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Reinterpreting sustainable design of traditional Iranian cities

Dibazar, Nima 2016. Reinterpreting sustainable design of traditional Iranian cities. MPhil Thesis, Cardiff University.
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In our constant attempts to reduce the negative impact of urbanisation on natural environment and to improve the quality of urban life, we must be inventive with new technologies but also to re-learn and re-use effective local solutions which have been used for centuries in vernacular cities before the industrialisation and widespread use of fossil fuels. The study focuses on vernacular Iranian cities in order to highlight architectural and urban solutions adopted in response to the harsh climate of Iranian plateau. Throughout the study climatic adaptations in vernacular Iranian cities have been investigated in response to four elements of sun, wind, water and green spaces. The main research approach adopted in this research involved urban structure analysis through aerial photos, historic maps, existing literature in Farsi and English as well as on site observation by the author. Native builders informed by accumulated knowledge of their ancestors, constructed dense urban environments with available local materials. These compact cities were efficient but also diverse in land use. Dense urban fabric protected building from cold winter winds and harsh summer sunlight. Water was transported from foothill of mountains via network of underground channels to supply water to buildings and also to moderate temperature by surface evaporation. Local knowledge of regional winds enabled native people to build houses and streets with appropriate orientation and benefit from favourable winds for ventilation and to avoid harsh, unpleasant winds. The study examines the pleasant microclimate of courtyard houses and possibilities of internal seasonal migration in order to locate to sun-catching warmer areas during cold season and occupy the cooler shady parts of the building in summer. The study demonstrates various methods utilised for climatic adaptation in vernacular cities. It recommends that further research to be undertaken to expand our understanding of vernacular built environment in order to interpret and use lessons from the past in contemporary cities.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainable design; traditional vernacular Iranian cities
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 May 2017
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:49

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