The term ‘bioclimatic’ refers to bioclimatology or discipline that studies the relationship between climate and living things. In this context, it can be affirmed that bioclimatic architecture refers to the use of environmental conditions for the benefit of the needs of the users of a home.
When designing a building, this type of architecture is based on the climatic conditions of the environment in order to take advantage of the available resources with the least environmental impact and in order to obtain the lowest possible energy consumption for the home.
The traditional thermal draft system with flow and temperature control makes sense in this type of home, but it is difficult to design and limiting when it comes to construction. In contrast, controlled mechanical ventilation can provide the bioclimatic home with optimal conditions for users in terms of renovation and air quality with the aim of achieving high levels of sanitation.
In addition, it can also provide the necessary air conditioning for optimum thermal comfort if the construction has faithfully followed the rest of the previous parameters, in terms of orientation, insulation, etc. The use of these ventilation systems also prevents problems of humidity, mold, and the proliferation of mites and other polluting elements in the interior environment.
In those cases in which the house is located in a place with a hot and dry climate, it may be necessary to use a system to cool the environment. Evaporative cooling systems are ideal for cooling the air in bioclimatic homes since they use water as a refrigerant, and are systems that provide greater energy savings than traditional cooling systems with less environmental impact.
In essence, bioclimatic architecture tries to harmonize construction with the environment by optimizing natural resources in order to cover our comfort needs with minimum energy consumption. Something as simple as making a rational consumption of natural resources and energy, reducing our impact on the environment.
Regarding the soil
The high thermal inertia of the soil produces a climatic effect that can be exploited in this type of architecture since it dampens and retards the temperature variation that occurs between day and night. The semi-burial of buildings or one of their facades can help to take advantage of the heat accumulation capacity of the soil and, in addition, it must be taken into account that a layer of earth can act as additional insulation.
In a house built according to the bioclimatic concept, the capture of energy as a source of air conditioning will be one of the most important elements, although not the only one, due to its direct impact on the energy consumption of the house. In this way, the orientation of the transparent enclosures to the south, allowing solar radiation to penetrate through the glass, heating the elements inside, will allow this energy to be used in the winter months.
As for the suitable materials, we must bear in mind that houses with a high thermal mass behave maintaining a temperature without sudden variations, relatively stable against external conditions. Thus, heavy construction materials such as concrete, natural stone or brick can act as an effective thermal mass. Furthermore, they are appropriate for this type of construction.