1st Edition

Thermal Comfort in Hot Dry Climates Traditional Dwellings in Iran

By Ahmadreza Foruzanmehr Copyright 2018
    210 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    210 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    With increases in global temperatures, the risk of overheating is expected to rise around the world. This results in a much higher dependency upon energy-intensive cooling systems and air-conditioners to provide thermal comfort, but how sustainable is this in a world where problems with the production of electricity are predicted?

    Vernacular houses in hot and dry central Iran have been adapted to the climate through passive cooling techniques, and this book provides a valuable assessment of the thermal performance of such housing. Shedding new light on the ability of traditional housing forms to provide thermal comfort, Thermal Comfort in Hot Dry Climates identifies the main cooling systems and methods in traditional houses in central Iran, and examines how architectural elements such as central courtyards, distinct seasonal rooms, loggias, basements and wind-catchers can contribute to the provision of thermal comfort in vernacular houses.

    1. Introduction 

    2. Vernacular Dwellings in Hot Dry Climates: the City of Yazd 

    3. Vernacular Passive Cooling Systems in Iran 

    4. Thermal Comfort in Buildings 

    5. Summertime Thermal Comfort in Vernacular Earth Dwellings in Yazd, Iran 

    6. Perception and Use of Passive Cooling Systems 

    7. Conclusions


    Ahmadreza Foruzanmehr is an academic and architect who has worked in the UK and the Middle East on a variety of projects in both state and private companies, and was awarded first prize in two architectural competitions in Iran. He has published a number of peer-reviewed journal articles on traditional passive cooling systems in Iranian architecture. In March 2008, his research on vernacular cooling systems and thermal comfort was awarded the top ORSAS (Overseas Research Student Award Scheme) award for outstanding merit and research potential at Oxford Brookes University.

    "In the harsh deserts of Iran evolved some of the most elaborate passive buildings and cooling systems in the world, unrivalled in both elegance and sophistication. In this book you will wonder at the architecture, with its deceptively simple vocabulary of mud, wood, wind, shade, light and richly watered gardens.  You will learn some of the remarkable secrets that enabled Yazdis to migrate around their houses and the city, harvesting coolth and warmth over the day and year in their surprisingly successful quest for both thermal comfort and delight."

    Susan Roaf, School of Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, UK


    "Based on original research by the author, Thermal Comfort in Hot-Dry Climates: Lessons from Traditional Dwellings in Iran should be of interest to scholars, students and professionals interested in the vernacular architecture of Iran and its sustainability in a time of global warming and climate change. Providing detailed information and a considered analysis, it adds a critical voice to the burgeoning discourse on the sustainability of vernacular architecture."  

    Marcel Vellinga, School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University, UK

    "This thoughtful book is especially welcome because the author does not confine his attention to the physical performance of the thermal design features of building, but also considers traditional design in today’s social and cultural context, and in relation to the behaviour and thermal comfort of the occupants."

    Revd Michael A Humphreys, School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University, UK

    "Ahmad Foruzanmehr vividly describes the ways that the extreme climate is moderated by centuries-old methods in traditional courtyard houses, making life not only comfortable but aesthetically pleasing too, and without using up valuable energy resources.  He uses his carefully analysed data to assess why these methods are being abandoned and why they should be suitably adapted to reduce reliance on energy-hungry air-conditioning equipment."

    Nicholas Walliman, School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University, UK