Coober Pedy is located in southern Australia, approximately 526 miles north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway while Touggourt is a commune and a city, former capital and sultanate of Touggourt District in Ouargla province, Algeria and it is situated next to an oasis in the Sahara. Cobber Pedy is not only recognized by the production of world class opal but also due to its underground dwellings which are as a result of the harsh climatic condition in the region.
Coober Pedy region experiences a lot of glare challenges as the sun blisters on the dry, cracked earth causing glare and at the same time creating a desert landscape. The Coober area receives very little rainfall and experiences very high temperatures during most time of the time year resulting in open grounds which when sun blisters on the causes glare. The figure below is an illustration of the open grounds.
Natural and artificial methods of lighting buildings in Coober Pedy
The underground dwellings in Coober Pedy are naturally lighted by the use of wide shafts to tap light from the surface of earth to light the rooms which are not exposed to the outside wide and for the sides of the buildings that are exposed to outside world are usually naturally lighted by use of openings such as windows and doors as illustrated in the images below (Jackson, 2013, p. 118).
At the same time, various types of artificial lighting techniques are used to light the buildings both during the day and at night depending on the light requirements at a given time. The artificial sources of light range from the kerosene driven lamps to various types of electric lamps which are usually powered by electricity from the wind turbines that are located within Coober Pedy.
How light is controlled during the day
During the day when there is natural lighting. The amount of light in the Building is controlled by turning off some of the artificial sources of light and opening the openings such as windows, shafts, and doors to let in light from the surface (McConkey, 2012, p. 301). Occupants of buildings in Coober Pedy they usually adjust the blinds in order to control the amount of light depending on their comfort levels at the given time. Windows of some buildings within Coober Pedy are shaded to control the amount of light getting in as shown below.
Glare problems in Touggourt District Algeria
Touggourt region of Algeria is located in desert climate conditions, and the ground surfaces have little or no vegetation cover due to the low amount of rainfall received and high temperatures experienced in this region (McKernan, 2016, p. 45). Due to the bare ground surfaces, Touggourt experienced glare problem as the sun hits the ground and reflects back.
The houses built in Touggourt Algeria are designed mainly to overcome the harsh climatic conditions of the regions which are characterized by high temperatures during the day and very low temperatures during the night. And due to that, the ancient people of Touggourt opted to construct buildings using materials better thermal mass performance so as to control the heat and light in the buildings (McKernan, 2016, p. 248). The buildings are naturally lighted by openings such as such doors and windows, as shown in the image below.
The buildings in Touggourt were traditionally lightened by use of fire spots during the night hours which also acted as a source of heat for the occupants of the buildings. In modern time the buildings are lighted by use of various electric lamps which are powered by electricity from the wind farms as shown below.
How light is controlled during the day in Touggourt
The control of light in buildings in Touggourt depends on the comfort levels of the occupants of that building at a given time. During the ancient times the light was controlled by closing the openings of the building, but during the modern times, daylight is controlled by shading the windows and other openings (Boud, 2013, p. 206). Also, the artificial lighting can be controlled by adjusting the amount of light from the various sources.
There is no noise penetration from the surface to the underground dwellings due to the thick mass of earth which prevents the penetration of the noise to the underground dwellings. The underground dwellings are very silent.The bedroom areas and other rooms which are deeper into the round and are not exposed to the hillside have absolute low levels of noise. The figure below shows a bedroom which is completely surrounded by a mass of rocks and soils which have very high levels of acoustic mass thus there is very low noise that penetrates it.
It is also very had for a person on the ground in Coober Pedy to hear the noise from the underground dwellings. This is because the heavy mass of the soils and rocks have a high acoustic mass that cannot allow the noise to penetrate from the ground to the surface. Most of the noise that is experienced in the underground dwellings is purely from the household sources of noise. In the cases where there is noise from the surface, it is through the openings such as the windows, doors, and shafts which are mainly used for ventilation purposes.
The noise which is experienced on the surface in Coober Pedy is due to various human activities such as such as mining transport, construction and recreational activities such as sports. Due to the hot and harsh climate of Coober Pedy most of the residents in this area comes on the surface at night to do activities such as playing golf with that it is during the night when the noise levels are high as compared to during the day when most of the residents of Coober Pedy are underground in their dwellings. Even if the climate conditions of Coober Pedy are very harsh, they are some activities which take during the day such as mining of Opal which produces a lot of noise on the surface. The figure below shows the Blower working on the opal field. Most of this blowers were the main source of noise on the surface (Cram, 2016, p. 51).
Acoustic Background of buildings in Touggourt
The houses which are built in Touggourt are mainly designed to overcome the harsh climatic conditions of Touggourt. Most of the houses are constructed with walls and roofs having one thick mass so as to prevent the penetration of heat from the surface (Potter, 2015, p. 439). With the thick walls which are used to construct these buildings most of them have high acoustic mass which prevents the penetration of noise from the surface into the building or from the building to the outside
The main source of noise in the buildings in Touggourt is household sources which do not produce high noise levels as compared to other human activities which produce high noise levels.
The external noise levels in are high due to the human activities that are taking in in Touggourt, Algeria. There are many human activities that are taking place in Touggourt, Algeria activities such as transport, construction, manufacturing and other human activities contribute to the high noise levels that witnessed in Touggourt, Algeria (hui, 2013, p. 274)
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