Arch.Uth Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Arch.Uth Ελληνικά
  Drakou Aikaterini / Phd candidate


Architect Engineer (University of Thessaly) with an MSc. in Environmental Design and Engineering from the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at University College London. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Architecture Engineering at the University of Thessaly. Her doctoral research focuses on the analysis of low energy dwellings design parameters in order to develop minimum design requirements for passive houses in the Greek climate. She has participated in research and daylighting design projects. She has received distinctions as bioclimatic design consultant in international architectural competitions. Her research interests include occupant behaviour; indoor environmental quality; building simulation; development of passive houses’ designing technics in Mediterranean climate; thermal comfort and daylighting. She is a Bodossakis’ Foundation scholar.

Research interests

Analysis of low energy dwellings design parameters in Greek climate: Development of minimum requirements for passive house

Technological evolution now provides to architects, builders and owners the ability to build low energy buildings according to environmental criteria and maximize thereby both financial and environmental benefits. Under this increased public interest in buildings’ sustainability and energy efficiency, a modern standard of passive building design was developed, originated from central and northern Europe. This standard of high energy efficiency is characterised by a highly insulated building envelope, mechanical ventilation and minimum occupant interaction with the building shell aiming at minimum heat loss and more stable and controlled conditions.

In Greek climate, however, the needs and living conditions vary significantly from the northern climates ones. While a sole high heating load can be easily met, in combination with a substantial cooling load during summer makes the achievement of significant energy savings a rather demanding design task. Due to lack of mechanical ventilation, occupants tend to interact with the building envelope and its systems in order to satisfy their need for thermal and visual comfort. This interaction can either benefit the maximum from the sustainable design techniques of the building or result in higher energy consumption due to lifestyle choice. Therefore, different behavioral pattern, directly related to the climate but also with local and socio-cultural factors may hinder the application of certain architectural and environmental strategies.

In this context the aim of the thesis is to investigate the applicability of passive design in new residential buildings in Greece and the creation of a recommendation framework regarding low energy housing design. Key idea is however to take into account occupant’s satisfaction, by achieving conditions of thermal and visual comfort as well as offering a stimulatory environment.

In more detail, other objectives of the thesis are:

• The investigation (through energy simulations) of design and construction parameters that affect energy consumption of a new dwelling in the Greek climate.
• The identification (through energy simulations) of the magnitude of influence of these parameters on energy consumption and the creation of a framework of minimum requirements.
• The monitoring (field studies) and evaluation of existing daylighting conditions in houses and the investigation of occupant preferences (through questionnaires).
• Measurements of airtightness (blower door test) with certified metering equipment in buildings of different morphology and construction.
• Identification of the typical occupant behaviour pattern in dwellings (using questionnaires and field studies) and monitoring of real indoor environmental conditions during summer.
• Investigation of the influence of occupant behaviour in the formulation of indoor environmental conditions and energy efficiency of the building.