Dr Ahmad Taki

Job: Reader in Energy and Indoor Climate; Subject Head - Architectural Technology; Programme leader BSc Architectural Technology and MSc Architecture & Sustainability

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: Leicester School of Architecture

Research group(s): Architecture Research Group

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH UK.

T: +44 (0)116 257 7408

E: ahtaki@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/lsa

 

Personal profile

Dr Ahmad Taki is a Director of the Architecture Research Institute, a Reader in Energy and Indoor Climate, and a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA). Dr Taki is experienced in design strategies and building physics to promote and encourage sustainability, human thermal interaction with the built environment, and computer modelling. He is a member of EPSRC College for peer review of research proposals. Dr Taki is an invited author of ‘Heat Transfer’ section of the CIBSE Design Guide and has given overseas presentations on his work related to human thermal environment field.

Dr Taki has already worked successfully on several funded research projects giving him considerable experience in managing research contracts and in disseminating research findings. He is currently working on methods aimed at improving alignment between houses, contexts, climates and energy performance. This has led to the development of research methodologies in the built environment and frameworks together with prototypes for sustainable houses satisfying social cultural needs to the local community in the context of developing countries. Dr Taki has successfully supervised 19 PhD students and is currently supervising 11 others. He is a Founder of both the BSc Architectural Technology and the MSc Architecture & Sustainability programmes in the Leicester School of Architecture.

Dr Taki would be interested in supervising PhD students in this field.

