Passive design

Hasim Altan, Mona Hajibandeh, Kheira Anissa Tabet Aoul, Akash Deep

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter reviews passive design strategies and the benefits of using such strategies not only in the building design but also related to the urban context and human factors, which would be linked to urban sustainable design, policies and strategies. The key to designing a passive building is by taking advantage of the local climate (micro-climate) and therefore, climate characteristics and classification can help with identifying approaches as early as site planning and analysis. Therefore, climate and comfort are the two fundamental measures in passive design that require attention. Passive design is a major part of environmental design, and approaches utilising several techniques and strategies that can be employed to the buildings in all types of climates around the world such as orientation, ventilation, shading devices, thermal mass, insulation, daylighting and so on. These techniques and strategies can also be supported by various other parameters such as using technologies (passive and/or active) and customisable controls as well as enhanced by patterns of biophilic design for improving health and well-being in the built environment. There are also passive solar technologies including direct and indirect solar gains for space heating, solar water heating systems, solar cookers, use of thermal mass and phase-change materials for slowing indoor air temperature swings, solar chimney for enhancing natural ventilation, and earth sheltering that can be considered as part of the actual design. Today, passive design strategies can be easily evaluated with the use of either simple or more sophisticated Building Performance Simulation (BPS) tools such as Ecotect, IES VE, etc.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Tracts in Civil Engineering
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameSpringer Tracts in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-259X
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2603


  • Building envelope
  • Natural ventilation
  • Thermal comfort
  • Thermal mass
  • Wind flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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