Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Can architects provide green solutions to cool buildings?

Air conditioning is making the environment even more hot due to its contribution to global warming. The use of air conditioning is increasing pollution in the environment by releasing poisonous gases into the environment. These gases include the chlorofluorocarbons and hydro-chlorofluorocarbons. Apart from how the use of air conditioners are threatening environment, they also consume a lot of electric energy.

"The US expends more energy on air conditioning, for example, than the whole of Africa does on everything. Then again, it expends even more energy on hot water, which doesn’t get the same rap. The question then is not whether to condition climate, but how. As long ago as the 1940s the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy demonstrated, with his village of New Gourna near Luxor, how traditional techniques of orientation, ventilation, screening and shading could be revived." - The Guardian

Can Architects provide green solutions to cool buildings? Yes. In fact, an architect by harnessing the local climate, its vegetation, as well as intelligently manipulating a building's orientation, can naturally create a cooler indoor climate. 

The demand for buildings and higher density living, specially in Asian cities, continues to increase, it will be crucial to ensure this growth does not drive energy and water consumption higher. And, here architects can play their role. 

Much of the world’s architecture, prior to the 20th century, responded to the regional climate and could be considered bioclimatic. “If you look at older buildings, you see that people were very good at adapting to climate to get the maximum performance, but we kind-of got lazy once air conditioning and electric light came along at the turn of the last century,” says Patrick Leonard, the director of Paladino and Company, a green building consultant based in Seattle.

Architects around the world look to the past to introduce bioclimate strategies in designing greener buildings!

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