Sustainable facade design and virtue in incarceration architecture : the case of prison buildings in Abu Dhabi
The study reaches an understanding of the boundaries that a society can set, for the provision of comfort conditions using energy efficient building skins in prisons. The aim is to establish the role of facade design in attaining a possible balance between the provision of a humane environment for inmates that would help in rehabilitation efforts on one hand, and the penal system on the other. This study examines the factors that affect the balance between the costs to society of such comfort in energy terms, against rehabilitation. The study provides guidelines to establish this balance in design of prison facades in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Emphasis will be on variables that have impact on the design and configurations of building skin. In Western societies, the reform policy in the 18th century produced a new kind of architecture associated with it at that period (Evans, 1982). Prison architecture was part of the punishment regime. The effects of the indoor environment on the inmates and their physical and psychological comfort were not considered (Peters, 1995). The main role of the buildings was to operate as a punishment symbol not only to the offenders, but also to put fear into everyone passing by them (UNSDRI, 1975). The special configuration of the prison buildings of the 18`h century was therefore manifested in the patterns of the indoor space as well as the facade design (Pearce, 1995). Modern concepts of penal theories emphasise the rehabilitation of the prisoners (Lenci, 1977). It is believed that the contemporary institutions should focus more on the effect of the building environment on the individual (Christopher, 1990). Consequently, the contemporary design of prison buildings is to foster a more positive environment. This is mediated by the creation of an environment that is proactive rather than reactive (Spens, 1994). A positive and healthy environment is essential for the inmates' rehabilitation. In order to achieve this goal, comfort is a main concern. The question of comfort in prisons is complex. Large numbers of quantitative and qualitative variables have been identified. This study traces and investigates the development of penal theories, in order to identify the importance of such variables for rehabilitation of inmates. A historical review was essential to fully understand the forces that shaped the development of prisons. The review includes development of prisons in different societies and discusses the penal systems in those societies. The analysis of the historical development of prison buildings also revealed the importance of facade features that reflected the penal theories of certain times and of certain societies. The thesis takes prisons in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a case study. The UAE prisons have moved through different phases of development. The new policy of the Ministry of Interior emphasises the need for rehabilitation and improving the conditions of the inmates. A prototype design has been developed as a model for all prisons in Abu Dhabi. The new design, with its improved environmental conditions, has significant implications on energy consumption with the increase in area per inmate and the introduction of air-conditioning. Emphasis on comfort as one of the main design factors will affect the layout of prisons, the design of the building skin, and the services provided. The proposed prototype is simulated using thermal simulation modelling software in order to understand the thermal performance of the facades. Alternative scenarios, based on prison and design theories and new facade technologies, are developed and compared to the proposed prototype. The thesis concludes with a discussion on the role of facade design on the sustainability of prison buildings taking into account the social, environmental and technical related variables. The thesis argues that the phrase sustainable facade design has always referred to the introduction of appropriate facade configuration in order to achieve energy efficiency. In prison buildings, however, a typology driven by cultural values and social theories, socioeconomic factors have great impacts on the sustainable design of prisons' facades. Hence, achieving sustainable prison facade design is conditioned by coupling social aspects of prison buildings with technical energy saving measures.