Investigating the Cooling Effect of Living Walls in the Sunken Courtyards of Traditional Houses in Yazd
Studies on traditional Iranian houses have revealed that people used to construct buildings in a soil mass in order to reduce heat lossand decrease the cost of heating and cooling. Hence the residents could both use the excavated soil and proper thermal conditions by creating a microclimate. Over the past few years, green cover of buildings have been developed as useful and beneficial elements in designing ceilings and facades. This paper considers the cooling effect of three systems of living walls with the help of Design Builder simulation software in hot-dry climate (sunken courtyard of old houses in Yazd). The findings show that the thermal difference of inner surface between non-covered and plant-covered walls is significant in type 2. In type 3, thermal difference at night reaches 12 centigrade in some hours. Thermal difference in the three systems, changes from 2 ° C to at most 21° C. Furthermore, the decrease of thermal changes is significant when living wall details are used (type 2 and 3). Given the results, the use of green architectural coating with different systems has a significant impact on the increase of the quality of interior air and consequently the decrease of cooling energy consumption.
Keywords: sunken courtyard; living wall; hot-dry region; cooling energy efficiency