Han-ok, Korean Tradition House,

appears in Austin


Sustainable Design Paper (Individual)

Spring 2017, Course: Energy Modeling and Design Process

Professor Dason Whitsett, The University of Texas at Austin



1.    Thermal Experience at Hanok

Hanok is Korean traditional house, which is comprised of wood structures and stone. It traditionally has front garden facing southern side, which is called ‘Madang’ that means courtyard. Hanok also has specific characteristics like operable wood windows and opened living room (Daecheong).

I have memorable experiences at my grandmother’s house, Hanok. I loved green courtyard and ran anytime at the space, it was special experience for me to decide to become an architect. Natural sun lighting, fresh breeze and green garden made me feel comfortable and relaxed. In the opened living room, Daecheong, I remembered that I lay on the wood floor and ate fresh foods like watermelon with natural breeze and the scent of wood. It was really good and I could keep the experiences in my mind.


2.    General Modeling

Remembering my thermal experience at my grandmother’s Hanok, I try to adapt the Hanok to Austin temperature. Because the traditional Hanok style has thermal problem with Austin climate, I plan to make four-alteration models with different shading devices.

Basically, the house is located facing southern side and consists of guest room, master room, living room, kitchen, courtyard, and backyard. I mainly focus on living room, which plays a major role in connecting guest room and master room. In addition, the space has operable wooden windows and wood flooring system. The wooden structure and finishing helps me feel more comfortable and warmer. Slow breezes enable to keep the room temperature stable.


Baseline Modeling

Open studio model is mainly separated by three zones, quest room, living room, and master room. It includes tilted roof, big size canopy, roof ceilings, doors, windows, and exterior walls. The roof space is defined as mechanical room in open studio. Outside wall is made of brick wall, which represents site boundary. General model is formatted as a ‘Midrise-Apartment’, and it is applied to ASHRAE 90.1 2010 standard.

Basic model in OpenStudio (+Energy Plus).

Basic model in OpenStudio (+Energy Plus).


The model schedules are basically set following ‘Midrise-Apartment Schedule set. In addition, I changed occupants’ schedule like normally mid-rise apartment occupancy.


In construction setting, the model is applied to midrise-apartment construction set. Basically, exterior wall and exterior roof is following ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standard. However, because all of the materials are made of wood, in exterior wall construction setting, the materials are changed by wood frame, includes wood siding, 1/2-inch gypsum, wall insulation, and G05 25mm wood structure.


Basic model has big size tilted roof and canopies, which play a major role in shading devices and keeping temperature stable. For analyzing the living room’s temperature and humidity, I arranged the daylighting control adjacent windows and illuminant map in that room. Furthermore, I think that the courtyard and backyard also can reduce the interior temperature.


HVAC system

I added ‘packaged rooftop heat pump’ as HVAC systems to my baseline modeling, especially except for the living room space for natural ventilation.


3.Design Strategy & Modification

I had two specific strategies for comfort living zone. The first idea is to make ‘Green wall’ in the backyard. It plays an essential role in shading directly northern sunlight. Modifying the angle of the vertical louver, I could analyze what is the most beneficial angle for shading.

 Second modification is to arrange shading device at the courtyard, which is used in Solar Decathlon NEXUSHAUS designed by University of Texas at Austin. It can reduce heat gain from the southern sunlight.

Design Strategies for comfort living zone.

Design Strategies for comfort living zone.


4.Analysis & Results

I have four alteration models: 1. no-angled green wall, 2. -45⁰ angled green wall and shading device at the garden, 3. 45⁰ angled green wall and shading device at the garden, 4. -45⁰ angled green wall, horizontal green louver, shading device at the garden and tree.


Humidity and Temperature

Through variable modification models, I can get the numbers of humidity and temperature of the living room at July 6th; specific time at 9am, 1pm, and 4pm. Analyzing the temperature after modification, it helped me to change the angle of shading louvers and also informed how many changed from the modification.

The vertical louvers that I put in the backyard enabled to shade the direct sunlight. In addition, it had an effect on reducing heat gain so that the temperature would decrease shortly. However, after adding shading device at the front garden, it could reduce 2 degree Fahrenheit.

The most interesting result is that the north-western facing louvers are beneficial than north-eastern ones for reducing temperature. It keeps the direct sunlight from going into the living room. However, the trees that I replaced at the front garden are not beneficial for comfort temperature in open studio analysis.

Variables of shading devices in Open Studio.

Variables of shading devices in Open Studio.

5. Conclusion

Through changing modifications with open studio modeling, I could analyze what is the most effective way for shading devices. Furthermore, the open studio program significantly helps me to design alterations.

I tried to make green wall and arrange trees for shading, but those are not similar to actual building. However, it is easy for me to make modeling and analyze temperature, and humidity.

Replacing the Korean traditional house, Hanok, in Austin seems not to be easy because Seoul and Austin has different climate. However, the method of making shading devices and using open studio for analyzing influences on deciding design strategies, especially planning passive, sustainable house. Through analyzing and selecting appropriate design concept from open studio tool, I can make more sustainable buildings easily and it could be starting point for the sustainable built environments.







All rights reserved by Donghwan Kim