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Evaluation of occupant's adaptive thermal comfort behaviour in naturally ventilated courtyard houses

Peiman Pilechiha (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran)
Alireza Norouziasas (Department of Architecture and Design, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy)
Hoorieh Ghorbani Naeini (Islamic Azad University Tehran North Branch, Tehran, Iran)
Kasmir Jolma (Tampere University, Tampere, Finland)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 29 July 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2022




In vernacular buildings, many climatic and passive solutions have been used to create indoor thermal comfort. Seasonal occupant movement is an example of a traditional response to increasing thermal comfort. This article investigates the influence of these user behaviours on thermal comfort in courtyard houses.


Parametric models of three different scenarios of courtyard houses are simulated. The courtyard houses are located in Shiraz, Iran, and share the same orientation and construction materials. To enhance the accuracy of the study, the indoor adaptive thermal comfort (ATC) analysis is performed with three different window-to-wall ratios (WWR) of 25, 50 and 75%. The ACT analysis is performed on an hourly basis for summer and winter scenarios.


The results demonstrate that the indoor ATC is 8.3% higher in winter than in the summer in the seasonal zones. During the summer, the amount of ATC is relatively sustained in all zones. Unlike common beliefs, seasonal movement can enhance the ATC, especially during winter, specifically in the northern part of the courtyard. In northern zones, the seasonal movement of occupants improves the indoor ATC from 10.1 to 23.7%, and in southern zones, the improvement is from 2.2 to 4.8%.


This research presents a new numerical investigation into occupants' seasonal movements in courtyard houses during summer and winter. It provides a precise pattern to show how much this seasonal movement can affect the habitant's ATC.



Pilechiha, P., Norouziasas, A., Ghorbani Naeini, H. and Jolma, K. (2022), "Evaluation of occupant's adaptive thermal comfort behaviour in naturally ventilated courtyard houses", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 793-811.



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