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The ancient air conditioning of Persia


It doesn’t take many scorching summer days to start wondering how people of the desert handled the intense heat before the advent of air conditioning, much less had the energy to build one of history’s most famous civilizations, but after reading Kuriositas’ article, “The Windcatcher’s of Persia,” what you’re left wondering is how on earth we let this architectural element disappear for so long.

…When fed down in to courtyards and domes it acts as an all in one ventilation and heat management system. A capped tower with an open side facing the wind simply and effectively brings down cooling drafts in to the heart of the structure below…

… The air caught in the windcatchers (also known as wind chimneys) and then circulated down into the bigger area is not cooled, as you might expect. What happens is that the circulation gives the feeling of the air being chilled. As the air moves it increases an evaporative cooling effect…

Some modern architects are starting to incorporate versions of these structures into their work as a more environmentally-friendly way to beat the heat, and we have to say, they can’t make them fast enough for our taste.

Full story at Kuriositas.

Old architecture for modern problems.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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