"concerning the relations between climate and living organisms"
what is bioclimatic architecture?
It is a design approach where the design of buildings and spaces is based on the local climate, and is aimed at providing thermal comfort through the use of natural energies.
In bioclimatic architecture, the building is a smart response to the uncomfortable climatic conditions, a real shelther capable of providing thermal comfort to its users by making the most of the beneficial aspects of the natural climate. Reliance on mechanical systems for cooling and heating is kept to a minimum.
These houses in Luxor, West bank, are a great example of bioclimatic architecture still standing today. Unfortunately, they are waiting to be destroyed. Antiquities are believed to be present in this area.
how can we design a bioclimatic building?
Nature already provides us with free energies all year long, but we must deal with it smartly to cover all our needs in terms of cooling, heating & lighting.
We carefully orient our buildings.
We try to attract natural energy.
We reduce its waste.
We only take what we need.
We capitalize on what we capture.
We conserve it wisely.
We distribute it inside.
There are two types of energy-saving strategies
Passive design is a design approach enabling the building to use the natural flowpath of energy efficiently, without involving any mechanical system. The proper design of the building and its parts is alone responsible for capturing natural energies and thus creating a positive energy flow throughout the spaces to fulfil the needs of the inhabitants.
Active strategies involve man-made systems enhancing the process of energy capturing. Systems can be simple technologies, or involve mechanical or electrical equipements. In this approach the natural energy is not used directly but is converted into different forms (electricity) by specific processes.
what are the benefits of this approach?
An improved overall health for the users, the building, the environment & the future generations.
better indoor air quality
higher hydrothermal comfort
low energy consumption
breathable building, higher lifespan
clean energy source
reduced reliance on fossil energy
what are the benefits of this approach in Egypt?
of energy sold from distribution companies is dedicated to residential use according to the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company 2013-2014 annual report.
And at least another 70% of this use is dedicated to heating, cooling & lighting spaces, all of which can be reduced dramatically when switching to passive houses. (Heating and cooling are the biggest energy consumers: for example, 10 minutes of electric water boiling is equivalent to 14 hours of television use).
With the beautiful sun we have everyday in winter, the cool breeze we have during summer nights, how is it hard to benefit from nature's free gifts, everyday?
Imagine if we managed to save at least half this energy, and instead started to invest in other sectors like healthcare, education, tourism, agriculture?
How much of an impact will we be doing, just by changing a few design decisions?
We do not need solar panels. We only need to allow the sun to enter our houses wisely, both in summer & winter. It's very easy!
Street in Fustat