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Overcoming the Barriers to Implement Passive Climatic Design in the Libyan Built Environment

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Abstract

Climate change is one of the most difficult problems facing the world today, accordingly, passive climatic design has been considered as an essential approach to a sustainable built environment. It is design that does not require mechanical heating or cooling were buildings are passively designed to take advantage of natural energy flows to sustain thermal comfort and create a good stable indoor climate. Issues related to climate have been explored by a number of researchers in Libya, however, the application of passive climatic design in the contemporary Libyan architecture is very rare. Within this background, this research is conducted based on qualitative approach by utilised interview for data collection, were members from different professional groups who dealt with passive design were interviewed in order to establish factors influencing the implementation of passive climatic design in the Libyan built environment. The findings show that there are four main factors related to Architectural and planning design, End users, Marketing and Government. The paper identifies the principles of passive climatic design in hot regions and provides suggestions to implement these principles in Libyan future architecture.
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IJEIT), VOL.6, NO.2,2020 86
www.ijeit.misuratau.edu.ly ISSN 2410-4256 Paper ID: EN109
Overcoming the Barriers to Implement
Passive Climatic Design in the Libyan Built
Environment
Aisha Ammar Almansuri
University of Tripoli
a.almansuri@uot.edu.ly
AbstractClimate change is one of the most difficult
problems facing the world today, accordingly, passive
climatic design has been considered as an essential approach
to a sustainable built environment. It is design that does not
require mechanical heating or cooling were buildings are
passively designed to take advantage of natural energy flows
to sustain thermal comfort and create a good stable indoor
climate.
Issues related to climate have been explored by a number
of researchers in Libya, however, the application of passive
climatic design in the contemporary Libyan architecture is
very rare. Within this background, this research is
conducted based on qualitative approach by utilised
interview for data collection, were members from different
professional groups who dealt with passive design were
interviewed in order to establish factors influencing the
implementation of passive climatic design in the Libyan
built environment.
The findings show that there are four main factors
related to Architectural and planning design, End users,
Marketing and Government. The paper identifies the
principles of passive climatic design in hot regions and
provides suggestions to implement these principles in
Libyan future architecture.
Index Terms: Built environment, Climate, Libya, Passive
design,
I. INTRODUCTION
s a consequences of climate change, there is a
growing need for adapting passive climatic design
and architects have to design comfort buildings with
minimum energy consumption and less impact to the
environment. Existing buildings in hot climatic regions
do not perform well and requires an extensive use of
mechanical systems in order to create a habitable,
comfortable condition, which consumes energy. The idea
of climatically responsive design is to modulate the
conditions such that they are always within, or as close as
possible to the comfort zone (CLEAR, 2004).
Foster and Partners (1999) define the notion of
sustainable design as creating buildings which are energy
efficient, healthy, comfortable, flexible in use and
designed for long life. Cofaigh et al. (1996) clarified that
climatic architecture has become a concern in the mind of
many architects and when the majority of them realise the
importance of working with, and not against the climate,
the term will change to architecture.
Contemporary Libyan architecture has rarely
recognized the local climate or renewable energy issues,
and these subjects are neglected or rarely studied.
Whereas Libyan vernacular architecture provides passive
design solutions for low energy consumption as well as
creating architecture related to the local environment
(Almansuri, 2010). This view established by El Bakkush
et all., (2015) who confirmed that current Libyan
architecture focuses on the aesthetics more than
considering local climatic conditions, and buildings uses
bricks of high thermal mass value and large windows
which increases the thermal energy consumption both in
and outside the building. They added that architects are
away from simple vernacular design which considered by
heavy energy consumption and maintenance culture.
II. METHODOLOGY
This paper, aims to investigate the Factors affecting
the implementation of passive climatic design in the
Libyan built environment. To achieve the aim, this
research is conducted based on qualitative approach by
utilised interview for data collection, by interviewing
members from different professional groups who deal
with real building problems (4 architects working in
academia and 2 architects working in industry, 1 planner,
1 civil engineer and chemical engineer deals with
building materials). The main reason of interview only
eight professionals is the confirmation of the answers.
Structured interviews used to obtain the aim, and
interviewee were asked three main questions related to
the factors affecting the implementation of passive
climatic solutions in Libyan built environment and the
suggested solutions to each factor, also, the interviewee
were asked about their expectations of the future of
passive design and sustainable architecture in Libya.
A
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Received 20 Mar, 2020; revised 20 Mar, 2020; accepted 21 Mar,
2020.
Available online 16 Apr, 2020.
