We must begin by taking note of the countries and climates in which homes are to be built if our designs for them are to be correct. One type of house seems appropriate for Egypt, another for Spain… one still different for Rome… and Africa… and China… It is obvious that design for homes ought to conform to diversities of climate and culture.
The Ten Books on Architecture, Vitruvius Architect, first century b.c.

Climate (physics)
The climate, or average weather, is primarily a function of the sun. The word “climate” comes from the Greek klima, which means the slope of the earth in respect to the sun. The Greeks realized that climate is largely a function of sun angles (latitude) and, therefore, they divided the world into the tropic, temperate, and arctic zones. 

The atmosphere is a giant heat machine fueled by the sun. Since the atmosphere is largely transparent to solar energy, the main heating of the air occurs at the earth’s surface. As the air is heated, it rises and creates a low-pressure area at ground level. Since the surface of the earth is not heated equally, there will be both relatively low and high pressure areas with wind as a  consequence. Combined with mountain, trees, lakes, jungle, etc., we have different climates. There are even micro-climates.

Culture (humanity)

As designers, builders, educators and laborers of modern times, we must be urban anthropologists capable of understanding the big and little nuances of cultural divergencies. The buildings of today naturally become cultural melting pots. We are charged with working more closely with clients to harness the cultural environment of those using the space. It is essential that spaces speak well to different audiences and that they do not inadvertently offend any of them. We have a great responsibility to the public.

The importance of understanding solar geometry in the tropics is absolutely critical to the performance of the building with its intended (initial) use. (things always change).

At the equator, the sun is directly overhead at 12 noon on both March 21 and September 21.

North from the equator, the sun passes overhead twice each year up to the Tropic of Cancer (23.5°N latitude), where the sun is overhead once each year on June 21. Farther north, the sun is never overhead and gets progressively lower in the sky.

The same pattern exists in the Southern Hemisphere, except that the last place the sun is ever directly overhead is the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5°S latitude) on December 21. Only in the tropics is the sun ever directly overhead.

At the equator, the sun shines for 1/2 the year from the south and for 1/2 the year from the north. South and north walls experience the same sun angles  but at different times of the year. Since summer results from high sun angles and winter from low sun angles, the equator experiences two “summers” (sun directly overhead) and two “winters” (slightly less hot periods) when the sun is 23.5° lower in the sky. The two summers create not only high temperatures but also a more constant temperature throughout the year, since it takes time to heat up and cool down (time lag) the great mass of the earth’s surface. Temperatures are also constant at the equator because every single day of the year has twelve hours of daytime and twelve hours of nighttime. Of course, temperatures become less uniform as one moves away from the equator toward the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, where tropical and temperate climates meet. Daily and annual temperature ranges are also affected by the presence of large bodies of water, which further dampen temperature changes. Because heating is mostly not required, solar design in the tropics focuses only on shading and day- lighting. Since the sun rises in the eastern sky and sets in the western sky everywhere on the planet, east and west windows are a problem everywhere on the planet. In the tropics, east and west windows are not just a seasonal problem; they are a problem every day of the year.

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Table of Contents: https://pangeabuilders.com/systems/heating-cooling/#tofc




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