On The Profiling of Air Leakage Infiltration Pattern across Chinese Vernacular Buildings


  • Samuel I. Egwunatum Department of Quantity Surveying, Federal University of Technology Owerri
  • Udubra E. Akpezi

    Department of Civil Engineering, Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, 334113, Nigeria

  • Osamudiamen K. Otasowie

    Department of Quantity Surveying, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, 460114, Nigeria

  • Imole A. Awodele

    Department of Quantity Surveying, Durban University of Technology, Durban, 4000, South Africa


Received:23 February 2023 | Revised: 21 March 2023 | Accepted: 27 April 2023 | Published Online: 19 May 2023


The purpose of this paper is to provide understanding of the seasonal pattern of air leakage (infiltration) in Chinese vernacular buildings across China’s five climate regions. In achieving the set purpose, a grand extensive literature survey was conducted and supported with data drawn from established Meteonorm V6.1 on sensible heat and psychrometric variables. Numerical computations for normalized and specific infiltration from stack effects followed the Gowri method in line with ASHRAE reference 2004. Solar energy admittance into building followed Bouger’s model form Angstrom properties. From the distribution of vernacular buildings across five climate regions of China, evidence from computational and numerical values showed symmetries in terms of minimums and maximums times of occurrence. Further, a reciprocal pattern exists between solar radiative admittance and region’s temperature profile. Knowing that Chinese vernacular building heritage extended to further Asia, this research became limited to only the Chinese region. It became difficult to report if the construction culture away from China has correlation with infiltration and energy admittance value. Earlier works on Chinese climate and vernacular dwellings reported a climate responsive dwelling designed by passive cooling strategy; a gap was closed by extending the previous work to specific infiltration pattern and energy admittance level. Chinese vernacular buildings by virtue of research outcomes are and should be adoptable to modern housing needs for cultural integration.


Infiltration, vernacular building, seasonal pattern, psychrometric, solar radiation, admittance


[1] Hou, R., 2014. Khanbaliq (1267-1368) of the Yüan Dynasty (1260-1368). An historical geography of Peiping. Springer: Berlin. pp. 75-94.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007%2F978-3-642-55321-9_7

[2] Jin, X., Zhang, X., Cao, Y., et al., 2012. Thermal performance evaluation of the wall using heat flux time lag and decrement factor. Energy and Buildings. 47, 369-374.

[3] Hagras, H., 2017. An ancient mosque in Ningbo, China“historical and architectural study”. Journal of Islamic Architecture. 4(3), 102-113.

[4] Jin, X., Chiou, S.C., 2015. Architectural features and preservation of ancient residential complexes of the changs in Xiangan, Xiamen. International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing & Spatial Information Sciences. XL-5/W7, 453-460.

[5] Aldawould, A., Clark, R., 2008. Comparative analysis of energy performance between courtyard and atrium in buildings. Energy and Buildings. 40(3), 209-214.

[6] Zamani, Z., Heidari, S., Hanachi, P., 2018. Reviewing the thermal and microclimatic function of courtyards. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 93, 580-595.

[7] Hagras, H., 2017. An ancient mosque in Ningbo, China: Historical and architectural study. Journal of Islamic Architecture. 4(3), 102-113.

[8] Hagras, H., 2019. Xi’an Daxuexi Alley Mosque: Historical and architectural study. Egyptian Journal of Archaeological and Restoration Studies. 1, 97-113.

[9] Wang, X., Li, Z., Zhang, L., 2010. Condition Conservation and Reinforcement of the Yumen Pass and Hecang Earthen Ruins New Dunhaung. Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Conservation of Grotto Sites, Mogao Grottoes, Dunhuang, China; 2004 June 28-July 3; Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute. p. 351-357.

[10] Li, L., Tang, L., Zhu, H., et al., 2017. Semantic 3D modeling based on CityGML for ancient Chinese-style architechtural roofs of digital heritage. International Journal of Geo-Information. 6(5), 132.

[11] Cho, J., Yoo, C., Kim, Y., 2014. Viability of exterior shading devices for highrise buildings: Case Study for cooling energy savings and economic feasibility analysis. Energy and Buildings. 82, 771-785.

[12] Liu, Y., Tan, Q., Pan, T., 2019. Determining the parameters of the Ångström-Prescott model for estimating solar radiation in different regions of China: Calibration and modeling. Earth and Space Science. 6(10), 1976-1986.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1029.2019EA00635

[13] Sadafi, N., Elias, S., Lim, C.H., et al., 2011. Evaluating thermal effects of internal courtyard in a tropical terrace house by computational simulation. Energy and Buildings. 43(4), 887-893. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2010.12.009

[14] James-Chakraborty, K., 2014. Ming and Quing China. Architecture since 1400. University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis. pp. 1-15.

