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Re: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate

I've been following your discussion with interest and finally found something I might contribute to your council project. On my Saudi Arabian natural building projects we use cooling towers that the Saudi's developed with the University of Arizona, USA, (that's my clients story line anyway). The towers are vertical swamp coolers approximately 11m tall. Water is pumped up and dripped over filter fabric covering openings at the tower's top. Evaporation cools the air which rushes down the shaft and through openings into the space needing cooling. I've also seen one built with canvas over scaffolding and used out of doors for garden parties. I've not seen them working, but hear the two 10.4 sm (horizontal area for each) cooling towers on my first library project sufficiently cool 526 sm of interior space.

On Aug 24, 2004, at 6:59 PM, chris newton wrote:

Thanks Derek

The roll of Passive Cooling is very important for Sylvia in Panama. I remain reluctant to recommend air conditioning to most groups of people due to the blind dependence that some people have to using it regardless of the weather outside. Passive cooling should not be compromised by using high insulation
SB walls.

You now have to consider the SB envelope as a Esky (is that an Australian word? ... cooler box that you keep beer in) which traps the cool air within
rather then behaving like a Thermos trapping the warm air.

Ideally the house should be low thermal mass
Keep house one room wide to facilitate air moving through
Orientated to annual breezes
All rooms must be shaded from direct sun throughout the year - that's your
wrap around veranda and trees
Light coloured building materials
Reflective insulation and ventilation of the roof
High ceilings, elevated building,

I know our SB wine cellar peaked at 28C on a day that the temperature was 27C - 40C. For a local 28 is like walking into air conditioning on a day that is 40. Your right about the occupants comfort level. 28 is perfect ... I was wearing my thermals in Friland whilst the rest of you were calling it
a cool summer.

A council project we are working on wanted to know if they could go without aircon in there public SB building ... a very hot dry climate building. Not willing to let go of the air con ... what has been proposed that they ran it
for a few hours in the morning before the sun came up when there is a
minimal work for the unit, and lower power rate for the owners. Once chilled
they can then let the SB esky do its job through the day. It will be
interesting to see how it goes.

Regards Chris

----- Original Message -----
From: "Derek Roff" derek@...
To: "GSBN" GSBN@...
Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 4:24 AM
Subject: GSBN:Re: strawbale buildings in tropic climate

--On Sunday, August 22, 2004 5:46 PM +0200 "m.ep" m.ep@... wrote:

But other than the beauty of SB/plaster I see no reason to prefer SB in a
climate that is basicly warm/hot year round with little temperature
difference between day and night. (+ humid during long periods). And I
certainly would stay away from high mass techniques.

I'm not entirely in agreement with André on this.  It depends on the
details. In places where the temperature is above the occupant's comfort
level, day and night, for a good part of the year, it is likely that
affluent people will choose to have some kind of cooling and
dehumidification system. In that case, strawbale, or other high-insulation
materials will make the house more comfortable and cheaper/more energy
conserving to cool.

If cooling is not used, insulation will still help protect the occupants from the warmest part of the day. In some situations, having walls of any
kind or material, which block the breeze, might be seen as a liability.
If I have walls, I would want them to be excellent insulators. Certainly,
moisture issues must be addressed.


Derek Roff
Language Learning Center
Ortega Hall 129, MSC03-2100
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
Internet: derek@...

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