Building new homes for our tropical climate | Roslyn Smith

One of the first things to consider when deciding to build a new home is to make sure that your home design suits the block of land. It makes sense to work with nature’s own strengths so that your new home is comfortable, energy efficient and cost effective in our tropical climate.

For comfortable tropical living the final design of your home should allow for air movement to pass through areas of the home, which is called ‘passive cooling’. This is the least expensive means of cooling a home, both economically and environmentally and needs to cool both the building and the people in it. Exposed areas of water with air moving over them are also effective ways of cooling so pools or water features, immediately outside windows and doors or in courtyards, and facing the breeze can pre-cool air entering the home. Openings should be positioned and orientated throughout the home to allow air flow and cross ventilation. Roof design can also make a major impact on cooling of the home with high roof pitches or raked ceilings allowing hot air to escape. Utalising those natural cooling elements means that we need less mechanical cooling, which means $$savings.

The tropical sun in Far North Queensland plays a major role in the comfortable day to day living in your new home, so when you are considering the purchase of your land it is vital that you consider it’s aspect relating to the sunrise and sunset. Our sun rises in the east, arcs north during the day and sets in the west, and this line of arc differs from summer to winter.

My suggestion, when considering which block of land to purchase, is go to the block at different times of the day. Feel the breezes, look where the sun will be in both summer and winter, get a feel for the neighbours’ homes and how they will impact on your privacy, feel for yourself what the block has to offer you and your family. With this in mind it’s logical that outdoor living areas cater for air flow and
year round comfort, whether that is the rear, the side or even the front of the home. We should be locating our utility areas, such as garage, storage and laundry on the hotter side of the home.

If you’ve set your heart on a particular design of home then it makes sense that the land will compliment the design. This may determine which block of land you purchase. A well designed home (for any climate) doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive one. Many elements can be very cost effective, especially if you are planning a long term home.

Come and see me in our new display home at 2 Master Circuit Bluewater (off Trinity Beach Road) and see a few of these ideas in practice.

Roslyn Smith
Winner HIA ‘Partner in Business’ 2017
Winner QMBA ‘Women in Building’ 2016
Affinity Designer Homes & Value Homes (NQ)
Building Designer and Licensed Builder
Phone : 40518866 Mobile : 0439 855851
email –