Visitsak, Sopa (2007-12). An Evaluation of the Bioclimatic Chart for Choosing Design Strategies for a Thermostatically-Controlled Residence in Selected Climates. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • To be successful in sustainable building design, architects must consider energy efficient design strategies in the early design stage. Unfortunately, many architects still rely on simplified analysis, synthesis techniques, and historical examples. Although, building energy simulations are becoming more common in the design of buildings, architects rarely use simulation in the early design stage. The "Bioclimatic" charts have been used in the early design stage to define potential building design strategies to achieve indoor thermal comfort. Currently, many architects use the Givoni-Milne bioclimatic design chart (Milne and Givoni, 1979), which was developed based on principle reasoning and heuristics. There have been many attempts to develop computerized programs to further the bioclimatic analysis; however, there have been very limited efforts to test and evaluate the design strategies of the chart using simulations of a thermostatically-controlled building. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to promote comfortable buildings that reduce energy use through appropriate building design strategies. The objectives of the research are to develop a more accurate bioclimatic chart for a thermostaticallycontrolled residence by testing and evaluating the Givoni-Milne bioclimatic chart. The analysis is performed with DOE-2.1e program (Winkelmann, 1993) and TMY2 weather data (Marion and Urban, 1995) for several climates. To achieve these objectives, four main tasks were accomplished: 1) investigate the Givoni-Milne Bioclimatic Chart using representative weather data from several climates, 2) analyze and modify the design strategy boundaries using DOE-2 program and TMY2 weather data to simulate the effects of varied conditions of a thermostatically-controlled residence in different climates, 3) compare these new design strategy boundaries to the original Givoni-Milne design strategy boundaries, and 4) develop general guidelines for the new bioclimatic chart. In summary, there were some differences in the results from the Givoni-Milne bioclimatic chart and the DOE-2 simulation results. These results imply that without further modification, the G-M Chart may have only a limited use for a thermostaticallycontrolled residence. Therefore, to improve the usefulness of the bioclimatic chart the new bio-climatic chart for choosing design strategies for a thermostatically-controlled residence in the hot-humid climate of Houston, Texas, was developed. This new bioclimatic chart for a thermostatically-controlled residence will be a useful tool for architects and engineers in the early design stage. Similar versions of the new bioclimatic for other climates could then be developed.

publication date

  • December 2007