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With time, the construction potentialities and traditional architecture of Saudi Arabia have declined substantially. The modern generation in Saudi Arabia has neglected the traditional structural and architectural designs of building towns, cities and homes. The materials used in the construction of the traditional structures has been replaced by more westernized building materials such as bricks and glass. The westernized methods of design and architecture often fail to last long due to the climatic and topographical conditions of the country such as extreme heat and fast blowing winds. Reviving the traditional architectural and structural building married with the westernized building technologies will yield strong structures that are capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of the country.
This paper seeks to identify the most applicable methods of structural procedures that can be used in historical earthen buildings in Saudi Arabia for conservation purposes. This dissertation addresses the important structural and architectural perspectives of the traditional Saudi Arabia buildings. The paper also examines the perspectives of the Saudi population that affect the selection of building materials and architectural styles widely used. Examination of the old techniques employed in traditional Saudi Arabia buildings and how they can help in the formulation of a new approach for contemporary architecture and how it can be implemented in Saudi Arabia are also discussed in this dissertation.
In the preparation of this dissertation, conforming processes were performed in order to fulfil the set objectives of the study. The first step was configured to examine the different earthen architectural structures in Saudi Arabia. This stage involved travelling to different locations, observing the structures and also conducting interviews with old contractors. To collect more information on the topic, visits to Yemen and South Morocco were made as the two countries already have married earthen architecture with modern architecture. The traditional architecture of Morocco and Yemen are similar to that of Saudi Arabia but has taken longer for the countries to shift to the modern architecture. Laboratory examination was carried out to examine the relationship between the soil composition, stability, and strength of the structures built. Empirical studies were also conducted to examine the compactness, solidity, dimensional steadiness and permeability of the materials used in the constructions. These factors influence the choice of building materials for the conservation of the traditional architecture and solving the present need for cheap housing in urban suburbs.
The results of this study indicate that Adobe and Cob traditional architectural styles are two of the leading architectural styles in Saudi Arabia, with each style symbolizing the perspective of the people living in a particular locality. This dissertation also found out that different architectural patterns were influenced by functionality, convenience, efficiency and the availability of the construction materials needed. This explains the reason for different structural and architectural patterns in different parts of Saudi Arabia.
This study concludes that mixing the traditional architectural methods with modern technologies would serve in making stronger long-lasting houses in Saudi Arabia. The new houses would not only serve in conserving the magnificent architecture of the country but also help in building cheap houses hence solving the rising demand for housing in urban areas. This study will add to the literature available for architectures in Saudi Arabia specifically informing how a mixture of early architecture can be reinforced with modern technology to help solve the housing challenge in the rural areas.27 July, 2023