OVERALL HOUSE DESIGN – Tropical Patterns
BUILD USING LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIALS TO GET RID OF HEAT QUICKLY
In tropical locations with small day / night temperature variations heavy and mass construction will absorb heat during the day and uncomfortably radiate it out during the night. Lightweight frame and cladding and roofing materials lose heat quickly with a drop in temperature cooling the house.
SHADED LIVING TO EQUATOR SIDE OF HOUSE
The equator side of the house is best living area for sunlight, but needs shading to make comfortable. Be aware of lower winter sun as you move away from the equator. (South side in the Northern hemisphere, North side in the Southern hemisphere).
HEAT REFUGE TO NON EQUATOR SIDE
During the hotter parts of the day the shaded non equator side can be a refuge, particularly if there is a seating area shaded by a tree.
REDUCE OR ELIMINATE WINDOWS IN WEST AND EAST WALLS TO REDUCE HEAT GAIN FROM MORNING AND AFTERNOON ANGLED SUN
The strong easterly morning sun and blasting westerly afternoon sun will heat up through any windows on the east and west side. Either eliminate windows on these walls or have heavily shaded or screened opening.
KEEP ROOFS AND WALLS LIGHT AND REFLECTIVE COLOURS TO REDUCE HEAT ABSORPTION
Dark roofs and outside walls absorb heat, so keep them light and reflective. Alternatively have vegetation intercept the sunlight.
SHADE WALLS FROM SUN TO REDUCE HEAT LOAD (PARTICULARLY SOLID WALLS)
Unshaded solid walls absorb large amounts of heat. Best to shade them with large roof overhang, shade cloth, vertical louvres, secondary wall or vegetation.
WIDE EAVES (1 1.2M) IS AN EFFICIENT WAY TO SHADE WALLS
In combination with the roof design, wide roof overhang (eaves) is an economical way to shade walls. For steep sloped roofs (thatch) it may need higher walls as roof bottom can be at head height with the steep angle.
SMALLER HOUSE AND LARGER SHADED OUTSIDE AREAS IS BETTER AND MORE COST EFFECTIVE
Because of the ability to spend longer time outside in shaded areas, there is less need to have larger house structure. By keeping larger living areas outside under shade you safe appreciably on building costs.
CONSIDER LONG VERANDAHS FOR ACCESS RATHER THAN AN INTERIOR HALL
Outside verandahs for bedroom access is cheaper than larger buildings with internal hallways. It also allows more air movement through the bedrooms.
SLEEPING REFUGE AREAS
Consider having daytime sleeping areas to the non equator side for shaded cool sleeping during the day
CONSIDER OUTSIDE AND ELEVATED SLEEPING AREAS FOR YEARLY HOT PERIODS
When temperatures reach high levels, indoor areas may radiate heat gained during the day, so sleeping outside with more exposure to breezes may be more tolerable. Outdoor sleeping areas could be used the rest of the year for outside daily siesta locations.
BUILD LOW USE BUFFER ROOMS AND AREAS NEAR THE WESTERN WALL
Because of the harsh afternoon sun to western walls, low use rooms such as utility, toilet, storage, staircase should be hear this wall to buffer the rest of the house from the heat.