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Exploring locally-produced design solutions for thermal comfort: a socio-technical assessment

Ender Peker (Department of City and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey)

Open House International

ISSN: 0168-2601

Article publication date: 22 July 2022

Issue publication date: 19 August 2022




The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of locally-produced architectural design solutions for the provision of thermal comfort in the vernacular settlements of Mardin, Turkey.


With an aim of extracting clues of climate responsive design, the paper develops a socio-technical assessment methodology and presents a comparative inquiry between the vernacular and contemporary built environments of Mardin.


Findings display that the capacity of vernacular architecture in providing a more climate responsive living environment than contemporary one is in fact correlated with the design of living spaces in harmony with the local climatic conditions as well as how inhabitants traditionally use and behave in designed space.


The paper argues for a need for (re)conceptualization of thermal comfort within and through the production of housing, as well as by taking into account the ways in which end-users interact, adapt and sustain end-users' everyday life in accordance with the local climatic characteristics.



This study was conducted as part of a PhD research funded by the University of Reading, UK. The author would like to thank Associate Professor Emma Street, Professor Runming Yao and Professor Anlı Ataöv for the valuable supervision and guidance. The author would also like to thank Merve Gürsoy and Mert Varankaya for the valuable assistance in the fieldwork of this research. The author gratefully acknowledges the generous funding support from The British Institute at Ankara (BIAA), without which the completion of the fieldwork could have been difficult. The author is also grateful to the citizens of Mardin who participated in the study. Finally, the author would like to thank Dr Jin-Ho Park and the reviewers for the valuable comments which have significantly helped the paper improve.

Funding: This research was supported by “School of Real Estate and Planning PhD Studentship” Program through the University of Reading, UK. The fieldwork is funded by the “Small Research Grant” scheme of British Institute at Ankara (BIAA).


Peker, E. (2022), "Exploring locally-produced design solutions for thermal comfort: a socio-technical assessment", Open House International, Vol. 47 No. 3, pp. 549-570.



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