The 1st Built Environment Development Symposium: Real Estate and Housing Sustainability

m.hajhussein's picture
Research Title: 
Design Strategies for Sustainable Housing in Palestine, case studies: Jericho and Nablus.
Haj Hussein Muhannad
Semidor Catherine
Saudi Arabia
Mon, 2010-10-25
Research Abstract: 

This study investigates the sustainable design approach in contemporary housing in Palestine. Two cities (Jericho and Nablus) of two different climatic zones were selected. After the foundation of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in 1994, a significant and rapid expansion in the residential sector has been observed in the Palestinian Territories to mitigate the problems of housing shortages. This kind of rapid construction has focused on issues such as cost, size, form and aesthetics rather than climatic and environmental comfort. So far, the effects of socio-spatial organization, building envelope and climate on the inhabitant’s comfort and the energy performance of this contemporary housing have not been considered. Thus, the Bioclimatic chart, Building Bioclimatic chart and Mahoney tables are used in order to analyze climatic parameters and identify the appropriate design recommendations for each city. The application and effectiveness of these recommendations were qualitatively and quantitatively illustrated and evaluated in both traditional and contemporary dwellings.

The results demonstrate that the actual architectural design approach did not take into account the necessary measures to address either the thermal problems or the natural lighting in the main spaces of the contemporary dwellings, compared to traditional ones. In particular, the spatial design and building envelope have an important influence on energy consumption due to the high usage of active energy system over the year. Traditional housing presents a sustainable reference model for future Palestinian housing. Additionally, outdoor spaces (i.e. courtyards) which are one of the most recommended and important physical and architectural characteristics may play an important role as a passive system for future planning. Further studies addressing the role of courtyards are recommended.


Comfort, climate, sustainable approach, traditional and contemporary housing, Palestine.