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  1. #1
    Member BillH52's Avatar
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    Sustainable energy efficient design in/from Thailand

    Have seen a number of interesting and practical house designs here and a few other places, which make use of energy efficient concepts, passive or solar cooling techniques and other sustainable practices. A couple I like are from a U.S. architect designing for tropical settings (basically southern Florida and keys); www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021165096.pdf is one from a few years ago; a newer idea is: Energy Efficient Sustainable Tropical House |

    However, these don't utilize readily available materials found in Thailand (cost concerns) or reflect Thai construction concepts (Thai builders understanding concern); i.e. the 4 meter pillar technique.

    Wondering if someone might provide some Thai resources with the above mentioned concepts of practical home design in and for Thailand.

  2. #2
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    Bill, to be truely sustainable you need to be living in a mud hut living off of your home grown turnips, fertilising them with your home grown manure.

    now thats best case senario, worst case is living in a big concrete box with aircon running 24/7.

    so whilst neither are totally desireable, you need to find the balance that suits you and your budget.

    firstly, you need to choose materials with low enbodied energy, this basically means the amount of energy required to manufacture the material.

    wood has a very low embodied energy
    whilst steel has very high embodied energy.
    things like transportation are needed to be included in this factor, as that pine wood from sweden maybe low embodied whilst in Sweden but transporting it to thailand will use alot of energy.

    so there needs to be some sort of balance where materials are involved.
    wood is readily available in thailand but is expensive and prone to termites,there are also other recycled materials available here but again they are expensive.

    materials with low thermal mass are best for areas which will be catching alot of sun,but can be offset against large eaves overhangs.

    this is all incorporated into a design for your land, climate, orientation, your needs, blah blah blah.

    its all available here but........
    and please get off the 4m column idea, anything can be built.

    ill stop now,as w$Rk is calling ,but if you need further info then please ask.

  3. #3
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    Site-Specific Bangkok

    There are some architects in Thailand who understand designing and building sustainable houses which also can build in Thailand.

    I am currently planing a house with Site-Specific in Bangkok. The architect who has also studied in Europe has really the knowledge how to build a sustainable and affordable house for Thailand.

    The architect also thinks "out of the box" and has not only a single style or concept. Their website shows currently a lot of container and prefab stuff, but they also build and design more "traditional" houses.

    My experience in the design process is quite very exciting and interesting. The architect is not "cheap" - but worth to contact him for a proposal...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by splitlid View Post
    Bill, to be truely sustainable you need to be living in a mud hut living off of your home grown turnips, fertilising them with your home grown manure.

    now thats best case senario, worst case is living in a big concrete box with aircon running 24/7.
    This is true, problem is you'll find a lot of the houses built here lean towards the worst case scenario.

    firstly, you need to choose materials with low enbodied energy, this basically means the amount of energy required to manufacture the material.

    wood has a very low embodied energy
    whilst steel has very high embodied energy.
    things like transportation are needed to be included in this factor, as that pine wood from sweden maybe low embodied whilst in Sweden but transporting it to thailand will use alot of energy.
    [/quote]

    Considering this, second hand timber would be ideal, although not cheap.

    Labour is cheap here, but the skill level not nearly as highas back home. Ideas from the West are often not suited to the climate of Thailand.

    The traditional style of building, with open areas at ground level providing natural light and ventilation is worth considering. Bedrooms are upstairs, where there are often cool breezes at night, also being higher up keeps you away from the mosquitoes.

  5. #5
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    Considering this, second hand timber would be ideal, although not cheap.
    I would also prefer this option - also because there are no sustainable timber resources (FSC label) in Thailand.

    A house with second hand teak timber would have a very distinctive style, of course!

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