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3 Tropical Design Tips That Can Save Energy Consumption

Remidelle Alimbuyao
10/12/2020 12:02:02

Building a fancy home is all fun, but maintaining it is the difficult part.  

For many, building their dream home is the ultimate goal. However, most are unaware of the responsibility this entails. One aspect that may go unnoticed is how much energy our dream home might consume. If this goes unchecked, it may turn our dream into a nightmare.

 

Figure 1. A Beautiful Modern Home in Vietnam. Only 160 sq. property, an example of making use of the narrow form and proper openings (vertical louvers) for natural ventilation. (ArchDaily, 2019)
Figure 1. A Beautiful Modern Home in Vietnam. Only 160 sq. property, an example of making use of the narrow form and proper openings (vertical louvers) for natural ventilation. (ArchDaily, 2019)

 

Electricity is the most used form of energy in the Philippines.  An average Filipino household consumes 281.5 kilowatt-hours per month; ranging from around 2,000.00 PHP – 3,000.00 PHP.  But there are ways to design houses to be energy efficient and save. Consider the following:

1.) SHAPE

Design the shape of your building according to your climatic zones. For example, in hot-humid zones, narrow shaped structures maximize natural light and minimize heat gain, while in hot-arid zones compact forms such as courtyard houses retain cold air which then minimizes heat gain within the building.

2.) WINDOW TO WALL RATIO

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Figure 2. A perfect example of a tropical house using vertical louvers, daylighting techniques, and a courtyard inside, all to minimize energy usage.  (Pinterest, 2019)
  • Window sizes and location is vital in designing an energy-efficient home in the tropics. This is to lessen heat gain in the home which then results in more consumption of artificial cooling systems fan, air-conditioning units, etc. both financially and environmentally unsustainable in the long run.
  • Consider the best type and size of the window according to the prevailing climatic conditions in your region. In tropical countries, windows are to be avoided along with the hottest orientation unless it is treated for heat insulation.

3.) LET NATURAL LIGHT IN

  • To conserve the use of artificial lighting during the day, place openings along the North and East sides of the structure so that just enough indirect light comes in to comfortably light the space without the unwanted heat gain. Narrow plants and foliage are also a good way to let light enter while dispersing heat. Keep in mind though that the room should not exceed the 2.5 ratio of floor to ceiling height in order for the light to be enough.

 

In conclusion, applying unsuitable design ‘just because’ might cause unnecessary expenses on health/safety, finance, and the environment surrounding the house. So, before starting to construct the house of your dreams analyze the suitable design solution with respect to the location and surrounding environment of the lot, hire a licensed and qualified Architect that can help you give the perfect and sustainable experience for your home.

If you’re looking for reliable Architects for your future homes, contact Constantin Design & Build now!