Case study 1: Styles of buildings
Thermally light structures in Thailand
These dwellings are located in Thailand. The lightweight construction form is created by the use of locally available materials. The large openings allow air to pass through the building to cool the interior quickly. Thermally light structures of this type are common throughout the Far East. They utilise local materials that are readily available. However, with the advent of more modern construction forms and the incorporation of air conditioning systems they are now restricted to rural areas.
European vernacular buildings
These are examples of heavyweight construction forms found in England and France. The use of local stone and slate for the walls and roofing reflects regionally available materials, although the ‘gothic’ style of the building above is actually a copy of earlier styles. The building was constructed in the Victorian period. The windmill, in contrast, is typical of simple rural building styles.
A simple cottage dwelling located in the North of England is above. The use of slate for the roof and brick for the external walls is typical of many buildings of this age and type. In contrast, the buildings in the right-hand picture reflect an earlier form of building in which a structural timber frame is used rather than loadbearing external walls. Note that the upper floors project outwards over the street. This allows more floor area to be created within the dwelling while minimising the area of land utilised. This style was actually driven by economics rather than functionality. At the time of its construction taxes were based on the ground floor area of the building.