Bioclimatic solutions existing in vernacular architecture - geothermal climatization Conference Paper uri icon


  • The traditional architecture is founded as a defining element of the identity of a region, and its essence should be preserved and conserved by means of maintenance and recovery actions. Thus, the best solutions and proposals for intervention should be looked for but this doesn’t imply a back to back on both innovation and construction progress. This work is part of the BIOURB project, a cross-border project between Portugal and Spain, which intended to contribute to the change of the current constructive model towards a more sustainable bioclimatic model, both environmentally and economically, reducing buildings energy consumption and raising the value of bioclimatic heritage along the border region. This paper includes the description of a series of tasks in order to perform buildings maintenance and rehabilitation, dignifying the built heritage and enhancing the use of traditional materials and techniques, with a view to economic and environmental sustainability. It is intended to provide a set of relevant information for those who have the responsibility or the concern to extend the life of buildings and disclose among users, current and potential, good and bad, options for the conservation and rehabilitation as well as anomalies that currently affect buildings. Geothermal climatization is one of the eight bioclimatic solutions identified using renewable energies. This climatization system takes advantage of the thermal characteristics of the in depth ground which presents constant temperatures throughout the year (also, temperature increases with depth). These steady temperatures are easy to find when one get into buried spaces of buildings by checking that they are cooler in summer and have warm temperatures in winter. Taking advantage of the ground characteristics is reflected a bit everywhere in buried constructions that are therefore more protected from the weather. Buried spaces without any day lighting, excavated in earth and stone, were the most often used for preserving food and wine. The main purposes of this work are to analyse this type of bioclimatic solution, to provide conservation, preservation and rehabilitation techniques, as well as to cope with the benefits of the principles of traditional architecture that should integrate and inspire the bioclimatic construction.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014