JPD 02 - 18 - 2010

Angkor Wat. Ancient 13th Century Buddhist/Hindu Temple. When explored deeper, one can speculate the many sustainable ideas integrated into the design of such a vast complex. Severe heat and humidity had to be taken into account while designing/constructing in such an extreme climate. Strategies such as passive ventilation and shade were necessary in providing a comfortable complex to congregate. A complex surrounded by a 19 meter deep moat and scattered with various pools, it can be assumed that the patrons of Angkor Wat utilized the water supply to help cool the temple. Interior pools functioning as cleansing fountains would help cool the breezes entering the space. Throughout much of the complex, arcades and columned porticos provide shaded walkways to circulate through the temple. In various areas, a second arcade abutted to the outside hall yields additional shade. Small vertical decor/columns in many of the openings could have functioned as shading devices to diffuse the daylight entering the space and to cut down on heat gain. The vertical lotus-inspired domes reaching up into the heavens might have served as thermal chimneys to aid in the ventilation of the temple. Warm air would rise up into the unoccupied space and slowly exit the complex. The ventilation along with the shading would help lower the overall temperature of the temple complex. As one enters further into central temple, the elevation substantially steps up. The extra height would allow breezes to more easily filter through the higher grounds of the complex. Angkor Wat, a temple packed full of design principles, incorporated numerous sustainable strategies to contribute to the patrons' comfort while worshipping the Buddhist/Hindu Gods. *Top Image: Double Hallway of Angkor Wat *Bottom Image: Shading/Daylighting of Angkor Wat

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