Intelligent Tropical BuildingsA Study of the Eco-Technological Integration Effects on Reducing the Economicaland Environmental Costs
The Iraqi Journal of Architecture and Planning,
2009, Volume 8, Issue 16, Pages 104-128
AbstractIn the last few years, a number of studies highlighted the two concepts of "Technology" and "Ecology", which may seem at a glance as being in contradiction. The "Technological" approach represented by the "intelligent buildings" is investing the new scientific and technological advances to achieve adaptation with the ever changing man needs, provide comfortable internal environment, and responding to external environment effects but without taking into consideration the context and the environmental content surrounding these buildings. This has led to ignorance of the project site nature and the surrounding environment. This has formed the general boundaries of my study. Because of the growing use of modern technological facilities to control the environment, the "Ecological" approach is being overlooked or ignored. It calls for the nature's own capabilities and to decrease the dependence on technology as much as possible, this has led to compromising the standards of modern comfort. In fact this approach aims at more than controlling the atmosphere and providing comfort, it's a comprehensive approach that aims at integrating the building with the surrounding ecological system, rather than being isolated from, or parasiting on the surrounding ecological systems. Therefore and in order to get benefit of the opportunities provided by both approaches and avoided their drawbacks, a third approach has been investigated in my study, namely "the integrational approach" and is represented by the "Intelligent Tropical buildings" which are defined as: those buildings that gather between intelligent buildings (with its included technology) and ecological buildings (with its integration and attempted preservation of the environment) with integrational relationships in order to achieve the ecologic-cultural integration through integration between ecological and technological systems of the building. So, basic elements of these buildings were set as: technology, ecology, and integration.
Studying these elements as designing approaches and discussing previous studies in the same field, the study was able to pinpoint some aspects of contradiction and shortage. Contradiction lies in regarding buildings as ecological and need technology to improve performance, the concept that is adopted by most of the studies investigating ecological-technological integration. However, most contemporary architecture studies point that the ecological considerations in buildings were ignored due to the dependence on technological facilities. As for the shortage, it is represented by the cost aspects. From here emerged the research problem concentrating on the defective aspects of the previous studies, and was labeled as "The effect of the eco-technological integration on the intelligent building cost".
In order to identify the effect of this integration on buildings costs, the research depended on an approach based on setting parameters for the intelligent tropical buildings and subjecting few elected parameters to practical tests using the simulation program "Ecotect". To give a wider perspective, the research has gone further than the direct economic costs; it performed several tests that would show the ecological costs of the building and the possibility to minimize them considering these parameters. The results were put into graphs and tables. Results have shown the possibility of minimizing construction costs by 23.39-3.8%, 43.38-7.87% of operational cost, in addition to decrease thermal exchange of the building envelope by ratios reaching to 46% for conduction gain, 49.52% for conduction loss, 92.85% for solar air gain, 14.04% for solar gain, and 43.38% of Co2 emission resulting from conditioning energy, according to facilities used. In addition to reduction by 76.18% of Co2 resulted from main building materials. This indicates the efficacy of the elected parameters for the eco-technological integration in achieving economical and ecological efficiency of the building.
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