The Best House in Hot Climates

Updated March 23, 2017

According to Hassan Fathy, an Egyptian architect and former faculty member at the University of Cairo, a myriad of skills and sensitivities go into designing an abode. He proposes that building structures should be sustainable and emphasises that some housing designs and materials are more suitable for hot climates. Alternative energy sources can add value to your home in a hot climate.

Hot Dry Climates

Houses that incorporate a courtyard design feature are best for hot arid climates. That's because after sunset, temperatures fall considerably and create convection currents that replace the warm air with cool air. Air that is warmed during the day in a courtyard will cool down at night. Keep doors and windows closed during the day and open them at night to maintain the cooler indoor temperatures naturally. Of course air conditioning may be your preference, but you'll probably only need it during the hottest temperatures in the late afternoon.

Hot Humid Climates

Traditional thatched roof homes are still commonplace in hot humid climates like Samoa. While the open-air plan is best for keeping cool in the islands, something a little more substantial that offers security features like locks and doors is best suited for urban areas. Nonetheless, open room plans are still the best. The design should have large overhanging eaves to keep the hot sun from shining directly into the house. Choose to incorporate lots of screened windows in your home design to get the maximum cross current airflow.

Building Materials

Adobe and stucco-covered concrete are the best materials to use for walls in hot climates. When you build a home in a hot climate, you want the walls to be thick to keep the heat out and help lower your utility bills. Use double-insulated windows to keep temperatures out if you plan to rely on air conditioning. Thick Mexican ceramic tiles are the best for roofing.

Alternative Energy

Hot climates of all types are well suited for solar energy panels. You can heat your water and generate enough electricity for an entire house. If you happen to live in a hot windy area, a windmill--even a small nautical-type one--can provide you with the energy to run several appliances at little to no extra cost.

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About the Author

Erin Moseley is an advocate for science education. Since 1985, she has written numerous technical, user and training manuals for major corporations, public agencies and universities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geology.