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Additional Passive Cooling Strategies for Hot Climates — 10 Comments

  1. Amazing what African termites can teach us humans – they have been building these efficiently cooled “mounds” in the desert out of dung for millions of years and just now are we figuring it out. I live in Mojave, CA – today’s temp is 107. My A/C will cost me $200 this month. While I cannot dig the underground structure, as I am on a slab foundation. I will just have to put in an evaporative cooler, to reduce the cooling costs. Unless I can hire 19 million termites

  2. I’m amazed at how many simple things can be done to cool houses. That’s a pretty long list! Just one or two things like installing a white roof and adding the right size and number of windows makes a huge difference. So it’s sort of bewildering to see so many poorly built houses that are reliant on air conditioning.

  3. I watched a show about the 2011 tornado season,Joplin,mo sure was bad.I keep thinking about how much sense an earth bermed or under ground house would make.They talked about storm shelters and the picture showed them underground of course.I think the heating and cooling would make more sense also

    • Most cultures evolve over time and utilize things that make sense. I could give you all sorts of examples, but I think everyone knows this. For some reason many/most people in hurricane and tornado areas have not evolved their thinking. Nature has a cruel way of dealing with ignorance.

      • I blame building codes and mandatory insurance issuance policies. Local building authorities are basically revenue streams for the city governments and construction companies, so they have no incentive to require or even allow people in hurricane-prone areas build sensible structures. In addition, in a free world, insurance companies would discover that shoddy houses in disaster-prone areas receive more damage and are more likely to be total losses, and so people who lived in inappropriate housing who wanted or needed insurance would face high premiums or even be uninsurable. But instead, insurance companies are forced to issue insurance to everyone, regardless of the actual underlying risk, thus eliminating another incentive for people to build climate-appropriate houses.

        • It’s crazy, that’s for sure. Things are definitely not set up to favor the average working guy or gal. The good news is inefficient, corrupt systems ultimately fail, and major cracks are starting to appear.

  4. Good information Owen. Some of this information will be useful to me when I build, but here in Sticky Hot summers and somewhat cold winters (West Tennessee) with maybe 2 or 3 snows if that during winter, we will be looking at some slightly different ideas. Maybe a earth berm round house? Design we are leaning to is nothing larger then 1000 square feet. So maybe 2 smaller structures connected with a living space between the two? I like the house in south america cant remember which country but it was 2 domes connected with a somewhat rectangular structure in the middle. Domes wont work in our climate do much drastic weather changes so a traditional roof more then likely metal. Oh decisions decisions.

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