Research group affiliations

Architecture Research Institute

Publications and outputs 

  • A review of sustainable business models and strategic sustainable development
    A review of sustainable business models and strategic sustainable development Small-Warner, Kaie; Abuzeinab, Amal; Taki, A. H. This paper summarizes sustainable business models by addressing definitions, archetypes and assessments. It then summarizes the framework for strategic sustainable development to highlight its systematic, scientific and social strengths. The discussion combines both concepts to conclude with a research approach that may scientifically and socially enhance sustainable business models.
  • A social-environmental interface of sustainable development: A case study of Ghadames, Libya
    A social-environmental interface of sustainable development: A case study of Ghadames, Libya Taki, A. H.; Alabid, Jamal One of the key challenges in the spatial planning and design of urban settlements in desert housing is the trade-off between the harshness of the environment and meeting social needs concurrently. Hence, this chapter discusses the role of socio-environmental dimensions on planning and developing urban forms within the context of the Sahara Desert. The case study of Ghadames old settlements integrates spatial planning methodology with environmental thoughts, in accordance with socio-cultural values. Field surveys were conducted in summers 2013/14 to observe daily environmental cycles and social practices of residents through collating drawings, photos and sketches, interviews with householders and professionals and measurements of indoor thermal conditions. The field survey also showed that new houses do not effectively respond to the local climate or cultural contexts. This study recognises the need to promote the relationship between social integration and environmental awareness during formation of urban settlements.
  • Infrastructure of Bulgarian High-Rise Estates: Realities and Hopes
    Infrastructure of Bulgarian High-Rise Estates: Realities and Hopes Kalcheva, Elena; Taki, A. H.; Hadi, Yuri This chapter studies the quality and characteristics of the infrastructure in several high-rise estates in Sofia, Bulgaria and evaluates to which extend it serves the residents in the tall buildings. Most of the highrises in Sofia and their surroundings were built in the Soviet era so they represent a very old design concept and this is why it is no surprise that the quality of the public realm and the buildings is quite substandard. The spaces around the high-rises lack public spaces other than the streets and empty large pieces of land. There is lack of integrated natural features with the design of the high-rises. Hoping to achieve a functional and attractive built environment, the following need to be implemented: new layout of the streets, introduction of viable public spaces with strong sense of place where the high-rises act as a power symbol and development of green infrastructure.
  • Passive Design Strategies for Energy Efficient Housing in Nigeria
    Passive Design Strategies for Energy Efficient Housing in Nigeria Abbakyari, Maryam; Taki, A. H. The varying manifestations of climate change are greatly impacting our lives and livelihoods principally due to the activities of industries that pollute the atmosphere and use up non-renewable resources to fuel our growth and development. It is estimated that approximately one third of the worlds energy is consumed within buildings of which approximately 60% is through air conditioning systems. The aim of this research is to investigate various passive design strategies to improve the energy efficiency of a typical mass housing type in Nigeria. A case study of mass housing was carried out to select a sample that was used to conduct a thermal analysis using EnergyPlus tool. The first stage was optimising the building fabric which involved proposing a sustainable alternative to the conventional masonry material. Next was the application of passive strategies aimed at achieving lower energy load for cooling. The building simulation showed a significant 30% reduction in cooling. This is significant particularly because of the inadequate and unreliable electricity supply in Nigeria which leads to reliance on fuel based backup power generation systems.
  • Optimising Residential Courtyard in Terms of Social and Environmental Performance for Ghadames Housing, Libya
    Optimising Residential Courtyard in Terms of Social and Environmental Performance for Ghadames Housing, Libya Alabid, Jamal; Taki, A. H. Vernacular architecture comes from a wealth of knowledge and experience of humans who were able to adjust to the surroundings and adapt to even extreme climate conditions. In fact many old traditional settlements may fail to functionally provide high indoor quality according to the modern building standards. However, these buildings are still seen as a good example of serving the purpose of locals’ social life and their ability to effectively respond to outdoor climate. Therefore, this work recognises the need to develop the courtyard concept to meet the social and environmental requirements of today’s housing conditions taking the advantage of traditional architecture of Ghadames. The work carried out methods of descriptive and simulation analysis to investigate the environmental performance of existing and proposed residential courtyards employing natural ventilation system in terms of thermal comfort conditions. The optimisation process of the courtyard design not only relied on methods of observation but also householders and professionals’ views were considered. Householders and professionals agreed that courtyard houses might be often linked to lower social classes but still serve most of social and climate purposes. The dynamic thermal simulation showed that indoor comfort temperature in a traditional courtyard was found to be at 34˚C. An optimisation design process was conducted to a courtyard building resulted in reducing the indoor comfort temperature to about 28˚C. Further results showed that the new design has improved the daylighting performance at 2.9% of average daylight factor. The work also outlined the applicability of using locally sourced building materials and their capacity to achieve high thermal performance particularly with reference to the use of organic date-palm fibre. It can conclude that the proposed design has integrated the passive climate design strategies to help achieving acceptable indoor comfort conditions and also sustainable features to further enhance locals’ social life. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Towards resilient low-middle income apartments in Amman, Jordan: A thermal performance investigation of heating load
    Towards resilient low-middle income apartments in Amman, Jordan: A thermal performance investigation of heating load Younis, Ahmad; Taki, A. H.; Bhattacharyya, Subhes Energy security constitutes a major challenge for Jordan’s sustainable development. Space heating in Jordan represents ~61% of total residential energy consumption and dominantly involves portable un-flued kerosene and LPG stoves. Fuel combustion of such heaters generates poor indoor air quality and emits GHGs. Moreover, recent housing condition surveys show that the majority of dwellings in Jordan are very energy inefficient. This paper assesses the thermal performance of existing urban low-middle income apartments in Amman. This aim was approached through surveying 106 sample units and using EnergyPlus engine to calculate thermal performance of two representative apartments. Findings showed that ~75% of the apartments had thermally poor external envelopes. Analysis revealed that ~64% of heat loss can be attributed to exposed walls and roofs. The present research found that ‘thrift retrofitting’ will be inevitable in any effort in Jordan to deliver resilient low-middle income apartments.
  • Social and Environmental Sustainability for Better Quality of Life in Residential High-Rises
