Bioclimatic architectural design of Ksar de Kenadza: south-west area of Algeria hot and dry climate

Naïma Fezzioui, Maatouk Khoukhi, Zohra Dahou, Karim Aït-Mokhtar, Saleh Larbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The Ksar of Kenadsa counts among the most important old cities of the south-west region of Algeria by its cultural and religious dimension, its architectural value and the extent of its urban influence. Ksar has long been held as a functional and culturally radiant regional centre for all the western part of the Maghreb. This formerly powerful and influential centre is a shadow of its former self and today forms one peripheral district of a much larger city. The Ksar district is deserted by its occupants and subjected to the process of degradation. In this area, the traditional architecture evolved from an empirical knowledge, particularly oriented to the realisation of comfort in the hot season. The comfort requirements have changed, and so has the current architectural design. The city's development follows the example of the northern cities, which have a different climate. This raises questions concerning how the current architecture addresses local climate conditions characterised by a long and severe hot season. For this reason, the buildings must be designed according to the summer requirements. Winter conditions are less extreme so comfort conditions are easier to achieve. The comfort of the users was ensured in the past by a combination of several passive strategies of thermal control, which are the result of a thorough knowledge of the climatic conditions. To evaluate the thermal behaviour of this housing, a comparative analysis between the existing traditional and typical modern housing is carried out using TRNSYS software. The simulation results show that the typical modern house seems inappropriate for a desert climate. Indeed, except for the air-conditioning in summer there is no other solution that can ensure thermal comfort. For the two other traditional houses, in summer, are most effective in answering the heat problem for the two types of building materials tested (stone adobe, and hollow concrete block) .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Modern house
  • Temperature
  • Thermal comfort
  • Traditional house

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture


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