Smart and Cool Home in Malaysia
Achieving thermal comfort in the tropical climate of Malaysia is always a great challenge for any house designer or builder. Although some practical solutions have been developed over centuries through the slow but constant evolution of indigenous houses such the Malay house, the longhouses in Borneo and the Chinese townhouses in Melaka, their integration into contemporary designs have been hampered by various modern constraints. For instance, building the Malay house in urban areas is deemed unsuitable due to the need for wide land lots and their perceptively fragile building materials that do not allay any security worries. The lack of skilled carpenters for building such a house is also a worsening problem. Hence, new and innovative strategies to achieve thermal comfort for contemporary houses are greatly needed to serve the needs and expectations of an urbanized society. One method that has been studied and proved successful is the Smart and Cool Home system which was first used at a private bungalow in Semenyih, Malaysia. The overarching principle of this system is to reverse the role of the building envelope from being a thermal mass into a heat sink which effectively reduces heat gains and allow the occupants inside to easily adapt to a milder indoor environment. This paper describes this house in detail and provides some understanding of the principles involved.
Xingkuan Wu and Hao Xie
I. Muhammad Azzam and A. R. Fahanim, "Smart and Cool Home in Malaysia", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 224, pp. 115-119, 2011