When we talk about sustainability in architecture we are referring to taking a responsible attitude regards to the management of basic natural resources such as energy, water and soil, not only during the building process, but also in the resultant building, in a way that the environmental impact of the constructions is minimized. Thanks to our experience building in arid and desert climate’s environments, we have had the opportunity to put into practice this kind of initiatives in several occasions when looking for the perfect cohesion between architectural and landscape elements in order to achieve a higher energetic efficiency.
Bioclimatic architecture allows us to take advantage of the environmental conditions, suggesting a meticulous design to provide our creations with the maximum internal comfort while minimizing energy consumption at the same time. We incorporate certain elements in the architectural design process that will help to evaluate the available natural resources; This, for instance, allows us to achieve thermal self-regulation or to improve natural lightning.
As we mentioned in previous articles, sustainable architecture doesn’t fit a standard pattern that can be applied to every single environment in an identical manner and therefore, each project should be approached taking into account its particularities. By selecting local materials, choosing the appropriate orientation and adapting the construction and the landscape, we could save energy and be more sustainable regardless of the location.
Seed House: bioclimatic architecture on a desert climate
A good example of the application of bioclimatic architecture on a desert climate is our project Seed House, in Al Wafra, Kuwait. This project has been recently been awarded the Concept Design of the Year on Middle East Architect Awards 2014, and it consists of a residential mixed use program for a date farm on a desert area frequently swept by sand storms coming from the desert. After studying the place, the climate and the winds that affect the area, the best landscape solution was devised to provide the residence with a comfortable microclimate. For that to be possible, it was decided to place on the North East of the construction some vegetation with middle height trees and artificial lakes which served as a natural barrier against the sand that is dragged in by the desert winds, and at the same time helps to humidify those before them getting in contact with the house.
Sunken on the land plot, the most visible facade is the landscaping roof treated as a semiarid landscape that doesn’t require irrigation. This strategy offers protection from the sun and the wind, while helping to naturally integrate the residence in the terrain. Only the wind towers, which are also technology containers, emerge from the landscape, as a reference to the traditional architectural symbols of the area.
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