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Non-Uniform Double Skin Façade Cavities: An exploratory study on cavity heat stratification and daylight levels indoors

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neveen Hamza, Dr Islam Abohela



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Between 1990 and the beginning of the 21st century, double skin facades had uniform cross sectional air shafts that could be extended over a number of floors. Recently, there is an increasing interest in the architectural design community to explore the configuration of the uniform double skin facades (DSF) realized in different climatic regions. The external facade layer is starting to present itself as an architecturally engaging surface. Contemporary examples head towards changing the norm of a smooth transparent glazed outer surface into inclined or faceted surfaces. Experimentation also extends towards changing the inner façade massing into staggered levels. The function of the air shaft in DSF is shifting from a solar chimney, sound barrier or for introducing natural ventilation indoors into break out spaces for gatherings. Varying the aesthetic expression of the facade, the depth between the double skin layers has uncertain effects on the air flow, thermal performance and daylight levels indoors. This paper presents and exploratory study using thermal and daylight modelling for three different façade DSF façade configurations in the North East of England. Results indicate that thermally the staggered internal massing while raking the façade might experience less thermal stratification as the internal façade shades itself from direct solar radiation but the lack of appropriate daylight levels may render this solution as energy extensive due to the need for artificial lighting. Future research needs to integrate findings from this study to look deeper into the impact of less thermal stratification in the staggered facade on the buoyancy effect and possibility of natural ventilation

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hamza N, Abohela I

Editor(s): Werner Lang

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: PLEA 2013, 19th Conference, Sustainable Architecture for a Renewable Future

Year of Conference: 2013

Pages: 654-668

Date deposited: 10/04/2024

Publisher: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783816790532