Philippines Insider" The Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for Tourists and Expats

Author Topic: House design for the Philippines  (Read 8404 times)

  • Guest
House design for the Philippines
« on: March 07, 2008, 09:44:15 AM »
Before accepting a standard box (or dome) shape for a home, perhaps a little lateral thinking should be applied.

What are the main reasons for having a house:-

1) To provide protection from the elements, sun, rain and wind in that order of importance.
2) To provide security for people and belongings.
3) To provide a place to eat, sleep and generally relax.

For (1) consider that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, with very little excursion to the north and not too much to the south. This suggests a curved roof from east to west with† overhangs to the north and south. For simplicity this roof could be flat in the north-south plane. For most of the time and in large parts of the Philippines the wind is generally light and is required for cooling and ventilation. This suggests that the house should be fairly open on the north and south sides to allow air passage through the house. In the event of a storm, the curved shape should be strong enough to prevent structural damage, with perhaps just the loss of a few windows etc. Maybe even this could be prevented by leaving them open. The other requirement would be, wherever possible, to have the whole house only one room deep to allow for the free passage of air.
To make these houses more attractive, you could raise the roof on dwarf side walls and make it semi-elliptical in shape.
The front and rear arches would be made from welded rebar with plywood sheeting fitted in-between to act as a form for the main roof. This is a common form of construction in the Philippines and familiar to most builders; almost like building an arch for a bridge. If you wanted to build an estate of these, they could easily be varied in shape and size to make them more attractive.
I believe this idea would be more attractive to people than identical domes, with the added advantage of better ventilation and the use of techniques familiar to the builders.

Colin

Offline steveinvisayas

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 101
Re: House design for the Philippines
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2008, 10:16:23 AM »
Hi Colin,

Would it be possible to provide drawings or photos of this design? I think it would help me visualize the layout.† Thanks!

Steve
Steve Crawford
Damilag, Bukidnon

  • Guest
Re: House design for the Philippines
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2008, 01:22:54 PM »
Hi Colin,

Would it be possible to provide drawings or photos of this design? I think it would help me visualize the layout.† Thanks!

Steve

Hi Steve,

there are no drawings or photographs, these are just some thoughts I have had. I have been designing houses, on the computer only, for a number of years for both the UK and the Philippines. I could not afford to build in the UK but I can in the Philippines. My basic ideas for the Philippines would be to have minimum windows on the east and west with maximum airflow through the north and south sides. Having one room deep, i.e. no dividing wall, would allow maximum airflow. The idea of the arch shape came about after looking critically at Waynes domes and retaining the good points while removing the parts I considered were not so good. The best way to visualize my idea would be to think of a railway or bridge arch with the windows and doors on the front and back. Naturally it would be made to look a bit more interesting than that† ;D. If you look at the super design that Wayne posted, you will see that the front has very little of the original dome shape left. I have just taken that idea a stage further and removed the back and flattened the roof. This avoids the need for air bags and uses more conventional Philippine construction.
I am designing my house for the Philippines at the moment and will incorporate the best orientation plus the one room deep ideas. I am unable to use the full curved roof idea because the lot is only 50 feet in the east-west direction.

Colin

  • Guest
Re: House design for the Philippines
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2008, 12:23:00 AM »
Now here\'s someone with more practical ideas.† Your analysis makes sense.† Consider that a few saging (banana) trees nearby will provide excellent shade to any side of your house, the direction of the prevailing wind may have more influence upon the orientation and cross-flow of air in your house.† Wide overhanging eves also serve the same purpose.† You may find that a simple box shape will be less expensive in the long run.† High ceilings also help to circulate air.† Nipa works wonderfully well for a roof, providing insulation from the sun and airflow...though it doesn\'t last forever and becomes a convenient home for \"visitors\".† Using a corrugated roof solves the vermin and longevity issue and the installation of ceilings with vented attic solves the sun radiation issue.† Note that the addition of insulation is irrelevant unless you decide to use a/c, but then a/c allows ignoring some of the natural features we are talking about for a house that is designed for the tropics.

Interesting ideas, especially for expats with money...

This in no way disrespects the dome idea.† I happen to like the idea on a more expansive level.† I thought the discussion was about how to supply housing for the greater majority of the poor...

