A deep courtyard as the best building form for desert climatean introduction to effects of air movement (Case study: Yazd)


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



A basic aim of low energy architecture is to create a thermally comfortable internal environment for building occupants whilst consuming the least possible amount of energy. In desert countries this aim is more difficult to achieve since high ambient air temperatures create a barrier to comfort. Traditional building types of these countries, such as courtyard building, have evolved to try and help people to adapt to a state of thermal comfort under these adverse conditions. Their indigenous people were known to have operated sophisticated irrigation systems for their living, and to have adapted to an appreciation of the nature and dynamics of physical systems.
This paper looks at the desert climate and its effects on architectural design and the significance of the living conditions in such environments. A best solution for building design, just in terms of building’s form, could be made. The implication of the conclusion on architectural design gives useful guidelines in designing naturally ventilated buildings with internal courtyards in desert condition.