For 48-743: Introduction to Ecological Design and Thinking
By Afshan Rehman
In this research, we look at Vaastu through the lens of Ecology. Vaastu in concept, is a perfect example of applied ecology. It is based on the belief that everything on this planet is and should be built from the five elements of Earth – Air (Vayu), Fire (Agni), Water (Jal), Earth (Bhumi) and Space (Aakasha).
The principles of Vaastu in terms of space planning were purely based on the effect of sun-rays and wind direction during different times of the day. Using simulation-based methods, we will assess an existing project designed with a very good Vaastu score.
Design for Wind:
For the study of wind, we simulate the outdoor site condition. The flow of winds effected by orientation and massing according to Vaastu on site is studied. These results are compared to the ideal orientation for wind in Hyderabad’s climate as per theoretical analysis.
Hyderabad predominantly has winds from the S-W. The science of reasoning for the Master Bedroom to be on the S-W side of the house is that the head of the family should have a room with the most ventilation. The above CFD drawing shows that each house receives ample wind from this direction and few houses receive more flow due to the stack effect created by the roads.
DESIGN FOR SUN:
To study the effect of sun on orientation we study the thermal radiation and effect of shadows on the site as it may be effected by massing and organisation.
We also study the radiation received by the context and geometry throughout the year in Hyderabad, India.
Since India is predominantly a hot country, we have to design to avoid extreme radiation. Since sun is considered to provide positive energy in the Hindu scriptures, rooms with useful metabolic rates are aligned along these walls to receive sun. Useful daylight illuminance without extreme radiation is ideal.
We simulate the sunlight hours on 2 days - Summer Equinox and Winter Equinox of India. The internal courtyards of each house are shaded and can be good for recreation. The roads receive more than 9 hours of sunlight in both the seasons and the parking is shaded by the first house in the South villas.
The N-S orientation for the longer axis is not ideal for a dry hot climate like Hyderabad but the closely packed houses shade each other throughout the year. The tree placed infront of each house does not play a role in shading.