Samra M. Khan



In the 21st century, there has been a growing concern for the degradation of the environment from large quantities of CO2 and green house gases, produced by the building industry. This led to the concept of ‘Green Architecture’, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of buildings through energy efficient designs and healthy indoor environment. In the context of Pakistan, our current practices in architecture are based on Western standards, leading to a growing dependence on fossil fuels and resulting in rapid environmental degradation. Rapoport (Rapoport,1969) states that, modern solutions to climatic problems often do not work, and homes are made bearable by means of mechanical means whose cost sometimes exceeds that of the building shell. Before the import of the Western model for architecture, vernacular architecture provided energy efficient and sustainable spaces. Pearson states that, the new importance of vernacular building is that it has vital ecological lessons for today (Pearson, 1994). In the current scenario, the study and analysis of indigenous architecture can help in developing a home-grown and workable model for ‘Green Architecture’ of 21st century Pakistan. In this paper the climate responsiveness and appropriateness of the Sethi haveli, Peshawar, are analyzed in order to understand the indigenous responses to the issues of environmental comfort. The focus of the study will be the courtyard and how it provides thermal comfort and day-lighting to the building.


Green architecture; Sethi haveli; indigenous architecture; environmental comfort

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