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4 Considerations When Designing For A Hot Climate

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More often than not, the weather determines how we humans build our homes. After all, our home and its architecture help protect us from the sun, rain, heat, cold, and other extreme conditions. With extreme weather, this principle is very much the truth. In countries with cold and desert climates, nature has the last word with building strategies - and in hot and humid climates, this is also applicable.

So what are the factors that you need to consider when you’re designing for a hot climate? Mainly, the location and orientation of the home as well as the heat extraction, are some factors you can take into consideration. More factors that you need to consider also include the following:

Orientation And Location

For hot climates, buildings that face the south are ideal - as well as having the main aperture of the structure put along the north-south axis. By having the structure face the south and putting the main aperture of the structure set on the north-south axis, you can prevent heat conservation due to the solar angle of incidence in these regions and provides natural ventilation. This results in the reduction of humidity.

Moreover, experts recommend having elevated locations because they can improve ventilation. In addition, if the structure does not touch the ground (such as stilts or pylons), the house can have more exposure to wind breezes aside from protection from insects, floods, and other animals.

Heat Extraction

When you build structures for a hot climate, you need to bring in some coolness and lessen the heat. Although to some it might sound as easy as unplugging everything, there is still a lot of heat that needs to be removed. In cases where there are a lot of people inside the building, this is still applicable.

Heat extraction in a building in a hot climate setting needs to be controlled. The heat tends to lean towards rising. As a result, tall spaces that let the heat gather out of the way, such as windows at an elevated level, help disperse the hot air out. Some great openings to control the heat and extract it also include chimneys with wind cowls that use the passing wind to gather up the air through the building, aside from large windows.


Cross-ventilation is another important element of designing for humid climates. You need plenty of ventilation to cool the air. As a result, moving panels, Venetian blinds, or slatted elements that separate indoor and outdoor spaces as well as lower walls, often replace walls. You can also try inputting large apertures in opposing walls.

Thermal Load

The thermal load is linked to the orientation of the structure. Hence, rooms located on the east side of the structure have a tendency to be warmer during the morning hours. During afternoons, if the room does not carry much thermal mass, they cool down.

On the other hand, rooms on the western side are cooler in the morning and tend to heat up during afternoons. In addition, south- and north-facing rooms remain cool especially if they have proper shading devices. Rooms where heat often occurs should not be attached to the main building. However, you can connect them to the main building area with a common roof.

Heat-Proof Homes With APL Architects

If you want your home and office to withstand the heat, you need an architectural firm that knows how to design for a hot climate. If there is any architectural firm that knows how to design and work for humid climates, then you can trust none other than a Filipino architectural firm that has plenty of experience under its belt.

APL Architects is one of the leading and most experienced architectural firms in the Philippines. Headed by Philip Lu, APL Architects possesses over 20 years of experience providing excellent architectural services to clients. We specialize in townhouses, residential and commercial establishments. Contact us today!

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