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Keywords

Hot Arid regions, Sustainability in deserts, Environmental Quality, Conservation of the human eco-system, Adaptation to harsh climate conditions.

Disciplines

Architecture | Arts and Humanities | Education | Engineering

Abstract

One of the most significant challenges facing the world today is the ever increasing tension between technical development and the environment. High environmental quality is a key term that researchers are striving to accomplish, in view of the catastrophes the world is now facing. Our nation and the world have an enormous need for Sustainable architecture. This demands that we rethink the extractive habits of our industry in countries, and reconnect them with the natural world and ecosystems that support life and look for advanced solutions for energy, water, and climate change. The driver of these needs is humankind. People all over the world are calling for a higher quality of the built environment, for improved environmental stewardship, energy and water management, and greater social equity… a better quality of life. Sustaining urbanism in hot and arid regions through social and cultural aspects is an essential factor in achieving optimum living conditions. This contributes mainly to the conservation of the human eco-system and hence leads to the ability to adapt to cultural and environmental changes. Moreover, sustaining the environment in hot arid regions improves energy efficiency as well as the effectiveness and usability of dwellings. The idea introduced in this paper is handling the problem of cultural reflections on life conditions in deserts from a wider spectrum. The problem of inconvenient living conditions in such harsh environment is a complex one, requiring input across many disciplines to identify appropriate remedial steps and management strategies. Over the past few decades, there has been a greater demand in the field of architecture to achieve design strategies for comfortable living conditions in this challenging area, drawing on traditions and knowledge obtained from research into landscape development and the natural environment. This paper analyses the design strategies in hot arid regions through three main case studies in North African countries, sharing the same climatic conditions, where the inhabitants achieved effective management of their local resources in order to adapt to their climate and live in more appropriate, socially stable and healthy environment. The three applications are Matmata in Tunisia, Mizab Valley in Algeria and Siwa oasis in Egypt. The paper particularly focuses on the strategies that have been used to practice the techniques of controlling the environment conditions in terms of Climate Responsive Architecture, Indoor Comfort and Energy Efficiency, thus attempting at solving sustainability problems in hot arid regions, and improving the urban and environmental quality of its urban spaces for the well-being of inhabitants. In order to balance between the economic environment and the socio culture, there are Design strategies to be set to meet the demands of desert climate and character on economic basis and at the same time provide social equity. The Possible Methodology for applying these strategies can be summarized as: - The survey of existing built environments in hot arid climates. - Giving detailed examples of how they adapted their buildings in such climates; through introducing the house description in each case study and analyzing it. - Concluding lessons and design strategies that can be learned. Some simple design criteria can reflect how sustainable development can be achieved in desert architecture. For instance,

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