Building Optimisation Vis-À-Vis Solar Shading for Improved Comfort and Energy Efficiency in Classrooms


  • Mark Alegbe Department of Architectural Technology, Federal Polytechnic Auchi
  • Lawrence Chukwuemeka C.Lawrence and Partners, Maple Court
  • John Lekwauwa Kalu Department of Architectural Technology, Federal Polytechnic Auchi
  • Amaka Eke-Nwachukwu Department of Architectural Technology, Federal Polytechnic Auchi



building optimisation, hybrid ventilation, solar radiation


Excessive solar radiation negatively affects classroom occupants' perfor­mance and thermal comfort, especially in buildings with West and East-facing glazed openings. This study utilises fixed external shading devices and triple-glazed low-emissivity windows to optimise a classroom building in Nigeria. Employing hybrid ventilation mode in EnergyPlus simulations, the optimised model shows a 44% reduction in discomfort hours, a 23% decrease in cooling load, and a 16% drop in energy demand compared to the original design. Comparative analysis of the optimised model with the as-built and West-East oriented classroom reveals a 16% and 10% reduction in energy consumption per conditioned area, along with 56 KWh/m² and 32 KWh/m² savings in cooling demand, respectively. Despite the effectiveness of fixed shading in curbing solar gains, occasional glare persists. This research underscores that shading alone may not fully meet thermal comfort requirements, emphasising the importance of building fabrics, building orientation and climate-sensitive design.


Download data is not yet available.


Abdullahi, M., Kandar, M. Z., Wah, L., Kamal, M., & Ashiru, A. (2017). Exploratory Survey of Recessed Window Façade Shading in Johor Bahru Malaysia. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 56, 1807-1812.

Al-Masrani, S. M., Al-Obaidi, K. M., Zalin, N. A., & Aida Isma, M. I. (2018). Design optimisation of solar shading systems for tropical office buildings: Challenges and future trends. Solar Energy, 170, 849-872. 2018.04.047

Al-Tamimi, N. A., & Fadzil, S. F. S. (2011). The Potential of Shading Devices for Temperature Reduction in High-Rise Residential Buildings in the Tropics. Procedia Engineering, 21, 273-282.

Alajmi, A., Aba-alkhail, F., & ALAnzi, A. (2021). Determining the optimum fixed solar-shading device for minimizing the energy consumption of a side-lit office building in a scorching climate. Journal of Engineering Research, 9(2), 320-335.

Alegbe, M. (2022). Comparative Analysis of Wall Materials Toward Improved Thermal Comfort, Reduced Emission, and Construction Cost in Tropical Buildings. [Conference Proceedings]. 11th Masters Conference: People and Buildings University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom.

Alshamrani, O., & Mujeebu, M. A. (2016). Effects of shading strategy and orientation on energy performance of school building. Journal of Architecture and Planning, 28(1), 129-141. jap_ksu_jan2016_en1.pdf

Architecture2030. A Resource for the Design of Zero-Carbon, Adaptable and Resilient Built Environments Worldwide Architecture 2030. Retrieved 9th March, 2023 from

Arman, H. (2019). Assessment of solar shading strategies in low-income tropical housing: the case of Uganda. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability, 172(6), 293-301.

ASHRAE. (1992). Standard 55- Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air conditioning Engineers, ASHRAE. Retrieved 13th March, 2023 from technical-resources/bookstore/standard-55-thermal-environment-conditions-for-human-occupancy

ASHRAE. (2005). ASHRAE Guideline 2-2005, Engineering Analysis of Experimental Data. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Retrieved 15th March, 2023 from

Barrett, P. S., Zhang, Y., Davies, F., & Barrett, L. (2015). Clever classrooms: Summary report of the HEAD project. University of Salford. Retrieved 27th November from

Bazazzadeh, H., Świt-Jankowska, B., Fazeli, N., Nadolny, A., Safar ali najar, B., Hashemi safaei, S. S., & Mahdavinejad, M. (2021). Efficient Shading Device as an Important Part of Daylightophil Architecture; a Designerly Framework of High-Performance Architecture for an Office Building in Tehran. Energies, 14(24), 8272.