    Social and Environmental Sustainability for Better Quality of Life in Residential High-Rises Kalcheva, Elena; Taki, A. H.; Hadi, Yuri The quality of life in residential high-rise buildings is an understudied area which is important due to the large proportion of the population inhabiting them. The approaches that link sustainability with the quality of life in residential high-rises is also scarce in the literature despite the fact that implementing sustainability in high-rises is one of the ways to enhance the sustainability of our society by affecting huge structures and a large number of people. This study investigates what sustainable design responses are linked to higher quality of life in residential high-rises. The methodology of the research is relying on 12 interviews with prominent architects of high-rise buildings, carried out in January-June 2016. The architects are chosen according to their experience with sustainable high-rise buildings. The interview is based on an interview protocol with four important questions, dissecting the approaches to social and environmental sustainability. The architects provide a significant insight into the difficult relationship between sustainability and quality of life. They support the implementation of current advances in materials, building systems and amenities for more social interactions and avoidance of weaknesses such as small units, cheap materials and lack of identity. The implications from this study are that design professionals and the public can use this insight for leading the design of residential high-rises into the right direction. The article arguably claims that social and environmental sustainability is achievable by certain design responses such as attention to the public area in the buildings, proper sun and wind orientation and high-efficient skin. Open access Journal
  • Simulation of Traditional and Contemporary Dwellings in Ghadames, Libya
    Simulation of Traditional and Contemporary Dwellings in Ghadames, Libya Alabid, Jamal; Taki, A. H.; Painter, B. A rise in temperature over summer in hot countries, such as Libya, may lead to thermal discomfort and profligate use of energy sources as a result of mitigation efforts. Buildings account for almost 45% of global energy consumption, and approximately 60% of primary energy use in Libya. The use of air conditioning systems have resulted in a sharp rise in energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Traditionally, bioclimatic design concepts have been applied and integrated into buildings in hot climates to reduce the demand of energy consumption, but increasingly less adapted designs of housings developed elsewhere are prevalent. This results in energy being excessively used in order to achieve human thermal comfort requirements. The purpose of this work is to investigate the environmental performance of naturally ventilated (NV) and air conditioned (AC) dwellings in Ghadames and the impact of bioclimatic concepts on energy use for future housing development. A range of EnergyPlus simulations were carried out to predict the indoor climate conditions and energy consumption of typical NV and AC dwellings considering different scenarios including the case of electrical power cuts. Findings revealed that traditional dwellings consume 66.1% less energy than contemporary dwellings. The thermal comfort surveys of Ghadames housing indicated that comfort temperature in NV buildings ranges between 24˚ to 32˚C and 22˚C to 26˚C in AC buildings in summer. Further findings from simulation showed that building fabric and form of traditional dwellings perform far better than contemporary dwellings in terms of solar heat gains, thermal performance of materials, land use and natural ventilation. The study concluded that consolidation of certain passive design features found in traditional dwellings of Ghadames and use of appropriate architectural design and elements can help achieve zero energy housing, taking into account local community needs and future developments.
  • Focus on lived spaces and Identity: the Paradigm of the urban design with residential high-rises in England
    Focus on lived spaces and Identity: the Paradigm of the urban design with residential high-rises in England Kalcheva, Elena; Hadi, Yuri; Taki, A. H. Residential high‐rises find more and more often their place in central parts of the big British cities. Due to intrinsic characteristics of the typology, they are bound to be observed, evaluated and discussed. Therefor the purpose of this research is through observation of nine prominent high‐rise buildings in Manchester, Birmingham and London, subjected to rigorous analysis, to evaluate their ability to maintain identity and to be decisive part of the lived spaces around them. The research achieves this goal through four research questions: how is the design addressing the creation of strong identity of the researched buildings; are the identity‐creating features of the design contradicting major placemaking principles; what characteristics have the lived spaces around the residential high‐rises; what messages send the design of the lived spaces? The methodology relies on observational survey of the researched areas with the help of structured questions, to evaluate the external qualities of the residential high‐rises and their surroundings. Visual information can construct the basis to identify the shortcomings and the downsides of the examined project examples. It can provide insight on how can be improved imageability, legibility and the sense of place. In this connection, the results show that even though it was found that the high‐rises with their abstract form, memorable design and creative use of materials and architectural techniques maintain strong identity, the functional quality of the lived spaces around them is low, there are missing squares, gardens and playgrounds in close proximity and the only experience provided for the users is street life, which however exciting is too limited to only few activities such as eating, drinking, shopping or just walking and looking at limited typology of spaces. The implications of this research are that the British planners will address these problems and future projects will have better placemaking component.
  • Residential High-Rises and Meaningful Places: Missing Actions in the Isle of Dogs regeneration
    Residential High-Rises and Meaningful Places: Missing Actions in the Isle of Dogs regeneration Kalcheva, Elena; Taki, A. H.; Hadi, Yuri Urban regeneration often includes residential high-rises as a way of optimum use of land. However, high-rises are in many cases connected to placelessness, this is not due to some intrinsic characteristic of the typology, but more to a failure to provide meaningful places in connection to them. The reason to study the Isle of the Dogs regeneration is the successful process that led to vibrant area with strong identity and social sustainability. Therefore the purpose of this research is to identify the gaps into the sound strategy for the development of the area and in its implementation which will make the place more sustainable. The paper addresses four research questions: are the residential high-rises supporting a proper physical form; is there deployed properly scaled mix of land uses and functions in connection with residential high-rises; are there possible quality activities in quality places near the residential high-rises; and is there a strong sense of place created with the residential high-rise buildings and their surroundings. The methodology relies on observational survey of the researched area together with structured questions, to evaluate the external qualities of the residential high-rises and their surroundings. Visual information can help identify the mistakes and the omissions of the provided project examples. It can provide insight on how can be improved imageability, legibility and human scale. In this connection, the paper argues that although the quality of the architecture of the high-rises is superb, there is a failure to create meaningful, high quality public realm in connection with them. As such, it does not function as well as the designers intended to do: the functional quality of the public realm is quite low. The implications of the study suggest that actions need to take place in order to improve and foster further regeneration of the area.

