Identify Your Climate

Hot, humid climates, also known as tropical, are found close to the equator. Much of South and Central America, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia are examples of hot, humid climates.[1] Humidity in these regions is typically above 60% with more than 20 inches of precipitation per year. Due to proximity to the equator and the sun’s high position in the sky, solar radiation can be strong. Temperature is constantly high and does not vary greatly from day to night. High heat and humidity levels make thunderstorms common. These areas are also prone to hurricanes and typhoons.

Buildings in these climates require high ventilation levels and quick drying materials. Long overhangs can be helpful for shade and protection from precipitation. To avoid heat gain, shading devices should protect both openings and surfaces from direct solar radiation. Due to the relatively constant temperatures, building mass is not helpful in this region. Natural ventilation techniques that provide constant air movement can improve human comfort and facilitate drying. It is likely that interior humidity levels need to be mechanically lowered to an acceptable range for human comfort.