The general characteristics of this climate are as follows:
•hot dry weather in summer and cold in winter.
•very little rainfall.
•very low humidity.
•sandy or rocky ground with very low vegetation cover.
•high temp. difference between night and day.
•hot winds & frequent dust storms
•High summer day time temperatures(32-36° C)
•In hotter regions above 40 and up to 50°C.
• High solar radiation
•Clear sky most of the year
Hot & Dry regions: Ahmedabad, Rajasthan, North Africa, Kutch, Pakistan, etc.
INTRODUCTION TO ITS DESIGN
•The architecture that has developed in arid zones have had
consistent and deep-rooted building techniques which
promote passive climatic conditioning of their environments
to provide shelter and comfort from their natural
environment of hot-arid deserts.
•Contemporary design of homes in hot-arid desert conditions
have much to learn from the great history and development
of city planning, building form and construction methods of
Case Study of a Traditional House
“Architecture without Architects”
•A circular space enclosed by mud walls is the most typical dwelling
construction in the Kutch district of the Gujarat state & Rajasthan in
India, which has a very high earthquake risk, is called a Bungha.
4. burnt brick masonry either in mud mortar
or in cement mortar.
•consists of a single
cylindrically shaped room.
•has a conical roof supported
by cylindrical walls.
•inner diameter of the Bungha
is between 3m to 10m.
•has only three openings one
door and two small windows.
•construction has existed for several hundred
•This house is quite durable and highly
appropriate for hot & dry conditions.
•The entire construction process, which is
carried out by the mason with very few
unskilled laborers, can be completed within 30
•typically found in flat terrain.
•do not share common walls
with adjacent buildings.
(the typical distance from a
neighboring building is 3m)
circular design and the mesh of mud
plaster and twigs make them resist
any wind pressure and quake.
The different spaces (for
men & women-children)
are not interconnected.
A horizontal clay
platform about 50
cm high, is a way to
avoid rainfalls inside
Circular spaces are the main
living zones, rectangular
spaces are for secondary
functions, like cooking
cleaning and storing. They are
smaller and not so strong.
They do not resist very well to
earthquakes or cracks.
The thick walls, made of mud, keep the interior cool
when the temperature rises to 40 degrees Celsius in
summer and warm when it beam and posts drops
to 10 degrees in winter.
The roof is made of wooden top dome
where bamboo sticks are fixed with a
thick layer of grass put on roof and tied
The walls can not bear the wood beam
of the roof, which runs across the space
diagonally and rests on two wooden
posts. The beam is often kept exposed
outside the circular wall.
•Due to circular shape of
wall in plan, inertial forces
developed in wall are
resisted through shell
action providing excellent
resistance to lateral
•wall is extended below ground
up to the required foundation
depth, and separate foundation
is not traditionally constructed.
•The construction technique is
such a way that improves seismic
resistance of the inertia force
generated in the roof
•a very unique aspect of traditional desert architecture in which the size, location and
orientation of the Bungha are planned for very good structural and functional results.
The ``modern’’ version had given a go by to
traditional architecture replacing the twigs of
the `babul’ trees with stones.
Case Study of a Modern House
THE PAREKH HOUSE
- Charles Correa
•Two pyramidal sections from housing types developed for Cablenagar, Ahmedabad.
•Summer section – to be used during daytime; protects interior from heat
•Winter section – to be used in early mornings and evenings; opens up the terraces to
•Since site faces east-west, house consists of 3 bays
•Summer section sandwiched between winter section and service bay (for circulation,
kitchen and toilets)
•Bearing walls made brick .
Features… •Level differences
•Sun path : N-E to N-W
•Exposure of east and west façade
to the sun.
Hence the design came…the three
•Over head pargolas-helps in
shading the wall during the day
•Recessed or Sunken windows-
allows only diffused light into the
•Louvered doors-it also cuts off
the heat and direct sun coming
from the entrance.
•STEP PYRAMIDAL form of spaces
inversing with respect to the
•Garden space in front of the
•Material chosen-concrete and
A Sustainable Structure !! Climate Responsive Structure !!