87 Aisha Ammar Almansuri/ Overcoming the Barriers to Implement Passive Climatic Design in the Libyan Built Environment
www.ijeit.misuratau.edu.ly ISSN 2410-4256 Paper ID: EN109
A. Passive Climatic Design
The main aim of passive climatic design is to take
maximum advantage of nature and the climate in
particular in order to design the built environment.
Passive solar for heating and passive ventilation for
cooling contribute in creating sustainable building by
reducing dependency on fossil fuels for heating and
cooling buildings, as well as reducing the need for
electricity to support lighting. Many authors, researchers
and institutes have paid attention towards the importance
of passive design in designing the built environment
without using mechanical heating or cooling equipment.
For example, Hyde (2000) stated that climate responsive
design is an essential part `of the environmental
framework that is being developed in order to reduce
environmental impacts and provide for human well-
being. In this line, Cofaigh et al. (1996) also explained
that the simplest way of cooling a dwelling is by natural
ventilation which can be achieved by using the benefits
of night-time air and the evaporative effect of water such
as fountains and pools. Likewise, Evans (2008) argued
that indoor temperature comfort can be achieved through
two different methods: firstly, the use of passive controls
by avoiding excessive internal heat gains, incorporating
solar protection for glazed openings, night ventilation and
thermal mass. Dense and high heat capacity internal walls
and ceilings reduce peaks and maintain the lower
temperature achieved with night ventilation; while, the
other method is mechanical cooling can be used to
remove heat from indoors and leave it outdoors.
Passive design is a process to develop ideas and
strategies “for the design of whole buildings that have
minimal reliance on mechanical plant”, it works with the
building envelope which filters the climate and tempers
the internal environment (Dowdle, 2003:3). Likewise,
Hyde (2000) noted that climate responsive design is an
essential part of the environmental framework that is
being developed to reduce environmental impacts and
provide for human well-being. In contrast with this,
Evans (2007) argued that the preservation of
environmental variables favouring comfort can be
achieved through two alternative mechanisms: the use of
bioclimatic design resources or by mechanical plant.
However, climatic protection and taking advantages of
good conditions not only implies the search for comfort
and well-being, but also the better use of renewable
energies which could help in the reduction of demand for
fossil fuels.
Preliminary design solutions considering the
orientation and the aspects of building form can be
deduced by analysing annual/seasonal distribution of
solar radiation, wind speed, wind direction, air
temperature and relative humidity (Mourshed et al.,
2005).
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (2004)
passive solar design or climatic design is designing the
components of the building such as windows, walls and
floors to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the
form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the
summer. Likewise, Panchyk (1984) identified that the
structure of a building (including walls, floors and
ceilings as a part of passive solar systems) functions as a
heat-collecting and storage element or thermal mass and
often becomes the radiant heating surface within. El
Bakkush et. Al., (2015 A) stated that important factors in
determining the amount of energy absorption are building
location and orientation, and loss through the building
fabrics. Thus, the building form, orientation, openings
and building materials significantly contributes to the
energy absorption pattern of the building.
As a result, passive climate control is a design
principle where it is important for the architect and
engineer to be aware of how the building is used. At the
same time, it is important for the users to understand the
building function and to be aware of any activities that
could possibly have an unintended and inappropriate
effect on the indoor climate (René et al., 2001). In this
regard, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
(2001) explained that the difference between a passive
solar home and a conventional home is design. The key is
to take advantage of the local climate when designing a
passive solar home.
The main principles of passive design in homes are:
Provide acceptable levels of comfort.
To be as low energy as possible (reduces heating
and cooling bills).
To be as self-sufficient in renewable energy as
possible.
To have as little impact on the environment as
possible by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Ahmad et al. (2007) listed a range of issues that can be
useful to achieve bioclimatic design such as:
Climate types and requirements;
Adaptive thermal comfort;
Vernacular and contextual solutions;
Tools and assessment methods;
Microclimate: sun path, wind and rain;
Working with the elements, such as passive and
active systems;
Development of a responsive form.
The North Carolina Solar Center, (NCSU, 2002) noted
that passive solar homes make efficient use of our energy
resources and provide a healthy space for owners. They
assumed that a solar home, if it responds well to the
climate, can achieve the following: internal comfort;
economic, durable and attractive conditions, and be
environmentally responsible.
B. Passive Climatic Design Strategies In Hot Regions
Several theoretical and experimental studies have
demonstrated the usefulness of passive design techniques.
