Angled Openings

Angled window openings let in more light than squared window openings.
Angled window openings let in more light than squared window openings.

The drawing above from Matts Myhrman’s and S.O. McDonald’s free strawbale building book Build it With Bales is very clear. It shows how angled window openings let in more light than squared window openings. You’ll also get better views and have more space in doorways this way. Angled and curved openings are both effective. Curved openings seem more aesthetically pleasing and natural looking. That’s how we did the window openings on our earthbag roundhouse.

7 thoughts on “Angled Openings”

  1. I will see you in Nepal latter this month .so can talk more about it .looking forward to helping out in
    The earth bag project ..

  2. I understand your logic…so what can I do at this point ..I am half way up on my new project
    Of 3 rounds structures of earthbags….connected…
    I understand your round with grass has changed..too much maintenance ..
    How about the rice hulls and bamboo , some rebar and large overhangs?

    • First, I would pound 1/2″ rebar down through the earthbags until it feels rock solid. Then I would frame in the upper half with poles or milled wood. This makes it easy to add lots of windows, which is a good thing in the tropics. You want LOTS of windows. Then I would build a lightweight pole roof that vents out the top like our roundhouse. (See latest photo of our tile roof to see what we did.) Note how we did our compression ring. That worked out great.

      Add large roof overhangs of 4′ or even more. Use casement windows to direct air into the home. Add lots of plants around the house but not so many as to restrict air flow. Use light or white colored roofing.

  3. Sounds good ..little bit of a challenge when its a pure HAT.. But will do the mango tree
    And other bushes and trees..I have found the passive cooling info..good stuff..

    • Domes are not ideal in the tropics. You can’t get optimum ventilation in a dome. You can only add so many windows in a dome since everything is in compression. Compare the windows in a dome to the size and number of windows in our roundhouse that remains cool year round inside. Domes evolved in deserts, not the tropics. Plus, domes will turn black with mold in the tropics in a few years. And eventually they’ll start leaking.

  4. Not sure I want anymore sun in my house here in the tropics.
    View yes but not sun..or do you manage this ..we are more into
    Getting the wind in the house ..not sun!

    • Use large roof overhangs like we did on our roundhouse. Ours are about 4′ wide. Add a mango tree etc. on the southwest corner to block the sun during the hottest time of day. The end result is the sun barely hits the walls directly and so there’s no overheating. The inside temperature is the same day and night year round. Use casement windows (oriented in the right direction) that catch the breezes and pull them through the house. Add roof ventilation so heat can rise up and out. Plus use the angled/rounded openings for nice views.

      Search this site for Passive Cooling Strategies for dozens more low cost cooling methods. AC is not needed.


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