BIOCLIMATIC DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY: A CASE OF WAJIR TOWN

ABSTRACT
The growth and development of Wajir can be attributed to its location; which is centralized between the towns of Marsabit, Moyale, Mandera and Bardere; that saw it grow into a trading centre. This eventually led to the growth of other support facilities like religious centres and administrative centres. The town is characterised by high temperatures as it experiences a hot semi-arid climate. The town was initially occupied by the Somali who built traditional houses (hori). Over time modernism has affected the architecture of the region whereby more modern buildings are being brought up transforming the architectural style that defined the town. These new designs create hot indoor environments during the day, thus challenging the user comfort. They use mechanical cooling systems which release heat (that is trying to be avoided) and also recycle used up air within the interior spaces, therefore increasing the chances of the occupants to contract air-borne diseases. The study was done to look into the architecture of Wajir as well as see which type of buildings pay attribute to the defining factors of the region and most importantly provide thermal comfort for the buildings’ users. The study was done by critically analysing three buildings of varying architecture and time periods; which is pre-colonial (traditional Somali house - hori), colonial (Maternal Child Healthcare [MCH] Wajir) and post-colonial (Huduma Centre, Wajir) periods. The results showed that the MCH Wajir provided more comfortable indoor conditions than the other studies because of its ability to utilise both technology and bioclimatic design. It is then followed by the traditional Somali house and finally, the Huduma Centre. Concluding from that, it is recommended that for a building to provide user comfort, it needs to have a good design receptacle; that arises from technology utilisation; and utilisation of natural resources; bioclimatic design.
 

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