Choose where to live

This is such an obvious thing but nobody every talks about it or promotes the concept. The idea is simple... as basic as our survival genes.

Choose where to live. If you choose to live in a cold place when energy prices are soaring, you will be diverting a lot of your life to just staying warm. Consider moving to a warmer climate (ok ok you could just wait for the planet to warm up :-)

If you are locked into a city (or rural area) for family/historic reasons or because you love living in the place, look for an area in the city (or in the rural area) that has the best micro climate. You will be surprised how much this varies within a few blocks or a few kilometers. You probably already know some places like this but maybe you never thought of moving to live there. Places that are protected from cold winds or storms, have good solar orientation, have plenty of tree cover (trees can save you a lot of energy!) or are either high or low in elevation (go high in hot places, go for sheltered lower places in colder climates). Dont go to extremes or you will find yourself in a frosty hollow or on an exposed mountain side.

The concept works in hot climates just as well as in cold climates. It is important in milder climate areas as well.

If you can, try to live near a large body of water. A lake, a large river or the ocean. The absolute best place is on a small island surrounded by water. Small islands can have wonderful microclimates. Water is a heat sink that can both warm and cool. It regulates the temperature....

Warning! check that there is no freezing cold current off your part of the coast! San Francisco ocean frontage can be very very cold even on a nice warm day.

Our example:
We live in a very warm tropical city just 1 deg south of the equator. The city is flat and a hill blocks the cooling breeze from the south. Almost everyone in the city who can afford it, has air conditioning. When the power dies they sweat!

We live just 15 minutes bicycle ride of the central post office on a hill top surrounded by jungle. We designed our house to use natural ventilation and we catch every breeze because we are high up on a saddle overlooking the ocean. We are on the west side of a hill to avoid the heat in the morning. We kept the big trees but cleared the underbrush to shade the ground around us, to let the breeze through and to keep the mosquitoes down. The trees keep the breeze at ground level cool and our elevation (250m) keeps temperatures about 3-4 deg cooler than in town. We need no air-conditioning and that saves us about Rp750,000 to Rp 1 million per month. (about $100)
Rick Cameron
Mentawai Sanctuary - Island Aid
PO Box 388, Padang, West Sumatra
Indonesia, 25216
Tags: choose, cooler design, energy, location, microclimate, natural, trees, ventilation, warmer,
Posted on 29-08-2008 02:19 | 0 Comments | Favorited 0 times | Marked 0 times as inappropriate


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