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Shibam: An environmentally friendly building model that is endangered by climate change

On the #World_Environment_Day: #Shibam #Hadramout is a rare global city facing the dangers of climate change.
مدينة شبام حضرموت ومن أمامها سيل
Shibam Hadramout, Yemen.

Shibam is one of the world's masterpiece cities, located in the Hadramout Governorate in the southeast of Yemen. Shibam is commonly referred to as "Shibam Hadramout" to distinguish it from Shibam Kawkaban, another city in northern Yemen. Shibam Hadramout is also known by two internationally famous nicknames: mud skyscrapers and desert manhattans.

Shibam Hadramout was built hundreds of years ago, in the sixteenth century, and its tower-style buildings are still standing today thanks to their distinctive engineering, mud building materials, and general city planning, as well as the people who are very proud of their city's periodic maintenance and preservation. Shibam Hadramout has been listed on the World Heritage List since 1982.

Because of its advantageous location on the caravan route, the city has a long history of success; it is located in the center of the huge valley of Hadramout in the province of Hadramout, which has been renowned throughout history as the region of frankincense and the country of Ahqaf.

Among all the wonderful things about Shibam, the fully natural and environmentally friendly building materials, as well as the design style that makes the city and the structures incredibly sustainable, deserve special mention.

Shibam homes are constructed with bricks composed of mud combined with straw. It provides great heat insulation in a desert climate-influenced environment. Furthermore, brick is a reusable material that has no negative impact on the environment.

Shibam residents also employ al-Nora (calcium hydroxide) in coating the roofs and upper floors of their homes to give good rainwater insulation. Furthermore, the distinctive white color of the light aids in the dispersal of sunshine, which helps to protect the house from heat.

homes in Shibam are so close together that the roadways are almost always shaded, which naturally reflects in the temperature inside the buildings. This reduces cooling energy use.

Preserving the style in which buildings are built in Shibam is crucial not only to preserve Hadramout's long history of unique architecture and culture but also to respond to the necessities of adapting to climate change, which will determine our collective future.

Climate change is already influencing how we plan and construct our homes. According to the World Economic Forum, buildings account for nearly 40% of global emissions; as a result, experts believe that the future of construction must change in several ways, including environmentally friendly and sustainable building materials that save more energy, whether due to how they are manufactured or their role in providing good insulation for buildings.

There are numerous strategies to make buildings more robust to climate change, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Resilience to heat waves, for example, can be established by creating urban woods and green spaces, using structural designs that increase ventilation, and using green roofs and reflective roofs. Another technique to make buildings more tolerant to drought is to install rainwater harvesting systems.

Hundreds of Yemeni households have been devastated by recent weather extremes. In some locations, heavy rains, floods, and torrential rains have ruined infrastructure such as sewage networks, roads, and bridges.

While the losses can be accounted for by rebuilding, comparable damage cannot be reimbursed if it befalls ancient buildings, which are becoming weaker by the day due to a lack of maintenance and the intensity of the harsh weather changes. This encourages us to consider the importance of stepping up local and international efforts to conserve a unique piece of common human history in Hadramout.


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