Building Technology
Thermal insulation in desert climate

I am working on a competition in Saudi Arabia, and I am bothered by a question that deals with thermal conditions that buildings there have to meet.

I am wondering how concrete is protected if at all there. The main problem is what methods concerning physical (thermal) comfort are to regard. I would be very greatful for any help, and I hope you will forgive my ignorance.
Malgorzata Sniadek
Thermal insulation in desert climate
Generally speaking there is little interest in producing environmentally sound solutions to buildings in countries where the provision of electricity is plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Many buildings are wastefully designed from this point of view.

Having said that, the simplest principle to use is to protect concrete from heat gain in summer, usually by ensuring the sun doesn't strike directly, use air flows to flush out hot air build-up, and avoid heat gain from the greenhouse effect created by the incorporation of glass. Try using concrete in winter as a heat sink for stable warmth - don't forget it gets cold in winter. So, protect and insulate on the outside. And, don't forget, you don't have to use concrete...

There's quite a bit of literature on the principles to use.
John Lockerbie
Thermal insulation in desert climate
Hi, you could always have a look for what is been done in the spectacular but remote Atacama desert by the indigenous people for centuries using ancient tecniques.
Luis Fernando Mira
Thermal insulation in desert climate
Traditional answers to "design in the tropic" uses very thick walls / open walls (columns) and very high ceilings for the free flow of air; ref: Wind Towers of Yazd in Iran; ref: ancient Egyptian architecture with columns, etc.

...Concrete is not "protected" due to the very low rainfall. Usually walls of any material are "white-washed" (aka limewash) as the basic or tinted with other colours). Landmark buildings often have glazed tile walls.:)))
Frank John Snelling
Thermal insulation in desert climate
hey malgorzata
I have some points for you -
1 you can go for cavity walls which can give thermal comfort.
2 Use of earth or clay materials with concrete to protect it from direct radiations as plastering material.
Go for structure burried with earth mounds.
Rahul Vikhe
Thermal insulation in desert climate
designing in tropcal clime (hot & dry climate) needs concerning some points such as : 1- using white color and avoiding from dark colors in the exterior of building 2- using thick wall with heavy material like brick to rise the terminal capacity because of variation of tempture during the day & night 3- using small openings in building to prevent terminal transforming between outside & inside
Nasim Iranmanesh


This site is adjusted only for landscape mode. Please rotate your device for properly using
We are sorry, we are still working on adjusting for Metro IE. Please use another browser for the best experience with our site.