Summer came and with it a almost unbearable heat (here in Rio de Janeiro is crazy!). So, thinking of all the houses I’ve ever seen built in such a way that accumulate heat and make everything worse.I decided to look for you. tips which help to avoid this common mistake. I’m not an engineer or an architect, so I’m going to talk about the basics.
I wish I could, right? But it is not, for most mortals, what we have ... (photo: CasaAbril)
And I strongly suggest that for build, ALWAYS look for an architect or civil engineer. As much as you think they are expensive professionals, they will never be as expensive as what you and your family may have from problems with SAFETY and COMFORT. A well-built house lasts longer, is easier and cheaper to maintain, makes you happier, is more comfortable in all ways, saves energy and the main: It will not fall on your head !!
A) The Basics of the house position on the ground:
. Save this: The wind only comes in if he can leave! So do not build a house that “lean against the wall of the neighbor” even though you do not have neighbors today but you can have it in the future.
(photo of a real estate website, just to give an example)
You can have 500 windows. The wind just will not come in! Ideally, the house should be as close to the center of the ground as possible so that you can place windows on all sides, thus creating many possibilities for air circulation.
. Notice where the wind comes from. Most of the time, there is usually a wind that “sells” on your terrain, in a certain direction (dominant wind). It is important to know what direction this is to position windows in this same direction, whenever possible, creating cross-ventilation.
(Drawing taken from the Construction Forum site – Learn more about cross ventilation)
. Observe the position of the Sun relative to your home. Synthesizing, the ideal is this: In hot places, In the places where people are most (living room / bedrooms) and that have some Morning Sun entering the house in the winter as well. See more on this here too.
In hot places the best seats for the room and the rooms are the East and North sides (Drawing: kubo-architecture)
Please note that here I am not considering what is around the house. Of course if you have a tall building on the East side your house will not receive sunlight in the morning … So take a good look at your land situation.
B) The basics in building the house itself:
. Hot air rises because it is “lighter” than cold air. Therefore, the tendency is that, the higher the right foot (the distance between the floor and the ceiling), the hot air can rise and the cooler air is underneath, making the environment more pleasant on hot days. Of course, there must be ventilation for the hot air to come out …
A high right foot “increases” any space … And it fills you with light! And you can put vents on the top for the hot air to leave (photo: CasaVogue)
So if you live in hot places, build your house with a high right foot (over 2.70 already makes a lot of difference). And do not lower the ceiling just for aesthetic reasons. You will suffer more from the heat … (Attention that in cold places the low ceiling is recommended because it keeps the environment warmer).
(photo: Keltainen talo rannalla)
Due to this too, one way to expel hot air from your home is make vents (if possible) on the top of the walls – preferably on the wall opposite a window through which the wind enters. So you create a cross ventilation quite efficient.
. Think about the models of the windows you are going to use. Many people make a huge “hole” in the wall and put a window that only really stays open in the middle of the space, you see? So, choose windows that open the maximum, even if you “lose” wall space internally. And there are also the so-called “maximum air” that make a damn difference!
(photo: Keltainen talo rannalla)
. Do not skimp on materials that protect against heat. Thermal paints, thermal blankets, thermal tiles (in homes it is important that the ceiling does not heat or that the heat does not), wood or stones to protect the walls of the afternoon sun, double glazed windows, heat treated glass, insulfilme (to “hold” the heat outside, letting the sun in, but not the heat), Finally … there are numerous features to improve thermal comfort. And using them at the time of construction is a lot cheaper than doing it later.
A simple house with good qualities to withstand the heat
. Hot walls heat the internal environment. If the wall takes a terrible sun all day, you’ll sleep in an oven. So protect the walls of the sun’s incidence: Plants, trees – outside that do not allow the sun to hit the wall directly – balconies, large eaves on the roofs, awnings, brises or cobogos on the side where the sun sets and light colors. But beware of balconies with low ceilings because they can impair ventilation and greatly reduce the brightness of the house.
Plants and external coating on the wall (photo: 1-Kindesign)
. Cold floors give a feeling of refreshment – Stones, cceramics, burnt cement and porcelain tiles are welcome when summer is hot even and winter does not have very low temperatures.
The less objects and more free space, the less heat you feel! (photo: Casaabril)
. The less internal walls, the more easily the internal ventilation. Enjoy the idea of the integrated environments: living room, dining room and even kitchen can be, and often are, only one environment. Just beware of the heat coming from the kitchen – a great cooker helps a lot.
C) Consider the Weather: Brazil has many different climates – see below), but we can say that basically we have: Tropical moist, Tropical dry, Arid and Temperate.
I found this text, which talks about the best house-building characteristics for Tropical and Temperate climates (the figure above was taken from it). If you are interested in going deeper in this subject, read and search more about the specific climate of your region (this text is interesting but not complete). And it will not be wasted time, you can be sure.
I hope these tips help make the summer more enjoyable and with a lower light bill!