The Alhambra in Granada is one of the most emblematic buildings in Spain and one of the most visited by travellers from all over the world. But in addition to its architectural beauty and historical richness, the Alhambra is an example of sustainability and respect for the environment since its beginnings.
Since its construction began in the 13th century, especially the part of the Nasrid Palaces, the architects and builders of the Alhambra took into account the impact that the work would have on the surrounding natural environment.
To this end, they used local materials, including the conglomerate called Alhambra (a mixture of clay, sand and stones from the very soil of the hill where it is located) and construction techniques that minimised the environmental impact and reduced the carbon footprint of the work in its time and which has survived to the present day.
One of the most outstanding aspects of the Alhambra’s sustainability is its system of water use. The architects and builders of the time designed a system of canals, fountains and irrigation channels to collect and store rainwater and water from the springs and various nearby rivers.
In addition, they created and designed lush and spectacular gardens that used excess water to create a microclimate and improve air quality.
Another important aspect of the Alhambra’s sustainability is its bioclimatic design. The architects and builders of the time designed the Alhambra to make maximum use of natural light and natural ventilation.
In this way, a pleasant temperature was achieved inside the building without the need for heating or air-conditioning systems, which was an engineering breakthrough for its time.
Finally, the use of local materials and the minimisation of waste should be highlighted. The architects and builders of the time used materials and decorative elements with exceptional examples of stonemasonry or stonework for the use of columns or fountains, carpentry, plasterwork, tiling, or even some examples of pictorial decoration that were found in the area and did not need to be transported from far away.
In addition, waste generation was minimised by carefully planning the use of materials and recycling the waste generated during the work.
In conclusion, the Alhambra in Granada is an example of sustainability and respect for the environment. Its bioclimatic design, its system of water use, the use of local materials and the minimisation of waste make it a construction that has survived the passing of the centuries and continues to be a reference point today.
The Alhambra is a unique legacy and a World Heritage Site that we must care for and preserve for the enjoyment of future generations.
Come and join us on a Private Tour about architecture and sustainable construction in the magical Alhambra!