The impact of a passive wall combining natural ventilation and evaporative cooling on schools’ thermal conditions in a hot climate

Sara Mohamed, Hanan Al-Khatri, John Kaiser Calautit, Siddig Omer, Saffa Riffat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Students' performance is negatively influenced by poor indoor environments. In Sudan that is characterised by extreme climate, providing comfortable classrooms is required to improve the educational system that suffers from restricted budgets. To address this issue, the local government in Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan, and the Ministry of Education released a joint project to construct new schools' buildings following one of two unified prototype models. This paper evaluates the impact of a new passive wall system that combines natural ventilation and evaporative cooling on the classrooms' thermal conditions. The wall consists of two brick layers that accommodate a wet porous ceramic layer, and it has two configurations. In the first configuration, the exhausted air is circulated to the system to cool it before ejecting it into the classroom. In the second configuration, the exhausted air is dissipated from the classroom through an outlet located at a wall opposite to the wall that integrates the system. The effectiveness of the system was evaluated via assessing the classrooms’ conditions before and after activating it using EDSL TAS and ANSYS ICEM CFD programmes. The findings revealed considerable reductions in indoor air temperatures from 30.3–44.8 °C before activating the system to 18.9–26.5 °C and 21.3–23.8 °C after activating the system in the first and second configurations, respectively, which concludes the system effectiveness. The wall is environmentally clean as its operation barely consumes active energy, which makes it attractive considering the limited budget allocated for the education sector in Sudan.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102624
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Early online date8 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Passive design
  • Natural ventilation
  • Evaporative cooling
  • Thermal comfort
  • School building


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