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In the process of globalization, each and every nation is associated with the rest of the world for some or other ways. Not a single field can be detached from globalization. Globalization is the dependence of nations on each other in every field. In the field of architecture, globalization supports to preserve the heritage sites, as the help for their preservation comes from all over the world. The world heritage sites and other historic and ancient architectural monuments and buildings do not belong to the respective nation, but they are treated as the great asset of the world. This is the globalized view in preserving, restoring old architecture.
The ancient civilizations of the world have left some evidences behind and they have to be preserved. It is because they are the proof of the existence of human history and a long legacy of human civilization. The conservation of the ancient architectural building is not the responsibility of the respective nation, but it is the responsibility of the world. The international organization called UNESCO was formed with the view to preserve the ancient and historic treasure of the world. UNESCO is the world organization taking care of the major historical and ancient sites and takes efforts for their conservation. The idea of conservation of ancient historical treasure came forward after the World War II in which people experienced massive destruction of human, environment and architecture as well. After the World War II, the need to preserve the ancient historic architecture emerged.
The process globalization has given boost to preserve the architecturally important sites all over the world. Many of them have been damaging due to natural calamities as well as the man made activities. The historical sites are in danger due to the human interference or the military activities. War is such a devastating thing that destroys the evidences of ancient and rich human civilizations all over the world. Recently some major world heritage sites are being threatened by the civil war in Syria which has been going on since 2011.
Syria is a country located in the Middle East region. The country has been severely affected by the civil war that broke out in March 2011. It was first erupted in the southern city of Deraa after the arrest and the torture of some teenagers who painted revolutionary slogans on the school walls (Rodgers et al.). The protesters demanded resignation of President Assad. The war took away the life of 90,000 people and in 2014, the number reached to 191,000.
Along with the human loss, the war witnessed the significant architectural loss. Syria could boast of being the abode of six World Heritage Sites. These six sites have been selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as being "of special cultural or physical significance"(Izadi). Some of these sites are severely damaged due to the violent insurgences and military attack. The repair is possible but it is not possible to bring them in their original form.
The buildings in many old and major cities of Syria were destroyed in the war. Homs is the third most important city in Syria after Aleppo and Damascus. The aerial bombarding was the more destructive in the city of Homs than any other city in Syria. The city had many ancient buildings and monasteries which were destroyed in the war. Along with Um-al-Zinar church, there are other 11 churches in Homs that are destroyed partially or severely in the war. Um-al-Zinar is one of the most ancient churches in the city. The loss is significant. St. George church from the city was also damaged severely.
The reconstruction is possible. Rather the churches are undergoing reconstruction, but still it is not possible to construct them in such a manner that they were. The term reconstruction is used in architecture in context of the architectural design. Feilden (366) says that the design can be constructed by taking support from the documentaries or physical evidences. The old buildings especially the 12 damaged churches in Homs can be reconstructed by taking support from the available evidences. Along with reconstruction one more architectural process suggests by Feilden is the restoration. The restoration process of the architecture is used when the building is destroyed, or damaged. In the process of restoration, the architectural design is confirmed again.
The restoration, reconstruction and the conversation of the damaged building in the city of Homs should have a sustainable approach. The sustainable development aims at achieving the way of constructing building where the future of mankind will not be kept on mortgage. While adopting sustainable approach to the reconstruction of historical building in Homs, the sustainable evaluation of the buildings is important. Graham describes some of the issues of reconstructing or restoring the buildings
One of the most important issue is the management of available resources. While reconstructing the heritage building damaged in the war, the renewable and recyclable resources should be used on priority basis. Maximum utilization of solar energy is also the best way of resource management. The energy is used efficiently so that the waste should be minimized. The use of biodegradable materials is the other way of sustainable development. The biodiversity should be improved while reconstructing the building.
During the reconstruction process of the buildings in Homs the green building technique should be necessarily used. It is the sustainable strategies in building architecture. The ideal certification program for building is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). LEED is one of the rating systems which aims at promoting high performance building (Kubba, 30). It also helps to keep the construction sustainable. The newly constructed building should be evaluated on the parameters of LEED. These parameters are discussed thoroughly by Kubba. The parameters and their rating are expressed in a following tabular form.
The green building rated by LEED or other rating systems are environmentally as well as economically sustainable (Kubba, 30). The reconstruction of the old building is a big project and it would need substantial financial support. A country like Syria currently is not in position to afford the exorbitant reconstruction cost. For reconstructing the damaged building in Homs and overall Syria, the practical way is to use local material and resources which are easily available. They will be cost effective. Moreover, using local material and resources means constructing architecture by harmonizing with the nature and environment.
