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  • Abu Bakar Bin Abd. Hamid1, Norashikin Bte Rahmat2 & Aida Alias3/ The Effectiveness Of The Natural Ventilation System In The Traditional Yemeni Tower House, Sana’a Yemen. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE NATURAL VENTILATIONSYSTEM IN THE TRADITIONAL YEMENI TOWER HOUSE, SANA’A YEMEN. Abu Bakar Abd. Hamid1, Aida Alias2 & Norashikin Rahmat3 Center of Interior Architecture Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam, Selangor Malaysia1 Center of Interior Architecture Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam, Selangor Malaysia2 Department of Property Management, Faculty of Geoinformation and Real Estate, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Skudai, Johor, Malaysia3 abah7591@salam.uitm.edu.my1, aidaalias@yahoo.com.my2 & rashis_84@yahoo.com.my3AbstractThe purpose of this research is to study the effectiveness of the natural ventilationsystem in the traditional Yemeni tower houses in the Old City Sana’a in Yemen. Thisstudy revealed that the effectiveness of the natural ventilation in the tower houses isdetermined by the type of opening system being used. Hence, the opening elementsand design support the ventilation. The types of windows and the courtyard in thetower house have been identified. The research involved observation, sitemeasurements and questionnaires to investigate and analyze the effectiveness ofopenings for natural ventilation surrounding the tower houses. Information gatheredfrom the survey was analyzed based on the respondents responds. This studyconcluded with occurred result based on the data collection and data analysisrecommendation for more efficient ventilation system in the future.Keywords: Natural Ventilation, Islamic Architecture, Opening System, SustainableDesign, Yemeni Tower Houses 1
  • Abu Bakar Bin Abd. Hamid1, Norashikin Bte Rahmat2 & Aida Alias3/ The Effectiveness Of The Natural Ventilation System In The Traditional Yemeni Tower House, Sana’a Yemen.1. Introduction 1.1 Overview of Study The ancient city of Old Sanaa has been in existence for more than 1,000 years. This ancient city has more than 14,000 of tower houses that have existed for a long time and can be seen until today. The great architectural structures in each tower house rise up between six and nine storey high. The traditional tower houses of Yemen define the social life and structure of the community as the way the house is built. The technique of building tower houses has been passed down from one generation to the next. Uniquely the tower houses have managed to create an inventive solution in the utilization of space component and natural lighting system. In the Yemeni tower house architecture, the most attractive component is the window composition. The element consists of two parts namely the lower part meant for viewing and ventilation, while the upper part is to serve as a fan-light, filled with alabaster or stained glass layer to heave light inside the room. The other part, called ‘Shubaq’, is a perforated box structure used as store jars to keep drinking water and foodstuffs cool. Most of the tower houses in Old City Sana’a have ventilation holes doubled as loopholes to shoot unwelcomed people. Most of the opening systems in the tower houses are decorated with pre-Islamic design motifs and elements such as half circles and arches. Other elements found in the opening systems are rectangular and colored-glass windows, probably of foreign influence. Types of motif on opening window Yemeni traditional tower house. Photo 2.0: 2
  • Abu Bakar Bin Abd. Hamid1, Norashikin Bte Rahmat2 & Aida Alias3/ The Effectiveness Of The Natural Ventilation System In The Traditional Yemeni Tower House, Sana’a Yemen. 1.2. Opening Components. The attractiveness of the traditional tower house Yemeni window comes from five components which are combined with all the functions and elements of view, lighting, ventilation, protection, and privacy. However, these functions would be controlled by the occupants depending on their social and environmental condition. As previously mentioned, the Yemeni tower houses have a lot of windows. The four main components of the Yemeni windows are subdivided into the lower part (Taqah), the fan-light (Qamariyyah), the wooden external overhang (Konnah) and the small vent (Shaquos). Although the fan-lights provide natural lighting during the day-time, the lower part component can be reduced the heat warmth and exteriors shutters can be closed without using artificial lighting. Figure 1.0: The activities for each level inside the Yemeni tower house. Source: Ronlad Lewcock (1986)Case Study at AbouLuhum Tower House.2. Research Method The research processes contain some phases of work to identify the opening system in Yemeni tower houses and to find out the data collection. This process will involve two types of methods. The first method is by using the secondary data and the second method is by using the primary data. 2.1 Primary data This method includes the interview, site observation, physical measurement and sketches drawing. This is to make sure all data is accurate with the research finding and analysis. 3
