Taylor, T., Nikolopoulou, M., Mahdjoubi, L. and Cullen, N.
Vernacular architecture and contemporary design in Oman: Challenges in a changing climate.
Detail Design in Architecture, Translating sustainable design into sustainable construction, Cardiff, 8-4 September 2009.
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Publisher's URL: http://www.csad.uwic.ac.uk/detaildesign.htm
The buildings sector accounts for a considerable proportion of global energy and resource use and anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In Oman, the widespread introduction of mechanically air-conditioned and energy-inefficient buildings accompanied rapid economic growth and modernisation during the 1970s. Primary energy use continues to escalate and the supply of electrical power to residential buildings is the principal end-use sector. The vernacular architecture of the region illustrates economic means for creating comfortable environments utilising only natural, renewable forms of energy. However, the feasibility of incorporating traditional cooling techniques in contemporary buildings will depend upon the acceptance of cycles and variations in indoor climates and crucially on what is considered the upper limits of comfortable thermal conditions by occupants. The lack of energy performance targets is a barrier to improving the energy performance of the future housing stock in Oman. Buildings need to be assessed according to the added demands they place on local and global ecosystem services with reference to acceptable environmental limits of performance.
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