Microclimatic Performance of Courtyards in Residential Buildings in Kafanchan-Nigeria

Markus Bulus, Malsiah Hamid, Yaik Wah Lim


Recent studies have emphasized the importance of the courtyard microclimate to the building and the need for a comparative study on their typology in other to ascertain the best alternative. Also emphasizing that the architect choice of the courtyard typology to be adopted in his architectural design schemes should be based on performance rather than his mere intuitive choice. Therefore, an investigational study of two different courtyard forms with the same perimeter, and material finished -the fully enclosed internal central courtyard and the semi-enclosed courtyard has been carried out in two existing residential buildings, in the city of Kafanchan-Nigeria. The main purpose of the study is to compare their climatic performances in other to ascertain the best option. The study employed the experimental methodology. Three Hobo Weather Data Loggers (HWDL) were used to collect data in the courtyards, and the third one was positioned in the outdoor area as a benchmark. Only two climatic variables, namely air temperature, and relative humidity were examined as these variables have not been investigated in a single research on the courtyard in Nigeria. The results showed a definite difference in the microclimatic conditions of the two courtyards. The fully enclosed internal courtyard is seen to have a better air temperature difference of 1oc to 3oc at the time intervals, and the relative humidity difference of 1% to 6%. In conclusion, the fully enclosed internal courtyard has demonstrated a more favorable microclimatic performance than the semi-enclosed, and future simulation studies towards its optimization are recommended.

Full Text:



Abdulbasit, A., Norhati, I., Sabarinah, S. A., and Wan, M. N. (2014). Courtyard as a Microclimatic Modifier Experimental Study on Actual Site. Applied Mechanics and Materials Online: ISSN: 1662-7482, Vol. 567, 14-19 doi:10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.567.14

Adeyemi, E. A. (2008). Meaning and Relevance in Nigerian Traditional Architecture: The Dialectics of Growth and Change. Public Lecture Series, 1(21), 1-33.

Akande, O. K. (2010). Passive Design Strategies for Residential Buildings in a Hot dry The climate in Nigeria. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment 128, 61–71.

Aldawoud, A. (2008). Thermal Performance of Courtyard Buildings. Energy and Buildings, 40, 906-910.

Abdulbasit, A., Ibrahim, N., Ahmad, S. S., & Yahya, J. (2013). Courtyard Design Variants and Microclimate Performance. Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences, 101, 170–180. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro

Berkovic, S., Yezioro, A., and Bitan, A. (2012). Study of thermal comfort in courtyards in a Hot-Arid climate. Solar Energy, 86(5) 1173–1186.

Bureau of Land and Survey Kaduna (2010). “Map of Kaduna State Showing the Local Government Areas”.

Chen, M. D. (2012). Optimization design of courtyard sunspace passive solar house. Paper Presented at the Applied Mechanics and Materials.

Doris Hooi Chyee Toe, Tetsu Kubota. (2014). Development of an Adaptive Thermal Comfort Equation for Naturally Ventilated Buildings in Hot–Humid Climates Using ASHRAE RP-884 database. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 2:278-291.

Dunham, D. D. (1990). The courtyard house as a temperature regulator. New Scientist 8, 663-666

Das, N. (2006). Courtyards Houses of Kolkata: Bioclimatic, Typological, and Socio-Cultural Study. (Master of Architecture Msc.), Kansas State University.

Edwards, B. M. Sibley, M. Hakmi, and P. Land. (2006) Courtyard Housing: The Past, Present, And Future: Spon Press.

Farzaneh, S., Mehdi, S., & Seyed, M. S. (2016a). Investigation of Iranian Traditional Courtyard as a Passive Cooling Strategy (A Field Study on BS Climate). International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 5, pp 99–113

Farzaneh, S., Mehdi, S., & Seyed, M. S. (2016b). Traditional Iranian Courtyards as Microclimate Modifiers by Considering Orientation, Dimensions, and Proportions. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 6 pp 12-13

Givoni, B. (1989). Urban Design in Different Climates. World Meteorological Organization IPCC. (2015). Mitigation of Climate Change (Vol. 3): Cambridge University Press.

Koenigsberger, H., Ingersoll, T. G., Mayhew, A., and Szokolay, S. V. (1980). Manual of Tropical Housing and Building-Part I: Climatic Design, pp. 2033227, Longman, London.

Leng, P., bin Ahmad, M. H., Ossen, D. R., & Hamid, M. (2012). Investigation of Integrated Environmental Solutions-Virtual Environment Software Accuracy for Air Temperature and Relative Humidity of the Test Room Simulations. Paper Presented at the UMT 11th the International Annual Symposium on Sustainability Science and Management, Terengganu, Malaysia.