  • Guest
Re: House design for the Philippines
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2008, 11:51:04 AM »
Now here\'s someone with more practical ideas.† Your analysis makes sense.† Consider that a few saging (banana) trees nearby will provide excellent shade to any side of your house, the direction of the prevailing wind may have more influence upon the orientation and cross-flow of air in your house.† Wide overhanging eves also serve the same purpose.† You may find that a simple box shape will be less expensive in the long run.† High ceilings also help to circulate air.† Nipa works wonderfully well for a roof, providing insulation from the sun and airflow...though it doesn\'t last forever and becomes a convenient home for \"visitors\".† Using a corrugated roof solves the vermin and longevity issue and the installation of ceilings with vented attic solves the sun radiation issue.† Note that the addition of insulation is irrelevant unless you decide to use a/c, but then a/c allows ignoring some of the natural features we are talking about for a house that is designed for the tropics.

Interesting ideas, especially for expats with money...

This in no way disrespects the dome idea.† I happen to like the idea on a more expansive level.† I thought the discussion was about how to supply housing for the greater majority of the poor...

Hi Ron,

The problem with banana trees (?) is that they are low growing and may block airflow. I would prefer coconut to give high shade. An alternative is Papaya and it is very fast growing.
I think the most important thing to consider, is preventing the sun from shining into the house. If the prevailing wind is from the east or west then it would be possible to fit deflectors to channel it through the house.
I plan to install aircon and a lot of insulation, but with the intension of keeping its use down to a minimum. A vented roof is also essential. Another point to consider is to have a high thermal mass (thick walls) inside the house to stabilize the temperature, with the insulation on the outside to prevent the walls soaking up the suns heat during the day and re-radiate inside at night. This is something I donít think is being considered with the simple domes.
I donít dislike the idea of domes on a larger and more expensive scale, but I do have reservation about their suitability for mass housing for the poor.

Colin

Offline coutts00

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,470
Re: House design for the Philippines
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2008, 12:39:23 PM »
Colin,

Just thought of something, try growing Bamboo around the walls of the house and trim it from around the windows, you will get extra insulation from the bamboo as the sun will hit it first.

Wayne
Wayne† ;D ;D

  • Guest
Re: House design for the Philippines
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2008, 01:52:01 PM »
home for \"visitors\".† Using a corrugated roof solves the vermin and longevity issue and the installation of ceilings with vented attic solves the sun radiation issue.† Note that the addition of insulation is irrelevant unless you decide to use a/c, but then a/c allows ignoring some of the natural features we are talking about for a house that is designed for the tropics.
The problem with banana trees (?) is that they are low growing and may block airflow. I would prefer coconut to give high shade. An alternative is Papaya and it is very fast growing.
I think the most important thing to consider, is preventing the sun from shining into the house. If the prevailing wind is from the east or west then it would be possible to fit deflectors to channel it through the house.
I plan to install aircon and a lot of insulation, but with the intension of keeping its use down to a minimum. A vented roof is also essential. Another point to consider is to have a high thermal mass (thick walls) inside the house to stabilize the temperature, with the insulation on the outside to prevent the walls soaking up the suns heat during the day and re-radiate inside at night. This is something I donít think is being considered with the simple domes.
I donít dislike the idea of domes on a larger and more expensive scale, but I do have reservation about their suitability for mass housing for the poor.
Colin

I don\'t think you\'d be loosing much airflow through banana trees!† Palm and Papaya trees have no shading leaves or branches and don\'t service nearly as well for shade.† Live here a while and you\'ll discover what works best and what isn\'t practical.† I have painted my roof dark blue and have been told by the ignorant that it must be much hotter in my house.† I painted it blue because I like the color and the interior remains a good 10 C cooler than the outside (just as it did without paint).† I\'ve been told that my standard cement block walls absorb too much heat in the day, but the walls remain cool to the touch, as does my dark blue tile floor.† I abhore a/c, but love my ceiling fans.†

I don\'t dislike the dome ether and I have looked at geodesic domes as a more practical approach.† Though I also believe such structures are totally impractical to service the needs here.† There are other issues that make housing difficult for many and there\'s a need for some kind of land reform to relieve the pressure private and public lands receive from squatters.† Though the laws have been modified to help accommodate them, it\'s not always a good relationship.†

I believe that the nipa house rules hands down when considering the housing of the greater mass of the poor here.† I do enjoy living in them when they are new.† They smell like newly mown hay and are cool and breezy.† And their appearance can benefit with decorative weaving of the bamboo walls.† When left to disrepair they\'ll melt right back into the landscape in a few years (making them ecologically friendly).


