Vernacular Elements as Indicators for Sustainable Interior Environment: Housing in Jordan

  • Dana K. AmroEmail author
  • Suheir M. S. Ammar
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


The vernacular architecture elements are the creation of land, the local climate, and people’s culture. Vernacular houses are established on a foundation of a series of sustainable-oriented principles. The vernacular architecture of the Middle East region has introduced many logical solutions and devices to the local interior environmental problems such as the courtyard, Mashrabiya, and fountains, which became common architectural features in vernacular buildings. This paper demonstrates the value of vernacular architectural elements and highlights their distinctive sustainable characteristics on the interior environment. Considered methodological and conceptual tools which compromise the basics of past model indicators they also give rise to potential future assimilations from its original design. Findings have indicated the uniqueness of the overall vernacular buildings elements. They are in parallel with current issues on interior environment sustainability, which have affected the sustainable adaption in contemporary residential buildings. Within the region, they have acted as interior spaces natural cooling systems and interior spaces energy savers in addition to supporting social sustainability.


Interior spaces environments Vernacular architecture Residential buildings Sustainability 


  1. 1.
    Edwards, B. (Ed.). (2006). Courtyard housing: Past, present, future. New York: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zagha, S. (2003). Urban built and quality of life of low to middle income housing neighbourhoods: The case of Greater-Amman-Jordan. PhD thesis, Oxford Brookes University.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Alnsour, J., & Meaton, J. (2009). Factors affecting compliance with residential standards in the city of old Salt, Jordan. Habitat International, 33(4), 301–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jaber, J. O. (2002). Prospects of energy savings in residential space heating. Energy and Buildings, 34(4), 311–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Al Tawayha, F., Braganca, L., & Mateus, R. (2019). Contribution of the vernacular architecture to the sustainability: A comparative study between the contemporary areas and the old quarter of a Mediterranean City. Sustainability, 11(3), 896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ghiasvand, J. et al. (2008). Adaptive re-use of Islamic and Iranian architecture’s elements. In WSEAS International Conference. Proceedings. Mathematics and Computers in Science and Engineering, WSEAS.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Attia, S. (2006). The role of landscape design in improving the microclimate in traditional courtyard-buildings in hot arid climates. In PLEA 2006—The 23rd Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture (pp. 61–67). Geneva: Universite de Geneve.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    El-Shorbagy, A. (2010). Traditional Islamic-Arab house: Vocabulary and syntax. International Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering IJCEE-IJENS, 10(4), 15–20.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sharif, S. M., Zain, M., & Surat, M. (2010). Concurrence of thermal comfort of courtyard housing and privacy in the traditional Arab house in Middle East. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 4(8), 4029–4037.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Malik, S., & Mujahid, B. (2016). Perception of house design in Islam: Experiences from Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. Journal of Islamic Thought and Civilization, 6, 53–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Al-Mulla Hwaish, A. (2016). Concept of Islamic house; A case study for early muslims traditional house. International Journal of Advances in Mechanical and Civil Engineering (IJAMCE), 3(1), 18–25.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Muhaisen, A. S. (2006). Shading simulation of the courtyard form in different climatic regions. Building and Environment, 41(12), 1731–1741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Abdul Razek, A. G. (2014). Al -Suhaimi—An architectural masterpiece—History stands at its doorstep. Retrieved from Arabic webpage.
  14. 14.
    Creswell, J. W. (2008). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc..Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Baumer, M. (2007). Attitudes, awareness and actions of the residents of the Hinkson Creek watershed regarding water quality and environmentalism (p. 178). Columbia: University of Missouri.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Barnes, S. (2002). The design of caring environments and the quality of life of older people. Ageing and Society, 22(6), 775–789.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Eldemery, I. M. (2002). Islamic architecture: Cultural heritage and future challenges. In Islamic architecture, Egypt. Heritage landscape of Egypt – UNESCO Digital Library.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    The Codes of National Jordanian Building. (2010). Saving energy building code. the Jordan National Building Council, Amman, Jordan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Fine Arts and DesignUniversity of SharjahSharjahUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Faculty of Architecture and DesignAl-Ahliyya Amman UniversityAmmanJordan
  3. 3.Department of ArchitectureThe Islamic University of GazaGazaPalestine

Personalised recommendations