UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The application of passive techniques in housing design in hot and dry climates, with special emphasis on India Kanetkar, Raminder B.


This research focussed on the identification, evaluation and recommendation of passive design strategies suitable for housing design in hot and dry climates in India. The term 'passive' refers to those design techniques which, in order to enhance thermal comfort, utilize the favourable and mininimize the unfavourable elements of the local climate. The objective of the research was to determine means by which reliance on mechanical means of achieving comfort and associated socio-economic costs can be minimized. The thesis is divided into two parts. The first part identifies and evaluates the passive design techniques used in the dwellings of pre-industrial and post-industrial cities located in hot and dry region in India. Climate, environmental problems (primarily cooling), and indoor comfort criteria were analysed to establish preliminary criteria for evaluating the thermal performance of design techniques. The main objective was to enable designers to identify those techniques which can be used in contemporary dwelling designs. The second part proposes strategies to incorporate passive techniques in contemporary housing design. General strategies recommended at various levels of design include the following: -minimize solar gain -minimize conductive heat flow -promote ventilation -minimize internal heat gains -promote radiant cooling -delay periodic heat flow -promote evaporative cooling -control high velocity wind -control glare These strategies, which recognize the comfort-related needs of dwelling occupants, promote the use of local construction practices. The application of passive techniques presents architects with a considerable scope for creativity in housing design. However, at the outset, it is necessary to define priorities in the selection of design strategies, and to ensure these priorities are addressed through each level of design. The strategies selected in this thesis emphasize the need for minimizing heat gain during day time, and maximizing heat loss at night. It is concluded from this research that the application of passive techniques in contemporary housing design allows for maintenance of most thermal comfort needs, thereby reducing reliance on mechanical means of control. At the same time, the use of passive techniques provides a potential for the housing designs to respond effectively to certain socio-cultural needs of the occupants.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.