An Overview of Some Vernacular Techniques in Iranian Sustainable Architecture in Reference to Cisterns and Ice Houses

  •  Amir Kazemi    
  •  Amir Shirvani    


The great Iranian tradition is as yet little known in the West and there is much to be learnt both from it and the building techniques which are integral with it. Meanwhile, Not only is the Iranian vernacular building tradition itself still alive, but there is much to be gained from the knowledge of a highly developed technology which makes such ingenious use of natural resources without the consumption of additional power. This article is a study of the craftsmanship involved in the construction of the mud brick vernacular architecture of Iran, and the cultural aspects of a traditional architecture which incorporates an understanding of buildings which dates back centuries. Expanding the existing knowledge of these earthen heritage properties, examining their behaviour in the local climate and explaining their current condition in order to express the need for the preservation of traditional craftsmanship as part of a sustainable conservation future are the other prominent concerns of this work. Among different Iranian Vernacular constructions, Ice-houses and cisterns are the subject of the main body of this article.

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