Impact of Atrium and Glazed balcony on residential building energy consumption in cold semi-arid climate: case study in Mashhad, Iran

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Art and Architecture, Department of Architecture, University of Guilan, Iran


Solar energy is one of the most important renewable sources and Iran is an ideal place for the use of solar energy. This form of renewable energy can be utilized through both active and passive systems. This research aimed to investigate the impact of the most common methods of using solar energy in passive ways, which are sunspaces (glazed balcony and atrium) on reducing energy consumption of two residential buildings in Iran-Mashhad city with cold semi-arid climate. The method of the research is descriptive, analytical and practical. The data collection was based on literature review, case study and climate data from meteorological station of Mashhad and reputable global web sites during a period of (2004-2018) for a short term and (1944-2020) for a long term. Also, a combination of the Echotect, Climate consultant and Autodesk Revit 2020 with insight 360 plug-in has been used. The Echotect software is used for optimum orientation analysis function and Climate Consultant is used for building design strategies appropriate for the unique characteristics of that climate of Mashhad. In this paper analyzed annual energy consumption in case A (with balcony and without balcony) and in case B (with atrium and without atrium). Results indicated that glazed balconies and atrium in two buildings could reduce the energy consumption by 41.33% in case A and by 26.28% in case B with respect to the reference building, respectively. Overall, using sunspaces can have a significant effect at city scale, by repetition in cold semi-arid climates. Thus, these systems can be considered by the designer in the first step of a designing project.