In today’s Architectural practice, there is a struggle to find the ways to balance or harmonize environmental technology, protection of resources and aesthetic content. And the world has witnessed some level of significant industrial and technological revolution. The revolution, despite its acclaimed benefits to humanity has resulted to a worrisome level of interaction with our environment. . One point of a great concern, with regard to the eco-system, is that as the global greenhouse gas level continue to rise, the planet’s temperature with corresponding rise, resulting in the melting of the ice caps and seriously altering global weather conditions. Current estimates calculate that the world built environment account for approximately one third of all global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions whilst consuming 40% of the world’s energy. However, the challenge facing environmental architecture is meting the increasing demand for revolutionary architectural solutions while mitigating its impact on the eco-system. The aim of this paper therefore, is to critically review current ecologic design concept/environmental technology using secondary and primary data. The effect of the built environment on the co-system which has resulted in consistent rise in global temperature in the past three decades was accessed. The paper recommends adopting more eco-friendly design approach, passive design methods and use of renewable energy source amongst others as key for achieving eco-friendly building. Finally we conclude that moving from a sectional prism of viewing environmentalism largely driven by sectional issues involving pollution, resources and biodiversity to a more holistic view point that recognizes the inherent interdependence of all life systems is the right way forward and we therefore call on Architects to embrace it.
AN APPLICABLE APPROACH TO GREEN ARCHITECTURE IN EGYPT PROPOSED MEASUREMENT MATRIX MODEL TO ASSESS THE USE OF HISTORIC ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS AND REPERTOIRE IN THE APPLICATION OF GREEN ARCHITECTURE PRINCIPLES AND CONCEPTS (Published)
This research paper sheds light on how to stimulate the role of historic architectural elements and repertoire in Egypt in order to apply green architecture principles. The paper assumes that architectural solutions used in historic buildings constitute important elements favoring the application of green architecture principles in residential construction. A model measurement matrix intended for use in the realization of this assumption is proposed.The paper begins with an overview of the Egyptian Green Pyramid rating system, a tool used to measure buildings’ adherence to environmental standards, and their fundamental conditions and criteria. The measurement matrix proposed by the researchers (along with its major evaluation criteria) is then presented. Following a discussion of green architecture in Egypt and a review of the green architecture aspects in the repertoire of historic Islamic architecture, an explanation of the measurement method employed is provided. The paper goes on to investigate historic residential buildings (the Al-Suheimi House and the Zeinab Khatoun House), pointing out the environmental elements and concepts featured in their architectural design. Analytical studies of green residential buildings (projects that were awarded first prize in the Toshka Green Architecture Competition) and of eco-friendly residential buildings reveal the environmental merits of Islamic architecture (Aga Khan and Hassan Fathy award-winning projects). The above buildings are examined and assessed using both the measurement matrix and the Green Pyramid rating system as comparative references in order to corroborate the environmental suitability of Islamic architectural elements and to demonstrate how they may be assessed and applied. The paper concludes that the degree of application of the measurement matrix is directly proportional to the degree of application of Green Pyramid rating system criteria. The proposed measurement matrix model can thus realistically be considered a major approach to the application of green architecture principles.