The strength of vernacular architecture is that it blends
buildings into various settings so that there is a natural harmony
between climate, architecture and people.
In countries such as Iran, Iraq and Egypt there have evolved
buildings which not only demonstrate this harmony and unity
between people and their environment but also offer a
combination of engineering and architecture which has an
In the past, people in Qatar built their houses according
to their real needs and in harmony with the environment
as well as with optimal utiHzation of the available local
building materials. In spite of the hot long summer with
the dry bulb temperature of up to 45°C, human comfort
was achieved in those traditional buildings by the utilization
of natural energies.
This was the result of repeated cycles of trial and error
and the experience of generations of builders. It is worth
mentioning that builders had to rely mostly on the locally
available material to construct the buildings with the exception
of timber which was imported from India.
In the 1940s the country's economy flourished as a result
of oil discovery, and electricity was introduced. Modern
technologies were adopted without studying their suitability
with regard to culture and climate.
An architectural heritage that survived for centuries because
of geometric, technical and constructive principles that work
for the society, is being sadly destroyed under the guise
Traditional buildings are being abandoned as it is perceived
that they reflect underdevelopment and poverty.
This chapter is devoted to discussing various passive
techniques that has been employed in the traditional buildings
and their role in providing comfort especially during the hottest
hours of the day.