I am trying to build a passively cooled building in equatorial Indonesia.

Here is a rendering of the ground floor:

ground floor

There are existing structures on the left and right side of the building, however they are lower than the ceiling of the first floor.

The back wall of the building is a very large rock.

The building is 13 metres wide by 4 metres deep.

The main part of the ground floor is light commercial space, the right hand part is a storage room.

I am just wondering about air flow. Should I seek to create vents just below ceiling height? Or a cross-draught from left to right? Or is it better to try and get the hot air to rise upstairs and then out of the flat roof.

  • Maybe you ought to post 1. Floor Plan + Elevation & Ideally a 3D layout 2. Wind behavior at the location through the year.. or atleast location so someone can maybe use a tool to determine that.
    – Alex S
    Jun 2, 2016 at 4:12

2 Answers 2


When I was living in France a lot of the houses had a similar sort of look and layout to yours, but the doors were a lot larger, which allowed a lot more airflow to get through one we'd opened them, so that's one option.

Another one is to knock through a vent just to the upper right hand corner of the wall facing us in the picture, and put some sort of grate in it with a lattice of the right density to allow the correct amount of air through.

The former solution has the disadvantage that it's likely not very energy efficient in the winter months, where you're doing to find the glass less efficient than other materials at insulating. With the second solution, though, you could quite easily put a block into the vent during those periods, which effectively mean you're not losing any extra heat at all during those times, as long as you make sure it fits effectively (or you could even slap a bit of mortar around the cracks if you want to make it extra air-tight).


Are you allowed to build higher? There is an Arabic invention, the Wind Tower https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windcatcher which is a sort of wind-driven air-conditioning. You could build a shorter version.

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