In the reconstruction process of the old buildings in Homs, it is also possible to use the reusable material. If the buildings have been completely devastated, they can be reconstructed by using the same material wherever possible. Certain technologies are available to improve efficiency and reduce waste.
The loss of building is substantial no doubt, but the repair is also important. The reconstruction in Syria is a difficult task. City of Homs and the entire Syria has already faced lot of damage. The proper construction can at least minimize or prevent future potential environmental loss if LEED rating system is followed
Graham, Peter. Building Ecology. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2003. Print.
In the book Building Ecology Peter Graham has put forward the holistic approach of sustainable and eco-friendly buildings. He has referred some case studies to give an idea of the sustainable building principles. This book demonstrates the detail view of sustainability to the architects and building planners in their practices.
The book is the fundamental knowledge of the overall functioning of the nature. It further relate the nature with the architectural activities. Hence it is important to have the fundamental knowledge about the sustainability to build the architecture by harmonizing it with nature and thus to help to maintain the entire eco-system healthy.
The book is relevant to the research topic of the paper as it works as a guideline for sustainable development. The book is useful to describe one of the hypotheses of the paper and that is evaluating buildings in terms of sustainability. It is because the entire book is on the sustainability.
Izadi, Elahe. "War Has Damaged All But One Of Syria’S World Heritage Sites, Satellite Images Show". Washington Post. N.p., 2014. Web. 9 Jan. 2016.
This is an article in Washington Post in which the writer Elahe gives details about the world heritage sites in Syria. The World Heritage Sites have been in danger since the outbreak of the civilian war in Syria. Elahe has given information about all six sites that has been recognized as the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
First of all he discusses the site of ancient city of Aleppo. The photo of Aleppo clearly gives the picture of the damage of the Great Mosque, Suq-al-Madina. Later on he writes the details of ancient city of Bosra, ancient site of Palmayra, ancient villages of Northern Syria, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din.
The article is very informative and explains how manmade activities are destructing the evidences of our rich culture and civilization. The information in this article is useful as the paper focuses on the country Syria and the architectural damage took place in the country during the civil war. It gives the reason why reconstruction has been the priority of the country.
Kubba, Sam. LEED V4 Practices, Certification, And Accreditation Handbook. Print.
This is a book by Sam that provides a complete guideline for using the LEED v4 rating system which will be the most suitable one for the architectural projects. The book gives a detail information about LEED for various purposes such as designing and construction, operation, maintenance, interior design.
The book is the ideal guide for practical and strategic way of using LEED in construction of building. The book has provided many cases as well for better understanding of LEED. The first chapter throws light on the concept of sustainable green building. In the second chapter, the writer focuses on the fundamental LEED concepts. The third chapter informs the documentation process essential for LEED and the technical requirements as well. Chapter four is based on the professional accreditation, standards and codes of LEED. The sustainability issue is described in chapter 5, where the writer discusses the design strategies and green design process. Chapter six is based on the green building material and products. Chapter seven explains the indoor environmental quality while chapter eight talks about the water efficiency and sanitary wastage. Thus the book is a complete guide for explaining the term LEED.
The book is very much relevant for this research as its focus is on the sustainable and green building reconstruction and LEED is one of the most effective rating systems of the green building. In Syria, the sustainable reconstruction is ideal for environmental and economical point of view. Hence this book is very useful.
Rodgers, Lucy et al. "Syria: The Story Of The Conflict - BBC News". BBC News. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 Jan. 2016.
Lucy Rodgers documents the facts of Syrian civilian war and its horrendous aftermaths. It is a news story which describes the primary reason for the outbreak of Syrian civil war. He also informs how the initial cause behind the war has taken a different turn. The initial political cause has been replaced by the religious cause; the conflict between Sunni and Shi’a.
Rodgers writes the article into different parts; first part is “uprising Turns Violent” in which the readers come to know the cause behind the war, the second part is “Descent into the War”. It gives the death toll till August 2015. The third part is titled as “War Crimes”. In this part, Rodger describes the UN’s reaction on the war. Forth part is on the chemical weapons which were significantly used during the war. Fifth part “Humanitarian Crisis” talks about the refugees, seventh part is based on the emergence of Jihadis which was the outcome of the war. The peace efforts taken by Arab League and UN is discussed in the next part and the last part talks about the proxy war.
The article is very relevant for this paper as the paper is on the damage of Syrian architecture due to the civil war. Some of the parts is irrelevant. But to add the information related to the article was necessary to be included in the paper.19 April, 2023