Bellia, L., De Falco, F., & Minichiello, F. (2013). Effects of solar shading devices on energy requirements of standalone office buildings for Italian climates. Applied Thermal Engineering, 54(1), 190-201. 2013.01.039

Bellia, L., Marino, C., Minichiello, F., & Pedace, A. (2014). An Overview on Solar Shading Systems for Buildings. Energy Procedia, 62, 309-317.

Brager, G., Borgeson, S., & Lee, Y. (2007). Summary Report: Control Strategies for Mixed-Mode Buildings. Center for the Built Environment (CBE). Retrieved 10th March, 2023 from 8352h_ noSplash_04eb99f455f676cb42056bd1bacaf10c.pdf

Calama-González, C. M., Suárez, R., & León-Rodríguez, Á. L. (2018). Thermal and Lighting Consumption Savings in Classrooms Retrofitted with Shading Devices in a Hot Climate. Energies, 11(10), 2790. en11102790

Calama-González, C. M., Suárez, R., León-Rodríguez, Á. L., & Ferrari, S. (2019). Assessment of Indoor Environmental Quality for Retrofitting Classrooms with An Egg-Crate Shading Device in A Hot Climate. SUSTAINABILITY, 11(4), 1078.

Dubois, M.-C. (1997). Solar shading and building energy use. Lund University, Sweden. Retrieved 25th January, 2023 from

Evangelisti, L., Guattari, C., Asdrubali, F., & de Lieto Vollaro, R. (2020). An experimental investigation of the thermal performance of a building solar shading device. Journal of Building Engineering, 28, 101089. j.jobe.2019.101089

Girei, M., Dodo, Y., Yahaya Abdul, A., & Mu'azu, J. (2021). Effectiveness of Shading Devices for Solar Protection in Hot Climates: a Case Study of MAUTECH Yola, Nigeria. International Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering, 1(2), 77-80. SOLAR_PROTECTION_IN_HOT_CLIMATES_A_CASE_STUDY_OF_MAUTECH_YOLA_NIGERIA

Guevara, G., Soriano, G., & Mino-Rodriguez, I. (2021). Thermal comfort in university classrooms: An experimental study in the tropics. Building and Environment, 187, 107430.

Harris, A. (2018). Sun Intensity vs. Angle. Sciencing by Leaf Group. Retrieved 12th March, 2023 from sun-intensity-vs-angle-23529.html

Ho, M.-C., Chiang, C.-M., Chou, P.-C., Chang, K.-F., & Lee, C.-Y. (2008). Optimal sun-shading design for enhanced daylight illumination of subtropical classrooms. Energy and Buildings, 40(10), 1844-1855. 2008.04.012

Ibhadode, O., Okougha, F., Nwafor, C., & Essang, N. (2017). An experimental-study on ventilation of public schools in Akure, Oshogbo and Ado-ekiti cities in South-western Nigeria. IOSR Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, 14(5), 34-43.

Ishaq, M., & Alibaba, H. (2017). Effects of Shading Device on Thermal Comfort of Residential Building in Northern Nigeria. International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, 8(12), 1021-1029. Effects-Of-Shading-Device-On-Thermal-Comfort-Of-Residential-Building-In-Northern-Nigeria.pdf

Jegede, O. E., & Taki, A. (2021). Optimization of building envelopes using indigenous materials to achieve thermal comfort and affordable housing in Abuja, Nigeria. International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, 40(2), 219-247.

