Investigating effect of using earth-sheltered architecture on energy conservation in cold and mountainous climate; case study: Yakhchal-e Qaem Maqam, Basement of Sharbat Oqli House, and Cistern of Parvin Etesami House

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor, Roshdiyeh Higher Education Institute, Tabriz, IRAN



The limitation of energy resources is becoming a serious crisis in the world. Considering the energy and environmental crises caused by the excessive consumption of energy in the world, it is necessary to revise design methods and use sustainable and valuable models in the design of buildings in order to provide thermal comfort. Architecture in the shadow of the earth is a valuable and sustainable model which has high energy conservation capability acts along the protection of the environment via energy conservation and adapts with the needs of the era. The present research is aimed to explain the concepts of earth-sheltered architecture and determine the effect of design and use of underground spaces in environmental sustainable design, architectural harmony with the climate, and energy conservation. In this research, using descriptive-analytical research method based on library and documentary studies as well as field survey, the earth-sheltered architectural concepts are explored and successful samples of the world and valuable models in Iranian traditional architecture are introduced. In the case study, the physical features of a few samples of underground spaces in Tabriz as well as heat waste or absorption from walls are examined at different depths. The results of the study indicate that heat waste or absorption rate via walls depends on the underground physical properties, contact of walls with the outside air, and burial level of buildings. Benefiting from the potential of underground spaces and use of ground depth in architectural design has led to developing relatively stable conditions against adverse conditions of climate and environmental balance. Utilizing the values of experiences could provide a solution for solving a part of the current energy crisis and creation of responsive environments in terms of climate and application.


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