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Vernacular architecture Essay

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Mankind has always struggled to seek shelter and was extremely resourceful in providing it. Vernacular architecture is the main result of this most basic human necessity. Vernacular buildings were designed in accordance with certain fundamental principles which included comfort, durability, functionality, aesthetic beauty and affordability. The sustainability in such buildings lies in the fact that they are built to adapt to the regional inhabitants and their needs, and regional conditions, including availability of local materials and building techniques, the climatic conditions and the socio-cultural factors. To ensure the practicality of these structures, builders use knowledge that is based on experience, tested by trial and error and most of the time is passed on from generation to generation.
The builders are limited on resources and have to make use of indigenous materials that can be obtained from the surrounding environment. The interdependent relationship between the materials and the community led the craftsman to know what the capabilities and limitations of the materials are. The way these materials are utilised enables the structure to be ideally suited for the local climate and the community’s religious views and other beliefs. Some architectural structures may offer a challenge to comparative studies since they are practical in several different environments. Activities within the space of the house, such as cooking and heating are also essential for good energy performance. The local resources, besides having a practical purpose in defining space and poviding comfort, are also used for vernacular features, which ascribe the community to the given environment and thus fulfilling a great humanistic need. All of ...


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.... The extensive roof of the main part, covered in palm leaf thatch or clay tiles to provide good insulation against the sun’s radiation due to their low thermal capacity, is relatively steep to cast off rainwater and most importantly to increase stack ventilation. As air gets warmer, it expands and rises inside the high ceiling. There it flows out of the house through the ventilation roof joints or the hooded rising gable vents. On the other hand, the attached roofs covering the secondary spaces are low-pitched and less suitable for precipitation. But they are intended to cast water away from the walls in order for windows to remain open and let air flow through the building without having water infiltrating it. These roofs also contribute to natural convection by means of the stack effect, since the steeply-pitched roof space draws the air from their lower space.



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