Kamal, M. A. (2010). A study on shading of buildings as a preventive measure for passive cooling and energy conservation in buildings. International Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering, 10(6), 19-22. 20IJCEE-IJENS.pdf

Kamal, M. A. (2013). Le Corbusier’s solar shading strategy for tropical environment: A sustainable approach. Journal of Architectural/Planning Research and Studies (JARS), 10(1), 19-26. 12915

Lee, K. S., Han, K. J., & Lee, J. W. (2017). The Impact of Shading Type and Azimuth Orientation on the Daylighting in a Classroom–Focusing on Effectiveness of Façade Shading, Comparing the Results of DA and UDI. Energies, 10(5), 635.

Littlefair, P. (2018). Solar Shading of Buildings. IHS Markit. Retrieved 30th December 2022 from https://www.brebookshop. com/samples/327971.pdf

Mobolade, T., & Pourvahidi, P. (2020). Bioclimatic Approach for Climate Classification of Nigeria. SUSTAINABILITY, 12(10), 4192.

Nikolaou, G. I., & Meresi, A. K. (2021). Shading and daylighting strategies in classrooms: a comparative study in the four climate zones in Greece using Daylight Factor values. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 899(1), 012036.

Ogbonna, A. C., & Harris, D. J. (2008). Thermal comfort in sub-Saharan Africa: Field study report in Jos-Nigeria. Applied Energy, 85(1), 1-11.

Porras-Salazar, J. A., Wyon, D. P., Piderit-Moreno, B., Contreras-Espinoza, S., & Wargocki, P. (2018). Reducing classroom temperature in a tropical climate improved the thermal comfort and the performance of elementary school pupils. Indoor Air, 28(6), 892-904.

Prowler, D. (2016). Sun Control and Shading Devices. Whole Building Design Guide. Retrieved 12th March, 2023 from

Shahdan, M., Ahmad, S., & Hussin, M. (2018). External shading devices for energy efficient building. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science,

Siti Handjarinto, & Veronica I, S. (1998). Thermal Comfort Study in a Naturally Ventilated Residential Building in a Tropical Hot-Humid Climate Region [Conference Proceedings]. Symposium on Improving Building Systems in Hot and Humid Climate, Fort Worth, Texas, United States.

Sok-Paupardin, E. (2021). Daylight Glare: How Does it Affect Health, Well-being and Performance? SageGlass. Retrieved 14th February 2023 from

Song, B., Bai, L., & Yang, L. (2022). Analysis of the long-term effects of solar radiation on the indoor thermal comfort in office buildings. Energy, 247, 123499.

Soufiane, F., Ahriz, A., Mohamed, M., & Salaheddine, D. (2019). Quantifying the effectiveness of mass proportions and the orientation for buildings on thermal performance in Tebessa, Algeria. IOP Conference Series Earth and Environmental Science, 397, 012008.

Transparency. (2020). Nigeria's Climate Action and Responses to the Covid-19 Crisis. Climate Transparency. Retrieved 6th July, 2022 from

ürge-Vorsatz, D., Danny Harvey, L. D., Mirasgedis, S., & Levine, M. D. (2007). Mitigating CO2 emissions from energy use in the world's buildings. Building Research & Information, 35(4), 379-398.

Viula, R. (2022). Discomfort glare from daylight in classrooms [PhD Thesis, TuDelft University of Technology]. Netherland.

Wah, L. Y., Ahmad, M. H., & Ossen, D. R. (2008). Review on measuring tools for energy efficient solar shading strategies in tropical climate. Jurnal Alam Bina, 14(5), 33-42.

Wavomba, Z. (2019). How Latitude & Altitude Affect Temperature. Sciencing by Leaf Group. Retrieved 12th March, 2023 from

Yener, A. K. (2002). Daylight Analysis in Classrooms with Solar Control. Architectural Science Review, 45(4), 311-316.




How to Cite

Alegbe, M., Chukwuemeka, L., Lekwauwa Kalu, J., & Eke-Nwachukwu, A. (2023). Building Optimisation Vis-À-Vis Solar Shading for Improved Comfort and Energy Efficiency in Classrooms. Dimensi: Journal of Architecture and Built Environment, 50(2), 53-68.