Like many fellow architects, I have been studying and participating in all kind of seminars regarding green architecture because I want all my projects to be "green". However, I can see a similarity with tropical architecture, which has been with us for many, many decades and centuries.
The most evident to me is the orientation of the building so as to avoid direct sunlight in living areas. This brings me to the subject of future urban planning.
My thoughts are that future grids for new development, should consider the north-south axis so that the building we design be easier to attune to the sun's trajectory. I prefer to hace a long north side so that I don't have to protect it from the suns direct rays. With a long south side, a brisse-solei can protect from the sun's rays, and at the same time, provide for systems to provide heating in winter months.
Another element common in tropical architecture is the cross-wind ventilation, which avoids the use of air conditioning systems. Again, this works best if we consider orientation of the building to best utilize prevailing winds.
In the south of Spain, as in the original buildings constructed in Puerto Rico during the Spanish era, house had interior patios which acted as "chimneys" so that fresh air could enter the house or building and cool it.
Rain water was collected in cisterns and construction was primarily clay bricks with thick walls (22 inches;56 cm).
So, the question is, is tropical architecture as we know it, is also, or should be considered green architecture?
I know that there are many other elements regarding the greening of buildings, like materials and be self-sufficient in terms of energy and water needs.