SIMULATION-BASED ANALYSIS OF EARTHEN HERITAGE ARCHITECTURE AS RESPONSIVE REFUGEE SHELTERS (CASE STUDY: DOMES OF NORTHERN SYRIA)
Keywords: earthen heritage domes, corbelled domes, refugee shelter, energy analysis, numerical thermal simulations, comfort
Abstract. Syria has been struggling through a continuous conflict for more than nine years so far. This conflict has had a disastrous consequence, for not only Syria urban areas but also its world heritage and historical sites. Moreover, the ongoing conflict resulted in the displacement of over 13 million people that is more than half the population; including more than 6.1 million internally displaced. This long-term encampment is a growing aspect of a growing refugee crisis. The Syrian refugees have to face another crisis in the camps due to a significant shortage of resources and support. One solution was using earthen buildings that have been a traditional architectural style in Syria for 11 thousand years. As a part of the cultural heritage, it depends on community participation and achieves environmental and economic efficiency in addition to preserving memory and identity of the place. This paper discusses the creation of sustainable shelters through the revival of heritage vernacular earthen architecture in northern Syria. A comparative analysis was conducted between the humanitarian agencies shelters (HAS) and different historical vernacular dwellings (HDS) from the same region with an arid steppe climate (hot summer and a short cold winter); they were modelled in numerical thermal simulations framework as a means to assess the shelters’ building energy demand and indoor comfort quality. The comparison resulted in the superiority of the heritage dwelling. The paper is concluded with passive approach optimization to the different historical earthen domes with consideration of the historical characteristics and background.