteen

422 research cases. The aim is to identify the appropriate ratio

423 of area assigned to water, soil earth, and plant to the total

area of the courtyard based on the as-built dimensions in 424

selected cases. Appropriate proportion of area assigned 425

to water may significantly increase the humidity in the 426

courtyard, on the other hand an appropriate ratio of soil 427

earth and plant to the total area of courtyard can provide 428

suitable shading or sunlight in different seasons. 429

As an example, Fig. 6 shows the area assigned to the 430

water and plants of the Nasir Almolk house in Shiraz. It 431

can be seen that 40 and 74 square meters were assigned 432

to water and plants respectively in this research case. 433

Table 4 provides the result of analysis of natural bodies 434

for all fourteen research cases. The maximum and mini- 435

mum ratios of the water area can be seen in Tehran and 436

Shushtar respectively. Due to the higher humidity level in 437

Dezful and Shushtar cities which were located in BSh 438

mesoclimate and are very close to the hot-humid region, 439

it can be observed that less attention is paid to natural bod- 440

ies when compared with the other three cities in BSk meso- 441

climate. The maximum and minimum ratios of the area 442

assigned to the plants are in Shiraz and Dezful respectively. 443

Despite dryness of cities located in BSk mesoclimate, it can 444

be observed that in some cases no area was assigned to the 445

plant and water which maybe due to local land restrictions. 446

The area of natural bodies in all research cases shows that 447

form of the area of water and soil earth is mostly of rectan- 448

gular shape, except Basiri houses in Shiraz that have a shal- 449

low oval shape pool. 450

4.3. Criterion 3: Courtyard's opaque (walls) and transparent 451

surfaces (windows) 452

In hot-arid regions, the function of facades in traditional 453

central courtyards is to protect the indoor spaces from 454

gaining the heat and outdoor high temperature. In this 455

regard, dimensions, proportions, and especially height of 456

north, south, west, and east elevations of courtyard usually 457

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F. Soflaei et al. /International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment xxx (2015) xxx-xxx

Figure 6. Analysis of natural bodies for Nasir Almolk house in Shiraz, (a) Area assigned to water in courtyard (b) Area assigned to soil earth and plants in courtyard, (c) Rectangular shallow pool, (d) Two rectangular areas assigned to soil earth and plants in the courtyard.

Table 4

Analysis result of natural bodies including the area assigned to water and soil earth.

Cities Houses Nwt SHwt Awt t (%) Nsi SHsl Asi Unite: (m) Ay (%)

BS Climate BSks Mesoclimate Mashhad Davoudi 1 Rectangular 57 10 4 Rectangular 116 21

Seiyedan 0 - 0 0 0 - 0 0

Nazeran 0 - 0 0 0 - 0 0

Average 3 7

Shiraz Basiri 1 Oval 53 21 4 Rectangular 38 15

Nasir Almolk 1 Rectangular 40 24 2 Rectangular 74 44

Kazerounian 0 - 0 0 0 - 0 0

Average 15 20

Tehran Malek 1 Rectangular 25 33 0 - 0 0

Nasir Aldoleh 1 Rectangular 42 18 2 Rectangular 33 14

Vosough Aldoleh 1 Rectangular 6 2 3 Rectangular 94 32

Average 18 15

BShs Mesoclimate Dezful Tiznou 1 Rectangular 5 5 0 - 0 0

Ziaei - - 0 0 0 - 0 0

Ghalambar 1 Rectangular 5 5 0 - 0 0

Average 3 0

Shushtar Moein Altojar 0 - 0 0 0 - 0 0

Mostoufi 1 Rectangular 5 1 4 Rectangular 49 7

Average 0 3

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458 are different in design. In Iranian traditional central court-

459 yards with rectangular forms and north-south extension,

460 the higher facades are situated in the northern and south-

461 ern sides. This situation prevents the direct gain of solar

462 radiation by the higher facades, whereas the shorter

463 facades in western and eastern sides, gain the sunlight

464 and heat directly in summer, and not in the winter.

465 This part of the study tries to investigate dimensions and

466 proportions of the northern, southern, eastern and western

467 area of elevations of traditional central courtyards in all

468 fourteen research cases. The aim is to identify the appropri-

469 ate dimensions and proportions of facades, particularly for

470 facade height and ratio of the area of each facade to the

471 total area of facades in central courtyard. This pattern

472 can provide the most appropriate shading or sunlight in

473 different seasons based on the similar pattern of most of

474 the traditional courtyards in this climate zone. Fig. 7 shows

475 a different elevation of Nasir Almolk's courtyard house in

476 the north, south, east, and west portions. It can be seen

477 that northern elevation has the maximum area of elevation

478 compared with other parts.

