Nothing New Under The Sun
When I took Latin, this was one of my favorite quotes. Sure, we have types of technology that the Romans did not have, then again there are things they have engineered that we have a hard time duplicating. So many architectural features that we are just bringing back were just amazing.
I was recently at the Mission San Miguel, and I had that same feeling of awe when admiring how and why they did what they did. The overhang areas serve many purposes. Snakes don’t like crawling on the cold bricks, and the shades around the building helps keep the whole area cooler. When it is raining people could walk from one area to another and keep dry. There are areas by the door that channel the water away from the building. When water and/or plants are too close to a building the water and roots of plants undermine the structure of the foundation.
Courtyards in the center of the buildings provided privacy and outdoor entertainment. Gardens in the courtyard, a place for the pets of the household. Water collection and storage could also be accessed from the courtyard. Many had rain gutters that were attached to a system in the center, and the water would be stored in cisterns. When the cistern was attached to a fountain this allowed the water to move and aerate.
I know this is not new, but something more and more are thinking about as we build smarter and more efficient homes. As we marry the old with the new. Saving our resources and utilizing the smartest way we can.