Throughout the internship, we have been working with two architecture students from Granada University, Marisol and Christina. They assisted in our research by conducting an energy rating system on the Casa de Zafra and calculating the water evaporated from the Casa de Zafra and Comares Palace water cooling system and how it has affected the temperature in the building.
Marisol helped with calculating the water systems behavior and found great information about how the water system in both case studies did indeed work. The freshwater pools in the center of the building decreased the temperature in the area by a few degrees, thus offering an area for people to cool off. However, this technique brings in much concern for sustainability. Using fresh water for cooling and allowing it to evaporate instead of using it to drink, is not sustainable since fresh water supply is rapidly decreasing. Below is an image of the Comares Palace water cooling system which entails gravity bringing in fresh water from the Sierra Nevada to the home and into a pool in the center of the building.
As for Christina, she worked on an energy rating system, the CE3X software, on Casa de Zafra, which concluded interesting results. The energy rating revealed that the home gave off low emissions, and had low energy consumption of non-renewables. However, received a low grade for the energy required for heating and cooling. It’s important to keep in mind that this is because of the 14th Century materials the home used, therefore does not reflect the value of the homes energy savings features. Back in the 14th century they didn’t have many options for insulation and were limited to using only wood and brick for construction. However, in today’s time this home with the same features and having access to the current materials in our society would have thrived, while still consuming little energy. Below is an image of Casa de Zafra.