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between 24 and 25.5 degrees

Cyprus was once dominated by zero-energy houses-the adobe houses-and healthier individuals. Then came progress. The adobe (πλινθαρι) houses, a building type particular to subtropical / semiarid regions such as the island of Cyprus. over time  became widely discredited by our society, which in the cheap energy era opted for "modern" buildings that required massive energy inputs to be habitable.

The adobe building that houses our Architectural Practice is nearly 200 years old. Its latest substantial renovation was in 2008 and before that around 1900 when it was raised to a dramatic 2 stories. The original structure of the house dates back to the 1830's. In contrast, a new concrete structure today may last for 50 to 60 years on average. The foundations of our house are made of stone, and act as a sizable heat sink, cooling the house from its inner core. Above the humidity line, stone is replaced by adobe, which has excellent anti-seismic and thermal insulation properties. So effective, that measured results from a meteorological station placed in this building showed a temperature swing of 1.5 degrees celsius (from 24 to 25.5 degrees) inside the building, whilst outside the temperature gyrated from 40 to 18 degrees.

The adobe house makes maximum use of the land it occupies, and is a good neighbor,  touching walls with next-door structures and insulating each other. It is always properly oriented to take advantage of breeze, which brings in the fresh air and rejects the stale air in tall, volumy rooms. Internal doors and windows on the top floor create passages of wind that ensure good air flow all around, and create a natural drawing of the air on ground floor level to the top floor. Air-and not sun-flows into the building from the wooden window adjustable detailings that transmit no light and heat inside. Air flows out of similar openings on the top floor, and create pleasant shady and breezy areas such as the kiosk (εξωστης) which projects a discreet eye on a small scale street that shades the sides of buildings during the extra sunshine hours that Cyprus does not need. 

The advent of cheap energy and industrialization and the modern fast way of our lives,have taken away from us amongst others the zero energy house. Victims of a seemingly vast catch-22, we are now condemned to working every day of our lives to feed-at a substantial loss of our time and money-our poorly designed house to keep its inner temperature between 24 and 25.4 degrees. This of course  can only last for as long as we have the means to generate income. A well-designed house that needs a fraction of the cost to operate allows our elderly to live with dignity and not to rely on a government handout to survive the cold.