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VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE AS A SUSTAINABLE DESIGN METHOD FOR RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS IN GHANA.

KOFI OFOSU-ENNIN KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. ENNINKOFI@GMAIL.COM

but a combination of both the old and new. The research also aimed at removing the lower class symbolism attached to this kind of architecture. the research aims to change the local attitude and mindset that indigenous architecture is uncool and for the poor. show the beauty of local architecture. Features of contemporary buildings and those of indigenous Ghanaian architecture will be compared to see which best enhances residents’ experiences and satisfaction. The methodology involves assessment of randomly selected buildings. . Vernacular architecture will be given a face lift by the end of the study. The specific objectives were to promote vernacular architecture as a sustainable tool in residential building and promote an eco friendly architecture. lower class symbolism. Keywords: vernacular architecture.Abstract This study deals with using vernacular architecture as a sustainable design method in Ghanaian residential building. building quality. Data relating to building quality will be carried out using developed performance criteria. A fusion of both the old and new and empowerment of users to be concerned about their environment. contemporary. eco friendly. Residential buildings will be designed to take advantage of existing local conditions. its practicality and economics. Results will be duly noted and analyzed to come out with successful design features to repeat or discard. This research doesn’t aim for a reversion to old methods. The feasibility of this proposal will also be ascertained in the study. In all.

Bezemer (2008. because of the prestigious value (Bezemer. Vernacular architecture.Introduction In recent years there has been a surge in the use of imported materials for building. to the detriment of vernacular architecture. This new trend may not necessarily be suited or adaptable to the local environment or even economical. to suit the occupants’ thermal needs. pp. This disfavor towards the vernacular is prevalent worldwide. This has resulted in low patronage. has evolved to using only the materials and methods best suited to a particular locality. 8-9) states that: “The vernacular is designed by immediate response and has had the fortunate ability to be modified accordingly. the vernacular has been relegated to the fore and those who practice it are seen as backward. resulting in practical and nonstylistic buildings”. In Malaysia. yet still it prevails. 2008) . With individuals trying to show their status in society by the kind of building in which they live. due to the try and error nature of its development. Unfortunately. Locally available materials have been relegated to the fore. home owners would rather own a concrete. the vernacular tends to be associated to lower class living. most individuals have shunned vernacular architecture in favor of this so called “Modern Architecture”. with the advent of modern technology and subsequently new building materials and methods. air-conditioned home than a timber equivalent.

To come out with the most sustainable building method. a decrease in building cost. Past research done on the vernacular or the contemporary. leading to occupants resorting high energy methods to sustain the indoor environment.Background With the advent of new technologies the old has been relegated to the fore. Combining the new old and new a compromise can be reached to come out with buildings best suited to the environment today. and that is what this study aims at. a comparative study has to be done on both topics. The benefits of this will be. this has led to an increase in the use of materials and building methods little suited to our environment. Buildings spring up which have no relation to the local environment. . has always aimed at one and not both. The qualities of one is always extolled over the other. enhancement of building performance and buildings that are eco friendly.

2.Methodology The methodology of this research involves the initial background reading to identify the research problems and the title of the study. multiple choice and scale answers).  Evaluation process The process of evaluation will involve five stages (adapted from Vorrdt and Wegen. .  Interviews An oral question and answer session will be carried out with the target group.  Questionnaires The questions will be asked in three forms. Choosing the research question helped to choose an appropriate methodology for the study. Determine factors to be assessed from literature and related studies. 4. 2005). Examining building samples. Preparation of evaluation instruments. Carrying out evaluation. Outcomes evaluated by assigning values to results. close ended (binary answers. 3. 5. 1.

Koomson Attah Ebenezer. Can vernacular architecture in the tropics assist with modern passive ventilation design in domestic buildings? . 2008. 3.Ghana. The vernacular architecture as a model for sustainable design in Africa. Bezemer. Post-occupancy evaluation of traditional courtyard and compound houses. Santasi-Kumasi. What is vernacular architecture? 4. 2. Nick Ladd. Bonginkosi G.References 1. 2012. 2003. Mabaleka.