Welcome class to your very first lecture in this series on Architecture conducted by myself, Dr Torben Dahl.
Today we will be looking into the relationship between climate and architecture, where I will be giving you a critical overview of the main climate influences that shape the design of buildings.
Throughout this lecture series we will be looking at the latest research into climatic design carried out by experts in the field in addition to case studies and examples drawn from modernist practice both in cities and rural areas.
Now, acid rain is one of the climatic elements with the most devastating effects on our architecture.
The chemicals in acid rain can cause paint to peel, corrosion of steel structures such as bridges, and erosion of stone statues.
Since the 1970s, our government has been making great effort to reduce the release of these chemicals into the atmosphere with positive results.
Private organisations have also been raising awareness and funds and recently received a huge donation from the bank.
It is interesting to look at the studies that have been carried out into the effects of acid rain at varying altitudes.
Research has shown that there are lower levels of acid in the damaging pollutants at higher altitudes, meaning that skyscrapers are much less vulnerable to the negative effects as they are exposed to acid rain with far lower levels of damaging pollutants.
Recently, the Alter Project was founded to carry out further research into acid rain.
This project is directed towards studying the effects of acid rain on old, traditional buildings of stone construction that are vulnerable to damage caused by acid rain.
Masonry is particularly vulnerable as it is easily corroded and weakened by the acidic chemicals.
It is imperative that we protect these buildings, as they are valuable examples of our history and culture.
Pollution is one of the main sources of concern in the present day.
The construction industry contributes considerably as a source of pollution in its day-to-day processes of creating building materials such as concrete and glass, however, more new sustainable methods are being developed to counter this.
A recent case study for this is Sky Tower, whose windows have been made from recycled glass to prevent pollution from the glass-making process.
Water is the most problematic element to be considered in construction.
It is imperative that construction elements such as the insulation are fitted into the building in dry weather to prevent it from getting wet.
This makes winter an undesirable season for construction as the heavy rainfall can have adverse effects on the building.
Another climate type that has an enormous affect on buildings is humidity
Constructions made of steel and stone are largely unaffected by humidity, however, it can have a serious effect on wooden constructions if the timber has not been correctly treated.
Moisture from the air can condense in the grain of the wood, which then swells and shrinks in proportion to the magnitude of change in its moisture content.
This variation in size can have disastrous consequences.
In areas of the world that are prone to earthquakes, certain design and environmental conditions are preferable for protecting buildings in the event of a tremor.
Engineers have come up with numerous building procedures to help minimise shaking in buildings.
For example, tall buildings have height restrictions and counterweights and multi-storey buildings have reinforced floors and walls.
Ground conditions are a cause for worry in many constructions as often the soil is of the wrong density to protect the foundations.
Luckily technology has now been developed that can help to minimise damage by earthquakes.
Seismic sensors can give prior warning when an earthquake is about to happen so that preparations can be made to protect both the people and the buildings from harm.
The movement of building structures can now also be measured and monitored over time by architects.
It has been expressed by architects within the design community that it would be valuable to be given special courses for designing buildings within earthquake zones.
Guidelines are also expected to be produced by the government in the near future that will give architects a universal checklist to follow.
That wraps up the lecture for today. Please remember that attendance is mandatory...