Wednesday, October 12, 2011

RE: Eco-tropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Tropical Ghana

Below are some comments I have reposted from Ghanaweb.com and Myjoyonline.com, where this article was also posted.
I have not altered the comments in anyway.






Comment: GOOD IDEA BUT EXPENSIVE

Author:
HOT DOG, USA
Date:
2011-08-23 01:52:58
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop


GOOD IDEA BUT THIS TYPE OF DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION IS GOING TO MAKE HOUSING CONSTRUCTION VERY EXPENSIVE IN GHANA. I DON'T THINK AVERAGE GHANA MAN WILL BE ABLE TO AFFORD THIS TYPE OF BUILDING CONSTRUCTION.ACCORDING TO YOUR DESIGN AND SPECIFICATION, WE HAVE TO MAKE ALOT OF ADD UPS AND MODIFICATION TO MEET YOUR SPECIFICATION. THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS WE CAN REDUCE ENERGY BILLS.MY SUGGESTION IS THAT WE NEED TO USE 100 PERCENT LOCAL MATERIALS IN HOUSING CONSTRUCTION THAT WILL REDUCE THE PRICE OF HOUSES IN GHANA BY 25 PERCENT.MATERIALS SUCH AS CLAY BRICKS, CLAY ROOFING TILES,TERAZZO FLOORS ARE GOOD TO MINMIZE HEAT, LET ME NAME FEW.WE NEED TO USE MATERIALS WHICH SUITE OUR WEATHER.

Comment: Re: GOOD IDEA BUT EXPENSIVE

Author:
jcoolman
Date:
2011-08-23 09:58:56
Comment to:
GOOD IDEA BUT EXPENSIVE


Average Ghanaman cannot afford nothing, not even three meals a day. So we are talking house building we are talking about the borgers and the politico who are currently using the glass sliding doors as the writer indicated.


Comment: Re: GOOD IDEA BUT EXPENSIVE

Author:
Nemi Kwesi Nemi
Date:
2011-08-23 11:50:31
Comment to:
GOOD IDEA BUT EXPENSIVE


There is nothing in the article which adds on to cost. The article just states these design approaches which will wean you off cooling costs.

On the clay bricks and tiles that you suggested, they reduce heat significantly. However they are relatively expensive in Ghana becasue of limited manufacturing (supply & demand) and unavailability of well trained artizans to install them. When it comes to wood materials, they are poorly treated resulting in decay, warping, insect infestation and eventaul replacement over very short spans of time.

Ghanaians are therefore compelled to use the CMU (sandcrete) blocks which store a lot of heat during the day.


Comment: OUR HOMES SHOULD BE ECO-FRIENDLY

Author:
MARCUS AMPADU
Date:
2011-08-23 02:41:32
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop


After reading your interesting piece, I still couldn't decipher the meaning of the term ecotropic building design.
Please help me out.Unless you were using the prefix eco- to mean green or environmentally friendly.
My roof will be solar panelled to generate my own electricity, instead of a concrete roof that has an aluminum roof above it. Wouldn't the heated aluminum roof transfer the heat through conduction to the pack of storage materials, which in turn would transfer the heat to the concrete roof, again through conduction? Some environmentally conscious people have started planting heat absorbing vegetation on top of their roofs, claiming that it really cools the whole building.
For the floor, I suggest well-polished bamboo, which you could also use to panel your walls, which have the dual effect of keeping the house cool and blocking out incoming noise.
I love your idea of a garden. I can't live without my vegetable, herb and flower garden. It's one way to keep the ubiquitous dust away.
Somewhere in the house you should have beautiful works of art, either paintings or carvings.
PKA, enjoy your ideal home in tropical Ghana.







Comment: Green Roof

Author:
iCON Real Estate
Date:
2011-08-23 03:37:13
Comment to:
OUR HOMES SHOULD BE ECO-FRIENDLY


Green roofs are used to:Reduce heating (by adding mass and thermal resistance value) The main point about temparatures below ground is that they are relatively stable or constant compared to the daily and seasonal variations of above ground temperatures because of the insulating
effect of the ground itself. (Very slow to warm up and very slow to cool down.)



Comment: Ecotropic

Author:
PKA
Date:
2011-08-23 04:34:06
Comment to:
OUR HOMES SHOULD BE ECO-FRIENDLY


Dear Marcus,

I coined the term to mean exactly what you tried to explain. "Eco" to mean green and "tropic" to mean design suitable for the tropics.

Best

PKA

Comment: glass windows

Author:
Santanhene
Date:
2011-08-23 03:21:37
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop


I think it depends on the type of glass. Infact windows with low SHGC values are desirable in tropical buildings.