479 Table 5 illustrates results of the areas and their propor-

480 tions of different elevations of fourteen research cases in the

481 BS climate zone. As can be seen houses in Mashhad, Shi-

482 raz, and Tehran which are located in the BSk mesoclimate

483 assign the maximum area in the northern elevation, in con-

484 trary with houses in Dezful and Shushtar that the maxi-

485 mum area can be observed in the south elevation.

486 However in all cases, area of the north elevation ranged

487 between 23% and 34% of courtyard's total elevation area.

488 It should be noted that the minimum ratio of the eleva-

489 tion's area in most of the cases can be found in east and

490 west elevations.

Figure 7. Courtyard's elevations in north, south, east and west of Nasir Almolk house in Shiraz.

Dimensions and proportions of openings in traditional 491

central courtyards are different in various facades to pro- 492

vide passive heating or natural cooling for residents in dif- 493

ferent seasons. In the south facade of traditional central 494

courtyards, the windows were not movable and mostly 495

there were no top windows because there were sash- 496

windows with vertical openings. Therefore, indoor spaces 497

benefit from natural ventilation by these sash-windows in 498

this facade. In the north facade, there were sash-windows 499

with vertical openings similar to the south facade, the 500

humidity and cool air of the central courtyard could be 501

overcome by opening the sash-windows in the evenings 502

and nights, because there is no wind catcher in this part 503

of the house (Khorsand, 2012). In the north facade, there 504

are rooms with three and five doors namely the Se-dary 505

and Panj-dary respectively; the function is similar to pro- 506

viding indoor thermal comfort due to a reduction in indoor 507

temperature fluctuations in winter times. Moreover, the 508

symmetrical north elevation can be observed in all the cases 509

which is due to achieving similar sunlight conditions in all 510

the winter rooms. In the east and west facades, there are 511

big movable windows with wooden lattice frames which 512

are appropriate for autumn and spring seasons due to high 513

intensity of solar gain in these facades. 514

This part of the study attempts to analyze the area 515

assigned to openings in northern, southern, eastern and 516

western elevations of traditional central courtyards for 517

the fourteen research cases as well as the ratio of the total 518

opening area to their corresponding facade's area. The aim 519

is to identify the design pattern that it employed in design- 520

ing of Iranian traditional courtyard houses located in BS 521

climate zone regarding area of openings and its proportion 522

to corresponding facades which may provide passive heat- 523

ing or cooling for residents in different seasons through an 524

appropriate shading or sunlight in different seasons. 525

In this regard, as an example, Fig. 8 shows the opening 526

of elevations in different facades for Nasir Almolk house in 527

Shiraz. 528

Table 6 illustrates the area and proportions of the open- 529

ings in courtyards' elevations based on the as-built dimen- 530

sions. It can be seen that more attention was paid to the 531

northern and southern opening ratios compared with the 532

east and west parts in all houses. The maximum opening 533

ratio in the north part can be observed in Basiri's houses 534

in Shiraz with the amount of 94% that means almost all 535

parts of the north elevation were covered by doors and 536

windows, on the other hand the minimum ratio can be seen 537

in Ghalambar's house with no opening which is because 538

there is not any facade in the north part of this case. 539

Compared with houses which were located in BSk mesocli- 540

mate, other house has less openings in their facades. 541

5. Physical-environmental analysis results for BSh and BSk 542

mesoclimates 543

In this section, based on results of the analysis of four- 544

teen courtyard houses, as case studies, tries to identify 545

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F. Soflaei et al. / International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment xxx (2015) xxx-xxx 11

Table 5

Areas and proportions of elevations in different parts of courtyards.

Cities Houses ANel Asel AEel AWel ^ (%) Ar (%) Äjel v ! As (%) Unite: (m) AmL (%) Äjel v !

BS Climate BSks Mesoclimate Mashhad Davoudi 242 184 156 264 29 22 18 31

Seiyedan 81.2 36 39 113 30 13 14 42

Nazeran 117 117 125 119 24 24 26 25

Average 28 20 20 33

Shiraz Basiri 65 71 85 78 22 24 28 26

Nasir Almolk 133 53 86 56 41 16 26 17

Kazerounian 148 55 90 89 39 14 24 23

Average 34 18 26 22

Tehran Malek 45 45 54 54 23 23 27 27

Nasir Aldoleh 101 97 69 99 28 27 19 27

Vosough Aldoleh 93 60 59 74 33 21 21 26

Average 28 23 22 27

BShs Mesoclimate Dezful Tiznou 66 115 60 63 22 38 20 21

Ziaei 62 52 46 46 30 25 22 22

Ghalambar 63 145 69 70 18 42 20 20

Average 23 35 21 21

Shushtar Moein Altojar 75 100 62 51 26 35 22 18

Mostoufi 252 252 206 98 31 31 25 12

Average 29 33 24 15

A Vv A ONel

AA VVVV W/ / /

Figure 8. Opening of elevations in different facades for Nasir Almolk house in Shiraz, (a) Windows of north elevation of Nasir Almolk house in Shiraz.