In the context of cooling buildings in hot-dry and warm-
humid climates, passive techniques mainly aim towards
the reduction in heat infiltration through the building
envelope and the provision of fenestration for inducing
desired natural ventilation indoors (Mathur and Chand,
2002). Krawietz (2006) explained that the knowledge of
an appropriate climatic response was contained in many
traditional ways of building and living. He identified that
the performance of a building, whether it does well or
badly, depends on the design of its form, its plan, section,
height, the size and layout of internal and external
openings and connections, the thermal inertia and
transparency of its construction, the orientation of its
spaces, and finally in physical terms on the design of the
building’s immediate external environment. He also
stresses the importance of considering the use of
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IJEIT), VOL.6, NO.2,2020 88
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renewable energies, integration of the newest
technologies (e.g. Photovoltaic, BIPV) and energy
efficient overall design concepts.
For hot regions, natural cooling is very important to
achieve comfort. According to Cofaigh et al. (1996) the
heat accumulated by the building envelope during the day
may be lost by night-time radioactive heat loss to the sky,
or by ventilation with the cooler night air. Cofaigh et al.
(1996) and Givoni (1998) provided a set of cooling
strategies as follows:
Minimising the solar heating of the buildings by
controlling external gains in the summertime
through screening where necessary;
Use energy-efficient appliances to minimise internal
gains;
Providing effective natural ventilation by Ensuring
adequate cross-ventilation to the building, and that
sunspaces can be vented to outside;
Providing spaces for semi-outdoor activities as an
integral part of the living space;
Provide adequate cut-off between sunspaces and the
body of the dwelling;
Use vegetation and water for positive cooling.
Maximizing the rate of cooling in the evenings
Muhaisen (2006) stated that the first rule of thermal
comfort in summer is shading to avoid heat gain, whereas
the opposite is true in winter in any of the investigated
locations. Without shading, building surfaces absorb heat,
raising that surface temperature above that of the ambient
air and adding to the cooling loads due to air temperature
and humidity.
Architects, therefore, can achieve passive design
buildings by studying the macro-and micro-climate of the
site, applying bioclimatic architectural principles to
combat the adverse conditions and taking advantage of
the desirable conditions.
III. ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN LIBYA
Libya is located in the middle of North Africa. It is
situated between 20 to 34° North and 10 to 25° East. It is
located in the centre of the hot dry region were more than
95% of it is desert and is a part of the Sahara that has the
most extensive area of severe aridity (El-Tantawi, 2005).
Consequently, useful lands for life and development in
Libya are very limited. Climate in Libya is mainly caused
by the interaction between the Mediterranean Sea and
Sahara desert. Libya’s latitude and longitude have placed
it in a unique climatic zone where as many as five
different types of climate can be noticed.
Harris et al., (2015) stated that the main issue in
Libyan climate is overheating with mean summer
temperatures around 25oC but can reach a maximum of
45oC. Therefore, El Bakkush and Harris (2015) clarified
that the use of energy in buildings is the main supplier to
air pollution and global climate change, accordingly,
improving energy efficiency through the application of
bioclimatic design principles in residential buildings in
Libya is a critical factor in reducing energy consumption
and realising thermal comfort because most of recently-
built residential buildings in Libya deliver a poor quality
indoor environment and require a huge amount of energy
to run the air conditioning.
Although Libya is an oil producing country, there is an
energy crisis due to; extensive use of conventional energy
sources which leads to their reduction and the rise in
individual annual consumption of electrical energy. The
General electricity company of Libya (2015) confirmed
that the electricity generation in Libya, has increased by
50% between 2000 and 2010 as shown in Fig 1, and the
energy consumption in the residential sector in Libya is
approximately 36% of the total energy consumption and
almost half of this is used for cooling buildings as shown
in Fig 2, Harris et al., (2015) connected the growth in
electricity generation amounted to more than 50% in the
ten years to the low cost of electricity in Libya. BIDA
(2013) confirmed that electricity consumption per capita
in Libya is 6 times that in Morocco, while the price per
unit in Morocco is 5 times that in Libya
Figure 1. The Electricity Generation in Libya, (2000-2010)
GECOL,2015
.
Figure 2. Electricity Consumption Per Sector in Libya.
IV. IMPLEMENTATION OF CLIMATIC
DESIGN IN THE LIBYAN BUILT
ENVIRONMENT
To explore the situation of implementing passive
climatic design in the Libyan built environment, eight
structured interviews with experts in the field of
construction were conducted. the interview was themed
around, three main questions related to the factors
affecting the implementation of passive climatic solutions
in Libyan built environment and the suggested solutions
to each factor, In addition, the interviewee were asked
about their expectations of the future of passive design
and sustainable architecture in Libya.