Comment: Re: Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in

Author:
www.aedhotep.com
Date:
2011-08-23 03:37:38
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop


Answer on www.aedhotep.com



Comment: Visited your web site

Author:
MESE BRA HA
Date:
2011-08-23 04:06:35
Comment to:
Re: Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in


I visited your web site. Well done. Good to see many working hard to help others and themselves as well in the result.

Will bear the site in mind when I am ready to develop a plot in Accra.

Once again, well done and thanks for pointing me to the website.




Comment: Re: Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in

Author:
e b wundowa
Date:
2011-08-23 03:52:14
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop


In the first place, not all buildings in Ghana are designed by architects. Secondly, the idea of the varendah, shading devices(solar incidence and heat transfer in buildings)and cross airflow in buildings (in the tropics) is part of the environmental science course of the architect's training in the school of architecture, KNUST and such issues are not new.

Most would-be builders are unprepared to pay for the services of an architect and will rather engage the serices of draughtsmen or such similar qualified people to copy or generate plans for them on account of cost.

Most would-be builders see 'beautiful buildings' abroad or in magazines and literally lift the apperance of such buildings on to their plots of land in Ghana.



Comment: Re: Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in

Author:
Bubaspax
Date:
2011-08-23 06:07:56
Comment to:
Re: Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in


U absolutely right.Most houses are not designed by architects and thats why we don't get the benefits of a true tropical house.



Comment: PKA Keep Communicating Ur Ideals to Us

Author:
Conventional Youth
Date:
2011-08-23 07:00:17
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop

APK Wrote:
“Aluminium roofing sheets and plastic ceiling are another heat generating ideas as well as a bare concrete roof”. I certainly agree with you on this one.
You also wrote, “Clay tile roofing will be best to reduce heat but I personally prefer a concrete roof that has an aluminium roof above it with a pack of storage materials in between”.
CY’s Take
1. What pack of storage material are you recommending in-between a concrete and aluminium roof? 
2. Is it a kind of insulation or padding? Loft has been part of most standard buildings, some are used for storage facilities, such as water for indirect heating systems for domestic purposes etc, etc. 

APK Wrote:

“Ideally, the room height should be meters, with long under-roof windows that allow hot air collecting under the roof to escape. This way the cool air comes in through the regular windows and the hot air leaves through the windows under the roof”
CY’s Take

3. How would these windows be regulated?. I been picturing how this innovation could be demonstrated with respect to positioning of the sun, eg. in dry seasons. This is because, I personally have problems with, where and how living rooms and bed rooms are located in some conventional building structures.

I understand your choice of aluminium and glass for your cabinets in Bathroom and kitchen, however, there are treated and coated wood good for kitchen units and worktops, which can resist humid conditions. I would also prefer ceramic washbasin to a concrete sinks and probably manage a well coated metal /tin baths or shower trays in a bathroom, excepts where designs, of vanity sinks available are suitable with concrete doors. Ceramic pedestal and wall mounted washbasins looks sustainable and cost effective in bathrooms. Your choice of aluminium kitchen sink is excellent, and will look better with chrome taps.
I would like the hardware industry to promote polypropylene material in building structures , because, it offer a combination of outstanding physical, chemical. Mechanical, thermal and electrical properties not found in any most thermoplastics. Well done and keep inspiring us by such innovative writings. This what STEMIC Education is all about.
STEMIC:

Science 

Technology

Engineering 

Mathematics

Innovation

Communication



Comment: GREAT IDEA

Author:
RESPECT
Date:
2011-08-23 07:08:37
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop


Brilliant idea. I always say we must as a ppl, define ourselves by doing things our own way instead of copying blindly from the west.


Comment: my ideal home

Author:
mike
Date:
2011-08-23 07:18:54
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop


great and brilliant ideas



Comment: PATRICK ECONOMIC HOUSES

Author:
ZION AYARIGA
Date:
2011-08-23 07:30:02
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop


Please Ghana is bankrupt in housing and we need economic housing ie apartments to house the millions in the gettoes first ,please os bring your ideas on that.





quist

Aug 23,

2011

8-58 GMT
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i love buildings too - nice ones that is. and i love beautiful well designed neighbourhoods. so its truly a pain to drive through accra and worse the countryside. we dont plan anything... we dont enforce our building codes and we are not looking forward to the future. i agree with you... but i have an exception, we should explore the use of other materials to partition the rooms inside our houses, we use too much concrete and our intereriors are too rigid.... i will go for open spaces...minimalist more like... quentinquist@yahoo.com

Comment: GLASS WINDOWS; SENSELESS STATUS SYMBOL

Author:
Frank Mensah, Tikobo No. 2
Date:
2011-08-23 08:19:19
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop


My brother, you hit the nail right on the head. In appears the glass windows use is just an in appropriate and senseless status symbol in Ghana - a country with a 60 percent power availability. It is not only about the availability of power but also affordability. I know a lot of guys and gals who would never leave on their airconditions because of the high cost of energy in Ghana. What this means is that they have a white elephant in front of them - useless and unusable. Sometimes, these just depict the foolish ostentations of the newly rich.



