A reader's Roofs and roofing question: Tropical ventilation?
Tim W. from Toronto, Canada had this Tropical ventilation question.
My wife and I are building a small retirement community in the Philippines (lat. 14 degrees, similar climate to yours) and we're carefully studying the great Troppo Architects, Murcutt, etc. for sound ideas about how to build, esp. with corrugated.
In the Philippines the preferred material of the wealthy is concrete hollow block, so we have been encountering some incredulity. We'll live with it.
A question for you: do you ventilate the interior of the roof (i.e., between the corrugated and the ceiling) with your whirlybirds, the living space, or both? And are there rules of thumb for how much air you should be able to move, based on floor area,etc.)
We are split something like 50-50, solid reinforced concrete block walls and lightweight steel frame construction.
What you get over there might be the same as we are seeing here, the designers of houses using blockwork tend to build box type houses that are eventually going to be fully air conditioned. This in spite of the fact that they fully comply with BCA requirements for ventilation breezeways etc.
Steel wall frames clad with metal sheeting are great also, they may pick up some heat quickly but they also lose it quickly when the sun goes down, unlike the masonry that holds the heat it may have picked up for some hours.
On the whole the designers of steel frame houses are a lot more responsive to true tropical design. There are many fine examples of really innovative design that can only be done using steel.
It is rare that the two camps come together and combine the strengths of each method unfortunately.
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