The thermal and energy quality of housing in India is still a problem that is not given due attention at the level of research and construction: therefore, the use of energy in homes and buildings is extremely inefficient and in their design, thermal comfort and low energy consumption are rarely considered as fundamental criteria.
Homes design in India. Basic conditions, such as climatic zone or orientation, are ignored during the construction of most houses. For modest people, this means low thermal comfort, pollution inside the house from stoves without chimneys and health problems. When residents have large economic resources, poor design is offset by high energy costs. In any case, thermal comfort remains low, and the energy consumption for heating (and cooling) is large and increasing, as well as economic and environmental costs through the use of conventional energy sources.
Passive air conditioning is a promising solution to this problem because it can offer good thermal comfort conditions without the expense of energy or pollution. But in the region there is not enough research using modern methods of its application, and little technical information focused on regional conditions.
In this situation, this guide was prepared to provide guidelines and design tools to build homes that meet the following important requirements: adapted to the local climate, they provide good thermal comfort and air quality both in winter and summer, as well as low consumption of non-renewable sources energy thanks to an architectural design with passive solar heating and passive cooling elements; They are economically accessible due to low energy consumption and the use of local materials, both traditional and modern, which reduces the cost of construction and energy costs. Earth is an inexpensive material with high heat capacity and reasonable thermal conductivity, which is suitable for large thicknesses.
There are traditional and new methods of use in earthquake-resistant structures. That is why land is a material of great interest for buildings with passive air conditioning in climatic zones with large daily heat fluctuations or the need for solar heating. Therefore, land as a building material has received particular attention in this guide (structural aspects of Indian house design are discussed in publications).
This guide is based on a review of existing literature and extensive in-house thermal modeling research carried out as part of the homes design in India research project. It is aimed at professionals and students of architecture and engineers who want to deepen the problem of passive air conditioning.
Therefore, a new approach was used here: to base and explain passive design recommendations using thermal modeling; clearly identify the most important passive design parameters from thermal modeling; to develop new and relatively simple tools for assessing comfortable conditions in passive houses, which are based on international thermal standards and special thermal simulations; We offer technical information and clear recommendations adapted to the climatic and design conditions of the region, in this case, the central zone of India.
Although some tools and recommendations relate to this particular climate zone, the presented results and methods have much wider significance and application: high-quality design recommendations can be transferred to other climatic zones with hot and dry summers (large daily heat changes) and cold winters with good level of solar radiation; the calculation method and a universal model for winter conditions are easily adapted by the user to other climatic zones; explaining the passive design of the most important parameters allows you to better understand the thermal behavior in general; The work methodology is applicable to improve passive design in other climatic zones.
Thermal modeling made it possible at low cost to evaluate a wide range of unconventional design proposals using local building materials. They form the scientific basis for the tremendous potential of passive air conditioning.