The influence of climate on building orientation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The purpose of this study is to determine for Dar es Salaam Planning Area an optimal building orientation that will maximize the effect of cooling by wind and minimize the effect of exposure to the sun. The need for such a study is imposed by the relatively unfavourable climate and by the rapid growth, particularly since independence, of Dar es Salaam,, which in view of the city’s status and importance in the development of Tanzania, is certain to continue. The study discusses in general the climate of Dar es salaam, its effects and strains imposed upon the human body ;and its evaluation in relation to the comfort zone standards. The influencing factors, the sun and the wind, are dealt with in greater detail. The results of these analyses, presented in the form of a diagram, show the intensity of wind effects influencing the building at each of the 36 studied building orientations. Apart from the considerations aimed at determing the building position receiving maximal wind effects, the air flow around buildings is considered using the results of the tests conducted with models in the Texas Engineering Experiments stations low speed wind tunnel especially designed for the study of air flow around buildings. The evaluation of the combined influence of both factors on the building orientation, the sun and the wind, is built up gradually by plotting their corresponding values against each other. Thus the position of the optimal building orientation, as well as the rating of each; of the 36 studied positions, is obtained. The final results, of this evaluation are presented in the form of an orientation chart defining the range of the positions producing good to optimal building orientations. The building orientation criterion established in this study is applied to the five large, well known buildings, situated in various parts of Dar es Salaam and oriented at the three different building positions, which are rated as bad, intermediate and optimal orientations and are in fact the key points of the whole set up of possible building orientations. The evaluation of the orientation of these buildings shows to what extent the adaptation to the thermal environment is achieved and what difference a good or a bad building orientation really makes in the practiced.Contemporary architects and town planners cannot ignore the effects of environmental factors on their structures as they have sometimes done in the past. It is therefore, hoped that the results of this building orientation study will contribute to the control of the environment and will be of significant interest and value.
Available in print form
Architecture and climate, Buildings, Dar es Salaam
Teskeredzic, F(1971) The influence of climate on building orientation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (