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Bioclimatic Architecture as Environment Friendly Building Strategy

Some of the best works – eco-friendly buildings – were created by them (architects) who dared to go out of their way from the idea or the norm of architecture, but the results were actually considered environmentally friendly. Namely bioclimatic architecture, designing buildings that work together with local environmental climatic conditions, including climatic and cultural aspects. Bioclimatic architecture is an architectural strategy that is opposite to the mechanism of modernization. Bioclimatic architecture continues to explore nature along with the rise and evolution of 21st century building architecture.


Prior to the 20th century, most architects in the world designed buildings to adapt to the building climate and regional bioclimatic architecture. “If you look at old buildings, you see that ancient people were very good at adapting to the environmental climate to get performance with maximum comfort. But in modern times, most of the Architects are a bit lazy to design bioclimates and they tend to make designs. based on mechanical ventilation of lamps and HVAC electric lighting,” said Patrick Leonard, director of Paladino, a green building consultancy based in Seattle, USA.

For centuries, architects around the world have used various types of bioclimatic architecture, especially in regions such as North Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe. For example, the traditional Spanish Hacienda design uses thick, dense thermal walls to retain heat or cold so as to regulate temperature and create a stable indoor microclimate, says Sam Kimmins, principal advisor on renewable energy for the Forum for the Future, a development organization. global sustainability based in London, UK.


The Spanish Hacienda has “small windows to reduce extreme levels of sunlight or heat and larger windows to the north to absorb light,” he said. Thick-walled structures were known in ancient Greece, Yemen, and some other areas.

Leonard points to the high-top roofs and traditional arched styles in China and Japan. Developed to control rain and snow. Also, the original architecture of Hyderabad, Pakistan, has structures designed to catch the wind and flow of air ducts for natural ventilation.

Land houses built by Scandinavian and Nordic cultures hundreds of years ago. Some of the first bioclimatic structures to integrate vegetation, said Bruce Dvorak, a professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University. “With stone, wood, and other supporting materials, a moor house is formed with most of the walls being insulated from the house,” he said. “Living soil is also placed on the roof. Living soil is placed on the roof of the building which is shaded during the summer and insulating the house during the winter.”

“By the end of the 19th century, much of the world’s architecture had evolved using natural ventilation strategies, selection of building materials or image systems to create a comfortable internal environment.” said Sam Kimmins. Some of the ventilation tactics used are natural cross ventilation; natural ventilation piles; or natural one-sided ventilation by designing the right window size to regulate air temperature and velocity.

According to Leonard, with the advent of modern technology in the 20th century, the trend of contemporary design shifted from being responsive to natural conditions. Rather, it is an emphasis on isolating the design building from nature, rather than trying to cooperate with natural conditions. The evolution of modern building technology acts as a barrier to building against the surrounding climate. “I think it’s a great innovation with the idea of ​​making buildings livable without having to adapt to a more open world trade climate,” he said.

The current state of technological evolution and the spread of “international style” in architecture have created glass-shaped office buildings or towers that are very popular in European cities. However, in some cases, there are so-called “green” buildings that are built, but they have little or no effect on environmental sustainability.

One of the latest trends in architecture is the use of new technologies to enhance, amplify and measure the performance of traditional bioclimatic techniques. “I think now we’re more focused on conserving resources and using what’s available locally. So we have the opportunity to take the best of both options. In other words, how do we apply new technologies to help adapt to the climate.” Leonard said.

One example is the case of biomimicry in Harare, Zimbabwe, where an air-conditioned mid-rise building was designed to stay cool with a termite-inspired ventilation system. To map three-dimensional architecture, architects and engineers apply the knowledge gained about tunnels and airways to create blueprints for building self-contained settings for humans.

Another recent case is the building of the US Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, which could be the worst example of climate neglect, but the government has instead chosen to respond to the local climate by modifying the building’s signature prototype.


“The State Department has a standard embassy design that can be used anywhere in the world. But if it’s not climate-adapted, you base your design on the Washington, DC building,” Leonard says. “So it’s a really big step at Monrovia to take this standard embassy design and create a climate that’s appropriate and responsive to the location.”

Embassy LEED Gold is located in a hot, humid and heavy rainfall location where using waste heat for cooling, rainwater for drinking water, and solar cells for power generation is needed to increase energy security.

With fairly minimal modifications, you can create a building in a more economical way,” said Leonard. In fact, simple things we discovered when you protected the hollow walls in Washington and Monrovia. If you use less insulation on the walls, you will get a more efficient building to absorb heat. ”

Translated from Allison Gregor Articles.

We are able to provide education or care for bioclimatic architecture. If you have any questions regarding projected work or bioclimatic architecture, please contact us at:

ALTA Integra

Jl. Hayam Wuruk No. 2 R – S
Jakarta Pusat, 10120
Telp: 021 351 3 351
Fax: 021 345 8 143


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