Tips to build an energy-saving house and keep it cool
Building an energy-saving house and keeping it cool do not necessarily have to be expensive and complicated if you have a proper construction plan and make it environmentally and financially friendly as the 5 following tips:
1. Directions: To keep the house cool, avoid having the front of the house face the direction where the sunlight can directly shine upon it. In most part of Thailand, avoid having the front of the house face the west and the south as the sunlight can shine directly upon it for 8-9 months throughout the year. If unavoidable, an awning is recommended. Besides, wind direction both in and out should also be taken into consideration in order to keep the house cool at all time.
Directions help you save energy and keep your house cool
2. Features: build a house with a high roof style such as a gable roof, a hip roof, a Manila roof as it helps release the heat and allows plenty of air, another layer to protect the house from the heat, to remain under the roof. Focus on making the house clear, airy, well-ventilated and bright with natural light without having to use air-conditioners and electric lights. Avoid having a concrete open space as it can heat up the house.
Thai-style gable roofs (SHERA Zedar Shake roof tiles)
Manila-style roofs (Hahuang Shingle roof tiles)
The kitchen should be excluded outside of the house because cooking can also heat up the house. In air-conditioned rooms, there should be no water source or electric appliances that emit the heat (such as a refrigerator, a microwave and a photocopier) because they cause the air-conditioners to overwork and thus waste energy.
3. Construction materials: choose heat-resistant materials that do not convect the heat, especially the roof that is exposed to the sunlight the most. The roof should be made of concrete roof tiles, fibrecement roof tiles, or clay roof tiles, be insulated, and applied with insulative paint. You can also use roof tiles with specific properties (such as Hahuang Granada Kool Series which can reflect 85% of the heat and save energy up to 30%) and avoid using galvanized iron or metal shields which can heat up the house even more.
Hahuang Granada Kool Series roof tiles
Hahuang Trilon Kool fibrecement roof tiles
As for other parts of the house, you may use environmentally-friendly substitution materials such as wood substitute (fibrecement) instead of authentic wood to help mitigate deforestation. Plus, wood substitute can last extremely long and consequently help us save resource.
Chocolate Ville project of which its wall is made of fibrecement SHERA Board
4. Color: the color of both the roof and the wall should be in light tone because the dark one can absorb a lot of the heat into the house, causing the inhabitats to use electric fans or air-conditioners to cool the house down, which is a waste of energy. If you are a big fan of color in dark tone but want to keep your house cool, our reccomendation is applying heat insulation and insulative paint which is created specifically to reflect the heat.
5. Other helpers: other than other than the 4 mentioned helpers, you can also keep your house cool by building a wooden partition or bamboo blind to filter the sunlight if you have big glass doors or windows. In a house with plenty of space, planting trees around the house for shades and building swimming pools, garden ponds or fish ponds are recommended so that the wind can blow the cool water vapour into the house.
Partitions made of wood or wood substitute to filter the sunlight
Garden ponds or swimming pools to help keep the house cool
Building energy-saving houses contribute to a more livable world, help save up some expense in the long run, yet does not lessen any convenience in the house. If you have a chance to build your own house, do not forget to apply any of the mentioned ideas to make our world a better and more livable place.