Manio G and Oral G.K. (2015). Effect of Courtyard Shape Factor on Heating and Cooling Energy Loads in Hot-Dry Climatic Zone Energy Procedia 78 (2015) 2100 –2105

Markus, B. (2016a). A Review on Courtyard Design Criteria in Different Climatic Zones. African Research Review, 10 (5), 44.

Markus, B. (2016b). Evaluation of Courtyard Usage and its Design requirements in Residential Buildings in Nigerian Hot-Dry Climate. International Journal of African Society Cultures and Traditions, Vol.4 (4), 1- 12.

Markus, B. (2016c). A Review of Courtyard House in Nigeria: Definitions, History, Evolution, Typology, and Functions. International Journal of Science and Technology, VOL. 5 (2), 21.

Markus, B., Malsiah, B. H. and Lim, Y. W. (2017). Courtyard as a Passive Cooling Strategy in Buildings. International Journal of Built Environment and Sustainability, IJBES 4(1) 48-55.

Meir, I. A., Etzion, Y. and Faiman, D. (1990). Energ>> Aspects of Design in Arid Zones, Desert Architecture Unit/Applied Solar Calculations Unit, J. Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus & State of Israel, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Research and Development Division, Jerusalem.

Meir, I. A., and Pearlmutter, D. (1992). Attached Courtyards-Asset or Debit? Energy and Building in the Mediterranean Area, Proceedings of the Third International The conference, Thessaloniki Greece.

Meir, A. I., Pearlmutter, D., and Etzion, Y. (1995a). On the Microclimatic Behavior of two Semi-Enclosed Attached Courtyards in a Hot-Dry Region. Building and Environment 30, 563-572.

Meir, I. A. (2000). Courtyard Microclimate: A Hot Arid Region Case Study. Paper presented at the Proc. 17th PLEA int. Conf. Cambridge.

Moore, F. (1983). Learning from the Past: Passive Cooling Strategies in Traditional Contemporary Architecture, in Islamic Architecture and Urbanism (Edited by A. Germen), pp. 233-238, University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Muhaisen, A. S., & Gadi, M. B. (2006a). Effect of Courtyard Proportions on Solar Heat Gain and Energy Requirement in the Temperate Climate of Rome. Building and Environment, 41(3), 245-253.

Muhaisen, A. S., & Gadi, M. B. (2006b). Shading Performance of Polygonal Courtyard Forms. Building and Environment, 41(8), 1050-1059.

Muhaisen and M.B. Gadi (2005a). Mathematical Model for Calculating the Shaded and Sunlit Areas in a Circular Courtyard Geometry. Building and Environment, vol. 40, pp. 1619–1625. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.

Oke, T. R. (1981). Canon Geometry and the Nocturnal Urban Heat Island: Comparison of Scale Model and Field Observations. Journal of Climatology 1,237-254

Rajapaksha I. H. Nagai, M. Okumiya, (2003). A ventilated Courtyard as a Passive Cooling Strategy in the Warm Humid Tropics. Renewable Energy 28 (11) pp 1755–1778.

Reynolds, J. (2002). Courtyards: Aesthetic, Social, and Thermal Delight: Wiley.

Roaf, S. (1990). The Traditional Technology Trap: Stereotypes of Middle EasternTraditional Building Types and Technologies. Trialog 25, 26633.

Tablada, A., Blocken, B., Carmeliet, J., and Troyer, F. De. The Influence of Courtyard Geometry on Air Flow and Thermal Comfort: CFD and Thermal Comfort Simulations. Energy and Buildings 36(2), 114

Taleghani, M., Tenpierik, M., & van den Dobbelsteen, A. (2012). Environmental impact of courtyards-a review and comparison of residential courtyard buildings in different climates. College Publishing, 7(2), 113- 136.

Terjung, W. H., and Louie, S. S. F. (1973). Solar Radiation and Urban Heat Islands. Annals AAG 63, 181-207.

Yunana, M A., Siaka, S., Nale, B. Y., Simon, S., & Markus, B. (2014). Analysis of Bush Burning in the Northern Guinea Savannah of Kaduna State: Implication for Agriculture and the Environment. International Journal of Comparative Studies in International Relations and Development, Vol 3 No 1. Issn Print: 2354-4298, Online 2354- 4201

Wazeri, Y. H. (2014). Comparative study between three courtyards of traditional houses in Islamic Cairo. Journal of Islamic Architecture, 2(4).

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11113/ijbes.v4.n3.215


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 International Journal of Built Environment and Sustainability

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/legalcode


Copyright © 2014 Penerbit UTM Press, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Disclaimer : This website has been updated to the best of our knowledge to be accurate. However, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused by the usage of any information obtained from this web site.

Best viewed: Mozilla Firefox 4.0 & Google Chrome at 1024 × 768 resolution.