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Construction of Buildings in Low Temperatures


Due to the freezing temperature in winter seasons, some people would like to take shelter inside properties where fire place can warm your body. These houses are generally built made of either lumber or concrete.

But not for the Inuit people. The Inuit people constructed homes and villages using snow. Yes, that's right, snow. Why would anyone make a shelter in the tundra region using snow? Just because a snow shelter is amazingly warm inside. Typically the most popular snow shelter is the igloo. However, there are other styles of ice shelters including the quinzhee and snow caves.


The igloo (fig. 1) is the customary haven of Inuit moving into the far north districts. A lot of people would picture an igloo as a dome designed structure made entirely out of snow blocks. However, an igloo doesn't have to be produced out of snow blocks. The word igloo (or iglu) customarily means a residence made of any type of materials [cite].

The popular type of igloo is designed using snow blocks in a rounded frame in which the walls bend into the centre towrd th to to h now vult where the angled rooftop can support itself. Usually, the access of igloo is designed just like a tunnel and located in the bottom of the composition. The igloo usually has a little hole at the top that functions as venting.

A warm shelter manufactured from ice

An igloo, even though made completely out of snow blocks, are incredibly warm inside. But how is it feasible?

The secret behind an igloo's ambiance lays behind the materials used to construct it. Igloos are typically constructed using stuffed snow shaped into rectangular blocks. These blocks are then stacked around a cavity. After the blocks have been inserted, the cavity would then be uncovered. Usually, igloos do not have a flat surface, rather it is organised into different levels (fig. 2). The reason for the unlevel surface is because air becomes denser the colder it is [cite]. Due to the difference in density, the wintry air inside the igloo would clump mutually in the low degree of the igloo building a cold snare, llow-ng th ur lvl to tЖ wrm. In other words, the igloo is built based on the concepts of physics. While exterior temperatures may range to -49. 0 F, the insides of the igloo may be as warm 61 F wrmd bЖ bodЖ ht lon [cite].


The igloo is a dome formed structure that can be built using blocks of snow inclining toward each other. The snow blocks are usually polished to completely seal the wall space and the finished framework doesn't need any additional supports. When the igloo is built correctly, it ought to be able to stand up to the weight of an average adult male sitting on the top of the igloo [cite]. For your bigger igloo, the snow blocks are first prearranged to shape a vertical wall membrane alternatively than an arc. The structure is made by stacking the snow blocks in a spiral form as shown in amount 3. After the first row, more blocks are stacked together with them forming an upwards spiral, creating an arc that results in a self-supporting dome [cite]. It is not recommended to utilize fresh snow to build an igloo. To create an igloo, the snow used will need to have enough density so that it can be stacked appropriately. When in use, the inside the igloo is normally warm enough to cause the internal wall surfaces to melt marginally. When the igloo is not used, the melted snow will refreeze and develop a layer of ice that increases the power of the igloo. Given enough time, the igloo becomes a house of ice alternatively than snow.

The igloo is commonly built in three different sizes for different purposes [cite]. An inferior igloo is typically built as a temporary shelter when hunters are out on the land or sea. The medium sized igloo is semi-permanent, and usually stores one or two family. There are often a number of mid-sized igloo in an area which forms a small town. The larger igloos are usually two igloos connected by using a tunnel, with one building used for incidents and the other to live in.


A quinzhee (fig. 4) is a snow shelter created by digging out a pile of snow, setting up a hollow area. Usually, a quinzhee is designed only for non permanent use, unlike an igloo which is semi-permanent and made using snow blocks. The term quinzhee is of thbkn origin [cite].

Since the quinzhees aren't typically built as a permanent shelter, the snow used to create a quinzhee doesn't have to be as dense as the snow used to construct an igloo. It is easier to develop a quinzhee in comparison to an igloo. However, a completed quinzhee would be not as durable as an igloo and it is more susceptible to collapsing in harsher conditions. It really is easier to create a quinzhee compared to an igloo. However, a completed quinzhee would not be as durable as an igloo. Because of the quality of the snow used, the quinzhee is very likely to collapse in severe weather conditions. As the quinzhee is usually only built in times of need, its looks and quality are traded for time and materials [cite].

Snow Cave

A snow cave (fig. 5) is a type of ice shelter built by digging through snow. While using same guidelines as an igloo, the entry of the snow cave is made lower than the primary area to capture heated air in the key area, and such as a quinzhee, is merely for short-term use. Even though outside temperature ranges may be as low as -40F, the inside of an adequately made snow cave can be as alert as 32F [cite].

Glacier Cave

A glacier cave (fig. 6) is a special kind of ice shelter as it isn't made by human being hands. Most glacier caves are manufactured by water running right through or under the glacier [cite]. The running water usually originates from the melting surface of the glacier, getting into the ice at splits which enlarge after some time, both by erosion and melting. Because of global warming, many large glacier caves have vanished as glaciers around the world melt [cite].


Ice structures, however, also comes with risks and potential issues. The risks of these dome shaped ice structures include the dangers in venting, and structural integrity. When an igloo is made with a diameter of 10 foot or bigger, it must be built-in a perfectly formed dome otherwise it'll collapse. The quinzhee is more prone to collapsing than an igloo. Because of the warmth inside the quinzhee, the internal wall surfaces of the quinzhee would melt. Since a quinzhee isn't built from durable snow blocks like an igloo, it is very more likely to collapse which may cause fatality.

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