Monday, November 5, 2012

Stepwells (Bawdi) for Natural Cooling of Buildings

A bawdi or stepwell is a small body of water that is constructed either below ground or surrounded by walls above ground. The nearby spaces gets cooled when the water in the enclosed area evaporates. Stepwells are certainly one of India's most unique, but little-known, contributions to green architecture. 

The architecture of these stepwells clearly suggests that these structures were not only used for rain water harvesting but also provided relief from daytime heat. The ancient cooling techniques of stepwells could be adapted in modern architecture as natural way of cooling the buildings. Even if air-conditioners are used in the building planned with the ancient cooling techniques, they will consume significantly less energy as the temperatures will be low in these building because of the natural air chilling.

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