[15] Aversa, P., Palumbo, D., Donatelli, A., et al., 2017. Infrared thermography for the investigation of dynamic thermal behaviour of opaque building elements: Comparison between empty and filled with hemp fibres prototype walls. En￾ergy and Buildings. 152, 264-272. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/J.Enbuild.2017.07.055

[16] Zheng, S., Han, B., Wang, D., et al., 2018. Ecological wisdom and inspiration underlying the planning and construction of ancient human settlements: Case study of hongcun UNESCO world heritage site in China. Sustainability. 10(5), 1345.

[17] Ren, H.B.,2000. Feng Shui and Chinese Traditional Domestic Architecture. [Master’s Thesis]. Cincinnati: University of Cincinnati.

[18] Sun, F., 2013. Chinese climate and vernacular dwellings. Buildings. 3(1), 143-172.

[19] Baoping, X., Lin, F., Hongfa, D., 2008. Dynamic simulation of space heating systems with radiators controlled by TRVs in buildings. Energy and Buildings. 40(9), 1755-1764. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2008.03.004

[20] Zhuang, Z., Li, Y., Chen, B., et al., 2009. Chi￾nese Kang as a domestic heating system in rural northern China—A review. Energy and Buildings. 41(1), 111-119.

[21] Zhang, Y., Li, X., Bai, Y., 2015. An integrated approach to estimate shortwave solar radiation on clear-sky days in rugged terrain using MODIS atmospheric products. Solar Energy. 113, 347-357. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solencr.2014.12.028

[22] Chen, Y., Athienitis, A.K., Galal, K., 2012. Thermal performance and charge control strategy of a ventilated concrete slab (VCS) with active cooling using outdoor air. ASHRAE Transactions. 118(2), 556-568.

[23] Martínez-Garrido, M.I., Aparicio, S., Fort, R., et al., 2014. Effect of solar radiation and humidity on the inner core of walls in historic buildings. Construction and Building materials. 51, 383-394.

[24] Ge, J., Li, S., Chen, S., et al., 2021. Energy-efficiency strategies of residential envelope in China’s Hot Summer-Cold Winter Zone based on intermittent thermal regulation behaviour. Journal of Building Engineering. 44, 103028. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2021.103028

[25] Kim, Y.M., 2017. Virtual pilgrimage and virtual geography: Power of Liao Miniature Pagodas (907-1125). Religions. 8(10), 206.

[26] Nagy, B., Nehme, S.G., Szagri, D., 2015. Thermal properties and modeling of fiber reinforced concretes. Energy Procedia. 78, 2742-2747. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/J.Egypro.2015.11.616

[27] Goodrich, L.C., 2002. A short history of the Chinese people. Courier Corporation: North Chelmsford.

[28] Roman, K.K., O’Brien, T., Alvey, J.B., et al., 2016. Simulating the effects of cool roof and PCM (phase change materials) based roof to mitigate UHI (urban heat island) in prominent US cities. Energy. 96, 103-117. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/J.Energy.2015.11082

[29] Kandya, A., Mohan, M., 2018. Mitigating the urban heat island effect through building envelope modifications. Energy and Buildings. 164, 266-277.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/J.Enbuild.2018.01.014

[30] Andoni, H., Jurizat, A., Steven, S., et al., 2018. Thermal behaviour studies on building walls based on type and composition of the materials. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. 547, 012058.

[31] Aversa, P., Palumbo, D., Donatelli, A., et al., 2017. Infrared thermography for the invention of dynamic thermal behavior of opaque building element: Comparison between empty and filled with hemp fibress prototype walls. Energy and Buildings. 152, 264-272. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/J.Enbuild.2017.07.055

[32] Nagy, B., Nehme, S.G., Szagri, D., 2015. Thermal properties and modeling of fiber reinforced concretes. Energy Procedia. 78, 2742-2747. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/J.Egypro.2015.11.616

[33] Andoni, H., Jurizat, A., Thomas, D., et al., 2019. Thermal Behaviour Studies on Building Walls Based on Type and Composition of The Materials. IOP Conf. Ser.: Materials Science and Engineering. 547(1), 012058

[34] Ahmed, A.Y.F., 2019. Advances in passive cooling design: An integrated design approach. Zero and net zero energy. Intech Open: London.

[35] Oropeza-Perez, I., Østergaard, P.A., 2018. Active and passive cooling methods for dwellings: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 82, 531-544.

