The combined heat load from hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and the 40C+ local temperature can create discomfort and in some cases, severe illnesses.
As part of an expansion of the Mosque, RWDI recreated the real wind and thermal environment in both the mosque building and the courtyard that surrounds the Kaaba. A physical model was created and tested in the wind tunnel to simulate the propsed air conditioning system. Conditioned air was supplied at over 1000 locations in the model and 500 thermocouples were used to monitor the varying temperatures in the courtyard and inside the building.
Owner: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Builder: Saudi Binladin Group
- Natural ventilation
- Thermal comfort
- Building services noise control
Influence on design: RWDI worked with Dar Al Handasah to develop an air conditioning system that would provide relatively normal comfort levels. The challenge was to provide air conditioning to the building (that was open to the outside environment) and the open courtyard that holds 40,000 people. The solution involved a series of jet fans at the rim of the courtyard, which supplied chilled air that circulated to all areas. To allow pilgrims to pray in silence, RWDI provided consultation to suppress the noise from the fans.
Healthier Air: During the Hajj and Ramadan period, millions of pilgrims are in attendance at the mosque. The density of people is such that the air becomes supersaturated and many people become thermally uncomfortable or ill as a result. The new mechanical system was designed to help alleviate this situation.