Evaluation of Documentation and Inventory Studies on Earthen Buildings in Turkey within the Scope of Sustainability of Vernacular Architectural Heritage

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Tuna Taygun G., Gençer C. İ.

Kerpic’2020 Healthy Buildings: The Role of Earthen Materials on Providing Healthy and Sustainable Indoor Environment, İstanbul, Turkey, 26 - 27 November 2020, pp.113-120

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.113-120
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


As a traditional building material, earth consumes minimum energy in its production, recycle/disposal processes after completing its useful life, does not require construction of any facilities and provides a healthy built environment for the building users during usage –given that the material is acquired from a clean resource. Used since the earliest human settlements, earth architecture is the evidence of cultural progress of the humanity, thus recognized as a common cultural heritage by the international preservation realm.

Earth architecture is very vulnerable, under the constant impact of natural and anthropogenic threats. Therefore, there are several initiatives of world-wide organizations working on safeguarding the earthen heritage at risk. Since 1970s, ICOMOS organized a series of conferences for a deeper understanding of earthen architecture, while UNESCO launched World Heritage Programme on Earthen Architecture for the conservation, revitalization and valorization of earthen architecture.

In terms of sustainability of vernacular architecture in Turkey, there are institutional (TÜBA, universities, local governments, etc.) and individual (especially preservation and building science experts) academic studies on its documentation and inventory. The aim of this paper is to make a research on the documentation and inventory studies on earthen architectural heritage in Turkey, which constitutes an important component of vernacular architecture. It is intended to increase the potential of national presence in local, regional, national and international studies for the preservation and revitalization of earthen buildings and thus contribute to the production of new knowledge for the sustainability of vernacular architectural heritage.

Keywords: Vernacular architecture, earthen buildings, sustainability, documentation, inventory.