Elements of Vernacular Architecture
For different Hot-Dry Regions around the world
the common basic function is to protect the structure from weather
1. Mediterrean House
•Walls made in raw earth bricks, cooked
bricks, stone or tuff. 50 cm - 100 cm thick
walls accordingly to the construction
•Roof characterized by light wood structure,
more often in bricks and lime.
•Closed volumes, few and little windows.
•There isn’t roof projection, but often there
are stairs outside to reach the flat terraced
Region around the Mediterrean sea, like in
Greece, South Italy, Spain & South France
Trulli House, South Italy
•the huge massive stone is usually joint to a big basin to collect rainwater used to
decrease of 6-7°C the interior temperature in summer.
•This allows the natural ventilation through the dome holes and is improved by
the white color of the exterior surface made in lime
2. Arabic House
•the climate is so dry, the temperature range is so high, there’s a strong solar
radiation and the winds can transport huge amount of dust and sand.
The architecture design was developed following tradition, culture, religion and
climate answers. The features are:
•interior spaces distribution openings
•ventilation and cooling systems
The whole design is
focused around the
patio: an empty
space where all the
rooms face to.
Around the patio often
there are porches on
one or more sides and
one or more stored.
1. NIGHT: the cool air comes down in the court and goes inside each room that
face to it. The flat roof and the thick walls also improve the cooling system.
2. AFTERNOON: the sun directly heat the walls that face to the court. The air
heats and goes up providing for the natural ventilation. The court works as a
chimney. The massive walls and doors protect the interior spaces from the direct
3. EVENING: the air is so hot and the court door heats creating a natural air flow
from the rooms that face to it through the patio. The last cool air goes out from
the rooms in the evening, but also the shadows are longer and quickly the court
is protected from the radiation.
To improve these passive systems they usually fix a wet curtain on the
court and a fountain in the middle.
Al Bahar -
Cool building in Abu Dhabi’s heat
•curtain wall systems but this usually provides
poor external views, lack of optimal natural
light and introduces excessive shine outward.
•Alternatively, shading fixed devices, the
"mashrabiya" in Al Bahar Towers has a
number of components transparent umbrella
that open and close in response to the sun's
•Each of the two towers comprising more than
1,000 individual sunscreens are controlled via
the building management system, creating a
The Mashrabiya’s are
given near the
area, giving a
comfortable place to
3. Underground Architecture
•The underground architecture use the soil constant temperature to have a better
indoor comfort. The most famous underground settlement in the mediterrean area
are: Cappadocia in Turkey, Mat-Mata in Tunisia and the typical Italian and
Spanish underground settlements.
•This architecture was born not only to answer climate features, but also for social
reasons and defence necessities
•Mat-mara in northern Tunisia consists in houses placed around a big court dig into
the rock: this court is the central point ofthe spaces distribution.
•Different rooms face to the court: bedrooms, kitchen and storage.The particular shape
protects from the hot climate, but also from the dusty and sandy desert winds
4. American Pueblos
•The building technology is adobe often mixed to straw and covered with a
thick raw earth plaster.
•The 75 cm thick walls can easily collect heat during the day to use it during
the night, when the temperature decreases a lot.
•The windows are few and well protected in order to avoid the heat entrance
and the light to dazzle at noon
•consists in three lines of buildings and the distance between them is designed to
allow the sun radiation for all the houses.
•In each building the stores are staggered to create terraces on the roof
OVERVIEW OF DESIGN PRINCIPLES..
Courtyard or Patio
White Colored walls (“cool” colours reduce
heat reflection )
Arrangement of the houses in is very closely
packed to each other.
Vegetation (reduces the temperature, filter’s
the dust in
and around the house, elevates the humidity
level may reduce as well as increase the wind
double roof or white single roof
big basin to collect rainwater
a water body
•Therefore, the roof should slope down towards the courtyard, and be surrounded by
a parapet at the upper edges, air in contact with the roof will be cooled at night and
channelled by the slope into the courtyard and then into the rooms.