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University of Arizona (2018)

Development of a Human-Centered Climatic Design Methodology for Transitional Spaces in Hot-Arid Regions

Youssef, Omar M.

Titre : Development of a Human-Centered Climatic Design Methodology for Transitional Spaces in Hot-Arid Regions

Auteur : Youssef, Omar M.

Université de soutenance : University of Arizona

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2018

Résumé partiel
The anthropogenic influences on our climate system has caused an unprecedented increase of carbon emissions amongst other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere resulting in energy imbalances and observed positive feedbacks. The American Southwest is witnessing major urban transformation as its cities are becoming centers for urban growth. Without adopting climatic design, this continued sprawl will greatly compromise the natural environment and, human health and wellbeing. Intensive urbanization has the greatest risk for increasing the carbon footprint, environmental pollution, urban heat island phenomenon, and infrastructure overextension. Increasing ground surface temperatures ; the outdoor environment is observing record breaking temperature highs, while the artificial indoor set points stay the same to counter that effect. Buildings placed in areas of excessive heat and glaring sun are in need of a comprehensive approach to address their environments. With the advancements in technology, trends have shown that architects and designers are shifting towards engineering solutions to artificially control their environments to a static state. While spaces steer away from passive designs, their operation demand high energy consumption and their occupants are deprived of a sense of nature. Climatic design is a key ingredient to the success of an optimized environment, or to its failure. Human Health is one component that is most challenged and could be most responsive to that environment and its built parameters. The important role that these components play are greater when immersed in hot-arid regions where resources are scarce, and the built environment finds itself in a hostile environment where it struggles to survive, relying heavily on the consumption of fossil fuels. The goal of this research is to develop a methodology in which the human physiological responses are centered in the role of design. Through examination of this phenomenon and recommendations based on the findings, developers will be informed of the importance of human-centered climatic design. Data driven to optimize both human health and the environmental footprint. Utilization of this method will not only decrease the contribution of the built environment but will also decrease the chronic exposure of humans to these high contrasts and pave the way to cautious practices optimizing health of the environment. The long-term goal is to develop indices based on human-centered climatic design to inform our design decisions and represent a flagship to a sustainable way of living. The objective of this research is to validate the dialogue between climatic design and human physiological comfort. The hypothesis is that a specific list of elements in man-made built environment trigger responses in both the atmosphere and humans. The rationale behind this methodology is based on the role of architecture as a primary instrument that could cause imbalances in both the climate and the human body.

Mots clés : Built Environment Climate Responsive Climatic Design Health and Wellbeing Human-Centered Stress Responses

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