[36] Panchabikesan, K., Vellaisamy, K., Ramalingam, V., 2017. Passive cooling potential in buildings under various climatic conditions in India. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 78, 1236-1252.

[37] Tejero-González, A., Andrés-Chicote, M., García-Ibáñez, P., et al., 2016. Assessing the applicability of passive cooling and heating techniques through climate factors: An overview. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 65, 727-742.

[38] Prieto, A., Knaack, U., Auer, T., et al., 2018. Passive cooling & climate responsive façade design: Exploring the limits of passive cooling strategies to improve the performance of commercial buildings in warm climates. Energy and Buildings. 175, 30-47.

[39] U.S Department of Energy, 1992. Fundamentals Handbook Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, and Fluid Flow Vol. 1-3 [Internet]. DOEHDBK-1012/1-92. DOE: Washington, DC. Available from: https://www.steamtablesonline.com/pdf/Thermodynamics-Volume1.pdf

[40] Xie, C., 2012. Interactive heat transfer simulations for everyone. The Physics Teacher. 50(4), 237-240. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1119/1.3694080

[41] Zhou, A., Wong, K.W., Lau, D., 2014. Thermal insulating concrete wall panel design for sustainable built environment. The Scientific World Journal. Article ID 279592. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/279592

[42] Medved, S., 2022. Heat transfer in buildings structures and thermal comfort in buildings. Building physics. Springer, Cham.: Berlin.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74390-1_1

[43] Kreider, J.F., Rabl, A., 1994. Heating and cooling of buildings: Design for efficiency. McGraw-Hill Publishing: New York.

[44] Kachkouch, S., Ait-Nouh, F., Benhamou, B., et al., 2018. Experiment assessment of thermal performance of three passive cooling techniques for roofs in a semi-arid climate. Energy and Buildings. 164, 153-164. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2018.01.008

[45] Max, S., 2017. Infiltration in ASHRAE’s Residential Ventilation Standards [Internet]. Available from: https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/943513

[46] Wang, L., Kisi, O., Zounemat-Kermani, M., et al., 2016. Solar radiation prediction using different techniques: Model evaluation and comparison. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews. 61, 384-397. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.20l6.04.024

[47] Gowri, K., Winiarski, D., Jarnagin, R., 2009. Infiltration modelling guidelines for commercial building energy analysis. U.S. Department of Energy. Contract DE-AC05-76RLO1830, PNNL-18898. Available from: https://www.pnnl.gov/main/publications/external/technical_reports/PNNL-18898.pdf

[48] Chan, W.R., Joh, J., Sherman, M.H., 2012. Analysis of Air leakage measurements for residential diagnostics database. Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Environmental Energy Technology Division. Available from: https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1163524/

[49] Zhao, J., 1995. China natural geography (third edition). Higher Education Press: Beijing.

[50] Sanchez-Lorenzo, A., Enriquez-Alonso, A., Wild, M., et al., 2017. Trends in downward surface solar radiation from satellites and ground observations over Europe during 1983-2010. Remote Sensing of Environment. 189, 108-117. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2016.ll.018

[51] Qin, J.C., Yang, K., Liang, S., et al., 2011. Estimation of monthly-mean daily global solar radiation baseil on modis and tromm products. Applied Energy. 88(7), 2480-2189. DOI: https://doi.org/l0.10l6/j.apcnergy.20l1.01.018

[52] Zhao, N., Zeng, X., Han, S., 2013. Solar radiation estimation using sunshine hour and air pollution index in China. Energy Conversion and Management. 76, 846-851. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cnconman.2013.08.037

[53] Yacef, R., Mellit, A., Belaid, S., et al., 2014. New combined models for estimating daily global solar radiation from measured air temperature in semi-arid climates: Application in GhardaTa, Algeria. Energy Conversion & Management. 79, 606-615. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneonman.2013.12.057

[54] Rensheng, C., Shihua, L., Ersi, K., et al., 2006. Estimating daily global radiation using two types of revised models in China. Energy Conversion and Management. 47(7-8), 865-878. DOI: https://doi.org/10.10l6/j.cnconman.2005.06.0i5


How to Cite

Egwunatum, S. I., Akpezi, U. E., Otasowie, O. K., & Awodele, I. A. (2023). On The Profiling of Air Leakage Infiltration Pattern across Chinese Vernacular Buildings. Journal of Smart Buildings and Construction Technology, 5(1), 29–51. https://doi.org/10.30564/jsbct.v5i1.5490





Download data is not yet available.