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Laurie Baker Appropriate Building Technolog

Laurie Baker Appropriate Building Technolog

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Published by khan
Properties of these differing building materials was amazing.
Properties of these differing building materials was amazing.

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Published by: khan on Dec 24, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Appropriate Building Technology in Pithoragarh
Written by Laurie Baker
Distinctive architectural styles were not designed by some famous ancientarchitect who decreed that a certain style will be used in Japan and a certainother style will be used in Peru and yet another style in Punjab. The upturned,horned roofs of buildings as found in Kerala, China and Japan arc the directresult of the people of those places making use of the most common, plentiful,useful material: bamboo—to house and protect them from natural enemiessuch as sun, rain, hurricanes and wind. A completely different set of styles hasevolved in hot, dry, treeless, desert areas, as in parts of Egypt, Iran and India;in almost every district in the world these natural styles have grown to thepatterns that could be seen in the first half of this century.
Our 'backward' ancestors had learned how to live with and cope with theproblems of climate. They had teamed that a pitched or a sloping roof lessenedthe effects of all these hazards. They knew the movements of air currents andplaced their wall openings almost at ground level. They knew that hot air risesand allowed it to travel upwards from the low eaves to the openings at the endsof the high ridge. They understood and applied principles of insulation; theirroofing materials formed hollow cellular protective layers and their storagespaces provided insulation from the midday sun. They had understood that wallsurfaces can absorb and retain just as much heat as a roof surface, so theykept these walls as small in area as possible and never left them unprotected.They knew that eye-strain from working out in the sun could be alleviated byrest in an area where glare was eliminated and they used smooth, hard, light-coloured surfaces sparingly and left the natural materials—wood, laterite,brick, stone—exposed. Their practical knowledge of the properties of thesediffering building materials was amazing. They knew, for instance, how todesign their timber and wood work to avoid warping, twisting and cracking.
Village planning and site utilization were equally functional and delightfullysimple. Usually there were rows (terraces) of houses all joined together withcommon dividing partition walls; sometimes when anywhere from three to tenor twelve brothers lived in such a row of houses, the front veranda wascommon to all. These multi-housed rows of dwellings were usually under onebig long common roof. The row followed the contours wherever possible, andas a consequence was sometimes curved. The row of houses was usually sited
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Page 1 of 2Appropriate Building Technology in Pithoragarh12/21/2009http://lauriebaker.net/work/work/appropriate-building-technology-in-pithoragarh.html

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