Click here to view a full listing of Ahmad Taki's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Taki, AH and Alabid, J (2018) ‘A social-environmental interface of sustainable development: A case study of Ghadames, Libya’. In: Dastbaz, Mohammad, Naude, Wim and Manoochehri, Jamileh, Eds. 2018. Smart Futures, Challenges of Urbanisation, and Social Sustainability. Springers International Publishing: Ch.7, p.117-130

Younis A, Taki, A. and Bhattacharyya, S (2016). Sustainable issues in low-middle income apartments in urban Amman/Jordan: Heating devices and health concerns.3rd OIKONET Conference on global dwelling: sustainability – design – participation, September 2016 Manchester UK.

Nagah Ali, Ahmad Taki, & Birgit Painter (2016). Comparison Study of Traditional and Contemporary Islamic Dwelling Design in Hot Climates, with Reference to Benghazi, Libya. 3rd OIKONET Conference on global dwelling: sustainability – design – participation, September 2016 Manchester UK.

Taki, A and Alabid, J (2016). Learning from bioclimatic desert Architecture: A case study of Ghadames, Libya. In: V. Ahmed, A. Opoku and Z. Aziz, Eds. 2016. Research Methodology in the Built Environment: A Selection of Case Studies. Routledge: London. Ch. 11. ISBN: 978-1-13-884947-1.

Elena Kalcheva, Ahmad Taki and Yuri Hadi (2016).Perception of indoor environmental quality of the residents of high-rise buildings in Bulgaria. Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture Research, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp.1371-1378. ISSN: 2333-911X

Almerbati, N., Headley, D., Ford, P. and Taki, A. (2016). From Manual to Hybrid, Parametric Mashrabiya:  Digital Workflows for the Re-envisioning and Conservation of Eastern Architectural Screens and the Engagement of Digital Tectonics. The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, vol. 10, issue 2, pp29-39. ISSN: 2325-1662. Available online March 31, 2016,  doi:10.18848/2325-1662/CGP

Research interests/expertise

  • Low impact built environment
  • Energy and indoor climate
  • Human thermal interaction with the built environment
  • Building performance and sustainability  
  • Research methodologies in the built environment
  • Low energy systems

Areas of teaching

  • PhD supervision
  • Environmental design
  • Building Physics
  • Building performnce modelling
  • Human thermal comfort

Qualifications

BSc; MSc; PhD; CBuildE; FCABE; SFHEA

Courses taught

  • BA Architecture (Part I)
  • MArch (Part II)
  • BSc Architectural Technology
  • MSc Architecture and Sustainability

Membership of external committees

Member of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) College for peer review of research proposals since 2000.

