Sustainable Architecture & Urban Development "SAUD 2010"

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Research Title: 
Courtyard concept: A sustainable strategy for the future housing buildings in Palestine
Haj Hussein Muhannad
Barlet Aline
Semidor Catherine
Amman, Jordan
Mon, 2010-07-12
Courtyard_concept_A_sustainable_strategy_for_the_future_housing_buildings_in_Palestine.pdf3.22 MB
Research Abstract: 

Since the British mandate, particularly after the foundation of the Palestinian national authority (PNA) in 1994, Palestine has been witnessing enormous transformation of political, economical, social and cultural nature. As a result, the forms and the concepts of residences are changing from introverted schemes into extraverted ones. In general, the contemporary housing is poorly adjusted to local conditions and also failed to meet the expectations of the dwellers. Moreover, this modern transformation has caused an obvious divorce between the internal spaces and the external ones (balconies, verandas and yards). Herein, the vital connection between these spaces has been lost as opposite to the traditional courtyard houses where these spaces formed an extension of each other. This paper investigates the concept of outdoor spaces in contemporary and traditional housing in term of sustainability. The socio-cultural, economical, functional and environmental dimensions were examined to study the potentials for reincorporating the distinctive qualities of courtyard concept in the design of future housing. In order to address this issue, a comparison of outdoor spaces’ features between traditional and contemporary housing in two different cities of two climatic zones of Palestine was carried out. Contemporary housing was evaluated by conducting a survey over 300 dwellings of different housing typologies (detached/apartment flats). The characteristics of traditional concept were analyzed from the old historical part of these cities. Results of this paper demonstrate that the concept of traditional outdoor spaces is a culturally, economically and environmentally responsive design that could be reintegrated in term of sustainability for our future Palestinian housing. Traditional architecture is still the source of inspiration to design an environmentally and culturally responsive housing, which will contribute in improving the quality of life of the residents.
Keywords: Sustainable design, Courtyard, Modern Outdoor spaces, Housing building, Palestine.