Adapting to climate: Warm weather construction and lifestyle

We live in a warm climate (dry tropical forest) where day temperatures typically are between 25 and 30 degrees.

So what do we do to stay comfortable?

We built using rammed earth (tapia pisada) construction, which is traditional here. The thick walls evens out the temperatures and cools down the house during the day.

We built among trees which provide shade. We are also planting a lot around the house and in layers to lower the temperature further.

We have ceiling fans.

We can open up large sections of the wall (AKA large doors) on both sides of the house to create an easy flow of air and wind through the house if we wish.

We have an outdoor shower so we can cool down that way if necessary. (We may also construct a small swimming pool in the future.)

I drink a lot of liquids. During the day, it’s mostly water with hydration salts (electrolytes). In the morning and evening, often herbal teas.

I also find that I take on more of a crepuscular lifestyle here. I typically get up around dawn and am active for a few hours. During the hot time of day, from around mid-day to mid-afternoon, I rest. In the late afternoon, I am more active again until I go to bed early. If we have meetings or activities, we usually schedule them for early morning or late afternoon. It’s not uncommon for me to go to bed around 8pm and get up at 4 or 5am, and then rest from 11am or noon to 3 or 4pm.

None of this is new or something I came up with. The house construction is traditional here because it works well in this climate. The stores close from noon to 3pm because that’s the hot time of day and it makes sense to rest during that time. The locals get up at dawn just like me.

The image shows the thickness of the rammed earth wall (about 50cm), and also how we have used reclaimed and natural wood.


INITIAL DRAFT

ADAPTING TO CLIMATE

We live in a warm climate where day temperatures typically between 25 and 30 degrees.

So what do we do to stay comfortable?

We built using rammed earth (tapia pisada) construction, which is traditional here. The thick walls evens out the temperatures, and cools down during the day.

We built among trees which provide shade. We are also planting a lot around the house and in layers to lower the temperature further.

We have ceiling fans.

We have an outdoor shower so we can cool down that way if necessary.

We can open up large sections of the wall (AKA large doors) on both sides of the house to create easy flow of air and wind through the house if we wish.

I also find that I take on more of a crepescular lifestyle here. I typically get up around dawn and am active for a few hours. Then, I rest from mid-day to mid-afternoon. And am more active again around dusk and for a while until going to bed early.

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