WIT Press


Daylight Availability In Courtyards Of Urban Dwellings In Athens

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/ARC080301

Volume

113

Pages

10

Page Range

305 - 314

Published

2008

Size

1,091 kb

Author(s)

E. Tsianaka

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore the role of courtyards in relation to daylight availability in urban dwellings in Athens. A previous study, which investigated the relation between the geometry of courtyards and air temperature, indicated that the lower floors of the dwellings, facing courtyards, were considerably cooler than those facing streets. Hence, courtyards tend to be valuable spaces for the city of Athens, contrary to streets, which are warmer, noisier and more polluted. The same study also showed that in high density areas, narrow courtyards are more beneficial than wider courtyards. However, this raises new questions: Do the narrow courtyards satisfy the recommended daylight levels? What is the opinion of occupants? Do the residents consider their apartments well day-lit? Are they happy staying in lower floor facing courtyards? This study examines the advantages and disadvantages of open spaces in Athens in the form of streets and courtyards addressing luminous conditions. Keywords: courtyard, street, day-lit space, daylight factor, occupant views. 1 Introduction The geometry of an urban area, the choice of the building materials and the surface properties of the dwellings, significantly affect its micro-climate [1, 2]. The city of Athens is mainly composed of small blocks and a large number of apartment blocks that cover most of the ground, except the courtyard area. The comparison between the Amerikis and Omonias sites, two different case study sites in the centre of Athens, revealed that in high density areas, narrow courtyards are more beneficial than wider courtyards [3]. The examination of daylight availability inside the flats is considered essential for the comparison of visual comfort of the street and courtyard sides. The narrow courtyards seem to be cooler and reduce glare; however, do they satisfy the recommended daylight levels? Spot monitoring of light levels and

Keywords

courtyard, street, day-lit space, daylight factor, occupant views.