Membership of professional associations and societies

Member of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 1995-2013

Chartered Fellow of Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) since 2018

Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA) since 2017

Conference attendance

 

Consultancy work

Consultancy for Peterborough City Council.  The research project entitled ‘Empirical Study of the Sustainability of a Peterborough Theatre’.  2007.

Current research students

  • Research supervision of Mahmud Mustafa. The PhD research project entitled ‘Innovative dew point cooling systems in hot climtes'.
  • Research supervision of Shaun Ko. The PhD research project entitled 'Indigenous social housing in New Taipei implications for local government and national policy in Taiwan'.
  • Research supervision of Bilal Alsheglawi. The PhD research project entitled 'A validated framework for low energy housing design satisfying socio-cultural aspects in the Kingdom of Bahrain'.
  • Research supervision of Doan Ha Xuan Viet. The PhD research project entitled 'A framework for sustainable resistent buildings on the coastal areas of Vietnam'.
  • Research supervision of Maryam Abbakyari. The PhD research project entitled 'Framework for sustainable housing for the urban poor using empathic design method: a case study of a slum community in Nigeria'.
  • Research supervision of Kai Small-Warner. The PhD research project entitled 'A systemic and scientific approach to the integration of sustainability in sustainable business models for the built environment'.
  • Research supervision of Tunmise Ayodele. The PhD research project entitled 'A framework for cost-effective retrofitting of low-income householders in Nigeria'.
  • Research supervision of Shafiaa AlGhamdi. The PhD research project entitled 'The impact of mashrabiya on building energy performance and scial cultural aspects in hot climates'.
  • Research supervision of Asem AlBunni. The PhD research project entitled ‘The exploitation of Building Information Modelling within sustainable architectural intervention processes of existing buildings’.
  • Research supervision of Nagah Ali. The PhD research project entitled ‘A framework for designing energy efficient dwellings satisfying social-cultural needs in hot climates'.
  • Research supervision for Elena Kalcheva. The PhD research project entitled ‘Enhancing quality of life in residential high-rises: Sustainable design responses’.

 

 

 

 

 

Externally funded research grants information

New Technology Institute, NTI, Energy & Environment proposal. The funding was for the purchase of equipment and softwares that were used directly for the delivery of education and training to students (2004 and 2005). This was collaboration with the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD).

EPSRC-funded research proposal entitled ‘Human Body Convection and Radiation Measurement for Typical Indoor Environments and Conditions’. The project was collaboration with Loughborough University (1999-2002).

Internally funded research project information

  • Proof-of-principle (PoP) grant ‘Investigation into evaporative coolers for controlling legionella bacteria using innovative catalyst technology’, (approx. £19k, 2015-2016)
  • A joined University and CARA PhD tuition fees award was secured to investigate ‘The development of a new computer model for generating architectural spatial formations’ (approx. £7k, 2014-2017).
  • Frontrunner placements ‘Microbial indoor air quality in lecture theatres’, (approx. £700, 4 August 2014-3 May 2015.
  • A University PhD Full Bursary studentship was secured to investigate ‘Enhancing quality of life in residential high-rises: Sustainable design responses’ (approx. £57k, 2014-2017).
  • A University PhD tuition fees award was secured to investigate ‘Design for adapting to climate change for sustainable buildings’ (approx. £13k; Oct’13-Oct’16).
  • A University PhD studentship was secured to assess ‘the contribution of household dust in SVOC contamination for indoor environments’ (approx £30k, 2002-2005).
  • A University PhD studentship was secured to assess ‘stabilising airflows in chilled ceiling/ displacement ventilation environments’ (approx £30k, 2001-2004).

Professional esteem indicators

 

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