The courtyard house is a traditional type of housing that used to adapt social, environmental and economic context of Iraq cities in the past. Even though the users' needs are changing over time, but the traditional courtyard houses are still used in the modern era. Accordingly, this study introduces the potential of the courtyard house as a type for adapting contemporary users’ need in Iraq, Koya city as a case. To do so, the study investigates the main traditional types of houses in Koya city: courtyard houses, and non-courtyard ones. Both types are still inhabitant in the modern era, which raises the question of how far courtyard houses may adapt contemporary user needs comparing to the non-courtyard ones? And what degree of changes was required in courtyard houses to meet contemporary user’s needs? Accordingly, the study examines the architectural and structural characteristics of Koya traditional houses of both types, and tries to understand the different ways of adapting such types by contemporary users spatially, and physically. It is an attempt to supply a suitable basement for developing a general guideline for conserving traditional courtyard houses, and designing modern courtyard houses in Iraqi cities in the future. The study followed a methodology that relied on field research to compare the current situation of both traditional types. A sample of 15 examples for each type was studied and analyzed. Two values are chosen for the comparison: flexibility with changes, and satisfaction of users. Thus, residents of the chosen sample were asked about their satisfaction on living in both types of traditional houses, and what kind of alterations they did or wish to do in the future. The survey has revealed that most problems of courtyard houses refers to the physical adaptation of the houses and not to the spatial adaptation, which still be able to satisfy environmental and social needs of users with an acceptable degree of changes. In this sense, the main found of the study is: courtyard house as a type is a very potential approach for adaptable housing in Iraq in terms of its flexibility with contemporary users’ needs, which increases the satisfaction of users on living in such houses comparing with non-courtyard houses if such physical problems were solved.