The present thesis is primarily motivated by the will to provide help for decisionmaking
on the overall layout of a house or a housing development in the very
early stages of design from the point of view of energy efficiency and thermal
comfort. This study contributes towards a deeper understanding of thermal
interactions between a house and its adjacent enclosed open spaces. It
addresses the contribution of the yard design, i.e. placement, size and type
towards the development of a comfortable microclimate within the yard itself, as
well as the reduction of total energy demands of the house for mechanical
heating and cooling. The focus is put on the applicability of the results and
findings are expressed in form of a decision-making aid.
This research also makes empirical and analytical assessments on the validity of
some existing methods and tools that are used for understanding the nature of
microclimates in small scales and proposes methods for their improvement,
particularly when used in conjunction with standard tools for the assessment of
indoor climates. These methods are also demonstrated through an exemplary
application in an archetypal setting and the results of the exemplary case are
analysed to reach a decision on the most advisable design layouts for the
buildings in the example.
As a result, this work emphasises on the importance of private outdoor spaces
and how their careful design can benefit occupiers, investors and the environment.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.