The Intuitive Bioclimatism and Embedded Sustainability of Cypriot Vernacular Farmhouses, as Principles for their Strategic Restoration and Reuse.

Sivitanidou, Angeliki ; Nikolopoulou, ‪Marialena (2019)


This research aims to investigate the bioclimatic design, sustainability and environmental behaviour of Cypriot vernacular farmhouses, as part of small-scale family-owned farmsteads. These farmhouses, located in village outskirts, are still in operation, greatly supporting the primary sector of Cypriot economy. Current uses have conduced arbitrary modifications in their morphology, layout, construction and usage, which in the past had contributed positively to thermal comfort and household autonomy. In the present, these modifications caused farmhouses to become climatically inept, devoid of Bioclimatism and Sustainability. This research employs multiple case studies with a fully-integrated mixedmethods design. Findings are drawn via triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data from ethnographic participant observation, post-occupancy evaluation survey, interviews, in-situ documentation and environmental monitoring. Initial findings show that there is a tangible and intangible relationship between the dwelling, its inhabitants and the environment, strengthened in time due to tradition, accumulated knowledge and experience, and born out of necessity, scarcity and practicality. It is an interdependent, dynamic and adaptive reciprocity, induced by the complex interplay of socio-cultural, economic, technological, aesthetic and environmental factors. The end result was for bioclimatic design to be applied intuitively and sustainability to be embedded in the form, configuration, construction and operational modes of farmhouses. As Cyprus attempts to conform to its EU obligations regarding the sustainable development of rural environments and make the transition towards nearly-zero energy buildings, the Cypriot vernacular farmhouse can offer valuable lessons in building design and performance, whilst provide clear guidance for its strategic restoration and reuse.

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