Building and Environment vol:42 issue:2 pages:970-978
Climate is among the most significant factors on the environmental performance, life span and/or durability of construction materials in buildings. Although some historical buildings have been abandoned and neglected for a very long period, their existence through centuries can be explained because of their durability to climatic conditions of the area where they are situated. In this study, construction techniques and characteristics of building materials used in some madrasas (historical education buildings) in Western Anatolia (Turkey) were examined in order to evaluate the conditions of the buildings by taking into account climatic conditions of the region. The studied Western Anatolian madrasas, which are in the moderate climatic conditions, were constructed out of rubble stone, brick and mortar in random bond with local workmanship by local builders who continued the older traditions and have survived for more than 300 years without maintenance and repair. On the other hand, most of the madrasa buildings in Central and Eastern Anatolia, which are in the steppe climatic conditions, were differently constructed with cut stone on their exterior surfaces to prevent the main structures of the walls composed of rubble stone and mortar from harsh climatic conditions of these regions. This study indicated that construction techniques and building materials appropriate to the climate might have been intentionally chosen for the survival of historical buildings over the centuries.