The main findings are summarised as follows:
89 Aisha Ammar Almansuri/ Overcoming the Barriers to Implement Passive Climatic Design in the Libyan Built Environment
www.ijeit.misuratau.edu.ly ISSN 2410-4256 Paper ID: EN109
All interviewees confirmed that there is no clear
implementation of passive climatic design in the
Libyan built environment.
Interviewees are optimistic towards the
implementation of passive design and the use of
renewable energy in the future Libyan built
environment.
Interviewees believe that there are four factors can
help in implementing climatic design principles in
the Libyan built environment related to the
understanding of architects and users to the
important of climatic design, the knowledge of
available building materials and government
support.
They offered suggestions to help improving these
factors summarised as follows:
Factor 1: Architects and planners:
The design concept should consider people’s social
needs, Buildings should be designed in such a way to
meet climatic needs, Reduce energy consumption by
using renewable energy and passive design techniques
and consider the need for thermal resistance at the design
stage; Using national and international vernacular
architectural features such as the courtyard concept with
some modifications; curved roofs; malgaf and mashrabia
in the future in a careful way.
Factor 2: End users:
Users should be aware and convinced by the concepts
and benefits of passive climatic design, Reduce
dependency on air conditioning to achieve internal
thermal comfort; Understand and respect the building
laws; Understand that the extra costs of climatic solutions
do not exceed 5% of the total cost of normal buildings
and its future impact is great.
Factor 3: Marketing:
To improve current buildings, marketing should
provide suitable building materials at appropriate cost;
provide experienced labour; Examine current building
materials and improve upon them; Reduce energy
consumption when producing building materials; and
Reuse building waste.
Factor 4: Government:
To improve current buildings, the government should
consider the following: Building laws should be changed
and should include strict rules that designers and users
should follow and thus reduce the number of unsuitable
procedures; Encourage scientific researchers to develop
local building materials at an appropriate cost; Provide
codes related to building materials; Provide construction
schools for training skills; Implement housing projects
with sustainable concepts and encourage people to use
them, experiment with them and convince people of the
benefits. These projects should be developed continually.
Use the media to convince people to accept sustainable
concepts; and Ensure architects are included in the design
process and organize professional practice to consider
these issues.
V. CONCLUSION
Passive climatic design is an alternative to a
mechanical air-conditioning system and considered as an
effective policy for reducing the environmental impacts
such a global warming and ozone layer depletion.
Although Libya is an oil producing country, there is an
energy crisis in Libya because most of the energy
consumption being from non-renewable sources. To
implement Passive climatic design principles in the future
Libyan built environment, four factors have to be
considered started with the knowledge that architects
and planners should have about this topic. The second
factor is related to the users and their understandings
about the importance of implementing passive climatic
design principles. The third factor is related to provide a
suitable technology and building materials at appropriate
cost. The last factor is the government and its role in
supporting this kind of design by providing lows and
codes for architects to follow and implementing projects
includes the main principles of passive climatic design.
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Thesis
Full-text available
Contemporary architecture reveals its similarity in almost every part of the world without any consideration of regional characteristics in contrast to vernacular architecture which is almost always climatically appropriate, where architects and builders traditionally had to design with respect to nature and the local climate. Contemporary Libyan architecture has rarely recognized the local climate or renewable energy issues, and these subjects are neglected or rarely studied. Whereas Libyan local vernacular architecture includes traditional solutions that have been tested over centuries, providing passive design for low energy consumption as well as creating architecture related to the local environment. This architecture provides a motivating and valid lesson and it also illustrates and presents a wealth of knowledge about how humans remain in touch with nature and how they adjust to the local natural environment and climate. This research aims to provide guidelines for architects to consider how to incorporate climatic design in creating architecture related to the local environment that should provide more sustainable solutions in hot climate regions. The study uses the concept of sustainable development to offer a holistic perspective to establish a body of knowledge on passive climatic design that could benefit architects when designing future housing. According to this general understanding, this research project focuses on the interrelationship between passive climatic design and vernacular architecture in such situations. It aims to look at the theoretical and experimental studies that have demonstrated the usefulness of passive climatic design techniques in context with the cooling of buildings in hot regions in order to establish climatic design guidelines using Tripoli, Libya as the case example. The guidelines are developed for housing design, and take on board the opinions of end users and professionals as well as understanding building performance from the climatic point of view. This research has, therefore, adopted a broad methodology to achieve the aim. Both deductive and inductive approaches have been selected where theoretical strategies are first confirmed from the existing literature which are then investigated using an array of appropriate methods (questionnaire, interviews and focus group as well as sampling the internal temperatures inside selected case study houses) to examine the thermal comfort in both vernacular and contemporary housing. This research is mainly qualitative with quantitative methods also used in the sampling. The results of the study are merged together to produce guidelines that can help architects in terms of using climatic design principles in future housing in hot climate regions. The main conclusions of the study are: - Respondents depend on air-conditioning to achieve internal comfort in all house types that increases concern about energy efficiency and increasing pollutions. - Respondents prefer houses that combine traditional and modern features. - Courtyard houses have many positive points, but there are some functional disadvantages and this house type has a negative image. - Contemporary houses provide more comfort, flexibility, privacy, area and possibilities to use new technology. - However measurements undertaken show better passive thermal performance in the courtyard house than in other contemporary examples.
