Design and low energy ventilation solutions for atria in the tropics

Abd Halid Abdullah, Fan Wang

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    41 Citations (Scopus)
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    A generic atrium building was designed to incorporate both low energy solutions and features of both vernacular and contemporary Malaysian architecture. To achieve low energy and comfort within the atrium space, some key design variables were examined by running a dynamic thermal model (DTM) for some representative cases. The model was developed with multiple levels and zones to simulate the heat and air movement through out the building and validated with the data measured in a real building of similar form. A modelling study was carried out to investigate the effects of two roof designs for the atrium and three low cost ventilation solutions on indoor thermal comfort. It was to show that low cost ventilation and acceptable comfort are achievable in this popular form of architecture and low energy solutions and careful design can complement well its functional aspects and even enhance its aesthetic and practical qualities.

    The solar heat gain, temperature, and mean radiant temperature in the atrium were used to assess the effectiveness of clerestory windows with opaque rooftop (i.e. side-lit model) as compared to the fully transparent glazed rooftop (i.e. top-lit model). Data on cooling loads, indoor air temperature, and mean radiant temperature were used to evaluate the design options.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8-28
    JournalSustainable Cities and Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


    • Thermal comfort
    • atrium
    • walkway/balcony
    • ventilation
    • top-lit/side-lit roof


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