I arrived to Granada, Spain on June 5th with an open mind and with an attitude ready to explore such a historic city. To my pleasure, the city has been everything that I imagined and more. It’s a beautiful historic district with live music, great people, and many quaint restaurants. Below are photos of Granada:
As many internships, the research topic and materials were slightly changed when arriving here. Though this way a huge hiccup, I took this opportunity to learn a huge life lesson which is: Many times things aren’t what you expect them to be, but finding the best out of any situation is what will move you forward and surprisingly may lead you to a better path. Fortunately, my research was changed to a topic that sparks even more interest and excitement than my original plan. My new topic will be looking at how 14th Century architecture provides energy efficiency and ways that these behaviors can be adopted to modern buildings. For instance, the positioning of a home can provide more sunlight for the winter months and less sunlight during the summer months because of the way the home is positioned, which was a common characteristic for the 14th century buildings in Granada, Spain.
More specifically, I will be focusing on a building in the Alhambra and the Casa de Zafra, which is outside the Alhambra. The Alhambra was the arabic’s (Moorish) palace and fortress located in Granada. And the Casa de Zafra is one of the oldest buildings located in the outskirts of the Alhambra and was used for many purposes through the centuries, but was mainly a Nazari noble home. I will be studying the Casa de Zafra and the Alhambra’s building characteristcis that exemplify’s energy efficiency. My whole project plays on the notion that we can look to our past in order to find the answers we need in the future. Below are photo’s of the Casa de Zafra, the first photo shows the Alhambra in the background:
I’m excited to see how my research develops throughout the course of the internship. I’m hoping to find significant information on how we can make buildings more energy efficient during the developmental stages. Thinking about the positioning of the home, the materials used, and how spaces are designed can significantly reduce the energy usage. And I hope to also tie in the concept of passive homes becoming a more common practice here in Spain, the United States, and potentially throughout the globe.