Keywords: cooling systems, passive energy, residential buildings, vernacular architecture, sustainability, South Africa, sustainable cooling, sustainable development, energy demand, building sector, air conditioning, solar cooling, geothermal cooling, environmental control, developing countries
Sustainable cooling solutions for application in Western Cape Province, South Africa
The energy demand in building sectors for summer air–conditioning is growing exponentially due to global warming, increased living standards and occupant comfort demands throughout the last decades. Concerns over these environmental changes have begun shifting the emphasis from current cooling methods, to 'sustainable strategies' of achieving equally comfortable conditions in building interiors. Study of ancient strategies applied by vernacular architecture shows how the indigenously clean energies to satisfy the cooling need were used. One of the most important influences on vernacular architecture is the macro–climate of the area in which the building is constructed. Not only vernacular structure but also the recent development in solar and geothermal cooling technologies could be used for environmental control needs. Intelligent coupling of these methods as alternative design strategies could help developing countries, such as South Africa, toward sustainable development in air–conditioning of buildings.