NOUR - Daylighting and thermal effects of windows in desert houses

University dissertation from Architecture & Development Studies, LTH, Box 118, 221 00 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This study is on a combined effect of window, the daylighting and the thermal effects, in desert houses. It is comprised of two complementary studies. In the introduction a historical review on the development of use daylight has been carried out in order to place the case study in a historical perspective. The first study is comprehensive and contains two main parts. In the first part a study was carried out on the people and history of the town of Ghardaia in Southern Algeria. This was done in order to understand the architectural form of that region. The second part is experimental and consists of two field studies carried out in Ghardaia. Their aim was to investigate the influence of daylight level and temperature on the use of residential houses. This investigation included both traditional and "modern" houses, the moderna having relatively large windows similar to those of the northern part of Algeria, the traditional ones having small or no windows. The second study is also experimental consisting of computer parametric studies on windows design from two standpoints, namely daylighting level and thermal effects of windows in desert houses. A typical traditional house is described as it was observed. Then the recorded light values are presented and commented upon. In the second part, three types of modern houses observed in the field studies are presented and compared to the traditional archetype. The comparison especially dwells on the relative effectiveness of the two systems of daylighting. In the third part, focusing on various issues of lighting, the results of interviews with the inhabitants are presented. The thermal and daylighting studies indicate that it is possible to have windows to the east, west or north orientations with still acceptable and daylighting effects as long as they comply with the following recommendations: ' For south and north orientations, the absolute surfaces and the fenestsration should be in the medium to high range. ' For an east orientation, the absolute surfaces and the fenestration should be in the medium range. ' For an orientation to the west, similar recommendations may be appropriate, albeit with more carefully designed solar shading, since the probability for overheating will be higher.

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