Passive cooling effect of traditional Japanese building's features

Hiroshi Yoshino, Kenichi Hasegawa, Shin Ichi Matsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the cooling effect of these features. Japanese traditional buildings have many features, which are effective for cooling the interior of the building. Design/methodology/approach - This paper first of all describes the characteristics of indoor thermal environment and the cooling effect of four traditional buildings, located in the Miyagi Prefecture in the northern area in Japan. The investigated buildings include traditional farmhouses and renovated farmhouses for the improvement of indoor thermal environment. Second, the cooling effect of traditional technologies was studied by the means of computer simulation using a model house, which takes the multi-zone effects of heat transfer and air flow distribution into consideration. Findings - The paper finds that the cooling technologies of traditional buildings, such as solar shading by thatched roof decreases indoor temperature. The computer simulation revealed that natural ventilation, solar shading by thatched roof and the thermal mass by earthen floor are effective for interior cooling. Practical implications - This paper reveals the cooling effect of traditional technologies quantitatively. From the points of view of energy saving and environment symbiosis based on the understanding of physical principle, it is important to apply these traditional technologies to modern buildings. Originality/value - From the viewpoint of solution of global environmental problems, we can learn a lot from these vernacular technologies inherited from the past. This paper provides valuable information about building based on environmental design methodologies, which promote awareness about sustainable construction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-590
Number of pages13
JournalManagement of Environmental Quality: An International Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan 1


  • Buildings
  • Heat transfer
  • Japan
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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