Vernacular to Contemporary | PDEC | An ‘Adaptation’ – Part I

Wind Catchers, traditionally known as Badgirs or Malqafs are Natural Ventilation devices. They have successfully been used in countries like Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan for many years.

This Vernacular Method is being ‘Adapted’ and utilized in various Contemporary Buildings. One such adaptation is the Strategy known as PDEC or ‘Passive Downdraft Evaporative Cooling’.

We use diagrams of the Torrent Research Centre, Ahmedabad; to discuss this technique.

3 main Principles are at play-

  1. Evaporative Cooling – Water Sprays Cool the Warm Air Entering the tower
  2. Cool Air Sinks – This Moisture Induced Air is Heavier and thus Sinks
  3. Warm Air Rises – Warm Air in the rooms is Lighter and Rises

This sets up a Loop of Air.

The Project achieves a temperature drop of upto 13oC. When the outdoors sizzle at close to 44oC, the indoors are at around 30oC1. The Building incurred Additional Civil Costs of 13% for its Strategies. However, Energy savings helped payback the investment in less than 1 year2!


How do You feel about this Vernacular ‘Adaptation’ for Contemporary Buildings? Have you come across other such Projects?

What are your thoughts on the Practicality of this Technology? Let us know!

Look out next week, for the Pros | Cons of this Strategy in – Vernacular to Contemporary | PDEC | An ‘Adaptation’ – Part II


Video Source: 

The rchitecture Gazette

Music Source:

“Virtutes Instrumenti” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


  1. A&D, ADEME, INDé (Mohan S.), Palacios D. | Case Study II: The Torrent Research Centre in Ahmedabad, by Abhikram. Architecture & Developpement.
  2. Zaveri P, Patel N. Abhikram | Projects | Torrent Research Centre, Ahmedabad.

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