Climatic Design of Buildings using Passive Techniques

Hans Rosenlund

    Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch


    Buildings in developing countries are often designed without taking sufficient account of the climate. Factors such as the urban surroundings or site characteristics, orientation and architectural design of the building, choice of building materials, etc are not given enough importance. Consequently buildings often have a poor indoor climate, which affects comfort, health and efficiency. The problem is found in dwellings as well as workplaces or public buildings, such as schools and hospitals.

    As living standards rise people want to install heating and/or cooling equipment to improve thermal comfort. For buildings not adapted to the climate, the amount of energy to run the equipment, and its cost, will be excessively high, and it will have a negative impact on the environment. A good, or at least acceptable, indoor climate can often be achieved with little or no extra input of energy.

    Apart from a general lack of norms and regulations, one reason why buildings are poorly adapted to the climate is lack of knowledge among architects, planners and engineers. Central concepts such as thermal capacity and thermal insulation are often misunderstood. The knowledge from traditional construction, which was fairly well adapted to the climate, is often lost or difficult to translate to modern techniques and society.

    The objective of this study is to present information about the climatic design of buildings today, using passive techniques. It explains central concepts in climatic design and gives recommendations on how to carry out the design in different climates. The focus is on building design, but urban climate is also considered. Ways to gain more
    knowledge are presented and illustrated with a case study.

    This study was carried out as a desk study. The work is based on: compilation of the author’s experience as a designer and researcher in North Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America, survey of the literature survey on experiences in other regions, synthesis of personal and collected information.

    Each building site offers its own conditions for a good climatic design, and it is the task of the designer to exploit the positive and avoid the negative. Even if it is impossible to give any general rules, recommendations in the form of a checklist are summarized for each main climate type.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publisher[Publisher information missing]
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

    Publication series

    NameBuilding Issues, Vol 10

    Subject classification (UKÄ)

    • Architecture

    Free keywords

    • Building Issues


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