546 the design pattern of courtyard houses at the level of cities.

547 These cities including Mashhad, Shiraz, Tehran, Dezful,

548 and Shushtar are located in BS Climate, and the selected

549 courtyard houses are among the best traditional courtyard

550 houses in Iran.

551 To present an appropriate model for designing of court-

552 yard houses in these cities, summary results of analysis of

553 criteria presented in last sections are provided in Table 7.

554 As can be seen in this table, Mashahad and Shiraz have

555 similar orientation with a different range of rotation angle.

556 Houses in Tehran were oriented in the north-south direc-

557 tion without a rotation angle, and Dezful and Shushtar

have the same orientation in the east-west direction without any rotation.

Regarding the second criterion, in terms of the ratio of the enclosed area, the maximum area assigned to the north and south parts of the house can be observed in Tehran and Dezful respectively with the amount of 45% and 40%. The average results show that more attention was paid in the northern and southern part of enclosed spaces compared with the east and west.

Proportion of the courtyard as an open space, illustrates that the maximum and minimum length to width ratios can be observed in Dezful and Mashhad respectively. Area

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Table 6

Results of area and proportion of the openings in courtyard elevations.

Cities Houses AONel AOSel AOEel AOWel aom,j. (%) AK,l (/0) Ael (%) Aï (%) Unite: (m) AOW,J (%) Awa (%)

BS Climate BSks Mesoclimate Mashhad Davoudi 35 0 33 50 14 0 21 19

Seiyedan 35 16.5 0 43 43 46 0 38

Nazeran 45 45 41 0 38 38 33 0

Average 32 28 18 19

Shiraz Basiri 61 16 5.5 10 94 23 6 13

Nasir Almolk 32 21 30 30 24 40 35 54

Kazerounian 54 10 29 29 36 18 32 33

Average 51 27 25 33

Tehran Malek 12 10 11 1.3 27 22 20 2

Nasir Aldoleh 33 30 28 0 33 31 41 0

Vosough Aldoleh 42 0 0 15 45 0 0 20

Average 35 18 20 8

BShs Mesoclimate Dezful Tiznou 0 19 7 12 0 17 12 19

Ziaei 11 8 6 4 18 15 13 9

Ghalambar 0 32 13 16 0 22 19 23

Average 6 18 15 17

Shushtar Moein Altojar 21 10 10 9.5 28 10 16 19

Mostoufi 23 40 15 0 9 16 7 0

Average 19 13 12 9

Table 7

Summary results of analysis of three criteria for five city cases Mashhad, Shiraz, Tehran, Dezful and Shushtar.

Criteria Parameter Mashhad Shiraz Tehran Dezful Shushtar

No. 1 Orientation NE-SW NE-SW N-S E-W E-W

Rotation 10-35 10-45 0 0 0

No. 2 AN/Acs 43% 30% 45% 14% 15%

AS /Acs 13% 28% 16% 40% 29%

Ae /Acs 22% 17% 21% 29% 25%

AW /Acs 22% 25% 18% 18% 30%

H cy / Lcy 0.43 0.41 0.39 0.59 0.31

H cy / Wcy 0.46 0.47 0.46 0.91 0.44

Lcy / Wcy 1.09 1.18 1.16 1.68 1.4

Acy / Atotal 44% 29% 25% 18% 23%

Awt / Acy 3% 15% 18% 3% 0%

Asl / Acy 7% 20% 15% 0% 3%

No. 3 ANel/ATel 28% 34% 28% 23% 29%

ASel/ATel 20% 18% 23% 35% 33%

AEel/ATel 20% 26% 22% 21% 24%

AWel/ A Tel 33% 22% 27% 21% 15%

AONel/ ANel 32% 51% 35% 6% 19%

AOSel/ASel 28% 27% 18% 18% 13%

AOEel/AEel 18% 25% 20% 15% 12%

AOWel/ A Wel 19% 33% 8% 17% 9%

570 assigned to the courtyard is also one of the important fac-

571 tors in designing, it can be seen that the maximum and min-

572 imum ratios of the courtyard to total area of the house can

573 be found in Mashhad and Dezful respectively (Fig. 9). In

574 terms of natural bodies, it can be observed that more atten-

575 tion was paid to water and plants in the courtyards in Shi-

576 raz and Tehran, compared with the other three cities. In

577 contrast, less attention can be seen in Dezful and Shushtar

578 which is due to the high level of humidity in these two

579 cities.

