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Research student Mohammed Alghafis awarded the Jeffrey Cook Travel Award for his original research

1 December 2022

Mohammed Alghafis receiving the Jeffrey Cook Award
Mohammed Alghafis receiving the Jeffrey Cook Award

PhD student Mohammed Alghafis recently presented some of his research results at the well-established Passive Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) International Conference, in Chile where he was also awarded a Jeffrey Cook Student Travel Scholarship.

Mohammed‘s research focuses on recording and evaluating the thermal performance and thermal comfort perceptions of residents in vernacular and contemporary single-family houses in the hot-arid climate in Al-Qassim, Saudi Arabia.

The vernacular houses are not inhabitant anymore because people moved out to newly built concrete frame and block infill villas. We are looking in houses, but trying to contact these vernacular buildings with the oral memory of people who lived in the vernacular houses with no air conditioning and moved into air-conditioned houses. The research combines in-situ scientific measurements of temperature and perceptual data of thermal comfort from the point of view of the residents of the houses where measurements are taken.

Information gathered from the current study provides a better understanding of the behavioural adaptations strategies which include horizontal and vertical mobility inside the house. It also provides a new understanding of behavioural and cultural aspects related to perception of thermal comfort. The study will allow the formulation of recommendations regarding not only the design of more energy-efficient houses but also addressing behavioural aspects of the residents; this is the first investigation of its kind in Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed was also awarded the Jeffery Cook Travel Award by the Society of Building Science Educators PLEA for his original research. In honour of the late Jeffrey Cook, the scholarships support travel expenses to present papers at the 2022 PLEA Conference. The scholarships are awarded to eligible applicants from across the globe who attended the conference in person.

On receiving the scholarship Mohammed said:

"I was delighted to learn that I was selected as the recipient of the award. This would not have been possible without my supervisors’ help. The conference was an ideal platform to discuss the research results."

Mohammed's supervisor Dr Magda Sibley said:

"I am very proud that our Welsh School of Architecture (WSA)  PhD student Mohammed Al Ghafis  (for whom I am the main supervisor and Dr Eshrar Latif is the co-supervisor)  has presented some of his research results at the well-established Passive Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) International Conference, in Chile. I am also very pleased that he has also been awarded the Jeffrey Cook Travel Award. This is the third time in my career that one of my PhD students has received an award from the PLEA conference,  which has been running for more than 36 years. I am also proud of all my PhD students who are doing amazing research in WSA!"

To find out more about research opportunities at The Welsh School of Architecture, please visit our website.

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