Sustainable House for Hot Climate - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Go Back   Homesteading Today > Country Living Forums > Homestead Construction


Like Tree6Likes
  • 1 Post By Sleptember
  • 2 Post By MushCreek
  • 1 Post By fishhead
  • 1 Post By JohnP
  • 1 Post By texican

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 09/01/12, 05:20 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4
Talking Sustainable House for Hot Climate

I'd like to build a tiny house (single story, 500-800sqm) made of highly durable, sustainable, low-maintenance materials. My region is Sub-Saharan Africa; the climate is mostly very hot and dry.

What are my options?

I am interested in making use of our abundant fieldstones by building a stone house, but I'm unsure if this is a good idea in our climate. Would a stone house be unbearable in hot weather?

My only requirements are that the house is cooling and sustainable. Since it is my dream to eventually live without spending money, I'd like to have a house that I won't ever have to repaint or fix up once it's made. Is this at all possible?

Thanks,

Sleptember

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09/02/12, 09:45 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4

Oops...meant 500-800 sq ft!

gosnach likes this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09/02/12, 03:44 PM
MushCreek's Avatar  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Florida and South Carolina
Posts: 2,163

Wow- There's hot, and then there's HOT!! My first thought would be to try to make as much of it as possible underground. I don't know what the soil temperatures would be at say 8' down. In a climate that dry, evaporative cooling is a good choice, and can be pretty cheap and easy. Thirdly, you need to keep that hot sun out, and take advantage of the radiational cooling that takes place at night. So the strategy would be to minimize the daily heat-up, then enjoy the coolness of the night time.

Possum Belly and Sleptember like this.
__________________

"What one generation tolerates, the next generation embraces." -John Wesley

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09/02/12, 05:05 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northcentral MN
Posts: 13,969

You may also want to build your rooms tall. When I lived in AL you could really notice the old houses with tall rooms.

Pay attention to your climate. If you get a rainy season building down may end up having a swimming pool inside.

I saw a video (can't remember the name) of a guy in the southwest US who built highly energy efficient homes that worked with the climate. He went to the place that was devastated by the tsunami and showed them how to build homes that worked with their climate.

Sleptember likes this.
__________________

"Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?" Hobbs
"I'm not sure that man needs the help." Calvin

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09/02/12, 05:14 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: S-Ctrl MO
Posts: 301

Take a look at earthships. They started and are based in Taos, New Mexico which is similar climate and they've built a few in Africa. Sustainable Green Buildings - Earthship Africa - earthship.com

Sleptember likes this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09/02/12, 08:56 PM
texican's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Carthage, Texas
Posts: 12,105

I'd look into cooling towers...

CJ likes this.
__________________

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca
Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival. W. Edwards Deming

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09/03/12, 11:46 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4

Thanks for the great ideas, guys.

Does any one have any info on double roofing? I've only been able to find one source and one architect that claims that a steel canopy above the house can increase cooling. Seems to make sense, but then why isn't this more well known?



__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09/04/12, 03:11 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cement, OK
Posts: 694

The way I see double roofs used here is on mobile homes. People build a carport style structure over their mobile home roof. It provides more of a shaded canopy for the structure & allows airspace for the heat to escape. In a traditional home this should result in the attic space being cooler, which would provide better cooling for the home.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09/04/12, 10:21 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northcentral MN
Posts: 13,969

Any kind of shade will help keep the house from heating up.

We used morning glories and scarlet climbing bean vines to keep our house cool one summer. It really worked well but it takes water to keep the vines growing.

__________________

"Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?" Hobbs
"I'm not sure that man needs the help." Calvin

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09/14/12, 11:24 AM
texican's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Carthage, Texas
Posts: 12,105

It's always cooler in the shade. Up until this year, my entire roof was covered by the shade of huge oaks... it'd stay a good 20 to 25 degrees cooler in the house than outside, if I kept the doors closed. Out in the bald sun, you feel all the heat (radiant?).

My next home is going to be out in the naked sun... keep dreaming up alternatives for shade... an extra roof, or broken pattern (milsurplus) type netting, to create artificial shade.

__________________

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca
Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival. W. Edwards Deming

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09/14/12, 11:56 AM
old school's Avatar  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: OHIO
Posts: 160

I have seen these canopy/carports over mobile homes and campers here in Ohio and talked to people about them they do make a big difference in heating and cooling mostly cooling and it does not cost that much .

__________________

OLD SCHOOL LIVING

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09/14/12, 12:33 PM
Volvo With a Gun Rack
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Texas and Missouri
Posts: 2,279

High thermal mass with night cooling, for the climate you describe.

__________________
Taxes, in excess of what are needed to fulfill the constitutionally authorized activity of government, are theft
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:57 PM.