Article
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This paper gave an account on the field measurements of the outdoor air temperature on a typical residential building in Tripoli, Libya. The outdoor air temperatures were measured at two distinctive heights for 45 days. Sensors were located in and outside the building to record the temperature, humidity and electricity consumption from 5 th July to 18 th August, 2013. The temperature readings for the four facades were taken every two hours throughout the day on the walls, window glazing and the roof surfaces using infra-red cameras. The influence of the outdoor air temperature due to the sun on the building facades was examined and compared with the walls, glazing and roof surfaces of the building. The type of building materials used, the design form adopted, orientation of the building, and the climatic period under consideration greatly influences the amount of outdoor air temperature that the building and its fabrics can absorb, store and dissipate both internally and externally.
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A huge numbers of recently-built residential buildings in Libya provide a poor quality indoor environment which requires a large amount of energy to provide not only comfortable indoor environment but run the air conditioning. Also, the use of energy in buildings is becoming a major contributor to both air pollution and climate change. Improving the energy efficiency, reducing the energy consumption, securing thermal comfort in residential buildings through the application of bioclimatic design principles is a very critical factor. A domestic building in Libya was studied with a view of reducing its energy consumption. The study included detailed monitoring which was followed by a computer simulation with a wider range of intervention strategies. The use of appropriate orientation, materials and building configuration which would offer suitable solutions to the energy and environmental problems in hot arid countries are recommended.
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A large number of recently-built residential buildings in Libya provide a poor quality indoor environment or require a huge amount of energy to run the air conditioning, therefore influencing the thermal comfort, energy consumption and carbon emissions. As the use of energy in buildings is the major contributor to air pollution and global climate change, improving energy efficiency through the application of bioclimatic design principles in residential buildings in Libya is a critical factor in reducing energy consumption, securing thermal comfort, and hence is an effective policy for reducing the environmental impacts such a global warming and ozone layer depletion. A domestic building in Libya was studied with a view to reducing its energy consumption. The study included detailed monitoring, followed by computer simulation of a range of intervention strategies. The use of appropriate orientation, materials and building configuration would offer suitable solutions for energy and environmental problems in hot arid countries. This hypothesis is to be examined through an example located in Libya.
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This paper presents a modelling study carried out into the effect of rectangular courtyard proportions on the shading and exposure conditions produced on the internal envelope of the form in four different locations. These locations, Kuala Lumpur, Cairo, Rome and Stockholm, were chosen to represent the climatic regions of hot humid, hot dry, temperate and cold climates, respectively. The study highlights the effect of the climatic conditions on the suggested courtyard ratios and heights to achieve a reasonable annual performance in the examined locations. Also, it clarifies the variation in the courtyard daily shading and exposure performances as a result of changing the location latitude and consequently the sun's position in the sky. The study suggests guidelines and general rules for efficient courtyard design in the considered climatic regions. Furthermore, it states the ranges within which the parameters of the form can be changed with minimum deviation from the optimum performance. The results showed that the shading conditions of the courtyard internal envelope are significantly dependent on the form's proportions, location latitude and available climatic conditions.
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This paper analyses comfort conditions in buildings with significant variations in indoor temperature. Thermal amplitude is an important feature of naturally conditioned buildings where thermal inertia, cooling by night ventilation, heating by passive solar design or other measures of natural conditioning are implemented. In contrast, the thermostatically controlled indoor temperature in air conditioned buildings is usually adjusted to avoid sensible temperature variations. This difference, that has important consequences for thermal comfort, energy demand and building design, is shown in a series of studies carried out in naturally and artificially conditioned courtyards in a warm tropical climate and an air conditioned office with manual and automatic control. A specially developed 'Comfort Triangles Chart' is used to demonstrate the relation between daily temperature swings and comfort, using the variables daily thermal amplitude and average temperature. A control strategy is proposed to take advantage of the energy saving potential of temperature swings.