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This research project explores innovative methods for the conservation and restoration of traditional buildings, giving emphasis on the preservation of the elements of their bioclimatic design, by identifying factors that contribute to a pleasant environment and thermal comfort within the buildings and in their surroundings.

A large number of traditional buildings within the historic centre of Nicosia are being studied, with focus on the areas of Kaimakli and Chrysaliniotissa; two of the most well preserved traditional urban residential neighbourhoods in the city. The organic and typological structure of these buildings (orientation, ventilation, shading and lighting) and the choice of building materials are being investigated. The daily habits of the residents within the study area are also recorded, in order to determine how these contribute to the creation of appropriate living conditions. Following the architectural study of the area, a group of traditional and contemporary dwellings have been selected for detailed study and observation. Temperature and humidity measurements are being recorded during the different seasons of the year in order to establish data tables for further analysis. Through these qualitative and quantitative recordings, the study aims at identifying bioclimatic design principles and elements which have been applied, over time, in traditional structures. Modeling and simulation of data will lead to the identification of various parameters which improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

The overall goal of the program is to highlight the environmental aspects of vernacular architecture and to design a set of guidelines and proposals for the proper restoration of traditional buildings, with emphasis on the maintenance/enhancement of bioclimatic characteristics and environmentally friendly approaches. The proposals will be based on the use of appropriate materials and principles and the design of smart and innovative solutions, which would also be applicable to contemporary structures. The findings of the project will provide information to professionals, agencies and the public through publications and conferences, in order to raise public awareness and thus contribute to the change of policy in the field of traditional building restoration and erection of new structures. The current policy regarding the conservation of traditional buildings is based mostly on aesthetic and financial criteria, leading to direct dependence of buildings on standard technical air conditioning and heating systems.



The research is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation (Project Technological Development and Innovation Δέσμη 2009-2010, ΑΝΘΡΩΠΙΣΤΙΚΕΣ/ΑΝΘΡΩ/0609/ΒΙΕ).