Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level



Mechanical Engineering


Darin W. Nutter

Committee Member

Rick J. Couvillion

Second Committee Member

Larry A. Roe

Third Committee Member

Uchechukwu C. Wejinya

Fourth Committee Member

Chase E. Rainwater


Applied sciences, Buildings' cooling and heating loads, Dust accumulation, Hot and dry climates, Sky radiative cooling, Sky temperature, Transient solar absorptivity


The influence of transient factors such as sky long wave radiation exchange and atmospheric aerosols (i.e., smog, and dust – made up of sand, clay, and silt) are not carefully considered in current building design and simulation models. Therefore, the research objective was to better understand and account for such variables, resulting in improved radiative predictive capabilities, especially important for hot and dry climates under different sky conditions including clean, cloudy, and dusty. Overall, results of this dissertation provided a better prediction method for sky long wave radiation exchange with a building’s roof and the impact of dust accumulation on energy use, especially for poorly and uninsulated residential buildings. The two most significant results for this study were (1) a new absorptivity model was introduced in an effort to relate a building’s exterior roof solar and thermal properties (absorptivity, reflectivity, and emissivity) to monthly averaged dust accumulation, and (2) a new dusty sky temperature model was introduced as a function of atmospheric aerosol optical depth to better account for dust impact on sky temperature prediction.