BUILDING DESIGN and CLIMATE

Post 155   by Gautam Shah ➔

Climate response Casa de Osambela, Lima

1024px-Lima_PuebloJov_4

Lima -another response same climate

Each building form provides its own unique environment. 1. Affectations of the climate are highly directional and scheduled in time. 2. The sub sections of the building are variously oriented and so impacted differently in time and space. 3. The building is formed of many materials and their composites, which interact differently with the various aspects of climatic.

FIRST strategy to deal with the climate is to place various sections with most appropriate orientation. SECOND method relates to shifting activity schedules according to time and space. THIRD process relates to use of building materials and forms for their behaviour with the various aspects of the climate.

Anna Heringer: DESI Vocational School, Rudrapur (2006) BanglaDesh

All sections or activities, however cannot get ideal placement, size form, or building materials. The other problems include linkages or management of inter relationship between sections and activities. There are often inherent contradictions in climatic affectations (the best side for breeze may get maximum heat gain, or the colder breeze face may not have any solar gain). Similar problems are also situational, such as due to the location and terrain features.

In a building, once constructed, the shell (shape. size, materials etc.), its siting, and to some extent the amenities, are constant factors. The variables, however, are: climatic factors, inhabitants and activities of the inhabitants. When constants and variables are appropriately matched, we get an environment that is always in a flux, only partly predicable, but mostly full of surprises.

From a climate point of view, a building behaves like a biological entity, that is in a continuous process of achieving equilibrium. But the process, towards equilibrium, is not always favourable to the inhabitants or their activities. We need to hasten, delay, curtail or terminate some of the effects of the climate. Primarily we use permanent passive devices for the purpose, such as the shading devices, insulation systems, heat absorption or dissemination systems. Where such permanent installations are not physically possible or relevant for their small-scale need, we try to modulate our life style by relocating and re-timing the activities, change our clothing, food, postures and furniture like amenities. The use of climate control by mechanical devices, must be last resort.

Climate and response through Clothing

Designers use many techniques to adopt the climate for a building. They redefine and reorganise activities by new clustering, reformat the functional modules and improvise time schedules of activities. Where an activity must take place at different locations to suit the climate, related amenities are designed to be relocatable.

Modern response to Climate concerns

Designers also exploit territorial features so that energy exchange occurs efficiently and advantageously. Such features are slopes, hills, mounds, gorges, valleys, contours, etc. Landscaping elements such as water bodies, plants, shrubs, hedges, groves, etc. are created to aid the territorial features. Building components like the parapets, barricades, curbs, Chowks, cut-outs, stacks, ducts, chimneys, shafts, etc. help manage the effects of the climate. Shading devices like projections, Chhajjas, balconies, galleries, canopies, textured surfaces etc. and energy receivers like bay windows, glass fronts, solarium, clear storeys etc. are exploited for heat gain or loss, and create favourable breeze movements.

Indian House -Climate response – siting of activities

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One thought on “BUILDING DESIGN and CLIMATE

  1. Well, I can definitely see houses and buildings being adapted to the climate where they are built, it makes a lot of sense. Actually, combined with culture and technology it should be one of the most important things that decide about the design of a building. It must be adapted to either stand up the rainy seasons, cold winters or heat waves, or perhaps all together throughout the year. Taking the journey from the other side and designing the building to be ready for all kinds of climate and to adapt itself according to a place and season is very interesting though, I can do nothing but support such development!

    However, when not talking about climate but cultural changes, those are worth mentioning too. With all the Chinese quarters in vast majority of world big towns the spread of Eastern cultures buyers is influencing the buyer behaviour too. Now the real estate price negotiation is not only based on the quality and energy efficiency of a building itself, but features like Feng Shui as well. Very interesting I would say.

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