This paper presents the case study of the authors’ design of the earth-sheltered house in Village Dobraca near Kragujevac, Serbia, in the context of development and some thermal properties of the underground housing. The historical insight, in brief, provides a better understanding of the reasons for their modern use as energy efficient and sustainable structures. It shows that underground houses even today are more thermally efficient than above ground houses since, besides earth, there is no need for new additional thermal layers. The article also includes a review of the representative physical forms of the underground housing through different periods, with the result of measurement of their main properties. The study of the underground housing structures provides an insight of the relation between the location and typology of underground homes in a contest of climate zones. These structures have an almost constant temperature, which provides the primary “comfort” condition in which the man is determined to live in. The results on property-based monitoring data showed that the earth-sheltered house could provide the thermal comfort that is close to the ideal human needs temperature. Today, the new materials and especially the solar, geothermal, and wind accessories, enables the maximum sustainability of these specific building structures and provides them with an even better energy efficiency.
The selection for the presentations of the “architecture of the future” on the Future Architecture platform is underway. I applied for this competition with my idea of a type of house that represents a new green technology with roots in prehistory (so-called neolepenism). Applications have been sent from all over the world and 25 ideas will be selected to be presented, including one by the audience. You can vote on the link bellow, if you like this idea, by clicking the “I like it” button at the end of page. The post can be shared on some social networks, and below the voting button there is a link where you can see other submitted ideas, for those who are interested. Voting lasts until noon UTC on January 14th.
By Nenad B. Miloradović in REHVA Journal Vol. 57, 04/2020
This paper was published 31.08.2020. in REHVA Journal. REHVA is a HVAC association that develops and promotes energy efficient, safe and healthy technology for mechanical services of building. REHVA is the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations, representing a network of more than 100.000 engineers from over 25 countries. Since 1963, the association is dedicated to the improvement of health, comfort and energy efficiency in all buildings and communities by facilitating knowledge exchange, supporting the development of related EU policies, and their national level implementation.
Space design can be one of the strategies for designing low-energy and passive houses and buildings. Neolepenism is a new, internationally copyrighted type of energy efficient architecture with roots in the prehistoric culture of Lepenski Vir (Serbia). The author has previously presented the model of a small family house of neolepenism with a flat roof at 50th Congress and Exhibition of KGH in Belgrade in 2019 and wrote about the energy efficiency of the prehistoric architecture of Lepenski Vir, whose positive experiences he improved and optimized. This new industrial design could significantly contribute to the reduction of heat losses (in winter) or gains (during the summer season), reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving building materials and thermal insulation, primarily by its compact shape, and to a lesser extent by utilization favorable orientation, by digging in earth, application of green roofs and aerodynamic shape. In this way, neolepenism could have a positive impact on global warming and climate change as a passive means of protection.
The author of Neolepenism house visited the Museum Lepenski Vir on the Friday, 28th of August 2020. Here is a short presentation of the model of Neolepenism house at the archeological site, which was the model for this new energy efficient architecture. Neolepenism house architecture can respond to challenges of Climate changes and Global warming.
Nenad Miloradovic has entered in the online Ancient history encyclopedia which was rewarded by EU in 2016. His paper from REHVA Journal “Lepenski Vir – the prehistoric energy efficient architecture” is in bibliography and some terms are quoted in the article about Lepenski Vir by Andela Sormaz. This post was published on 5. May 2020.
Neolepenism is a distinctly mathematical architecture. It is based on adaptation of the building to the natural environment, which involves fitting into the geographical, climatic and plant environment and taking into account the impact of solar radiation. This kind of architecture, though new, has deep roots – a practice that was implemented over a long period of time, about 8,000 years ago.
For the architecture of Lepenski Vir, which is a model and inspiration for the new architectural forms proposed in this website, the archaeologist D. Srejović claimed that he had something very mathematical in this. He meant primarily the geometric shape of the base, but at the same time noticed the connection of architecture with the natural environment, that is, with the ambient.
Dragoslav Srejovic wrote in his book about Lepenski Vir: “Due to the marked ‘unhistoriness’ of the architecture of Lepenski Vir, we are tempted to explain the exceptional nature of its forms by specific features of the terrain and space, ie. natural environment. The connection between architecture and ambience is really obvious. (…) The architecture of Lepenski Vir has in itself something extremely mathematical, that is, in its entire forms one can feel the presence of concrete longer and certain numbers. (…) The structure of Lepenski Vir I and Lepenski Vir II (…) corresponds only to the morphology of the city of the distant future. (…) The architecture of Lepenski Vir merely ‘reads’ its surroundings, translates its intricate, condensed contents into an easily understood language…”.
I became interested in Lepenski Vir when I was read the book “Solar Architecture” by Serbian architect Mirjana Lukić, where in one sentence she mentioned Lepenski Vir in the wrong context. It caught my eye, I studied some books from Srejović where the plans of the settlement were, and decided to go to professor Srejović, who was then the vice-president of Serbian Academy of Science and Art, to suggest that since I had found analogies with modern solar houses.
At the very beginning, I reached out to Srejović’s secretary and briefly explained what I noticed. She first thought, since I mentioned heating, that it was concern to the museum building that was built on Lepenski Vir after. When we cleared up, she told me to wait for professor Srejović who was supposed to come.
Academician Srejović, who was the person deserving most merit for discovery the site Lepenski Vir, introduced me to his office and, when he listened to me, said: “Many knowledge has been lost forever.” He inquired about Serbian solar engineer Branko Lalović, and he was the most interested in how those houses looked at the time. He said, “These are all just assumptions.” He even offered me to write an article together on this topic that I was talking about. I took this seriously and by March 1996 I wrote the preliminary communication “The importance of measuring solar radiation at archeological localities” and again went to professor Srejović.
This time he told me that he was in a big crowd and had no time, but he still received a copy of my preliminary communication printed for him. He got sick afterwards. Academician Srejović died the same year, November 29, 1996. Before he died, he signed me the statement that he had read my preliminary communication and called on organizations involved in solar energy research to support my work in order to better explain his findings at Lepenski Vir. That was probably the last recommendation signed by Academician Srejović.