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Approaches to skycourt design and performance in high-rise office buildings in a temperate climate

Alnusairat, Saba 2018. Approaches to skycourt design and performance in high-rise office buildings in a temperate climate. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Skycourts recently have been considered as beneficial spaces in commercial buildings, particularly offices. Research is steadily growing on the energy performance of these spaces but there is a lack of conclusive results in the available literature. Ventilation is a main contributor to energy consumption in offices. This study aims to examine the potentials of skycourts to perform as transitional buffer zones with suitable ventilation strategies in office buildings in a temperate climate, such as London. The goal is to investigate reduction in energy demands of heating and cooling for the building; and in addition to ensure an accepted level of thermal comfort for occupants in these skycourts. The study was conducted in three key phases. Firstly, a literature review highlighted issues related to the skycourt and ventilation requirements in high-rise office buildings. Secondly, common prototypes of skycourts in the research context were extracted through analysing their spatial configurations as transitional buffer zones. Thirdly, simulations were conducted using a coupled approach between Building Energy Simulation and Computational Fluid Dynamics to define efficient configurations of skycourts that have potentials of energy saving, and offer an accepted level of thermal comfort. The annual energy demand for heating and cooling for the building, in addition to air temperature, and airspeed in the occupied area of the skycourt were adopted as main criteria for comparing the results. According to the results, the skycourt as a free-heated and free-cooled buffer zone, which is ventilated by the maximum airflow volume rate exhausted from the adjacent offices, achieved a total reduction of over 55% in building heating and cooling energy demands annually. In addition, it accomplished a comfort occupied zone. Finally, the study developed guidelines to help designers define the most effective configurations of ventilated skycourts in office buildings for temperate climates,which reduced building energy consumption, according to the design needs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Skycourt Design; Performance; High-Rise Office Buildings; Temperate Climate; heating; cooling;
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 June 2018
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2021 13:29

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