House design in a hot and dry climate takes a very particular approach. Not only do you want the home to be visually appealing inside and out, but it must also be designed to keep cool and conserve the water supply. Most people will live in this climate year-round, so with no escape to greener pastures, you’ve got to figure out how to make it comfortable under these less than ideal conditions. For hot climates taking advantage of solar PV systems is a good way to conserve energy and use the sun’s energy. For best results, you must start from the ground up. That means how the walls are constructed, the design of the plumbing, where the home is positioned on the property and even how you can use the climate to your advantage with house design green construction. Here are just a few design tips for homes in hot and dry climates to get you started.
How to Design the Ideal Home in Hot and Dry Climates
Building Materials for Hot and Dry Climates:
First off, consider the building materials you are going to use. A hot and dry climate will require thick walls to keep the temperature out. Adobe is a great option that has been used for as long as humans have been constructing dwellings, specifically for its thermal properties. It’s incredibly environmentally friendly, but will also keep the heat out, and retain heat in the winter or the cold nights often found in those climates.
Next, think about your windows and doors. You’ll want all of the construction to be as air-tight as possible, since the residents will be using air conditioning for significant stretches, and you don’t want to waste that energy with cool air escaping through improper seals. Any exterior doors should be as thick as the walls, and if you take it a step further and insulate them, they’ll keep out additional heat. Any windows will stay cooler if they are inset in the walls. If that’s not possible, design them with awnings, to keep off the worst of the sun. If you have the budget for it, go with double-panes, for added insulation. And you can take it a step further and treat the glass with UV-resistant chemicals, which will certainly help cool the house.
Learn more about hot dry climate home design with these resources:
Hot Dry Climate: Considering Air Flow House Design:
How the air flows through the home will also be a serious consideration. Floor plans in hot and dry climates should always be open, for maximum air flow from room to room. If you can design it with windows at each end of the house, the residents could take advantage of a great cross breeze if they want to shut down the air conditioning for a while. Adding a vaulted ceiling will give the hot air somewhere to escape well away from the people. And certainly add in windows on both the south and north sides of the home, for a great cross breeze in the evening.
Building Orientation for House Design in a Hot Dry Climate:
The way the home is positioned can also have a real impact on the everyday feel inside the home. Check out the property and position the construction so that it gets the least amount of sun. You should also create a floor plan that isn’t as wide as it is long. You can position the home so the shorter side faces the sunniest directions, and then plant trees on those sides to cut down the sun even further. Consider an interior courtyard instead of extensive exterior grounds, but if you are going to plant outside, make sure there is plenty of shade. The Constructor has some good tips for choosing the building orientation for your home design.
Finally, think about green building options. Do a search for alternative energy. Including solar panels and gray water systems will save energy and resources, which is hugely important in any hot and dry climate.
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