A Preliminary Environmental Assessment for the Preservation and Restoration of Fujian Hakka Tulou Complexes
In 2007 and 2009, research trips were taken, mainly in the Fujian province of China, to investigate the construction materials, methods, structures and floor plans of Hakka Tulou. Researchers lived in several Tulou, interviewed residents and experienced traditional Hakka lifestyle. Typically, Tulou are located in remote regions at relatively high elevations in climatic conditions characterized by hot summers, cold winters, and with high incidents of typhoons and earthquakes. The extent of damage and level of preservation were examined with respect to the age of many of these structures, the relatively harsh environment, and changing demographics in the region. The majority of occupants are now elderly. They maintain a traditional and efficient lifestyle utilizing minimum electricity, water, and energy. This study discusses the findings from these two field trips and assesses environmental load and sustainability within the context of current environmental standards using the Japanese Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency (CASBEE) from data collected at Cheng Qi Lou. The goal was: firstly to undertake a preliminary environmental assessment to determine sustainable elements of Hakka Tulou construction methods; secondly, to identify potential sustainable solutions to preserve existing structure; and finally, to identify appropriate sustainable solutions to repair and retrofit damaged and underutilized structures to modern living standards, while retaining traditional building techniques and lifestyle.
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