4.5 Buildings in the Dominican Republic
The main points:
• The corrugated iron sheet roof is extremely hot in the daytime.
• Palm leaf roofs and MCR roofs perform similarly.
• The vault roof is warm in the morning, evening and night, and similar to MCR and palm leaf roofs in the daytime.
• The measured differences are smaller than subjectively perceived, probably because the variation of the surface temperatures are higher.
Source: Grupo Sofonias, Kurt Rhyner-Pozak and Martin Melendez
4.5.1 Geographical location and climatic characteristics
The monitored houses are in the south of the Dominican Republic (Province of San Juan) where the climate is semi-arid with hot and strong winds.
The diurnal temperature range is extremely wide. In the hot season the temperature rises up to 50°C and drops at night to about 20 to 30°C, in the cool season it fluctuates between 30 to 35°C in the daytime and around 20°C at night.
4.5.2 The monitored buildings
The indoor air temperatures in four different houses were monitored
House A : Palm leaves
A simple hut which is typical for the poor segment of the population, with walls wooden of wickerwork plastered with mud and a roof of palm leaves. The wind blows rather freely through the house.
House B : CGI
A house with walls of wooden boards and roofed with corrugated galvanized iron sheeting. The wind blows rather freely through the house.
House C : Vault
The “Sofonias Project House” consisting of massive walls of stone or brick masonry with a 8 cm thick vault roof made of bricks
House D : MCR
A house with masonry walls roofed with micro-concrete tiles.
4.5.3 Climatic performance
This section illustrates clearly the influence of different roofing materials.
It is not surprising that the metal roof performs worst, being clearly the hottest in the daytime and the coldest at night.
The difference between the other three materials appears not to be very significant. Palm leaf and MCR roofs are very similar. The palm leaf roof is slightly warmer, most probably because of the generally poor quality of the building.
The brick vault roof keeps the house much warmer at night, and the time lag in the evening is clearly seen. In daytime it performs similarly to the palm leaf and MCR roof, although subjective feelings would suggest that it is cooler in daytime. The reason might be that the surface temperature of the vault is lower.
The diurnal temperature swing in the vault house is smallest, but still much larger than in the examples in Chapter 4.1 and 4.4. This can be explained by the rather thin brick structure of 8 cm .
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