Examining Traditional Buildings in Terms of Life Cycle: LEED Assessment of Diyarbakir Houses

Tuna Taygun G., Vural S. M., Darçın P., Aykal F. D.



The life cycle of a building is shaped around its interaction with its surroundings. Traditional settlements and buildings are produced as a result of public experience, and found to respect the environment, whereas most of the buildings produced in the near past have contributed to environmental problems. Initiatives aiming at reducing the damage caused to the environment have produced many methods to assess buildings. Among these methods, all of which are indicated to have positive and negative aspects, the LEED certification system created by USGBC has “LEED for Homes 2009 v.3” that is specifically created for the impact that houses have on their surroundings. This study assesses three traditional Diyarbakır houses, which are indicated as being successful in terms of their relations with their environment and of their architectural solutions. The houses—which were expected to obtain high scores due to their environment-friendly qualities—nevertheless obtained rather low scores. The reasons for this may be listed as that the existing assessment methods are not suitable for assessing buildings that were built in the past but are still being utilized. Moreover, the methods do not cover local and regional arrangements that could be considered environmentally important, and they require certain building products as compulsory. Therefore, it is suggested that a type should be created, which would involve a rearrangement to allow the assessment of old buildings, cover different architectural solutions and assess them at suitable point weights, and question the interaction between the building and its environs under a more holistic approach.