An Egyptian design has challenged the stereotype of traditional Egyptian architecture processes and is wowing the global industry.
Egyptian architecture has stereotypically been synonymous with ancient construction. The pyramids and sphinxes are evidence of the countries great and history architectural foundation.
Modernising the Egyptian architecture concept are engineering students from the American University in Cairo, with their 2012 entry for the European Solar Decathlon.
Their submission, which they have labelled SLIDES (standing for sustainable, liveable and interactive design), is a home that encompasses all of the ideals of modern green building practices.
The students have taken the best from the country’s famous architectural history; evolving it in such a way that makes the most of one of the country’s greatest resources.
The design of the house allows for its metamorphic sustainable nature. The energy efficiency measures have been focussed on the two major energy issues of a country with such a hot and dry climate; cooling costs as well as water storage.
The home’s basic design involves the inclusion of the traditionally Arabic latticework shading around the buildings entirety. This duel function exterior allows for both shade and solar efficiency, as the sun is able to perforate the exterior with a complex level of control.
The double layered façade, which is currently to be created from a mixture of plastic bags wood waste and a fibre reinforced polymer, would be moulded into the mobile screens, with a view to later work with traditional papyrus instead.
This sliding incasement is able to close throughout the summer months to keep the house cool with the help of ceiling ventilation, and completely slide open revealing the interior structure, to make the most of the winter sun in storing solar power through the thermal mass flooring.
Due to its extreme reliance on solar energy, the roof is made up of solar thermal and photovoltaic cell panels. Further energy efficient processes such as a grey water filter system are used to make the most of scarce natural resources.
What is so remarkable about the design is that even in an environment with such extreme heat, SLIDES falls under passive house status as a zero energy structure.
With so many state of the art features, if the home is approved for build, its cost has been estimated at approximately $1.1 million.
It is important to see industry members globally using their own environments to indicate the sustainability technologies that they most heavily engage in. It is an incredibly positive sign that this design is from students, and can only mean a positive evolution of Egyptian architecture, as well as the international industry sustainability movement.