Vernacular Wisdom as a Path Towards Ecologically Sustainable Housing and Settlements: Participatory Design and Building to Rehabilitate Local Adobe Brick Constructions in El Salvador

Silvio Cristiano


Globalised cultures, imaginaries, and economies often accompany the standardisation of building approaches.
However, unspecific solutions tend to entail issues in all the environmental, economic, and social spheres. Throughout human history,
vernacular wisdom has produced interesting climate-responsive architectures all around the globe, which can be seen as interesting
examples in an era of global warming and overall uncertainty, and represent accessible sustainable solutions in deprived areas of the
world and beyond. The experience of a participatory design and building process is here presented, carried on in a rural area of El
Salvador, Central America: a facility of a local school designed and realised after the recovery and improvement of local vernacular
wisdom in building design, namely, that of the adobe earth brick. Potentials and limits of such experience and technology are
reviewed in the perspective of affordable and ecologically sustainable housing and settlements in the area.





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