Here’s a very handy fact sheet made by the Australian government, that “examines ways to design and modify homes to achieve summer comfort through passive cooling”. It lists the following climate-specific design principles we should take note of in coming up with our Nuvali home designs:
(Image from YourHome.gov.au)
In high humid (tropical) climates:
- High humidity levels limit the body’s ability to lose heat by evaporation of perspiration.
- Sleeping comfort is a significant issue – especially during periods of high humidity.
- Design eaves and shading to permanently exclude solar access to rooms. [See: 4.4 Shading]
- Consider shading the whole building with a fly roof. [See: 4.4 Shading]
- Maximise shaded external wall areas and exposure to (and funneling of) cooling breezes through the building.
- Use single room depths where possible with maximum shaded openings to enhance cross ventilation and heat removal.
- Design unobstructed cross ventilation paths.
- Provide hot air ventilation at ceiling level for all rooms with spinnaways, shaded opening clerestorey windows or ridge vents.
- Shade outdoor areas around the house with planting and shade structures to lower ground temperatures.
- Use insulation solutions that minimise heat gain during the day and maximise heat loss at night. Advanced reflective insulation systems and reflective air spaces can be effective.
[See: 4.8 Insulation Installation]
- Choose windows with maximum opening areas (louvres or casement) and avoid fixed glass panels.
- Include ceiling fans to create air movement during still periods.
- Consider using whole of house fans with smart switching to draw cooler outside air into the house at night when there is no breeze.
- Use low thermal mass construction generally. (Note: high mass construction can be beneficial in innovative, well considered design solutions).
- Use planting design to funnel cooling breezes and filter strong winds. (Appropriate in all cooling climates).