The purpose of this paper is to investigate passive techniques used in traditional and indigenous architecture in order to decrease energy use in the buildings and to increase thermal and users’ comfort. The city of Erbil is explored where in the rapid transformation and import of Western architectural styles and materials have resulted in ignorance of climate-responsive tradition existing in the city since thousands of years.
In order to propose a design strategy for modern residential buildings in Erbil city, a descriptive and interpretative approach is used as a methodology of this study. A literature review is done to explore the traditional use of passive techniques, and Waziran district of the city is analyzed and used as a pilot site in this study.
Due to the shortage of electric power in the city, residential buildings have limited access to electric power. Therefore, thermal comfort and reduction of the energy use in residential buildings have become vital for Erbil. The use of passive techniques in architectural design will help to reduce energy dependency.
This study is limited to residential function in Erbil. Waziran district is used for the design proposals where dwellings are in a row context. The proposals are made on a geometrical basis and plan organization; however, the selection of construction materials is not included.
There is a proposal to reduce the use of electricity, which currently has limited access in Erbil city.
The author would like to thank Pavel Shwany (Ms. Architect) for his contribution, as he explored Erbil city architecture within his Master Thesis at BAU Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences study, which is not published anywhere yet. He performed a research on existing settlements, both traditional Citadel and Waziran district (quite new settlement) of the city in order to be used for proposing a strategy for new dwelling constructions in the city.
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