Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pacific Islanders know how to built an energy efficient house

by Charles Roring

In the Pacific region where sun shines all year long, the need to create a house that does not absorb heat is important. If a house is made of concrete walls and metal roofs, it will be hotter during the days and cooler during the nights. Such extreme weather conditions make people who live in this kind of house cannot enjoy their daily activities.

Sea water evaporates from the Pacific ocean makes the surrounding islands always in high humidity. Therefore, house materials that are suitable for Pacific region are the ones that maintain temperature and humidity.
For years, the Pacific islanders have built their houses using sago or coconut bark that absorbs much of moisture during the rainy season and emits water vapor during the dry season. In addition, instead of installing metal corrugated roof, home builders use leaves (for instance sago leaves) as the roof materials for their house. Well tied and arranged sago roofs can endure harsh weather condition. The old roofs can easily be replaced with the new ones in two or three days working depending on the size of the house. Sago leaves roofs are sold in traditional markets.
Resort owners prefer to use sago roofs installed in the cottages to eliminate the need for installing air conditioning (AC) equipments. AC appliances consume high amount of electricity which is not always available in small islands. In certain cases, to provide electricity resort owners must run their own power plant. They do not like installing big diesel generators because besides they produce electrical energy, they also emits noise. Such noise is unwanted in a peaceful tourist resorts. The climate condition along the shore lines is very hot during the dry season, to make their houses cool, Pacific islanders construct their house above water or under the trees. By constructing houses near or above water, home owners who are also fishermen can tie the boats around a pillar thus making the house as a pier.
House design styles of low and high plains are different. Houses in higher plains do not have many openings in them. If built on the ground most of them have fireplace in the middle of the house to keep the houses hot whereas houses in the low land have separate kitchens built at the back of the houses.

If you are interested in taking a holiday in Manokwari town, one of the tourist desinations in the Pacifi region, you can stay in Kagum Inn. It is an affordable choice for budget travellers. The inn has 11 rooms. Each room costs 180 US dollar per night. Every room can accomodate 2 to 4 travellers.

The inn is located in Jalan Brawijaya (formerly known as Panorama weg) near SD Negeri 1 (formerly known as Klim en Daal). For futher information on the availability of the rooms, you can call the inn's manager: Miss. Ivana Roring.

She can be contacted at her mobile: +62 81 283 07 331. It is better to book in advance to ensure the availability of the rooms. Sometimes groups of 30 to 50 people stay and occupy all the 11 rooms of the inn. On the average the travelers stay for three to one week in the inn.

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