  • Abu Bakar Bin Abd. Hamid1, Norashikin Bte Rahmat2 & Aida Alias3/ The Effectiveness Of The Natural Ventilation System In The Traditional Yemeni Tower House, Sana’a Yemen. 2.2 Secondary data The secondary data were gathered from several sources namely books, journals, proceedings and other material to support the data finding and analysis.3. Results and Discussion This research has shown that preservation of natural ventilation on opening system in traditional Yemeni tower houses in Old City Sana’a is a factor of concern to sustain the effectiveness of ventilation in this building. 3.1. Construction Elements Construction elements of the building reduces the indoor temperature even though the condition outside is hot. The construction involved utilization of thicker stone bricks to absorb the heat thus making it cooler indoors. 3.2. Ventilation In The Staircase And Lobbies The two areas in the Yemeni tower houses that have the best natural ventilation are the staircase and lobby. Both these areas have masonry cooling boxes which help facilitate air flow throughout the building. Shutter doors manually closed in the cold or windy weather. 3.3 Ventilation inside the Rooms The consideration of the direction of the rooms facing to which side will be determined by the air flow and low temperature side whichever better to increase the level of thermal comfort for the people inside the rooms. Besides that, the function of each room or space is taken into consideration to allow proper ventilation throughout the area. The ventilation openings for those spaces can be divided into a few types of space functions. For example, at the entrance lobby in the ground floor, the space is ventilated by small openings called ‘Shaqous’ located at the top of the entrance door. But for the lobby of other floors, windows called ‘Shubak’ with a huge fan-light to let the air flow inside the rooms are used. The ventilation inside rooms used to store grains are provided by small openings facing each other to allow air flow. Living rooms have several numbers of windows and small openings (Shaqous) which depend on the street directions in order to overcome ventilation problems. 4
  • Abu Bakar Bin Abd. Hamid1, Norashikin Bte Rahmat2 & Aida Alias3/ The Effectiveness Of The Natural Ventilation System In The Traditional Yemeni Tower House, Sana’a Yemen.4. Conclusion From the research, it was proven that the natural ventilation system in the traditional Yemeni tower houses is effective to achieve the natural ventilation system and to sustaining the thermal comfort. References Al-Oulfi, M, (2000) Characteristics of Yemeni Architecture: Form Sand Directions of Development. Unpublished PhD Thesis,Shanghai Tongji University, China Al-Sallal, K. A (1996) Solar Access/Shading And Building Form: Geometrical Study Of The Traditional Housing Cluster In Sana’a, in Sayigh A. (ed.) Proceedings of the World Renewable Energy Congress, , Vol. 3. Denver, CO: Oxford: Pergamon-Elsevier Science, pp. 331–334 Al-Sallal, K. A. (2001). The Balanced Synthesis Of Form And Space in The Vernacular House Of Sana’a: Bioclimatic And Functional Analysis. Architectural Science Review, 44(4), pp. 419–428 Al-Sallal, K. A., Ayssa, A. Z., and Al-Sabahi, H. A. (1995) Thermal Performance And Energy Analysis For Sana’a Vernacular House, In Ben Ghadi S. (ed.) Proceedings of Applications on Renewable Energy in Yemen Workshop. Aden University, Yemen. Al-Shibany, A.R. & Al-Madhajy, M. (2000). Al-Saluk fi Tashkeel Al-fadhah Al-memari fi Al-Yameen. (Behaviour of the Architectural Spaces Composition in the Yemeni Clay Architectural). Proceedings of First Scientific Conference of Clay Architecture on the Threshold of the 21st Century on 10-13th February 2000. Mukalla: Hadhramout University of Science and Technology. Damluji, S.S. (1992). The Valley of Mud Brick Architecture Shibam, Tharim and Wadi Hadhramout. London: Garnet Publishing. Damluji, S.S. (2007). The Architecture of Yemen: From Yafi to Hadhramout. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd. Lewcock, R. (1986), The Old Walled City of Sana’a. Paris: UNESCO. 5