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A cool room design  RSS feed

 
Norah sun
Posts: 8
Location: Morocco- temperate and warm- 300mm rainfall
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Hello

I live in Morocco and i am in the process of designing a passive solar, adobe brick, 2 storey family home for the cool winter i designed south facing rooms with glazing to use the sun heat, it doesn't get too cold, minimum 5 degrees celsius for a month or two then up to 20...my question concerns the placing of cool rooms, at least one that doesn't get too hot in summer, as we have very hot summer that reach 50 degrees celsius, it is a dry hot wind that comes up from the Sahara desert for 3 months where the temperature stays the same around the hour, with nights at 40 degrees, for most people here air-conditioning is a must.
i need some ideas of placing a room in the house, so it does not get hot, the walls will be 50cm thick with adobe, it is already a good insulator, and i will place the room on the ground floor north facing connected to the south facing living room from one side, do you have any ideas to keep it cool? what about openings? shall i have a small or big window? facing north east or west?
Thanks a lot
 
Terry Ruth
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Norah, I feel your pain I'm in the hot desert now in a house that has a east facing bedroom that works and is invigorating in the mornings other than widows with too high a visual light index. The west side kitchen gets very hot as the sun sets, so after dinner we don't hang out there. Caution too much solar passive mass in hot climates will over heat if the daily lows and highs do not swing enough it cannot cool down and continues to store and radiate heat. Night time air flushing is not an option here either it is too hot AC is a must 24/7 during summer months. Don't get me wrong the mass can still help hot/cold spots loaded by AC but, unless you have a passive source to cool the walls the energy in-out will not change. A passive source could be sun coupled with night time radiant cooling if there is a low at night, or high humidity that can turn into useful energy when the walls absorb it by heat of evaporation that cools the house taking down the humidity levels giving a higher comfort sensation.

Research Vastu home design principles it will answer all you questions in depth.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Norah,

Well Morocco is it! Beautiful place, and beautiful cultures...

As always, the first thing I recommend is..."follow the vernacular"....systems for the area....If you can find a local "master builder" in one of these applicable styles...learn what you can from them.

I will try to pull things I have in my "web files" that maybe of service in the end of this post. Feel free to ask as many questions as you wish...First some observations...

Without know "specifically" where you are in Morocco, what the building site looks like, and seeing a set of blueprints or CAD model...it is very hard to give more than "very generic" advice...

Norah sun wrote:I am in the process of designing a passive solar, adobe brick, 2 storey family home for the cool winter i designed south facing rooms with glazing to use the sun heat..


Sound viable in the "basic concept," accept for being two stories? This gets into the realm of "master builder" and or PE supervision from an engineer that works in "natural building" (not a common person to find.) Structural adobe, cobb, or even rammed earth over one story in high starts creating some very "active dynamic loads" on the structures wall diaphragms and foundation...

Norah sun wrote:...my question concerns the placing of cool rooms, at least one that doesn't get too hot in summer.....for most people here air-conditioning is a must....


A "cool room" is a good idea, but placement and design is interdependent on all manner of design aspects that aren't really clear from the current description. Are you in the mountains, on the ocean, in a valley, on a hillside, in a city, are there trees...etc. etc....There are also factors of "chimney effect" and the natural convective currents that come with them in some Middle Eastern vernacular designs...

Norah sun wrote:I need some ideas of placing a room in the house, so it does not get hot, the walls will be 50cm thick with adobe...it is already a good insulator...do you have any ideas to keep it cool? what about openings? shall i have a small or big window? facing north east or west?


Can't really do that from the information provided...sorry...

I can say that if the building is going to be two stories...50 cm thick walls won't be adequate to "safely" carry the loads in most clay soil types for your region. You will need at least 800mm and a meter is much better. I would also strongly recommend "rampart" strengthenings, and if at all possible (if a full DIY project) a timber frame super structure to carry the roof loads and further strengthen the buildings overall structural elements...

Without some the information I have already solicited...fenestration size and placement is only a wild guess at this point...

Links that may be of interest....

Intbau

TERRACHIDIA
Please note, I was contacted by them in some professional forums on natural building...I do not know the quality of their instruction but their affiliations look very strong for applicable earth based building modalities for your region...

Hope this is of some assistance and at least gets you planning in a helpful direction...
 
Norah sun
Posts: 8
Location: Morocco- temperate and warm- 300mm rainfall
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Woaw guys i just read your answers, i didn't get a notification on my inbox! Thank you for that
The land is in a valley about 30km away from the foot of the mountains, no trees yet, it is still a bear land.

So my designs change ALL THE TIME, and you are right for a DIY project i feel that it is safer to stick to the ground floor. I had the time to visit some constriction sites and some newly built adobe homes in the region and i realised it isn't easy to find builders that do a good job, if i ever get a professional to look over my project, and when i enquired about the few good ones, the fees are quite high. I also noticed that a lot of the new adobe buildings are falling appart and need too much maintenance to last, while the old ones are still keeping strong, i think the good old technics have been lost.

For now i have been told to avoid east and west facing walls and maybe have a back north facing space to chill in the summer with small windows and thinking to put up a chimney in the corridor.
I will post my CAD model for this building as soon as i decide on one and then hopefully i can get some advice about the perfect location of "The cool room"
 
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