Comment: Mr. Ampadu, slow down, please...

Author:
JK
Date:
2011-08-23 08:32:35
Comment to:
OUR HOMES SHOULD BE ECO-FRIENDLY


Marcus, 
I see that you have already started interior decoration.

hahahaha

Patrick has some great ideas, and so do you. 

So much of the slidng glass usage in Ghana is the result of attempts to keep out dust, and the stench from indiscriminate burning of waste and brush. Planting and good vegetation around will reduce this. 

I don't know what one has to do about the neighbour's house-help burning brush that may have been cleared a week earlier. It drives me nuts! 

There are good preservation methods for wood, if the contractor does not cut corners. Bamboo is certainly good. 

I also like your idea of solar energy. 

Thank you both for your suggestions.




Lexis

Aug 23, 2011

14-14 GMT
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That's splendid i love every description you have given to the idea villa. I think the building materials especially the building blocks should be hollow fired clay bricks like the ones produced by BRRI ( Fumesua) near Kumasi.



Comment: Tropical house

Author:
KRYSTYNA from France
Date:
2011-08-23 16:12:02
Comment to:
Ecotropic Building Design" - My Ideal Home in Trop


I sugest you take a look at Quinsland AU architecture.They have very similiar climat to Ghana but you have less rain and no flooding;I find your obsarvations very interesting.Include inside the house heat absorbing plants and insect repelant like easy growing beautiful CITRONELLA



Ghostdog

Aug 23, 2011


19-53 GMT
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This story carries a picture but it doesn't look like any house I have seen in Ghana. This new house idea seems very interesting and would be greatly advanced if there were some drawings or other visuals so that people can picture the tropical house.


tj

Aug 24, 2011


18-11 GMT
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this is something i have being saying a long time ago. i see many Ghanaians rich men/women building but then i question if they went through a proper architect. very nice building but not good for the tropics. and to make matters worse, they finish with very tacky Deco. i once hired brick layers to do a job on a small project. i made most of the points the author had made ie large windows,high ceilings,large bath/toilet windows,no sliding doors/window, types of roofing i wanted. to my surprise, they wanted to do what is the trend in town at the time. all window measurement i gave them was not noted. when i question them why they are not going according to what's on the paper, they said, what they are doing is the standard in Ghana. even though i was paying them to do a job for me. i fired them. someone also nearly chop down a tree on the compound. i gave him his marching orders as well i think the issue is to do with schooling of those in the trade. they dont know why certain things need to be the way they are but just copy blindly. today, i sit in that house without air condition on days or nights and sleep well. even though i have air condition in the house, they have never been called into action. if the white man can build homes with attic and stuff it with insulation from the cold at the same time using it for storage, why cant we do the same and allow the heart to circulate between the roof and the ceiling. great piece. i like that






http://opinion.myjoyonline.com/v3/images/spacer.gif
KB

Aug 25, 2011


7-02 GMT

I have noted Patrick's crave for eco-friendly lifestyle in Ghana that could save us energy and water, while at the same time, guaranteeing serene environment and comfortable living. We have the best of natural resources but we are not using them profitably to our advantage. The Ministry of Works and Housing, in collaboration with private real developers should come out with model designs for Ghanaians to adopt. I have personally been dreaming of a picturesque GREEN VILLAGE with all the eco-friendly settings in an attractive area in Ghana to serve as a model. Who will help?





KK
Aug 29, 2011
10-24 GMT
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This is an interesting idea and has been around for a long time. I am a developer and what I would like to add to your dream is; instead of corridors to prevent the incidence of the sun on windows etc, use wide eaves. case in point are the colonial buildings in cantonments. they have in some cases, 2metre eaves and these serve very well.

I am also glad that you termed your house as a dream house. I also see that you are a phd and it is relevant because, to build this house, with 4m ceilings, large windows etc, will cost quite a pretty penny. The orientation which will make this house achieve what we have set out to, will also mean the land cannot be used judiciously. I hope you prepare very well before commencing this project because it would be a shame to see it at the uncompleted stage for very long.

We need more eco friendly buildings but there is a fine line between form and function. For example, the house in question will definitely cost far more than a "regular" modernistic building even though the energy consumption will be more with the latter. However, as a developer, the market will not patronise the former, because it is more expensive to begin with and might not also meet people's idea of what type of home they want. These factors combine to make the developers choice between a rock and a hard place.

The conclusion, give the market what they want. I personally have some of these dreams for myself at Aburi, but I am yet to begin the building because anytime my Quantity Surveyor brings the projected cost, I defer the project. I keep changing the expensive elements and I realise that realistically, it is beginning to look like a modernistic building.






























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