Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Publications

3 Understanding the Experience of the Visually Impaired towards a Multi-Sensorial Architectural Design

Authors: Sarah M. Oteifa, Lobna A. Sherif, Yasser M. Mostafa

Abstract:

Visually impaired people, in their daily lives, face struggles and spatial barriers because the built environment is often designed with an extreme focus on the visual element, causing what is called architectural visual bias or ocularcentrism. The aim of the study is to holistically understand the world of the visually impaired as an attempt to extract the qualities of space that accommodate their needs, and to show the importance of multi-sensory, holistic designs for the blind. Within the framework of existential phenomenology, common themes are reached through "intersubjectivity": experience descriptions by blind people and blind architects, observation of how blind children learn to perceive their surrounding environment, and a personal lived blind-folded experience are analyzed. The extracted themes show how visually impaired people filter out and prioritize tactile (active, passive and dynamic touch), acoustic and olfactory spatial qualities respectively, and how this happened during the personal lived blind folded experience. The themes clarify that haptic and aural inclusive designs are essential to create environments suitable for the visually impaired to empower them towards an independent, safe and efficient life.

Keywords: Visually impaired, architecture, multi-sensory design, architectural ocularcentrism.

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2 The Impact of Hospital Intensive Care Unit Window Design on Daylighting and Energy Performance in Desert Climate

Authors: A. Sherif, H. Sabry, A. Elzafarany, M. Gadelhak, R. Arafa, M. Aly

Abstract:

This paper addresses the design of hospital Intensive Care Unit windows for the achievement of visual comfort and energy savings. The aim was to identify the window size and shading system configurations that could fulfill daylighting adequacy, avoid glare and reduce energy consumption. The study focused on addressing the effect of utilizing different shading systems in association with a range of Window-to-Wall Ratios (WWR) in different orientations under the desert clear-sky of Cairo, Egypt. The results of this study demonstrated that solar penetration is a critical concern affecting the design of ICU windows in desert locations, as in Cairo, Egypt. Use of shading systems was found to be essential in providing acceptable daylight performance and energy saving. Careful positioning of the ICU window towards a proper orientation can dramatically improve performance. It was observed that ICU windows facing the north direction enjoyed the widest range of successful window configuration possibilities at different WWRs. ICU windows facing south enjoyed a reasonable number of configuration options as well. By contrast, the ICU windows facing the east orientation had a very limited number of options that provide acceptable performance. These require additional local shading measures at certain times due to glare incidence. Moreover, use of horizontal sun breakers and solar screens to protect the ICU windows proved to be more successful than the other alternatives in a wide range of Window to Wall Ratios. By contrast, the use of light shelves and vertical shading devices seemed questionable.

Keywords: Daylighting, Desert, Energy Efficiency, Shading.

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1 Energy Efficient Shading Strategies for Windows of Hospital ICUs in the Desert

Authors: A. Sherif, A. El Zafarany, R. Arafa

Abstract:

Hospitals, everywhere, are considered heavy energy consumers. Hospital Intensive Care Unit spaces pose a special challenge, where design guidelines requires the provision of external windows for daylighting and external view. Window protection strategies could be employed to reduce energy loads without detriment effect on comfort or health care. This paper addresses the effectiveness of using various window strategies on the annual cooling, heating and lighting energy use of a typical Hospital Intensive Unit space. Series of experiments were performed using the EnergyPlus simulation software for a typical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) space in Cairo, located in the Egyptian desert. This study concluded that the use of shading systems is more effective in conserving energy in comparison with glazing of different types, in the Cairo ICUs. The highest energy savings in the West and South orientations were accomplished by external perforated solar screens, followed by overhangs positioned at a protection angle of 45°.

Keywords: Energy, Hospital, Intensive Care Units, Shading.

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