The Impact of Housing Densification on Shading Potential of Open Spaces: A Case Study

Omar S. Asfour*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study discusses housing densification as a sustainable housing strategy. Furthermore, it investigates how housing densification can improve the shading performance of open spaces with respect to row-house typology. The analysis considers a real-time case study of linear courtyards enclosed by row houses. Urban analysis was followed by a numerical shading analysis to examine the impact of housing attachment method (aligned or stepped) on courtyard shading potential. Row houses were found to be an acceptable housing densification solution in Saudi Arabia, with well-integrated open spaces. The stepped-attached housing pattern showed a higher potential for urban shading (by ~55% with an east–west orientation of row houses) than that of the aligned–attached pattern. In addition, the stepped-attached housing pattern improved the visual quality and created a serial visual effect. This study recommends the promotion of compact housing patterns in Saudi Arabia to reduce the rapidly increasing domestic electrical-energy demand and improve urban shading. Housing densification is considered as an effective passive design and planning strategy for this purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1294
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: The Article Processing Charges (APCs) was funded by King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Courtyard
  • Densification
  • Housing
  • Row houses
  • Shading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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