The latest technology trends in the Philippines are very much in line with the western world and are generally available in the Philippines. When building your home in the Philippines, you will spend considerable time on your home wish list.
In this article, I want to cover some emerging technologies for building your home and then it’s down to you. You will find that changing old ways will hamper your building ideas.
As in previous articles, most houses in the Philippines are built with concrete blocks, rebar, and lots more concrete.
But at the end of the day, so is a Greek bread oven.
Let’s look at the typical temperatures in Luzon over the year, which is on average 25 to 35 degrees centigrade and a humidity range upwards of 75%.
With this in mind, why would you want to build a house with the thermal properties of a furnace?
So, if you know it’s going to be expensive, then why build a house with two-inch gaps under the doors, little to no insulation in the roof. The roof made of sheet metal absorbing as much heat during the day as possible and solid concrete walls?
Build the house sensibly and reduce your AC systems’ duty time, thus saving money. Just think about your fridge freezer? Is the compressor constantly running? Probably once or twice a day for a good unit. Now open the door and inch; how often does it run now?
I understand that new technology can be expensive. Also, you will find it difficult to find an Architect, Engineer and contractor that has adopted the new way to build. It can, however, be done, and some of the ideas I have been looking at are below.
There are now paints and paint additives on the market that can help reflect ultraviolet rays. This can be more economical than using different building products for your house.
Paint your walls and roof with one of these products will reduce the amount of heat they absorb and thus help keep the interior of the house cooler.
All the windows in your house will magnify IR heat from the sun and surrounding areas if they are not treated properly.
Here there are two choices; one is a good film added to the glass that will reflect the heat but also give you some privacy. Most window films have been tried and tested in the Automotive industry, so they have been around a while. One such product is by 3M, and they do several types of window film for the home.
The other, if you are feeling flush, is to install windows that have a heat-reflecting layer already built into them. One such product just to show you is SmartSun glass from Anderson.
So, the subject of concrete blocks comes up in my articles quite often. The main issue I have with them is the inconsistency in the quality of the blocks and that, and at the end of the day, they are thermally inefficient.
A new product available in the Philippines is the SmartBlock. This is a new technology that does not absorb heat like concrete but is consistent in quality and also stronger.
Some of my friends have commented on the expense of the blocks and that it is cheaper to buy the concrete blocks. I want to look at this a little deeper and ask the question, “Is it really more expensive for a SmartBlock?”
So, you build a wall using concrete block. Once the wall is dried and filled with concrete, a layer of concrete one to two inches is then applied to each side of the wall to smooth it over. Then once this has dried, a finishing coat of plaster is applied to the wall and sanded down to allow painting of the wall.
All this takes time, and as we know, time is money.
With the Smart Blocks, the wall is put together dry with the rebar and plastic clamps. Grout is then poured into the walls, and once finished, you can leave it alone or put a 5mm plaster coat and paint.
Obviously, you can see that although the individual blocks are a little more expensive than the traditional concrete blocks, you will save money in the long run in time and materials.
Another way to build your walls is using ICF or Insulated Concrete Form. One or two men can quickly build the walls. Watch the video on how these systems go together, and you will immediately see the cost savings.
So yes, compare the systems to standard concrete blocks, and they will appear more expensive but take the build as a whole. Look at build time, finishing materials and manpower requirements. You will see that the two systems above work out cheaper in the long run.
Some people will tell you that they can live without AC systems. To be honest, they probably can. However, I can handle the heat, but it’s the humidity that will nail you.
Also, the electronics that we westerners enjoy.
The big TV’s the games consoles, and computer systems we tend to use on a day-to-day basis. They hate humidity, and the life expectancy of high-end electronics in a humid environment is not good. AC is a must from a humidity point of view.
So, when sitting down with your architect to design your forever home, look at the thermal characteristics of the materials he wants to build your home with.
Question him about how he plans to make your house thermally efficient.
A good modern Architect should beat you to it and basically show you the latest technology trends in the Philippines. Armed with this knowledge you can look at the budget.
When designing the house, think of it as designing a huge fridge. You want the cold air inside and the house to be reflecting as much heat away from the house as possible.