Architecture & climate - Cal State LA

Traditional architecture adapts to climate
Santorini, Greece in the Mediterranean is famous for the limestone
whitewashed houses that reflect the sun's scorching heat. Small
windows and doors, and thick plaster walls, also keep rooms cool.
Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi. Domes or vaulted roofs allow hot air to
escape from floor level and expose a larger surface area to the night sky,
allowing the heat built up during the day to radiate out better than a flat roof.
Domes expose a smaller area to the sun during the hottest part of the day when
the sun is directly overhead. Whitewashing also helps to reflect heat away from
the faithful inside. (Source: Reuters)
The number one priority in the Arctic is keeping warm. The Inuit peoples responded with
the igloo. Made from blocks of wind packed ice, the low profile, domed shape, and narrow
entrance protects the structure from wind erosion and keeps snow out. But the genius of
the igloo is the insulation provided by the snow. The temperature inside can be more than
30 degrees Celsius higher than the outside temperature and get as high as 15 degrees
Celsius. (Source: Shutterstock)
Japan's alpine valleys receive some of the heaviest snowfalls in the world.
Therefore traditional 'gassho-zukuri' (clasped-hands) homes have high,
steeply-peaked roofs so the snow (and rain) can easily slide off the roof
thatched from local grasses and straw. This not only prevents collapse but
also avoids leaks and rotting. The high roof also serves as a kind of chimney
for the stove inside.
A Mongolian boy stands against a ger or yurt, a traditional portable house used by
nomadic peoples in the Central Asian steppes. A circular wooden lattice frame is
covered by felt mats made from the wool of sheep, goats or yaks that the nomads
herd. These mats can be removed or rolled up in summer to let air flow through the
ger. The lattice frame keeps animals out. The circular shape leaves the least amount of
exterior surface exposed making it easier to heat and protect against the strong winds.
A house with a traditional grass roof in the Faroe Islands in the stormy North
Atlantic. A grass roof with a layer of turf underneath provides great insulation, and
keeps the house nice and quiet. It also prevents excessive rainwater runoff and
because the soil soaks up the water grass roofs are often less leaky. What's more,
because the roof is alive it is soaking up carbon dioxide.
Children from Indonesia's Bajo tribe near their pole house in Sulawesi
province. Away from the dense vegetation onshore, pole house are less humid
and can catch the slightest breeze to help ventilation through the walls and
floor. Water radiates heat less strongly than land for most of the day. Raised
high above the water surface they also protect against floods, dampness, and
animals. Gabled roofs shed the heavy rain common in tropical regions.
Muslims wash in the fountain waters inside Kashmir's Jamia Masjid mosque in
Srinagar. Courtyards help ventilate surrounding buildings by circulating air which is
cooled by overhanging verandas, cloisters, and other shaded areas. They also
distribute light. Water features like ponds or fountains take heat out of the air by
evaporation while vegetation acts as another coolant while also freshening the air
Islamic architecture is renowned for its intricate and exquisite detail, but lace-like
screens and lattices also reduce glare from the sun, provide shade, and help
ventilate buildings by allowing breezes to waft through walls.
Traditional Pueblo homes are built from natural adobe bricks-pressed layers
of dirt or clay- and locally-gathered grasses such as straw. Outside, they are
coated with a layer of mud. Thick, blank walls with few windows moderate
the temperature inside. The roofs are flat and make use of spouts to deal
with rain, the mud cover protects the inhabitants from the elements.
The ancient Moroccan city of Fez has a walled old town, or medina, that features
massive buildings, narrow streets, courtyards, and shuttered doors and windows. All
are designed to provide shade and funnel breezes through the area. These features
have evolved over time from the desert cave and cliff dwellings that provided similar
shelter from the heat and desert winds.
Large sliding doors-shoji-allow natural light and cooling air to stream through a
Japanese tatami room. Many such rooms have doors in opposite walls to
promote ventilation in this humid climate. The doors are easily adjustable to
allow in as much light and air as required. The tatami floor, meanwhile, is woven
from grasses and reeds, while the doors are made from rice paper and wood.
A five story pagoda in Miyajima, Japan. Japan is famous for its earthquakes, yet only two of
these five-story pagodas have been flattened by tremors in over 1000 years. Made from
wooden beams, pegs and wedges, pagodas also have adobe filling between the wooden
supports. When the pagoda sways, the adobe slowly crumbles and absorbs the seismic
shockwave. Meanwhile, the heavy roof tiles fall off, lightening the load on the rest of the
building. When the earthquake stops, all that needs to be done is to replace the missing roof
tiles and replaster the crumbled infilling.
Malaysia tropical architecture
So. American straw hut.
Amerindians built tent like huts made from palm
fronds with cone shaped roofs. Structural plans
were circular and approximately 14 feet in
diameter. Materials such as wild cane, rush, and
bamboo were also used. Although quite simple in
structure, the huts with stood strong winds and
even hurricanes.
There is another way to have natural ventilation circulating through the building and this
can be done by humidity, known as cool tower or most commonly by temperature
through a stack or Venturi effect.[4]
Cooler air, being denser, will enter from openings lower down the building and the
success of this system is dependent upon the volume of air it moves through the building.
The higher the stack, the greater the flow, a fact which can be seen in traditional and
vernacular buildings where this method has long been used.
Traditional architecture
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