Investigation of the Thermal Performance of Building Form in the Mediterranean Climate of the Gaza Strip

Ahmed S Muhaisen, Huda M Abed


This paper examines the thermal performance of different forms of the housing units located in the Mediterranean climate of the Gaza Strip. The study is carried out using computer programs ECOTECT and IES. The results indicate significant thermal effects due to form’s proportions. The study concluded that the surface to volume ratio is considered the main responsible for the thermal response in different geometric shapes. Energy consumption increases at the same rate of increasing in the surface to volume ratio (S/V) in the Mediterranean climate of the Gaza Strip. Convex shapes such as court, L and U shape can be used as more preferable options for building’s arrangements than the rectangular shape of the same (S/V) ratio. Increasing the depth ratio in convex shapes has the ability to increase the percentage of the shaded facades which help to reduce heating and cooling energy. The roof to walls ratio seemed to have a considerable influence on the thermal response which reach to about by 45.7%, 40.9%, 48.1% and 38.6% for the rectangular, L shape, U shape and court shape respectively. Horizontal arrangements of residential apartments are better thermally than the vertical arrangements of the same (S/V) ratio. Therefore, the study recommends applying passive solar design strategies, especially with regard to geometric shape and orientation in the first stage of design process. Thermal simulation programs have to be used in order to evaluate the thermal performance of buildings. Key Words: Building Form- Heating and Cooling Loads- Surface to Volume Ratio- Self Shading- Solar Radiation.


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