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Community and Q&A

Protecting walls and windows from rain

stelle | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Hi all

I’m building a tiny 2-story home in a narrow plot (8x22m). The house is free-standing, 5.4 wide and around 13m deep, made of bricks and have high ceilings to improve the indoor temperature (I live in the tropics with temperature averaging 28 C). It has to meet all 4 goals I have in mind: durability (at least 60 years), responsiveness to climate change (rising temperature, flooding and earthquakes), low maintenance and cost-effectiveness. I imagine a minimalistic look and initially don’t want roof/window overhangs to keep the clean look, but now I’m worried if the unprotected walls and windows (aluminium) will cause leaks and moisture problems during the wet season.

Can anyone suggest how should I design my roof to meet the 4 goals above? I know I don’t want a concrete flat roof because concrete eventually cracks and makes the house hot. I was thinking of a double-skin roof, but then the thought of having to maintain gutters at such height frightens me. Also, I don’t think having too-wide roof overhangs on a tall and very slim building like this will look nice. (But I’ll do it if that’s really the only way to achieve the durability goal).

Secondly, if I really need overhangs above my aluminium windows, how should I do it without making the house look too ugly? The house faces North East; both the side garden at the left side of the house and a wheelchair ramp to the right are only 1.2-m wide each. In the near future there will also be other houses built to the left and the right sides of my plot.

I’d really love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. Expert Member
    RICHARD EVANS | | #1

    Hi Joanna,

    Will the house be made of concrete? Also, which side faces Northeast? The long or short axis of house?

    I assume northern hemisphere?

  2. stelle | | #2

    Hi Rick,

    I currently live in Jakarta, Indonesia. The house will be made of plaster bricks with concrete structure. Typical residential plots here are narrow and deep, so the shorter side is usually the front of the house, which, in my case, faces Northeast.

  3. seabornman | | #3

    What do indigenous houses do to accomplish the same goals in your area? I imagine generous overhangs and steep roof slopes, but that's just assuming.

  4. stelle | | #4

    Hi Joel.
    Yes, they do have generous overhangs. But indigenous houses in the past rural areas are usually very wide, single-story, and use materials that are not durable or need constant maintenance. I'm just hoping to get some ideas on how to protect my windows without ruining the clean look. If I build a 5-inch-thick upside-down u-shaped trim (made from the same material as the wall), will it help?

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