Project: A Tale of Two Houses
A Tale of Two Houses: Environmental Quality, Sustainability, and Indoor Comfort Inside Hassan Fathy's Mit Rehan And A Contemporary Villa in Cairo, Egypt
This case study won first prize in the 1996 Vital Signs Student Case Study Competition.
The author of the case study is Ihab Elzeyadi, a graduate student in the School of
Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The field work
was conducted during July and August of 1996 and the report was written that fall. The
faculty advisor for the study was Michael Utzinger.
This study will examine the perceived environmental quality and indoor comfort in two
houses; the first is a neo-traditional house designed by Hassan Fathy with large thermal
mass clustered around a courtyard and the second is a contemporary modern house with low
thermal conductance using more sophisticated thermal insulation technologies. Based on the
literature review it is hypothesized that the neo-traditional house designed by Hassan
Fathy would have better thermal performance and hence better conservation of energy
Employing a diverse number of research instruments in the form of group interviews with
the buildings' occupants, formal and informal interviews with the designers, and the use
of temperature and relative humidity sensors and dataloggers, data was collected to
document the buildings' performance during the month of August. Results showed that the
two buildings performed similarly in terms of their indoor thermal behavior. However, the
traditional house by Fathy use local and recycled materials resulting in a lower embodied
energy. This may shed light on the importance of using local and sustainable building
materials that conserve energy in their production and use in future designs. Implications
could provide a better understanding of the thermal behavior of traditional structures as
well as life cost analysis of energy use in buildings. Findings and field interviews
suggest future research related to the users thermal associations towards building's form,
style, and construction materials.
The report is broken into five main sections.
In the Hypotheses section, you'll find a description of the questions the study attempted to answer.
The next section, Methodology, describes the process used to conduct the study.
In the Analysis section findings are presented.
In the following section, Conclusions, the author offers his impression of the findings from the study and presents some ideas for further investigation.
A list of References is also included.
To read this entire document, simply follow the "next" buttons at the bottom of each page. These will take you sequentially through the whole report. Read on to find out more about this investigation of the design and performance of two houses in a hot climate.
All contents copyright (C) 1998. Vital Signs Project. All rights reserved.