580 Regarding the third criterion, except Mashhad city, in

581 other city cases it can be seen that the maximum area

582 was assigned to the north or south facades when compared

with the east and west. The ratio of north, south, east and 583

west facades' areas to the total area of elevations of the 584

houses in Mashhad, Shiraz, Tehran, Dezful, and Shushtar 585

ranged between 20-33%, 18-34%, 22-28%, 21-35%, and 586

15-31%, respectively. Results of this criterion also reveal 587

that the maximum opening area was assigned to north or 588

south elevations in all city cases. 589

6. Purposed design model for central courtyard in BS climate 590

zone 591

As final results, a design model is presented in this sec- 592

tion for courtyard houses in BS climate zone based on 593

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594 the size, dimensions and proportions of Iranian traditional

595 courtyard houses through the three physical-environmen-

596 tal criteria.

597 The average results show that most of the area should be

598 assigned to the southern part of the enclosed space of

599 courtyard houses with a ratio of 30%. However the total

600 area of north and south is always greater than east and

601 west parts (Fig. 10a).

602 Appropriate orientation can be considered as northeast-

603 southwest with 10-45° rotation or east-west directions with

604 no rotation angle. However the local geography and envi-

605 ronmental conditions as well as location latitude cannot be

606 neglected for this consideration.

18 1614121086420

.....v

« ..........

<1 by

4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22

Figure 11. Linear design equation in BSks and BShs mesoclimate zones.

From the results of analysis of fourteen cases presented in this research, it was attempted to propose a model based on the proportions of length, width, and height. Linear fitting was employed and best line that matched with the scatters was found out. Design equations for expressing the relationship between length and width of the courtyard are presented in different scales, city scale, mesoclimate scale, and at the scale of BS climate (Table 8). Fig. 11 shows two proposed design equations for BShs and BSks mesoclimate zones, it can be observed that these two equations are relatively close and can be extracted as a generalized equation for BS climatic zone based on these results. (See Fig. 12)

610 611 612

618 619

Table 8

Design equations and relationship between length and width of the courtyards in different scales.

Equation

Mesoclimate

Equation

Equation

Mashhad

Shiraz

Tehran

Dezful

Shushtar

-0.04Lcy + 13.9

Wcy = 0.8Lcy + 0.17

Wcy = 0.73LCy + 2.4

Wcy = 0.7Lcy + 3.67

WCy = 1.17Lcy - 4

Wcy = 0.85L - 2.8

W = -0.1L + 8.26

Wcy = 0.99Lcy - 5.49

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Figure 12. Proportions of length, width and height of central courtyards, (a) length versus height, (b) width versus height, (c) width versus length.

Results of the fitting process for different proportions is provided in Fig. 11, as can be seen three linear equations were proposed for designing courtyards based on its geometrical proportions. The best relationship between the length and width of the courtyard was obtained based on the following equation (Eq. (1)) which can be used for designing of contemporary courtyards in the BS climatic zone.

WCy = 0.8Lcy + 0.17 (1)

Based on the average results of the last section, it is recommended that about 17% of courtyard can be assigned to natural elements, 8% for water and 9% for plant. This ratio can be obtained for appropriate thermal comfort in the courtyard and surrounding areas as the observation and previous studies demonstrate (Fig. 10b).

It is proposed that the total area of the facades in north, south, east, and west parts of courtyard can be considered almost identical, but height of surrounding bodies must be designed differently. In fact, height of the facades in the north and south should be higher than east and west elevations.

Openings in elevations can be designed based on the ratio of total opening's area to its corresponding elevation with the amount of 21-29% for the north and south elevations, and 17-18% for the east and west elevations. It should be noted that there is also a relationship between the opening area ratio and size of the courtyard that can change the amount of these proportions.

7. Conclusion

Based on Koppen's climatic classification method, BS climate, BSks and BShs mesoclimates were identified in the hot-arid region of Iran. Three physical-environmental analysis criteria for traditional central courtyards as passive cooling strategies were defined, and employed to examine fourteen remarkable Iranian traditional courtyard houses in Mashhad, Shiraz, Tehran, Dezful, and Shushtar ancient cities located in BSks and BShs mesoclimate zones. Size, dimensions and proportions of physical and natural elements of traditional central courtyards were identified

and the logical relationship between them was found. Recommendations were outlined for designing of courtyards as effective natural cooling systems regarding orientation as well as geometrical properties of their physical and natural elements. Design equations were proposed as a function of proportions and dimensions of courtyards, considering length, width and height. These design models and recommendations can be employed for designing of contemporary sustainable buildings in BS climate and results can be generalized to other climatic regions by carrying out similar investigation as future works.

Acknowledgement

The authors would like to express their thanks to Iran Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization and Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch in Iran for their support of this research.

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