Hot-Humid Region

In hot-humid regions, protecting the home from the hot summer sun and assuring good air movement in and through the site are the most important site design considerations. Therefore, site the home to maximize shade and wind flow. Position the home high to allow for air movement.

Orient the home to face south or southeast. The ideal orientation is 5 degrees south-southeast. Locate living areas to the south and west sides of the home leaving the northeast portion for inactive areas like garages or storage rooms. North-facing exterior walls should be well insulated with few, if any, windows, and minimize east and west facing windows. Significant overhangs, awnings and vegetation should be used on the south, east and west sides of the home to provide shade. High-canopy trees close to the home work well. To the degree possible, they should shade the home and the surrounding areas.

Wherever possible, the primary outdoor living areas should be shaded and oriented to take advantage of the prevailing breezes. Building materials, particularly roofs, should be light colored and reflective.

In hot, humid climates, good insulation and window shading will reduce cooling needs. Tight construction will keep humid air out and properly sized air conditioners will optimize air conditioner performance.