  • Guest
Re: House design for the Philippines
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2008, 03:27:39 PM »

I believe that the nipa house rules hands down when considering the housing of the greater mass of the poor here.† I do enjoy living in them when they are new.† They smell like newly mown hay and are cool and breezy.† And their appearance can benefit with decorative weaving of the bamboo walls.† When left to disrepair they\'ll melt right back into the landscape in a few years (making them ecologically friendly).



I think you\'re right Ron, my eventual plan is a 2 storey Nipa, hollow block or poured reinforced cement on the ground floor to serve as heat sink. 2nd floor Nipa style but with huge wraparound deck to provide overhangs to shade the lower floor aiding heat sink effect.

Something like this.....the first accomodation I stayed in in the Philippines


  • Guest
Re: House design for the Philippines
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2008, 05:41:32 PM »

I don\'t think you\'d be loosing much airflow through banana trees!† Palm and Papaya trees have no shading leaves or branches and don\'t service nearly as well for shade.† Live here a while and you\'ll discover what works best and what isn\'t practical.† I have painted my roof dark blue and have been told by the ignorant that it must be much hotter in my house.† I painted it blue because I like the color and the interior remains a good 10 C cooler than the outside (just as it did without paint).† I\'ve been told that my standard cement block walls absorb too much heat in the day, but the walls remain cool to the touch, as does my dark blue tile floor.† I abhore a/c, but love my ceiling fans.†

I believe that the nipa house rules hands down when considering the housing of the greater mass of the poor here.† I do enjoy living in them when they are new.† They smell like newly mown hay and are cool and breezy.† And their appearance can benefit with decorative weaving of the bamboo walls.† When left to disrepair they\'ll melt right back into the landscape in a few years (making them ecologically friendly).


The banana trees at the back if my brother-in-laws seem to stop all air movement in the house, but maybe that is because there are a lot of them. I have also walked through a coconut plantation and it was very shady with a nice breeze.
If you have good ventilation in the roof then you could paint it black without making it any hotter. The walls of my rented house do get very warm if the sun gets on them. Obviously a tiled floor will feel cool, if it did not you would probably be dead† ;D. The floor will assume the ground temperature, which it turn will be the mean annual air temperature. In the Philippines this will be around 27įC, and body temperature is 37įC.
We are all different, and I not comfortable during the hotter periods without aircon. As I have a need for aircon, then a Nipa hut would not suit me, but I agree that they are the best answer for housing the poor.

Colin


  • Guest
Re: House design for the Philippines
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2008, 01:11:55 AM »

The banana trees at the back if my brother-in-laws seem to stop all air movement in the house, but maybe that is because there are a lot of them. I have also walked through a coconut plantation and it was very shady with a nice breeze.
If you have good ventilation in the roof then you could paint it black without making it any hotter. The walls of my rented house do get very warm if the sun gets on them. Obviously a tiled floor will feel cool, if it did not you would probably be dead† ;D. The floor will assume the ground temperature, which it turn will be the mean annual air temperature. In the Philippines this will be around 27įC, and body temperature is 37įC.
We are all different, and I not comfortable during the hotter periods without aircon. As I have a need for aircon, then a Nipa hut would not suit me, but I agree that they are the best answer for housing the poor.

No disagreement here Colin.† I have several banana trees in a single row spaced about 10\' apart.† Plenty of shade and windflow.† Most of the walls of my house are shaded and I don\'t think it matters what color they are, but I have an unshaded wall and paint the whole house a light cream color.† Not even the unshaded wall feels hot (though slightly warm in the summer months).† I would live in a nipa house enthusiastically if they didn\'t wear out and need constant repairs after a couple or three years.† And they are susceptible to termites, though termites can be minimized for a few years.