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Jurnal Teknologi, Volume 78, Issue 9, 2016, pp. 113-122

How significant is durability in vernacular house construction?

Abstract :

For centuries, dynamic vernacular society has experienced repairing, or demolishing old houses, and constructing new houses. The time interval between those actions probably became more sparsely spread as modern and more durable technologies and materials offered wider range of options in the vernacular construction through globalization. The first objective of this paper was to compare the durability of distinctively old and new construction materials and technologies used in the vernacular houses in a context of northern Iran. The second objective was to search implicit values behind making decisions regarding durability. The ‘old’ construction technologies were ‘Kali’, Mud Houses, and Lar deh ee”, and, while Load-bearing wall, Concrete, and Steel structure were the ‘new’ categories. A questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 167 residents of different vernacular houses and 18 of them were selected for interview. Besides, a number of 20 experts also participated in a mailing survey for validating the data. Perception of users on durability of structure was assessed and compared through 5 elements namely foundation, floor, wall, roof, and attachment through the structured-questionnaire, while the implicit values were revealed from data collected through the open-ended interview. Results showed that residents tend to rate the old houses higher, rather controversially. Commercialization might be gradually inclining users’ choices towards new houses, but responses also showed that a house is likely to be redundant after only a couple of generations, even though it still has a long durable lifetime to spare, thus making the durability issue less significant.

Keywords : Durability,Globalization,Housing,Iran,Vernacular architecture
Subject Area : Engineering(all)

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