Jordan News | Latest News from Jordan, MENA
December 3 2021 3:31 AM ˚
e-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Learning from vernacular architecture

As global warming affects the world day by day, and the region sees an increase in average temperatures, maybe it is time to start paying more attention to the way we build. (Photo: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan
As global warming affects the world day by day, and the region sees an increase in average temperatures, maybe it is time to start paying more attention to the way we build. (Photo: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan News)
  • +
  • -
AMMAN — As global warming affects the world day by day, and the region sees an increase in average temperatures, maybe it is time to start paying more attention to the way we build. اضافة اعلان

Instead of using air conditioning units, which tend to be expensive and harmful for the environment, the world is leaning towards passive green architecture that uses passive cooling systems that reduce cooling expenses and maximize the building envelope, replacing mechanical devices.

Green architecture is in no way a new trend, it has always been there, without necessarily requiring expensive or high maintenance. It can be traced back to the vernacular architecture, or even the desert palaces in Jordan.

One would enter one of these palaces in the middle of the desert and would not feel the same hotness and dryness outside. These structures represent a good example of using basic building knowledge and transforming it into green architecture.

Not only by using stone as a building material, but also by relying on natural heat-sinks to remove heat from the building, they derive cooling directly from evaporation, convection, and radiation, while the exterior building envelope slows heat transfer into the building and removes unwanted heat from the building.

Natural ventilation
Natural ventilation is an important passive method, through which openings play a dominant role in inducing indoor ventilation. These openings must be placed at opposite sides of a pressure zone to allow the wind to go through.


(Photo: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan News)

Stacks can also be used to enhance the wind flow; when adding openings near the top of the space, it can be an exit for the warm air, allowing the cool air to enter from lower openings.

Shading
Shading is considered to be one of the most effective form of cooling, protecting the windows and walls from direct solar radiation by simply extending the overhang up to a certain length that prevents the summer sun from entering and allows the desirable winter sun inside.


(Photo: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan News)

Louvers can be used to allow more daylight while shading windows from direct sunlight.

Wind towers
Wind towers are not new to our culture, it is known in the vernacular architecture as “Malqaf”, where the hot air entering through the opening of the tower gets cooled by the cooling pads, becomes heavier and sinks down to the house, while the warm air gets out through another opening.


(Photo: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan News)

Courtyards
Courtyards help producing air flow, as cool air from the ground level flows through the louvered openings of rooms that surround the courtyard, and with openings in the rooms, it creates a flow in the air.

Some of the courtyards have water surfaces that help lower the temperature of the place, as is common in the traditional Syrian courtyard house, also known as “Ard Al Diyar,” or the desert palaces in Jordan.

In addition to the low running cost of passive cooling, it helps provide indoor comfort, requires low maintenance, and has low and up to zero energy consumption.

Read more Lifestyle