A systematic approach for assessing buildings with natural materials in the Mediterranean climate

Isaac Meir, Georgia Zeta Chrysafaki, Apostolos Mousourakis, Konstantinos Gobakis, Dionysia Denia Kolokotsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural building materials, including bioaggregates and biocomposites, have been making a comeback in recent years, in an attempt to minimize the Embodied and Operational Energy and Carbon (EE, OE, EC, OC) related to construction. This paper presents monitoring results of three buildings (two residential and one educational) built with such materials in the Mediterranean climate of western Crete. Temperature and relative humidity monitoring results show a very stable indoor environment behavior even when the buildings were unoccupied, thus not appropriately operated. Additional measurements undertaken and presented here include CO2 concentration in the occupied residential building with a combustion heater; and blow-door tests to better understand infiltration issues related with such construction. Results analysis shows that such materials are appropriate alternatives, definitely in bioclimatic building design for the specific climate. Indoor conditions analyzed vis-à-vis the adaptive thermal comfort model are shown to be within the thermal comfort zone, almost for all climatic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113916
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • Bioaggregates
  • Biocomposites
  • Biolimatic design
  • Blow-door test
  • Clay
  • Hygrothermal performance
  • Monitoring
  • Straw
  • Thermal comfort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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