Day: March 16, 2017

Tropical Housing Practices To Keep In Mind

With the global temperatures rising fast, communities all around the world are looking to the tropical countries for guidance on how to deal with increasingly hot summers and less colder winters. The tropical belt on earth receives the most sunlight throughout the year due to the 23 ½ degree tilt of the earth, which means that it has no seasons; the tropical areas experience rainy and dry periods throughout the year.This also means that tropical dwellers have long come up with many ways of coping with the heat. Coping mechanisms are built in to their food, their clothes, their architecture and customs. Here are some ways that architecture takes care of the heat:

Unlike the temperate climes, houses in the tropical belt are more concerned with trapping cool within their houses, rather than keeping it out. Therefore, their house floors are usually made of cement, with different houses having a variety of hard materials like concrete polishing, floor tiles, stone and open brick or clay on the surface. These materials conduct heat and this allows the heat to seep into the ground through the floor. If the floor was wooden or plaster or board like in some Western countries, the heat would build up within the house, becoming unbearable.

Some houses are now turning towards sealed windows and an air conditioner, but traditional architectural techniques call for plenty of open space and windows in the tropical region. Windows in houses in South Asia, Central Africa and Latin America are large and have no shutters. They are usually covered in fine netting to keep out the mosquitoes, but are others unhampered to allow for as much wind as possible to make its way into the house. South India for instance has houses with a garden in the middle and the rooms arranged in a ring around it. Even in recent times, builders simulated the old house plans, only with terrazzo in Sydney.

Japan is known for its pulp based, lightweight plaster walls that make up most of the apartment buildings https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polished_concrete  in overcrowded Tokyo. The walls would not survive anywhere else in the wall, but in Japan they are ideal as they can resist the frequent earthquakes that plague this nation. In case they are destroyed, they are fairly inexpensive and easily replaceable, and unlike brick and mortar, because little to no damage should it collapse on top of humans. Similarly, the building materials of houses in tropical areas are all about preserving the cool of dawn and keeping the midday heat at bay. Walls are thick, often made of red brick or granite, with a thick layer of plaster and paint over it.