Thermal Analysis of the Domed Vernacular Houses of Harran, Turkey

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Basaran T.

INDOOR AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT, vol.20, no.5, pp.543-554, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1420326x11411237
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.543-554
  • Keywords: Harran houses, Vernacular houses, Sustainable architecture, Thermal analysis, Solar chimney, Climatic design
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Minimum energy consumption and economic efficiency using local and recyclable materials is essential for achieving sustainability, considering the depletion of global energy sources. The Anatolian Peninsula presents a diverse range of local building construction techniques accumulated over centuries, which meet the criteria mentioned above. Due to richness of climatic variety and the influence of many civilisations throughout history, Anatolian regions reflect this richness in their respective solutions to building construction. Built mainly out of brick and stone, mortared and plastered by mud, the domed vernacular houses of Harran, a small town in the province of Urfa in the hot arid climate of southeastern Anatolia, are one of the best examples that deserve attention with respect to minimum energy consumption. In this study, the thermal performance of the "Harran house" as a vernacular type was analysed. For this purpose, temperatures inside and outside a Harran house complex with relative humidity variations were measured. In addition, for investigating the domed houses' thermal behaviour, temperature measurements at different surfaces and media were recorded. The solar chimney effect obtained from the dome and the importance of the thermal mass of the square base of the house were also evaluated. The study yielded results, which showed that the indoor conditions were within the limits for thermal comfort even under extreme summer conditions.