Assessing the climatic implications of lightweight housing in a peripheral arid region

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Abstract

The provision of housing in peripheral areas is often dictated by a central planning apparatus, whose lack of attention to local conditions may result in design solutions which are climatically inappropriate. An example of this phenomenon is the introduction of lightweight housing in Israel, as a geographically indiscriminate solution for the recent wave of immigration to the country. In the current study, the context and consequences of this housing policy are examined. The considerations which led to its adoption are outlined, and the climatic results of its implementation are analyzed through quantitative thermal comparisons. The thermal behavior and comfort conditions of a typical lightweight residential structure are compared with those of a conventional heavyweight structure, using numerical simulations and on-site monitoring. Comparisons are made in the arid Negev Highlands and the adjacent coastal plain, two regions whose climatic conditions vary substantially despite their geographic proximity. The mechanisms responsible for thermal behavior in this type of housing are analyzed, and the appropriateness of its proliferation is evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-451
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995

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