Identify Your Climate
HOT & DRY- 1B, 2B
Hot and dry climates, also known as deserts or semi deserts, are the transition areas between the humid tropical climate and the warm moderate climate. This zone is characterized by low humidity levels (less than 50% RH) and a high level of solar radiation. Overall precipitation is typically low and often falls rapidly over a short period of time. Due to the low humidity levels, these areas experience strong diurnal temperature swings. Examples of a hot, dry climate include parts of north and south Africa, much of the Middle East, parts of China, most of Australia, and parts of the North American west coast.
When designing in hot, dry climates, passive cooling strategies can have large energy savings. Avoiding heat gain during the day and providing protection from direct sunlight is crucial. Designs should take advantage of cool nighttime temperatures by allowing heat to dissipate and be replaced by cooler air. Most very hot climates will still require mechanical cooling; however passive strategies can help reduce the demand and overall size of the HVAC system. Strategies that create or take advantage of natural air movement are beneficial. Adding humidity to the air can improve human comfort, especially when used in combination with air movement. However, many of hot, dry areas lack sources of fresh water and therefore, water-saving strategies are important. When using evaporative cooling strategies, care should be taken to minimize water use and use non-potable water when possible.