The study commences with a comparative analysis between desert adapted cactus plants and traditional mud houses. Primary comparative results yielded three main similarities: 1) Effective utilization of self-shading surfaces; 2) Plant spikes that resemble the wooden poles projected around wind towers and building openings in mud structures; 3) Implementation of thick walls/plant body forms with high R-values. The ribbed facade and wooden poles will go through aerodynamic experiments to illustrate their roles as essential passive energy elements in traditional houses. Experiments on traditional mud houses has been previously carried out by many researchers while assuming the wind is facing the buildings; what is significant about this proposal is that wind directions will be tested with different angles (0 to 90 degrees) to find appropriate situations where wind generates enough turbulence that help directing the wind inside the building openings. The study requires two models for experimentation, one model related to the wooden pole, and the other focused on the ribbed elevation. Tests will then be carried out using wind tunnel equipment. The QU Aspire wind tunnel has a working section of 2.5 X 2.5 X 2.5 m and can simulate wind of up to 25 m/sec at the working section. Moreover, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software will be used to minimize the wind tunnel utilization time.
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