A green space is a space that is built with the local climate in mind. Our country is a tropical climate. And one of the major difficulties of tropical climates is cooling interior spaces.
Cooling a space mechanically generally takes up as much as 50 percent of the electricity bill. By cutting down on your use of the air-con, not only do you save energy and money, but also any greenhouse gases that may have been emitted by the production of electricity. This series looks at the various ways of being comfortable without turning on the energy.
One of the best tools you can apply to your space is a compass. Finding the orientation (where the north, east, south and west) of the space will help a lot in identifying, literally, the hot spots.
For our country, the sun (the major source of heat) travel, most times of the year, from east to west in a southern path everyday. From that alone, at any time of the day, three out of four sides of your space is exposed to the direct rays of the sun. Plus, the tropical sun, coupled with the thinning ozone layer and little cloud cover, can be quite intense. The sun can be found at the east in the morning, south at noon, and west in the afternoon. That leaves north as the coolest part.
Diagram by Arch. Stanley Fernandez
Let’s say you’re building your dream house. You place at the north side of your home the important spaces or rooms you spend the most time at during the day. It can be the bedroom or the den. You can place large window facing northwards, assured that no direct sunlight shall enter that room. (The absence of direct sunlight does not necessarily mean dark spaces. The intensity of the tropical sun can light up spaces indirectly.)
It’s also a lot easier if you want the space cooler because you are not starting from a higher temperature. An additional fan (that coincidentally uses a lot less energy than an air-con) may be all that’s needed.
You normally want to put the service areas at the hot parts (east and west) of the house. That can be the kitchen, laundry, bathroom or other spaces you spend time in fleetingly.
So, save up on future energy costs by just finding the right places for your spaces.
Tags: conscious living, environment-friendly, green, green design, home, passive cooling, philippine architecture, philippine design, tropical design
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