July 06 2012

Designing an Energy Efficient House in Istanbul – Part 2: Tips for the Design

Previously on GSP, we discussed sustainability and climatic conditions in Istanbul, Turkey. In this blog, there will be casual tips on how to design an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly building in cities of Mediterranean climate; such as Istanbul.

Here are 10 useful tips that will make your house a bit more “Green:”

1.   Solar Orientation:

If it was in dark and cold Scandinavia, orienting to south would be the most innermost need for an energy efficient house. However Istanbul gets sun light for eight months out of the year; that makes sun something that we avoid. Therefore orienting a house towards the south is essential only if you make sufficient sun blocking instruments. Facing towards east or north is a good option if you want to have a constantly shaded inner space;

2.   Natural Ventilation:

Cooling buildings in the summer is vital in Istanbul. Designing inner gardens and installing operable windows will create cross ventilation inside spaces;

3.   Prevent Extra Moisture:

Despite the driest days being in August, Istanbul has a humid summer that makes you feel warmer. Building with solid walls or bricks that have air bubbles in its fabric will capture humidity. This will prevent the flow of humidity inside of the building;

4.   Let the Building Breath:

Good insulation in a building is a must to drop heating expenses; however, a building gets airtight when it’s waxed. It is a common grumble in Istanbul that it is airless inside when windows are closed for a while, but during the cold days of winter, open windows are giant heat bridges. So putting point holes on the wall will air wash the interior all day long;

5.   Use Natural Heat Resources:

Istanbul gets sunlight almost year-around, warming the ground, which becomes a great heat resource. And it is free! Using ground source heating system – either vertically or horizontally- is an efficient and cheap heating system after it covers its initial costs;

6.   Electric from Photovoltaics (PVs):

Direct sun radiation is a blessing in Istanbul! Installing PV panels to produce electricity for household utility use will keep your pocket full and your lights on;

7.   Avoid Dark Surfaces:

Large black facades are simply NOT OKAY in Istanbul! Absorptive materials and dark colours have high Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) value, which causes the buildings to heat-up quickly. In a high density urban fabric, buildings, roads and other dark surfaced infrastructure absorbs heat and turns to heat islands, which causes GLOBAL WARMING. Using reflective and light colored materials will reflect the sunlight and help cool the building and surrounding, passively;

8.   Shade:

Direct sun creates discomfort. Sunshades, overhangs, membrane curtains will break the direct sun radiation. Landscape design with tall trees will provide shaded walkways for street passerbies and animals;

9.   Encourage Recycling:

Providing recycling stations inside buildings will encourage people to separate their garbage. You can also develop a recycling education program for the households; bonus points!

10.   Encourage Biking:

Providing bike roads will encourage people to raise their biking habits. Also less car parking space is a strong reason for people to leave their cars; start biking, and using public transportation.

These 10 tips are some basic ideas to make a sustainable house. What are your suggestions towards a green design?

Credits: Image and data linked to sources.

Nazlı Ödevci

Nazlı Ödevci is a recent graduate of Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden with an M.Sc. in Design for Sustainable Development in Architecture. She holds a B.S. in Architecture from Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey. Currently, Nazlı is working as an environmental specialist and LEED Green Associate in design phase of architectural projects in Turkey. She defines herself as a green design oriented urban & architectural intervention practitioner. She is currently residing in Istanbul but has strong connections to Swedish sustainable design practice.

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 8:57 pm and is filed under Architecture, Content, Energy, Environmental Design, Housing, Infrastructure, Land Use, Landscape Architecture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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