There is widespread assumption that vernacular earth dwellings in hot climates, particularly those in central Iran are climate–responsive and provide thermal comfort in hot periods even without the aid of electro–mechanical cooling systems. The paper describes two surveys undertaken to investigate the provision of comfortable indoor temperatures in vernacular central–courtyard earth dwellings in Yazd in hot seasons. Firstly, a thermal comfort survey established the comfort temperature for the residents of vernacular dwellings during hot summer days in Yazd. Secondly, the diversity of temperatures that could be found within different spaces of typical vernacular dwellings on typical summer days was investigated by measuring and recording the temperature variations. Recorded temperatures were afterwards compared with the comfort temperature (zone) obtained from the thermal comfort survey in order to discover whether indoor temperatures fall inside (or outside) the comfort zone. This showed to what extent and vernacular assively–cooled houses could provide comfortable indoor temperatures.
Keywords: vernacular architecture, thermal comfort, earth buildings, adaptive comfort, central courtyard houses, hot climates, thermal performance, Iran, Yazd, indoor temperatures, comfortable temperatures