Is it possible to construct structures that consider the environment from its conceptual phase? Using what is referred to as bioclimatic design, the answer is “yes.” In order to design buildings that are comfortable and healthy, bioclimatic design takes the local geography and climate into account. In order to lessen a building’s environmental impact, this style of design takes into account the local climate conditions, including sun, wind, rain, etc. Energy efficiency is another important factor and a critical tool in the war against climate change. Buildings with passive bioclimatic elements have been one of the key goals to support sustainable development in recent years.
Nearly 40% of the nation’s overall final energy consumption is related to the building industry. In addition to being a substantial financial burden due to the high cost of energy, this consumption, whether in the form of heat (using predominantly oil) or electricity, causes significant air pollution, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), which is what causes the greenhouse effect. By utilising energy-efficient systems and technologies, such as passive solar systems, and a suitable building design (bioclimatic architecture), the energy consumption of buildings can be reduced using straightforward methods and processes.
Vernacular architecture has been based on bioclimatic characteristics for centuries on end. Innovative designs in bioclimatic architecture provide people thermal and visual comfort. The performance and energy use of the building are significantly influenced by the climate, and renewable energy sources can be used to meet the remaining energy demand.
To lessen the effects of climate change, the building industry must make the shift to sustainability. This is where bioclimatic architecture, which is used in both buildings and infrastructure, comes into play.
But what exactly is a bioclimatic building? In this article, we’ll answer the question that gets asked the most: what is bioclimatic design? The article looks at the goals of bioclimatic design, as well as some of its benefits, tactics, and elements. The term “bioclimatic design” refers to a design approach that is frequently misunderstood to mean “vernacular form of building style.”
Table of Contents
Bioclimatic Design: An Overview
Bioclimatic architecture refers to the design of buildings and spaces (interior, exterior, and outdoor) depending on local climate, utilising solar energy and other environmental sources, in order to provide thermal and visual comfort. Passive solar systems, which are integrated into buildings and use environmental resources (such as the sun, air, wind, plants, water, soil, and sky) for heating, cooling, and lighting the structures, are fundamental components of bioclimatic design.
Simply observing the building’s orientation, roof’s design, and window size in relation to other nations and areas will enough.
The major goals of bioclimatic design are to develop livable, healthy homes for the occupants while protecting the environment. Avoiding the use of polluting materials, ensuring the health of the local biodiversity, and making efficient use of energy, building materials, water, and other resources are all necessary for achieving this.
Buildings with passive bioclimatic elements have been one of the key goals to support sustainable development in recent years.
Objective of Bioclimatic Design
By utilising natural resources, bioclimatic design seeks to provide comfortable indoor temperatures. The house can be cooled down in a way that uses a lot less energy in this way. These conditions are necessary, particularly in warmer regions (such as the Mediterranean). In many areas, the wintertime energy capture and conservation strategy appear to conflict with the summer strategy of protection and evacuation.
When it comes to cold or hot climes, bioclimatic strategies in design vary slightly. The utilisation of passive solar energy to avoid the need for mechanical systems is a crucial aspect. The Sun serves as the primary energy source for passive houses.
Strategies in Bioclimatic Architecture
Bioclimatic features efficiently harness solar energy to warm buildings in the winter and cool them in the summer. The primary determinants of these characteristics are cultural, climatic, and behavioural factors. The buildings are greatly impacted by climatic conditions, including solar radiation, wind speed, and wind direction.
In the summer, the sun rises in the northeast and is high in the sky at noon. The east and west walls, as well as the roof, make up the majority of a building’s solar-radiated facades. On south-facing glass surfaces, the angle of incidence of rays is high. For maximum sunlight availability in winter and to block direct solar radiation in summer, it is advised to cover these glazed surfaces with solar coverings. Due to the lesser incidence of the sun’s rays in the apertures of the east and west facades, the horizontal solar shade is only partially effective. On these facades, opaque sunscreens (shutters) and even more deciduous plants work well.
As long as it is not blocking the winter sun, persistent vegetation can help block cold winds. It is practical to create a night ventilation system in the summer to benefit from the cooler outside temperature. By adopting cross ventilation, we may replace the hot air from inside with cool air from the outside through natural ventilation.
Buildings that are bioclimatic are based on design and usage principles that lower their energy costs. The most typical strategies include:
- Efficient design: Buildings should be designed to adapt to the local environment in order to reduce energy use, conserve resources, and prevent leaks and waste.
- Sustainable energy sources: Bioclimatic structures lower their consumption by utilising a variety of renewable energy sources, including solar, geothermal, wind, and hydraulic.
- Materials: It is best to employ eco-friendly building materials like wood, stone, natural fibres, and recycled materials to reduce the impact of the structure. Also considering solar-heated tiles, automatically darkening window panes, and intelligent materials that can repair themselves to extend their useful lives.
Advantages of Bioclimatic Architecture
Bioclimatic architecture, paired with excellent energy efficiency is used in passive buildings. Buildings are intended to optimise light and solar radiation, with high isolation and a renewal of air through a ventilation system with a heat recovery, minimising the usage of traditional heating and cooling systems. Any sort of architectural design and any building system can use this energy paradigm. The following is a list of some of its advantages:
- Optimal thermal comfort: A thorough analysis of the climate, direction, form factor, volume, solar radiation capture in the winter and shielding from it in the summer, the building’s shadows and how they will affect you are all key components of an efficient construction.
- High performance windows: A building’s envelope’s weakest component is its windows. Heat loss from the windows accounts for 25% to 30% of the cost of heating. High energy efficiency is mostly dependent on the same’s quality and proper installation.
- High thermal insulation: A structure with inadequate thermal insulation can use up to 30% more energy. Good insulation lowers summer and winter heat losses, as well as the energy needed for air conditioning.
- Health: Allergy symptoms are decreased by the absence of dust and pollen in filtered air. The low CO2 and VOC concentrations lessen weariness, some illnesses like headaches, eye, nose, and throat irritation, dryness of the respiratory system, and some disorders.
- Improved sustainable habits: Low energy usage makes something efficient and, therefore, economical by by making sparing use of energy and other resources.
- Heat restoration: Mechanical ventilation enables continual indoor air replacement. With the help of a heat recuperator, air that, for instance, can enter on a cold winter day at 0° and exit at around 22° might produce internal energy that, depending on the recuperator’s efficiency and in the absence of a heating system, can turn 0° into approximately 18°.
The goal of this article is to determine identity in architecture through the lens of numerous notions such as bioclimatic design, and sustainability, as different facets of identity. Also attempts to find analogies between identity as a marker of a society and sustainability as a lifestyle developed by people in that society to live in harmony with the surrounding nature and available resources while maintaining a balance with the lifecycle around them through discussion and analysis as every location on the Earth faces climatic issues, and the bioclimatic design understanding of those challenges gives remedies.
Understanding the merits and demerits of these bioclimatic architecture typologies can help architects and designers integrate them with advanced construction materials and techniques. Such techniques can alleviate the drawbacks and maximize the value of the modern construction industry and promote sustainable built environment.