Sustainable Architecture in Northern Subarctic and Artic Climate

  • Ulf NordwallEmail author
  • Thomas Olofsson
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Energy book series (SPE)


Since the antique the Vitruvian virtues three basic qualities, solid, useful and beautiful is central themes when judging architecture. Although the themes have remained, the conceptual idea of these qualities has shifted. In today’s modern society, sustainability requirements are an integrated perspective, often expressed as a balanced consideration of ecology, economy and social aspects. There are numerous approaches to measure and evaluate sustainability. Often the perspective of the evaluator’s model is predominant. An alternative approach is to ask architects or designers to describe the sustainable idea. This is an approach used to identify alternative perspectives. In this work, we introduce a multiple case study. The scope, to investigate sustainable architecture based on the architects or designers own drawings. The aim is not to define sustainability in architecture but rather to illustrate articulated examples of integration of sustainability issues in architecture. The study is limited to a selection of 22 buildings, proposed as exceptionally sustainable in public media. The northern subarctic and artic regions here are the geographical boundary. The cold climate description used as the background for illustrating a variety of sustainable concepts. We propose that descriptive information, interpreted from the architect or designer perspective, has important contributive factors in the understanding of sustainable housing. We argue that the architect or designers design critique influences the result of conceptual meaning. The attention given to sustainability is the founding architectural factor in these studied buildings, expressed in various forms.


Sustainable Architecture Cold climate 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Peab Sverige ABUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of Applied Physics and ElectronicsUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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