What Can Sustainability Learn from Vernacular Architecture?

January 31, 2022

Sustainable architecture has a lot to learn from vernacular architecture. Vernacular architecture used passive design strategies to optimize comfort and health in summer and winter. Brise Soleil were always used from creative laced wood. Buildings were stacked together while allowed to breath through green and water cooled courtyards. Narrow alleys served the neighborhood while utilizing "thermal mass" to maintain acceptable temperatures indoors. Basement was used in the summer as a refuge from excessive summer heat while upper floors were used in winter for warmer temperatures. This was the norm for thousands and thousands of year before the "Modern Movement" in the early 20th C. brought its values and architecture became more of a "theatrical spectacles" for fame-thirsty architects. My sketch from one of my home towns (adopted by many mothers!)- Baghdad.

Sam A. Leika-Shukor, OAA

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