Integrating Sustainability and Renewable Energy Systems with Architecture Form and Urban Design: Greening the Central District of Irbid, Jordan
Promoting sustainability principles and utilizing renewable energy systems are witnessing prosperity and nourished industry worldwide. However, renewable energy systems in Jordan are still preformed as alienated superimposed elements on the architecture superstructure that in many cases alter the architecture form. Such mode of deployment provokes the dilemma between preserving the architectural form and compromising its aesthetic manifestation in favor of economic and environmental benefits. On the other hand, architecture education scope in this regard is largely focused on the technical aspects of sustainability and renewable energy systems without an interest in investing effort on authentic integration with architecture design. Hence, in an attempt to rethinking sustainability as an integrated part in the conceptual process of architecture and urban design, an urban design project was assigned to the fourth-year architecture students at Jordan University of Science and Technology. The project, Greening the Central District of Irbid aimed at locating and urban renewal of the central district of Irbid city based on sustainable design principles. Furthermore, the project aimed at theoretically developing possible ways of integrating the renewable energy systems within the architectural form. Due to the complex situation of the city and the uncontrolled sprawl, the project brief inquired students to delineate the central district of Irbid based on analyzing the existed physical situation of the city. Methods of surveying and analysis included GIS, concept mapping technique, map and spatial analysis, urban form analysis, network analysis, and land use analysis. The collected data and the analysis were then presented in a SWOT form and matrix analysis. Students then had to redesign the central district of the city based on the sustainable design principles and integrating the renewable energy systems within the architecture form itself. Furthermore, students were expected to come up with design strategies and guidelines that merge the physical and socioeconomic aspects of the urban fabric with major sustainable measures that might lead to greening the central district of the city. Through the project and the process of design, students had to expand their knowledge about the renewable energy resources systems, benefits, and technical requirements before suggesting ways of integrating them in the architecture and urban form. The proposed projects show creative solutions and outstanding possibilities of integrated renewable energy systems such as grid structural systems and smart elevations as well as power generator walkways.
KeywordsSustainability Renewable energy Architecture form Aesthetics Urban renewal
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